2022 Roval Rapide & Alpinist CLX II (now tubeless capable)

Did you see the Specialized eBay clearance wheelsets in the sale thread? They’ve got stuff marked 50% off on eBay

Yes! Couldn’t pass up that rear Rapide. Front isn’t on eBay but I got it from Spec web site at a decent deal.

25c GP5000 on a CLX gen1 - latex tube and it measures 27.3mm

And gen2 (same dimensions) with a 28c Vittoria Corsa N.EXT tubeless

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As some of you might have seen, a special limited edition team edition was released, sporting a new carbon layup for the rims, the more aerodynamic Aerolight 2 spokes, and lighter DT 180 based hubs.
This makes the wheels equally as aerodynamic as the older versions (a claimed half watt faster) - while being some 130g lighter (or a little lighter than the original CLX1).
All of this is bundled with a very nice packaging, and a lot of not so useful stuff, to a €3700 box.
Stupidly expensive.
However, I still find the Rapide CLX shape to be the best wheel shape I have ever tried. They are as stable in the wind as a super low profile wheel would otherwise be, so you can be super confident riding down mountain passes (which is quite relevant for me, having crashed at almost 70kph on Europe‘s highest road due to a major gust).
What’s more is they are aero AF. Despite the front wheel looking a little fat, it just seems to work. I tested these in the silverstone Wind Tunnel against the AEOX Titan (as a windy day option) and they came out just 1.8W slower at 45kph. That’s crazy.

Lastly, they really allow for a wide variety of tires. Despite me not being that skeptical of hookless, having hooks a low weight is definitely the best of both worlds. And then, they apparently test equally fast with a 30c tire, as they do with a 25c.

In conclusion, I understand how some people see this as a much too expensive pair of wheels, for what is really a 4 year old design. Then again, I don’t really see any better road wheels (as Allrounders at least) on the market. From what I am hearing, they test neck in neck with the new PCW 6560 evolution, while being lighter and less expensive, the free hub body is going to last significantly longer and they are less susceptible to cross winds.
That’s why they are a winner for me (and they are also a little lighter than what Spesh claimed).


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Thanks! Saw the announcement last week, I also think the Rapide CLX is a great all-around wheel in the wind, and love the flexibility of hooks to run tubes & tubeless at higher pressure.

I find interesting that they went with carbon spokes in the recently released Roval Control SL team edition but not on this team edition. I think they would have saved a bit more weight. CRW has their similar depth and width wheel (a few mm narrower) and they are able to get it in sub <1300g which is probably partially due to the use of carbon spokes

Carbon spokes have advantages and disadvantages. I’ve heard many of these don’t perform too well aerodynamically.
The DT Aerolite 2 are about as aero and light as I’d want to go, and you can buy replacements everywhere (as in on vacation).

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maybe you’ve already seen it on WW forums

tldr: 259W at 40kph for the Roval CLX II and 260W at 40kph for the CRW 5060, so within margin of error of the power pedals used to measure power. CRW 200g lighter than CLX II. CRW more compliant, CLX II better stearing precision in the downhills.

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As reviews go I’m not sure I’d put much if any weight on this one given that Panda Podium sell the CRW wheels, so it’s about as far from an independent comparison as you’re going to get!

don’t know if you’ve read the review - I agree on the subjective part with descending - but aerodynamics from a sensor is just data. And the other facts with how spokes are laced to a wheel and how many take force when braking is objective as well as the lateral and torsional stiffnes that was measured. It doesn’t read like a marketing article in my opinion.

I’m not on CRW nor CLX II btw so I don’t have skin in the game. I just found it interesting.

I did read it. I just don’t put much weight on it! I’m told by people I trust (very fast, aero obsessed TTers who test a lot!) that aero sensors aren’t (yet) good enough for getting meaningful results from this kind of testing. He admits himself that his initial understanding of how spokes take braking force was wrong and he’d been corrected - hats off to him for honesty in admitting that but doesn’t exactly add credibility to the review. And he has a vested interest in the CRW wheels.

FWIW I suspect there probably isn’t that much to choose in aero terms between any 2 sets of wheels of similar rim depth with appropriately sized tyres for the rim width, so I wouldn’t be surprised if these 2 wheels are close on aero. Think the bigger differentiators between wheels these days are sidewind stability, robustness, longevity, serviceability, warranty and support. With the weighting of those factors dependent on your use case.

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