Review: semi-deep-dish wheels from Reid

TV soap E Street featured a character imaginatively called Wheels. He was in a wheelchair you see and they have wheels on wheelchairs. I can only imagine that the E Street writers were feeling a bit long on for ideas the day they invented Wheels. It was before it was possible to have a gay character in a soap so they probably thought they were doing something right on for the minorities with the eponymous Wheels.

His mate was the Reverend Bob, named not because he was revered but because he was a minister of the church and the church give you that name when they give you the stiff collar. Reverend Bob was a bit too good looking to be a father and just a little bit too cool. He could have been the fantasy stripper father at a hens night, if women do such things. My own experience with strippers is short and started with a backyard bucks night where the buck threw up next to the hills hoist and a jack russell terrier ate it.

(Whatever could be in that box guarded by the fierce and loyal hound? )

Anyway, I’ve strayed a bit. The point is that Wheels never had wheels so fine as my new wheels from Reid cycles. These are the same wheels I enjoyed so much during my recent review of the Reid Harrier.

(Some shiny new Reid wheels.)

For a guy who writes about and reviews so many fine fixies and single speeds my own bikes are something of a disappointment. The Mojo that takes on the bulk of my transport duties has mountain bike handlebars and mismatched wheels.  I’m sure Wheels wouldn’t have been seen dead with my dirty mismatched wheels, except maybe in the later episodes when he could walk again and could have left the wheelchair at home. My rear wheel was inherited from a Mongoose fixie and the front from an old road bike. The rear bolted up and the front was secured by a Halo skewer, which I liked initially but went on to have a troubled relationship with. 
(My previous wheels. Sorry, all images from here on are taken with my appalling Samsung S2.)

I really took a fancy to the Reid’s wheels and figured they couldn’t be too expensive, given the cost of their bikes. They had lovely sealed bearings, nicely machined rims and the semi-deep dish seemed like just the right amout of dish for me. Too much dish in either pizza or wheels can be too much of a good thing if you ask me. The Reid wheels can be had for just $100 from their ebay store or newly renovated website.

(Dog of a bike?)

What impressed me when I got them was the incredibly smooth bearings on these guys. When I get a notion to build my perpetual motion machine I’ll be using these bearings. Just got to knock off my time machine and cold fusion reactor first. When I was young and impressionable (now I’m just impressionable) an Italian guy from a bike store in Lygon street spun a wheel for me and allowed me to compare the bearings in a Campagnolo hub with the bearings in the one I could afford. It was a defining moment for me, when I realised there were things to desire on a bike beyond what I could actually see. That bloke later when on to talk me into trading in my gorgeous Gitane for a stinky Miyata, and he didn’t even get me on a bike the right size, but despite his lousy service I’m still grateful for that small education in bicycles. A long time has passed since that moment but I’d like to think that the Reid wheels are on the same plane as the Campag hubs of yore. They certainly impressed me when I did the spin test with the wheels in my hands. I could feel nothing but smooth rolling bearings.

(Radially spoked wheels with Halo skewers. Not a good match for the silver spoked normally laced back wheel.)

I got myself a new floor pump same day as the wheels come in so I can finally pump the tyres up to 100psi. I think I was getting by on 60-80psi when the hand pump was doing inflation duties. So I can’t tell you if the wheels are really fantastic or it’s just the fact that I’m rolling on fully pumped tyres at last. What I can say is I’m rolling faster and feeling better when I ride. It’s a magic time when you get a new toy that makes your bike faster. Pretty soon I’ll be used to it and take it for granted. Right now I feel a little special every time I go out on the bike. And my bike no longer looks like something I need to be ashamed of.

(I really need some new handlebars now. Grips looking gotty too.)

The weather has once again been awful so I’ve only had a few rides on the new wheels. They feel 

2 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    having destroyed my last rear wheel i am just about to replace with a pair of reid wheels. I hope the reid wheel spins as well as the campag wheel after 10,000km.

  2. James Pollock

    You can’t go too far wrong with the Reid wheels though I’m not sure about matching Campag after 10,000kms. At their current price though you can always get two sets!

    I’ll be interested to see how they hold up for me after a summer of beach going. All stuff rusts eventually under these conditions but the better stuff takes longer. I’ll post an update at summer’s end.

    Let me know how you get on with them. I reckon they’re pretty good units but I’d be keen to know how you find them.

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