Roval Rapide CLX II vs LightBicycle AR565 vs LightBicycle WR50

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.

I’ve only owned 3 mid aero wheelsets: Enve 5.6 disc and Roval Rapide CLX (gen1 and II). All DT Swiss - 240s for the Enve and Specialized hubs with DT internals on the Rapide. The Rapide spin more freely on the bike stand. The Rapide are slightly more well behaved in heavy cross winds. The Rapide are slightly stiffer when sprinting - the Enve would exhibit disc brake rub. They all seem to hold speed on the flats above 20mph.

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Thanks @WindWarrior that’s really helpful.

Primes arrived already and are significantly heavier than spec at 1628g for the pair. That’s heavier than my WR50s without a huge additional aerodynamic advantage or consistent hubset, so that wheelset is definitely going back.

However, after seeing LightBicycle’s Black Friday sale they might be back on the table. The AR565 the way I’d want it prices up at £1050 including the tax-prepaid shipping option. That’s over £500 less than the Rovals and is even a bit less than the Scribes. Assuming tax-prepaid actually means no-extra-cost then that makes the LBs pretty tempting again (I did this shipping option on my WR50s but I genuinely can’t remember if I still got hit with some other charge or not).

Farsports doesn’t have quite as much of a deal on, but it still makes a difference. No tax-prepaid shipping option though so not sure how close I’d end up to the cost of the Rovals in the end.

Anyone got thoughts on ~£1100 LB/Farsports/Scribe vs £500 extra for Roval? (Or £0 and just stick with my fat WR50s for everything?)


Curious if you are still loving the light bicycle wr50 wheels? I’m thinking of getting some for audax as well.

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I’ve a pair of LB AR36s with DT350. So far they’ve been great, used for a season of gravel and cross. I got the ARs to keep tire width to 33mm as I was planning on racing CX nationals. That never panned out, so I do wish I went with wider rims, but still no issues!

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Yeah the WR50s are still great and I happily used them through winter too.

I ended up keeping the Rovals as well (decided to see just how good the best of the best are). They are snappier and hold speed a bit better than the WR50s but definitely a harsher ride (which is partly about tyre width of course). I took them for their first long ride today, partly to recce the course for an upcoming road race and decide whether I want to run the Rovals or if the road is rough enough for me to be better off on the WR50s. It’s close enough that I think it may come down to the weather conditions on the day and whether I think the selection points most likely to impact me are going to be on the fast smooth sections or the rough and wet bits.

That said, todays ride was 100mi and included loads of other sections of rough roads too, so if it weren’t for the ‘science’ of the recce I definitely would have been much much happier on the WR50s :face_with_spiral_eyes:

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I have WR45 with DT Swiss 350 for two years and am very happy with it.