The Tour Down Under means it’s the start of the Pro Tour Road season, but it also means it’s time to unveil some new gear. Specialized and Roval Components are wasting no time with introduction of their latest wheelset, the CLX 50. More than just a middle ground wheel between the CLX 32 and the CLX 64, the CLX 50 is aimed squarely at the all-around road title. It’s light, it’s tubeless, and it’s wide, plus it packs in impressive aerodynamics to give it the full package. But what else would you expect from a company that has their own “Win Tunnel?”

There’s a lot to the new CLX 50, but most likely there will be a wheel to fit your ride…

Quoting a number of different design studies, Roval claims to have settled on 50mm as the ideal depth for most conditions. That decision balanced aerodynamics with overall weight to come up with the “ultimate all-around road wheel.” At this point in the game, the ultimate anything for road is still split between rim and disc brakes so the CLX 50 will be available in both. However, the disc brake rim does away with the brake track in favor of a more impact resistant rim that is also about 20g lighter than rim brake models.

Both of the rims also include modern widths with a 20.7mm internal measurement which is also tubeless ready with the use of their tubeless plugs. Each wheelset will ship with a set of plugs and aluminum tubeless valves for a tubeless ready out of the box set up. Mechanics should love the fact that Roval kept with external nipples to make it easier for quick wheel adjustments – especially for the tubular models.

 

All of the wheels feature their Roval AF series hubs and DT Swiss Aerolite spokes in a 2:1 pattern for the most aerodynamic wheel build possible. The AF hubs ship with an 11 speed Shimano freehub, though Campagnolo and SRAM XD freehubs are available. Inside the hubs you’ll find DT Swiss 240s internals with a star ratchet freehub for easy serviceability and performance. Not to mention, all of the CLX wheels ship with CeramicSpeed bearings to gain every advantage possible. Claimed weights per wheelset are listed as 1,375g (rim brake clincher), 1,415g (Disc brake clincher), and 1,230g (tubular rim brake).

All of the Win Tunnel testing was completed with a Specialized S-Works Turbo 24mm tire which measures 26mm on the wheels, and in Specialized’ own testing, the CLX 50 performed quite well according to their Whitepaper. Above left is the Translational drag chart, with the Combined (Translational + Rotational Drag) numbers on the right.

 

Available in disc or rim brake configurations and clincher/tubeless or tubular, disc brake wheelsets ship with end caps for both QR and 12mm thru axles front and rear. All wheels ship with any compatible skewers, Swissstop brake pads, tubeless plugs and valves, plus a padded wheel bag. Pricing is TBA.

specialized.com

 

16 comments

    • Kernel Flickitov on

      Do you see many 20 hole disc wheels out there? So, make a perfectly good wheel set less stable only for the benefit of an extremely small percentage of riders? Yeah, nope.

      Reply
  1. riley on

    while there is still alot of time and space for additional comments. I am actually surprised that there are as many “thumbs up” for a product from the big red S…….I’ve never seen anything like this before…….

    Reply
    • isrequired on

      Also interesting from the whitepaper:

      “The Roval CLX 50 is marginally, yet measurable faster than Zipp’s recently introduced 454 NSW while being lighter as well. It aero performance closely mimics the CLX 64 at low yaw angles and performs exceptionally well compared to shallower wheels as the yaw angle increases. ”

      “* Roval disc brake wheels have been tested separately and have the same deltas from their rim brake counterparts. Disc brake wheels from Zipp were not tested and information for them should not be extrapolated for direct comparison.”

      Their included graphs (that i cant link, BR should!) basically shows the CLX50 to be indeed a good bit better all around than the 454NSW which is no small feat. It even beats the 808 in some conditions.
      The CLX64 is even faster, almost as fast as the 808, and like the CLX50, faster than the 808 in some conditions.

      Reply
      • Zach Overholt on

        Thank for the reminder! I had intended to do that this morning – was up at 3am writing this. Updated with two of the graphs.

        Reply
  2. Jeffy on

    There is always weasel words in their marketing. Read the white paper closely. Here’s the sneaky part this time: They used cotton turbos in the wind tunnel.
    Cotton turbos test poorly in the wind tunnel because they have a small ridge on each side where the tread belt is glued on. I am guessing that they found that if they used the s-works turbos that are their fast aero tire that smooth right into the CLX64 that the CLX 50 would have a bigger gap to the other wheels.
    There is no other reason to use the cotton 24s for their benchmark.
    I’m sure they are good wheels in many ways. But with a proper aero tire, either the s-works or better yet the faster-rolling conti gp4000s in 23mm on the front, I would bet the 454 is notably faster or the gap to the clx64 is wider, or both.

    Reply
  3. Jeffy on

    And I will add, when you read the paper, it says the wheel was DEVELOPED using the s-works turbo shape. Yet… then it says the tire it used in the comparison graphics is the cotton turbo. That just underlines that something is up.

    Reply
  4. Matty on

    …and yet all that to say…mine will be on my bike in 2-3 weeks and I could not be more stoked! Sold the CLX 40’s and just about broke even. I will be riding the Conti 4000S II’s in 25mm. Then again, no one really cares that I am writing this…just wanted to chime in on my excitement. Honestly, money in the back says that there would not be one person who could tell if they were (some how blindfolded?) riding Zipp’s or CLX 50’s, or Hed’s, Enve’s that were the same, or close depth…it just doesn’t matter anymore. They are ALL incredible wheels!

    Reply

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