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Roval Alpinist CL wheels climb with top rim tech, DT Swiss hubs for lower priced build

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Back in June, Roval spun out their new Alpinist CLX road wheels. While the new wheels were not tubeless compatible, they did take the title of their lightest road clinchers to date. However, the $2,500 price tag positions them out of reach for a lot of riders, so the new Alpinist CL wheels are set to change that. Thanks to one small change at the hubs, the CLs are $900 less, though they are a bit heavier…

Roval Alpinist CL wheels rim

Adding to the current CL50 Disc, the Alpinist CL joins the CL Series using the same rim as the Alpinist CLX. That means a 33mm deep carbon fiber disc brake specific rim with a 21mm internal width.

Roval Alpinist CL wheel rim profile

Also like the CLX, the hookless profile is not tubeless compatible. While it’s a bit odd to see a wide, hookless road rim without tubeless capabilities, Specialized claims that this is because the rim was designed with the ultimate light weight in mind.

Roval Alpinist CL wheels dt swiss hub

The biggest change for the CL wheels is the move to DT Swiss 350 centerlock hubs from the Roval AeroFlange disc hubs on the CLX models. The hub change also means a slight difference in spoke count with 24 spokes front and rear on the CLs, but the wheels keep the DT Swiss Aerolite T-Head spokes with alloy Pro Lock Hexagonal nipples.

Roval Alpinist CL wheels dt hub

The change in hubs makes for a heavier wheelset, bringing the total to 1365g for the set (601g f/764g r).

Roval Alpinist CL wheels profile

But the change also makes for a big reduction in cost with the set priced at $1,600. That’s a pretty big change from the $2,500 price tag of the CLX model for a hub upgrade. The addition of the DT Swiss hubs should also make the wheelset more user serviceable with widely available service parts.

Alpinist CL Highlights:

  • Carbon, Clincher (tube-type) / Rim Depth: 33mm  / Rim Width: 21mm internal
  • Hubs: DT Swiss 350, CenterLock, Sealed Cartridge bearings, DT Swiss Star Ratchet internals, 12mm thru-axle compatible, convertible to Quick Release. Shimano HG freehub.
  • Spoke Count: 24 front, 24 rear
  • Spokes: DT Swiss Aerolite T-head
  • Nipples: DT Swiss Alloy Pro Lock Hexagonal
  • Front Spoke Pattern: Two-cross/Radial (2:1) Rear Spoke Pattern: One-cross/Two-cross (2:1)
  • Hand-built
  • Weight:  601g (f) 764 (r) 1365g (set)
  • MSRP: $1600
  • Extras: Roval padded wheelbag. No-Fault crash replacement policy. Lifetime warranty.


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Jim Jeffers
3 years ago

Seems like the Terra CLX are the best option. 4mm wider internal width, roughly the same depth, and tubeless. Only 50grams more and that’s with tape and valves! Not sure why these aren’t tubeless too as the weight doesn’t seem that significant. Now… if only they made a Terra CL option.

3 years ago
Reply to  Jim Jeffers

I think these are primarily meant to be road wheels. A 25mm rim is too wide for a 25mm tire and not ideal for even a 28mm tire. I agree that not being tubeless compatible is a miss for some, but I find tubeless to still be pretty hit or miss at road pressures. I still run tubes in my road wheels for that reason.

For $1,600, wheels like these and the Bontrager Aeolus Pro 37’s (these are tubeless ready..) are a bargain.

3 years ago
Reply to  Dinger

The new Zipp 303 Firecrest also have a 25mm internal width, hookless, and they recommend 28 or 30mm tires. 25mm tires are so 2015.

Eggs Benedict
Eggs Benedict
3 years ago

What’s the tire size and pressure range for these rims?

3 years ago

No crash replacement, not tubeless, more narrow inner width.. Why on earth would anyone chose these over other wheels around the same weight? This is for the guy that has an s works tarmac because it’s the best and is for some reason still afraid of tubeless because they heard from their dentist friend that you if you flat on tubeless you are screwed…

@jim jeffers the Terra CLX are actually lighter than these with tape and valve @ 1296g. Good point about those wheels. Much better choice than these wheels with options from circa 2013.

3 years ago
Reply to  tech9

@tech9 The last line reads “No-fault crash replacement policy. Lifetime warranty.” If you follow the link to Roval’s site the warranty and crash replacement sound solid.

I admit there are some other wheels I’d be interested in before these, but they seem reasonably priced and specced.

1 year ago
Reply to  fatcamper

@fatcamper only works if you are in usa… so its kind of bogus the price they expect internationals to fork out while not even getting the benefit of the same crash replacement program.

3 years ago

Can’t be T head.

3 years ago

Does hookless mean you can’t (or aren’t supposed to) run Conti clinchers (non-tubeless) on these rims? Doesn’t Conti say to mount their tires only on hooked rims? Or do all clincher manufacturers say the same thing?

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