It seems like every time we see Rolf now, they have a colorful new set of wheels to attract our attention. What started with some simple experimentation is now expanding to additional colors as they give more of their rims special ceramic coating treatments. For now, the option is limited to special edition or one off wheelsets for Rolf, but based on consumer demand that may change in the future.
While the ceramic coatings may have attracted our attention initially, Rolf’s new carbon road and mountain wheels kept us interested…
In addition to the grey ceramic coating on the rim, for the first time Rolf used the same treatment on a hub. When paired with a carbon rim and color matched decals, it really made the wheel standout.
On the mountain side Rolf was showing their new Alsea wheel set which is named after a local trail system. Using a tubeless carbon rim that is 29 mm wide externally and 23 mm wide internally, Alsea wheels will be available in 27.5″ and 29″. They will also be available in an XR version which uses a less expensive hub set which runs an aluminum free hub body instead of the CNC machined titanium version found in the Oregon made hubs. Other than being made in the USA out of titanium, the XST2 hub also offers twice the engagement. Both hubs are convertible from 9/15mm TA and 135/142mm TA.
For the standard Alsea wheels, weights are claimed to be 1455 g for the 29″ and 1415 g for the 27.5″. Prices are set at $1899 for the XR wheels or $2399 for the Alsea.
Road bikes see the introduction of a new Ares 3 which uses a wider and lighter carbon rim. Now measuring 35 mm deep and 24.5 mm wide (17mm internal) the Ares 3 checks in at 1340g for the set. A more affordable Version will be sold as the Ares 3 ES which uses the TdF 3.0 rather then the 5.5 found on the standard wheels. The main differences between the two are ceramic verses steel bearings and a CNC machined titanium freehub over the forged aluminum on the 3.0. Pricing is set at $2399 for the standard Ares 3 and $1899 for the Ares 3 ES.