Roval now has a wheel for every discipline and rider budget, from the top tier with ceramic bearings to the entry-level carbon. The newest editions to the Roval Terra gravel line are the Terra CL and C carbon wheels. Both share qualities of the flagship Terra CLX gravel wheels, but at a much more palatable price point…

Roval Terra CL carbon gravel bike wheelset

Roval Terra C Wheels Pair

What is it?

The Terra CL is the workhorse gravel race wheelset from Roval; 104g heavier and about $1100 cheaper than the flagship Terra CLX.

We’ve seen this same direction from Roval recently, configuring its Control Carbon mountain bike wheels similarly. Using the same rim from the top tier offering, spec’ing a trustworthy DT-350 hubset and letting it roll. The formula worked out very well for the Control line — we’re hoping the same goes for the Terra.

Carbon gravel rim details

Roval offers two different rim shapes for the Terra line; the classic CLX style with a 25mm internal width, and the Terra EVO that provides a 30mm internal width. The new Terra CL is based around the former, narrower 25mm inner width rim, with a 32mm deep profile.

Roval claims the 25mm rim excels with tires ranging from 28mm to 47mm, and we tend to agree. The 25mm width doesn’t balloon gravel tires up to an odd shape, but allows for a voluminous tire to excel. The overall width of the rim is 30mm outside, allowing for a beefy hooked bead that can withstand all manner of potholes and gravel abuse.

The wheels arrive prepped with tubeless valves installed, tapped, and ready for action. The shape isn’t what I call “aero”.

Roval Terra CL Wheels rim

But it’s a strong-looking contour… a rim shape that can take a few rocks kicking up on a descent, and you don’t have to stop to check if you cracked it. Plus, the matte carbon finish hides scrapes and dings very nicely.

DT Swiss 350 hub details

Like the Control Carbon build, Roval went with a DT Swiss 350 straight pull hubset for the Terra CL. The hub needs no introduction — anyone that rides a DT 350 can attest to the bombproof, excellent ride they offer.

The only penalty they have is a tiny bit of weight over the DT 240. The hub uses the same star ratchet system that DT Swiss are famous for, and the Terra CL comes with a 36T — the right mix of engagement and tooth longevity. The centerlock rotor mounting is a nice touch — I’m a centerlock fan.

Specialized Control Carbon 29 replacement spokes

The carbon rim is laced to the hubs by way of DT-Swiss Competition spokes and alloy nipples. Roval is kind enough to send a bag of spokes, nipples, and rim stickers (if you run tubes) with each wheelset. I found this very thoughtful; it feels like they want you to get back on your bike (wheels) as quickly as possible should a problem occur — thinking ahead.

Roval Terra CL Actual weights:

On our scales, the Terra CLs came in a 754g for the rear and 653g for the front, including rim tape and valve cores. Not far off of the 1400g claimed weight, which usually doesn’t include the ready-to-go tubeless setup.

Roval Terra CL specifications

  • Rim: Terra CXL Carbon Rim 25mm internal, 32mm depth, tubeless-ready
  • Hubs: DT Swiss 350, CenterLock, DT 36T Star, Thru Axle
  • Spokes: DT-Swiss Competition
  • Size: 700c – 28mm-47mm recommended tire width
  • Weight: 1407 grams* actual
  • Price: Wheelset- $1400
  • Available: Now

Hands-on:

Setup and mounting of tires to the Terra CLs went as smoothly as it could be. I decided to push the max-width and went with some 47mm Vittoria Terrano Dry tires. I had to tighten the valve to the rim a tiny, bit but after that, the tires seated quickly with a conventional floor pump and some sealant — no overnight leakage.

The 25mm internal width plays nicely with the 47mm tire, and the tread doesn’t distort at all; also adequately supporting the tire.

The ride:

Roval Terra C Wheels details full bike installed

My first rides on the Terras were on my steel gravel rig and proper gravel roads. I wanted to see if I could feel the difference between my “road” wheels that I came from and these gravel ones now on the bike.

The previous wheels also had a 47mm tire but with a much narrower 21mm internal width. I noticed I could run lower pressure with no sidewall squirm with the Terras, a big plus, especially for tires with a supple casing.

Accelerating with the Terra CLs, I could feel the lightness of the rim, especially coming from my heavier previous wheelset. The bulk of the extra 104g weight from the Terra CL to the CLX is in the hub and spokes — the CLX opting for DT-Aerolite over Competitions. I can’t imagine it being an overwhelmingly different ride experience.

On long rolling sections of gravel, the Terra CLs keep a nice spin, and the 36T star ratchet is just enough engagement if you need to ratchet over rocks. Plus, if you hit said rock — the rim is forgiving, and the same goes for the finish. Gravel can quickly turn new wheels into pit wheels, and the matte finish on the Terra CLs is an intelligent move.

I don’t believe there is a special coating or finish on them, but they sure can take a ding.

The overall look of the wheelset is a bit underwhelming, but that subdued look gives it the ability to adorn any bike easily. The white on the hubs provide a nice pop of color on an otherwise wholly black-on-carbon palette.

Though the description clearly states gravel — these wheels make a killer cyclo-cross setup, as well. The 25mm width internal pairs well with a 33mm tire and takes it to a plump (but not UCI-legal) 35mm. Plus, the forgiving nature of the layup pairs well with bumpy sectors of grass and frozen ruts.

The only section where the Terra CL falls a bit short is straight-up road rides. I mounted up some 28mm tires (the minimum for the Terra) and hit the road on my Allez. On the climbs, the Terra CLs fared well; they are light and spin up fast — solid. But they felt a bit dull on the open road and headwinds — like riding a climbing wheel in a crit. They would maintain speed but not nearly as well as the, not-much-deeper Roval C38s we’re currently testing.

Conclusion

The Roval Terra CLs are a ton of wheel for the money and versatile for the wide tire crowd. I can see this wheel gaining popularity in the gravel and ‘cross crowd quickly. The build is robust, the rim is versatile for all 30mm+ tire applications, and the price is solid. $1400 for a set of wheels is still a big chunk of change, but after spending time on the Terra CLs, I agree they are worth the money. If you’re on the fence, Roval offers a pretty sweet carbon warranty, including an “it happens” no-fault crash warranty for the first two years to the original owner.

If you’re looking for something a bit more cost-effective — I would check out the Terra C for $1000. But if you put them side by side, you get a whole lot of wheel upgrades for the $400, not to mention you’ll save about 200g in weight.

Rovalcomponents.com

8 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you Roval for listing 28mm tires to work with 25mm internal width rim.
    I’m tired of traditionalist that balk every time we recommend 28mm tire on 25mm ID rim, or 25mm tire on 23mm rim etc. Not only it works, but in fact, it’s an optimal set-up.
    There will always be some guy who bring the ancient ETRTO guideline to say this is not safe.

    • why not? provide data , options don’t count, and no I’m not asking them why it’s optimal I’m asking you why its not

      • The word optimal gets bandied about pretty regularly on pages like this. If something is truly optimal or optimized, there is a differential equation to prove it. So Bubb is probably correct in that it works, it may even work really well. But it’s most likely not the optimal solution. And unless Hex or whoever shows up with some math to prove it, it’s just a fanatical opinion.

        • You are correct that it is not global optimal for all the parameters in all situations.
          It is optimal only when we are pushing aerodynamic and (smooth) tire stability at low pressure as the key measurement.
          -Aerodynamic reason: higher internal width per tire casing width ratio, the more straight the tire side wall is (within a reason). So we want widest internal width and narrowest tire possible.
          -Handling reason: too wide tire with too narrow rim at low pressure is floppy. So it slightly prefer wide internal width and more straight sidewall (narrower tire casing) for better handling.
          -Safety reason: Too wide internal width and too narrow tire casing can cause tire to roll on the sidewall in sharp corner. So, there is a point that the internal width is just too wide for the tire size.
          –Based on three points above, two being maximizing problem and one being constraint, then optimal point is the combo that has widest internal width rim and narrowest tire that is still safe.

          Of course, if you insert/modify other parameters like how the tire profile looks like when tread pattern is not consistent (like those tire with smooth center but tall side knobs) or if you emphasize more tread coverage for sidewall protection against rocks then optimal point can shift to a larger tire size.

  2. Bringing those cornering knobs up higher, now they’re making contact with the road when you’re just rolling along in a straight line. Not optimal.

    • Which 28mm tire has any knobs?
      I guess something like 32mm smooth center with tall side knobs might take some hit here but tires with consistent tread design like Continental Terra Speed 35mm and 40mm have better profile with 26mm internal width rim than 21mm internal width one.

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