Roval CLX 32 Disc wheelset

The Roubaix may have stolen the show at launch, but don't forget about these super-light disc wheels

When Specialized launched the revamped Roubaix in September, the latest version of American firm’s venerable endurance bike stole the headlines. Or, more specifically, the Roubaix’s all-new FutureShock front suspension took centre stage.

But buried beneath the Roubaix – and beyond talk of compliance, suspension and the Hell of the North – were the Roval CLX 32 wheels, introduced alongside Spesh’s show-stopping cobble-crusher (which, incidentally, also features in the RCUK 100).

Roval, if you’re not familiar, is Specialized’s in-house wheel brand, though more than ever they are keen to be viewed as an entirely separate entity. Either way, Roval have steadily been upping their game over the past few years.

The CLX 32 wheels are evidence of that. With a 20.7mm inner rim width they are bang on trend and, as well as being super-wide, they are impressively light, too. In fact, they’re featherweight, tickling the scales at just 1,280g for the rim brake model or 1,340g for the disc-ready version we’ve got here.

Wheels like the CLX 32s are right at home on a disc-equipped bike. The bulbous rim profile provides a wide footprint for a chunky road tyre – put a 28mm tyre on the CLX 32 and it will inflate closer to 30mm – and takes full advantage of the extra clearance typically offered by a disc-specific frame.

On top of that, you can forget any hearsay about disc brakes and weight, the CLX 32s will enliven any ride. With a shallow 32mm-deep rim, weight is key as far as these wheels are concerned and there’s little of it to hold you back.

As for aerodynamics, you’re better off looking further up the Roval range if cheating the wind is an absolute priority, with the CLX 50 and CLX 64 both on offer. Still, Roval have some paid attention to aerodynamic performance and say the CLX 32s are eight seconds faster over 40km than CLX 40s they replaced, despite being shallower (and lighter, for the record).

That’s thanks to the revamped rim profile, aero hub profile and bladed spokes. Specialized have their own wind tunnel and tested every influencing factor on aerodynamic performance during development of the wheels, and one nugget which emerged from that testing is the negligible impact of external nipples. Home mechanics rejoice!

RCUK 100 2017 - Roval CLX 32 wheelset
RCUK 100 2017 - Roval CLX 32 wheelset
RCUK 100 2017 - Roval CLX 32 wheelset

Roval CLX 32 Disc Wheelset

To complete the deal, you get silky-smooth CeramicSpeed bearings and the wheels are tubeless-ready, too.

Run these with fast, wide tubeless tyres run at a low pressure and you’ll be rewarded with a potent combination of road-taming comfort and lightning-fast acceleration.

Whether you also throw the Roubaix into the mix is another matter entirely.

[monetizer101 search=’Roval CLX 32 Disc’ price=’1870′]


Selected for The RCUK 100 2017

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