Zipp 303 Firecrest or Roval Rapide CLX


I currently have a pair of Roval Alpinist CLX, they are awesome however I’m looking to replace them with a more versatile pair. I’m in search of a more aero pair that I can still bring on the occasional more mountainous ride (planning a 130km/4700m ride). Basically, an all-rounders that I can ride year round.

I’ve got the Roval Rapide CLX and Zipp 303 Firecrest on my list. The Zipp’s are significantly cheaper (I’ve a got 20% discount on anything Zipp) but technically less aero for the same weight. The 303 NSW are out of budget unfortunately. I don’t care too much about tubes vs tubeless.

What would you pick?

Whilst I haven’t ridden the current Rapide CLX, I have a set of Zipp 303’s, CLX32 and CLX64. The Rovals are really nice wheels, and they are definitely more aero than the Zipp’s however does this make them better? I found the CLX64’s a real handful in strong winds, and the 303’s are definitely more stable than even the CLX32’s in crosswinds.

I didn’t have much luck with the Ceramicspeed bearings in the Rovals, having to have them replaced in both wheelsets, but I see the Rapide CLX no longer ships with the Ceramicspeed bearings.

I wouldn’t rule out tubeless as a deciding factor. I switched to tubeless on the Rovals and I won’t go back. The ride quality is decidedly better.

For an all round wheelset that you’ll be happy in the mountains on, I would be favouring the Zipp 303’s. They climb really well.

I have the Alpinist as well, and have run the Rapide CLX before (crashed them unfortunately), but they feel very much like the Alpinist. They are 1400g so they get that light and snappy feeling while still being as aero as it gets (considering that they are an all round wheel set).

I have a pair of DT Swiss ARC1400 62mm that I am selling now to upgrade to the Rapides again.

Will be saving 300g almost :nerd_face:

I vote for the Rapides.

Also, to add, 90% of why i recommend the Rapides over the Zipps are due to the hub in the Rovals. You get great DT Swiss internals!

Don’t have any experience with Zipp. Five years on the Enve 5.6, and 5 days on the Rapide CLX, both with DT Swiss hubs. They are similar but have slightly different characters. Haven’t ridden the CLX in 20+mph crosswinds yet, but have had some gusty winds along a highway when trucks pass. Not much time to fully form an opinion, but I’d buy the Rapide CLX again.

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Zipp 303 Firecrest here on the gravel bike. I’ve thrown a lot at them over 12 months, still spinning as good as new. 25mm internal, so they’re wide bois.

Compare the warranty/crash replacement when choosing wheels too. Looks like both Zipp and Roval have good coverage for original owners. One might have the edge over the other?

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Rapide are amazing.
Don’t think that you’ll ever need another road wheel if you don’t care for TL (and they also work well with TL).

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I can’t speak for the Roval Rapide but I do have a set of 303 firecrests and I love them. Currently I have them on my gravel bike with 38mm gravel kings and they roll fast and I have never flatted with them. I have also ran them on my road bike with 28 mm tires and they’re fast in road mode as well. Really a great all around wheel set.

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I think the CLX Rapides are supposed to be better in crosswinds than the previous generation CLX64s. I have the CLX64s and they are, in fact, a little twitchy in heavy crosswinds, but not unmanageable IME.

Also consider the Enve Foundation 65s. I like mine a lot (on a different bike). Same aero performance but less twitchy.

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Which wheels in the market is the most aero

I had some nsw zipps that popped the spoke grommets, twice. Pretty bad experience with their hubs, the 2nd time I replaced the hub with a dtswiss when I had it rebuilt. Now I’ve moved to Enve.

The clx Rovals that came with my bike have been bulletproof, though I don’t have a deep one (mine are clx32). Never a problem.

Aerocoach AEOX TITAN front and rear disc, I guess.


If not double disc. It’s the 100mm Titan

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How would double disc’s work on my gravel bike? :thinking:

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Definitely easy to clean!


I have a set of enve 7.8 but was thinking about swapping to rapide clx. Its hard to find good data on the rapide.

There is quite a lot of magazines that tested them. I recall they are on par with ENVE 5.6 and DTSwiss ARC 50 (2021 version).
Your current wheel will be faster, but the Rapide are significantly lighter and of course also perfect in cross winds.


Yeah, they seem to be a wheel that excels in everything. Maybe I buy just the front rapide clx. Even being a bigger person when the winds kick up on the 7.8 the front wheel is still not fun to fight with.

I finally got the Rapide CLX’s. Them not being an issue in the wind really wasn’t a lie. Last weekend was really windy and apart from getting slowly pulled to one side they’re really easy to handle.


I had like 3 instances where I felt proper steering Moment on them.
Two of which where when crossing long bridges in brutal Winds. Basically any other deep section wheel I have would have killed me in those situations.

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So… I’ll be testing out the JRA warranty replacement process on the 303 Firecrest after today’s ride. :man_facepalming:t2:

I hit a rock on an unlucky angle and cracked the rim.

Strava Ride (with pics): 51.1 km Ride Activity on April 6, 2022 by Shane M. on Strava

Insta Stories of the adventure: Watch this story by Shane Miller - GPLama on Instagram before it disappears. (The Insta stuff expires in 24hrs).

Stay tuned…


About 2 months ago I crashed straight into a car at about 50kph (31mph) the front Rapide was only slightly out of true and had a broken spoke in the back. No apparent crack in the carbon, they are bomb proof! To be on the safe side I still bought new ones.