So yesterday I spotted the Roval Rapide CLX II’s in a Black Friday sale for 37% off RRP and pulled the trigger because there were only two sets in stock. I’d always wanted something like them but would never have been willing to spend £2300-2500 (I don’t think I’ve seen them discounted here in the UK before). This discount and the weak pound means they’re about the same cost as top Chinese rims on DT240 hubs once you get done with VAT, import duty, etc.
I also bought the new Prime Primavera 56 wheels at 20% off RRP. These were just released and seem like an incredible new offering - have found a couple of positive comments from development teams but no real world experience from owners yet. They don’t have staggered rim depths and the front rim isn’t quite as wide as the Rapide externally, but at 23c they’re wider internally than the Rovals. No DT internals but they’ve adopted a nearly identical ratchet system. They are also (still) less than half the cost.
(At least) one wheelset is getting returned before my credit card bill comes due. Anyone have real world experiences to share with me before then (I can unbox but don’t think I can test either)? How much better are top tier wheels than a rung down the ladder (the premium offerings from budget brands)? Can anyone make a direct comparison between the Rapides and any wheels I already own (listed below)?
(For those that want more details)
New wheelset will be to replace my v1.0 Prime Black Edition 50 disc wheelset. 1600g+, 19c internal, 27.5mm external, and 25mm GP5000TLs measure about 26mm. They were my first carbon aero wheels and I had no complaints but also nothing to compare to. Now they feel a bit dated and I’m ready to upgrade them. These are the go-fast wheels for best days, fast riding and racing on good roads, crits, etc.
For more comfort I got a set of Light Bicycle WR50s on DT240s which I run with 28mm GP5000TLs that measure 31mm and still follow 105%. Basically aero audax wheels. I love these so much that I avoid using the existing Primes now. They handle much better in the wind and of course that tyre volume is super plush. But they also don’t feel quite as snappy and I’m sure that their width means something built around a 25mm tyre would probably be a better race wheelset. Part of me wonders though if this is all in my head and actually I’d be happiest just sticking with this one wheelset and sending BOTH of my impulse buys back for refund.
I now own all the tools to service DT hubs (my gravel wheels are WR45/DT240 so I was thinking I’d start building a bit of a DT fleet).
Rapides were my original ‘ideal’ but given the cost and lack of discounts, I had been looking at Scribe Elan 60, Lun Hyper D67, Farsports Wave 55/60 (a Princeton knockoff), LightBicycle AR565 (slightly more original take on Princeton), and sort-of-but-not-really Zipp 404FC. The Scribes might actually be a halfway price point between the two sets I’ve got coming, but all the others would end up so close in cost to what I just spent on the Rovals that they aren’t really even worth considering anymore IMO.