Wheelset recommendations - Roval Rapide CLX or something else?


So knowing that the Roval Rapide CL might be around the corner (or not, since they might need all the wheels they’ve got to make sure that they can get the Tarmacs delivered) I sold my Roval CL50s.

Since we have a long winter and spring here in Sweden, they wouldnt’t be used anyway…

So to my question, I am looking at what wheels to get for spring, and seeing that I have a Venge, the Roval Rapide CLX has been on my watch.

What bike they’ll be on:

  1. S-Works Venge during summer
  2. S-Works Roubaix when travelling - lots of mountains when travelling

How I ride:

  1. Lots of rolling hills in Sweden
  2. I am 80kg
  3. Lots of elevation when abroad
  4. 28mm Cotton Turbos (Hell of The North) - always

I also know that there are options from DT Swiss, ZIPP and SwissSide…

What would you recommend and why?


/ David

Bontrager XXX_ are excellent wheels. The others in their lineup are solid too. The new RSL37 is apparently really solid also

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Don’t worry about wheel weight too much. I have cycled in Sweden quite a lot, and at least where I was, there were only rolling hills. Where I could easily average over 30kph. For speeds like that, you should go as aero as you can handle, to be as efficient as possible.

You say loads of elevation when going abroad, but really ask yourself, at what speeds you are traveling. Low profile wheels are only faster in the filming two cases:

  • you are going extremely slow. That can be due to extrem gradients (Zoncolan type gradient) or due to the rider producing low W/kg.
  • the low profile rims give you that much more confidence (descending in strong wind or riding in a hurricane) so you have to brake less/ can pedal much harder

My main question would be: are you racing at all? Then I’d focus my decision around this.

From my experience, the Roval CLX are a great wheel, fantastic handling in the wind, light and all you can wish. But I only use them for very steep races, training (where I don’t care about speed) and for the windiest of days. For everything else, I ride much deeper rims, since they are just plain faster.

Thanks for the really good answer! No racing here, just like to go fast! The closest I get to racing is fast group rides where its a lot of 20-30s sprints upp hills and attacks…

Usually average around 32-34km/h on my rides, depending on wind etc, so makes sense to go for max aero…

I can’t find any tests for the Rovals, which makes it kind of annoying when comparing to other wheels…

ENVEs are a bit too expensive…

I have looked at these: https://www.bike-discount.de/en/buy/dt-swiss-arc-1100-dicut-r-carbon-62-disc-cl-wheelset-985706

But they seems to be optimised for 25mm, and I don’t know if I “ruin” the aero gains by using 28mm…

I think Tour Magazin recently compared several mid depth wheels and the top 2 where Rapide CLX and SwissSide/ DT Swiss 50mm, separated by next to nothing.
I have the Rapide for the windiest of days but mainly ride 80mm wheels.
If I only had one set of wheel, probably would go with the 62mm DT/ Swiss side from the latest gen also.

Regarding tire width. There is basically no wheel that Tests fastest with 28c and hardly any wheel, that tests faster with 25 than they do with 23c.
My new Swiss Side hadron 2 Ultimate sit flush with a 23c (but a 25 would definitely work just as well).
My rapide would even be okay with a 28c in the front, but for the rear wheel, my 25c slightly wider than the rim.
My Enve SES 4.5 AR (optimized for 28c) look much faster with a 25c (that sits flush) than with a 28c (that bulges over the rim).
So, not really a difference.

Edit: CLX64 might be a very good option too. Super wide, handle well in wine, fast, and you might snag them for cheep, as many people now want Rapide…

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Have you had any issues with the bearings on the new Rapides? I heard that some have the same issues as they did with the CLX50, where they would get “tight” and wouldn’t roll freely, so you had to take of the pressure from the thru axle, and then mount again, for it to resolve itself…

Guy talks about it here: https://youtu.be/0ju34mmAYxU?t=448

Yeah I was thinking of maybe doing 62mm front and 80mm rear… But again, there is something with the Rapides that’s damn nice :open_mouth:

Plus, I could do 28mm for the front on the Rapides…

Hmmm… difficult choice…

62 front, 80 rear is pretty bad ass. Haven’t ridden the 62s yet, but I have the 80 front wheel for my TT bike and it is the best super deep I have had in the wind. As good as the 7.8 and CLX64, both of which are shallower.

Regarding the hubs. It really doesn’t make that much sense that the CLX50 and Rapide CLX have the same hub issues. Firstly, they are different gen DT 240 Hubs, and secondly the CLX50 had ceramic speed internals, which the newer wheels don’t have.

That’s btw another plus for going DT Swiss. They have the brand new aerolite 2 spokes, that look super Bad ass. Like turbine. And the have 180 hubs, whereas Rovals have 240 (fewer engagement points).

So if you had to pick between the DT Swiss ARC 1100 Dicut® Carbon 62mm, or the Roval Rapides, which one would you pick? :smiley:

DT Swiss. With the newer spokes, hubs and also super wide and deep rims, there are great. Also TL compatible.