Today, Roval is rolling in two new wheelsets. In spite of both being very light, the two have very different characteristics. While the Alpinist CLX is all about building the lightest wheel possible, the Rapide CLX focuses more on all around speed without giving up too much in terms of weight.
Speed in the wind tunnel is one thing, but controlling that speed out in gusty conditions is another. If a deep profile aero wheel is a handful to control out on the road, it doesn’t really matter how fast it is if you can’t ride it in a straight line. Here, Roval claims that they studied the human reaction time to find out just how much short gusts of wind affect a rider’s speed. They say that often, when you go to correct for a wind gust, due to the delay in reaction time, you’re usually adjusting after the gust has already subsided. Build a wheel that isn’t as susceptible to wind gusts, and you’re left with a faster wheel in real world conditions.
What makes a more stable wheel? Roval states that it’s mostly about the profile of the front wheel, so the Rapide CLX has a 51mm deep and 35mm wide profile that claims to increase stability in cross winds by 25% over the CLX 50. The rear wheel doesn’t play as big of a role in the control of the bike, so Roval uses a 60mm deep, 30mm wide rim out back. Combined, Roval makes the claim that these as a pair are faster than most 65mm deep wheels, but with 25% less steering torque input compared to the CLX 50.
Built with their AeroFlange Disc hubs, the carbon wheels are clincher only and are not tubeless compatible. Claimed weight is 1400g for the set (649 F / 751g R), and pricing is set at $2500 for the set or $1100 for the front, and $1400 for the rear.
In contrast, the Alpinist CLX holds the title of the lightest road clincher Roval has ever made. For those who still geek out over having the absolute lightest bike, this 1,248g wheelset will help you get there.
Once again, these carbon clinchers are not tubeless compatible since the overall goal was to reduce weight as much as possible. At 33mm deep with a 21mm internal width, rims are laced to their AeroFlange Disc hubs with 21F/24R spokes. All Roval carbon wheels carry a maximum rider weight of 240lbs or 109kg.
Like the the Rapide CLX, these wheels are sold in disc brake configurations only, and carry the same pricing structure of $2500 for the set, or $1100/$1400 individually. Both wheels also include the Roval “**it Happens” No Fault Crash Replacement Policy which covers the wheels (if purchased in the USA) for any damage that occurs while riding within the first two years of ownership.