Roval CL II and Zipp 404 FC best uses

Short version, I have a set of low mileage Roval CL II (the budget option I guess?) and new 404’s. I also have a gravel bike (that sees virtually no gravel) and a new road bike. Which wheelset would you pick for which bike? Road bike will get 10x more use than the gravel.

I’m thinking the Roval with some gravel tires, but I don’t know crap about wheelsets (the Rovals were a good deal, the 404’s came with a bike), aero, etc.

Weight is a wash between the two wheelsets.
Rovals are 51 and 60mm depth, 404’s are 58mm (in case that isn’t common knowledge).
Rovals are 35/21 mm front 30/21 mm rear external/internal width, 404’s are 27/23mm.
Rovals are hooked, 404’s are hookless (I am 68 kg on a bad day, so I am not worried about tire pressures)

I was using the Rovals on the gravel bike with road tires.

Rovals will be more aero with wider road tires (thinking 105 rule) so I’d probably use those on the road bike with some 28mm tires.

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Even with test data, you might want to ride them back to back and see which feel better. Assuming you can feel any difference.

I had a set of ENVE 5.6 Disc for years. Suppose to be best in class for crosswinds and aero. Loved ‘em and we have a lot of crosswinds out here.

Tried the Roval Rapide CLX and they were even more stable in crosswinds. I’ve heard the Rapide is best of class in aero too, probably on par with a short list of other mid-aero wheels. They had me at crosswind stability and good warranty, won’t ride anything else now.


Based on the wider rim internal rim width and the fact that they are hookless, I would personally use the Zipps for gravel…but if I am going to be perfectly honest, neither one of those wheelsets are good gravel choices, IMO.

I’d sell one and then buy a set better suited to gravel.


That was my thought, but, I’m kinda dumb on that stuff. I enjoy riding road, but do not ride completely at all.

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I’m a bit lazy to do a back to back test, which is what I should do.

That bike is unlikely to ever see any gravel. More likely just get ridden in my commute, and when I am riding with my GF to help make up for the power disparity between us.

Unless I were to move somewhere where I would rather avoid the road for gravel (I live in SoCal), than I can’t imagine myself riding gravel again with extreme rare occasions, I just don’t think it’s fun at all.

I’m not the buy/sell type. I use what I already have until it is destroyed, then buy new again. I don’t have patience to deal with selling stuff, and I don’t trust people enough to buy used things.


Seriously give it a go, forget the marginal gains. I picked up some Terra wheels for gravel, but most of the gravel out here is dirt roads and the Terra are collecting dust because of the one bike to rule them all thing I’ve got going on. Too bad you don’t live up here in NorCal / State Capital, I’d let take the Terra for a spin. I’m about to list them on FB Marketplace.

Going back to testing, the big difference for me with Rapide vs 5.6 Disc was crosswinds, and to a lesser extent the Rapide hub/spoke combo is slightly stiffer when sprinting (a little less brake rub). Otherwise they “feel” the same in terms of compliance and holding speed above say 22mph.

Man, my Rovals are the best wheels I’ve owned (Zipp, Hed, Flo, Mavic). People bag on them, I think because they come stock on a lot of Specialized bikes, but they test well, they ride well, they’re compatible with lots of stuff… people see me with those CL50s on my Toa and ask when I’m getting some Enve or Zipp wheels and I’m like, “Never?”


here here, long live Roval’s support for hooked rims on the road!

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I picked up a Terra C set for my gravel bike for $750. Bargain for the poor pensioner.

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Gotcha…then I would use the Zipp’s for those applications for the reasons cited.

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