Specialized Announce Two New Road Wheelsets | Official Release

Today Specialized announced the Roval Aplinist CLX climber’s road wheelset which weighs in at a feathery 1248grams. For the speedsters, the new Roval Rapide CLX wheelset includes aerodynamic elements and weighs 1400grams. Both systems are disc-specific and designed to be run with tubes. Here’s the lowdown from Specialized.


The carbon fiber road bicycle wheel from Specialized called the Roval Alpinist CLX as featured by Bike Network in South Africa.

INTRODUCING THE ROVAL ALPINIST CLX AND ROVAL RAPIDE CLX

There are riders who live for the climbs, and who savor the purity of riding the lightest bike possible. And there are riders who want nothing more than to own every city limit sprint, every time trial, riders who ache to stretch the peloton out from the front and who want the fastest, most slippery wheel possible in every situation. Whether you’re a classic mountain climbing grimpeur, or a high wattage rouleur, we have a new wheel for you, specifically designed to amplify on your strengths. For classic all-round racing, for bagging KOMS and burning the legs off your friends and enemies alike, for all the terrain from flats to rollers to crosswinds, we present the Rapide CLX. Our goal in developing it was to make the fastest all-round wheels in the world. The Rapide CLX is a true do-it-all and do-it-fastest wheelset; successfully merging the light weight of climbing wheels with the lower aerodynamic drag of a dedicated aero setup, yet retaining the steady handling of shallow-rim wheels. For the climbers and the uncompromising lightweight purists, we offer the Alpinist CLX. The lightest clincher road wheels we have ever made, Alpinist CLX delivers the holy grail of minimalist performance; potent acceleration, incredible climbing speed, and the feathery absence of mass that lets your bike disappear beneath you.


THE ROVAL RAPIDE CLX – COMPLETE SPEED

We believe we’ve made the fastest all-around road wheels in the world. The Rapide CLX wheelset essentially combines the aerodynamic excellence of our UCI TT World Championship dominating CLX64 with the light weight and gentlemanly handling of our Polkadot-Jersey winning CLX32. The result is a wheelset that delivers maximum speed in conditions found in real-world riding; climbing performance, slippery efficiency of a dedicated aero setup, and stable, confident handling, regardless of wind conditions. Since our goal with Rapide CLX was to make the fastest wheelset for real-world conditions, we analyzed what it takes to go fast from every angle. We discovered that instability at the hands of wind gusts significantly reduces speed.  At worst, this instability causes crashes. At best, instability causes you to slow down.  A new development goal was established; reduce instability from wind gusts in order to increase speed.  Spoiler alert; Rapides are 25% more stable than CLX50s.

The carbon fiber road bicycle wheel from Specialized called the Roval Alpinist CLX as featured by Bike Network in South Africa.
LEFT: The front rim features a 35mm external width to reduce drag and increase stability. A 51mm rim depth with optimized shape increases stability in wind gusts by 25% over the CLX50 model.
RIGHT: The rear rim features a 30mm external rim width and a 60mm depth which is shaped to reduce drag.

STABILITY EQUALS SPEED The quest to increase stability lead us to examine human reaction time and how it intersects with aerodynamics and handling.  The average human reaction time is between one and one-and-a-half seconds.  That’s why short, sharp gusts have the greatest destabilizing effect.  We tend to correct for these at exactly the wrong moment after the gust has stopped.  We slow down because these experiences are unpredictable and unnerving. Armed with this knowledge, our aerodynamicists set out to reduce the impact of side gusts. Since the front wheel induces the vast majority of instability from gusts, we made the front rim shallower and wider than the rear.  This shape boosts stability while boasting impressively low drag.  Since the rear wheel impacts stability much less, it is deeper and narrower, optimized more singularly on minimizing drag. Together, the wheelset yields less drag than most 65mm deep wheels, but with 25% less steering torque from wind gusts than our CLX50. The bottom line; you’ll ride faster, farther, with more confidence, in a wider range of conditions than you previously imagined possible.

SPECIFICATION: ROVAL RAPIDE CLX

RIM| Carbon clincher (tubes)
WIDTH| 21mm internal
DEPTH| Front 51mm, Rear 60mm
FRONT PATTERN| Radial/Two-cross (2:1) – 18 spokes
REAR PATTERN| One-cross/Two-cross (2:1) – 24 spokes
SPOKE TYPE| DT Swiss Aerolite T-head
FRONT HUB| Roval Aeroflange Disc, Center lock, Sealed Bearings
REAR HUB| Roval Aeroflange Disc, Center lock, Sealed Bearings
NIPPLE TYPE| DT Swiss Pro Lock hexagonal
WEIGHT| 1400grams (649g Front & 751g Rear)
PRICE | R40 000 (or R17k front and R23k rear)
  

ROVAL ALPINIST CLX – LIGHT MAKES RIGHT

Conquer mountains, flatten hills, and feel your bike come alive with the lightest road clincher wheels we have ever made. Mass is the enemy of performance, and there’s no room nor excuse for a single excess gram when chasing KOMs and mountaintop primes. Weight has been pared to the absolute minimum in order to capitalize on every watt of energy without sacrificing any of the strength, ride quality and durability that are crucial to long term performance and satisfaction.

ENGINEERED MINIMALISM In order to create a 1,284 gram wheelset we had to visualize each wheel as a complete system. By making wheel systems, not just rims, our engineers can control every aspect of the wheel; rim design, hub design, spoke spec and lacing pattern. This eliminates the variables associated with off-the-shelf components. In turn, eliminating variables allows optimization, and optimization means that the Alpinist CLX has precisely the amount and type of material needed, in precisely the correct place, doing precisely what it was designed to do.  This design approach allows us to minimize weight and simultaneously optimize strength and durability. For example, by designing the Aero Flange hub and specifying the spokes and nipples, as well as the lacing pattern, we know the exact angle that each spoke will interface with the rim. This enables us to drill the spoke holes in the right diameter for the nipples and at precisely the angle that they will interface with the rim. Stress-risers are minimized, every extra gram of excess material is eliminated, and long-term durability is enhanced.

SPECIFICATION: ROVAL ALPINIST CLX

RIM| Carbon clincher (tubes)
WIDTH| 21mm internal
DEPTH| 33mm
FRONT PATTERN| Radial/Two-cross (2:1) – 21 spokes
REAR PATTERN| One-cross/Two-cross (2:1) – 24 spokes
SPOKE TYPE| DT Swiss Aerolite T-head
FRONT HUB| Roval Aeroflange Disc, Center lock, Sealed Bearings
REAR HUB| Roval Aeroflange Disc, Center lock, Sealed Bearings
NIPPLE TYPE| DT Swiss Pro Lock hexagonal
WEIGHT| 1248grams
PRICE| R40 000 (or R17k front and R23k rear)
The carbon fiber road bicycle wheel from Specialized called the Roval Alpinist CLX as featured by Bike Network in South Africa.
“By making wheel systems, not just rims, our engineers can control every aspect of the wheel; rim design, hub design, spoke spec and lacing pattern.” – Big S.

HUBS, TESTING & WHEN SH%T HAPPENS

The carbon fiber road bicycle wheel from Specialized called the Roval Alpinist CLX as featured by Bike Network in South Africa.
OUR COMMITMENT We work obsessively to create wheels that are True to Your Ride, but we don’t stop there. As riders, we know that shit happens, so we have your back with a lifetime warranty and a free no-fault crash replacement policy. Lifetime WarrantyRoval wheels are warrantied against defects in material and workmanship for lifetime of the original owner.

FAQS

Why are the Alpinist CLX and Rapide CLX for use exclusively with tube type clinchers? By making them tube-type specific we were able to create lighter and better complete wheels systems for performance road riders. To render these wheels tubeless would have required extra materials, and that extra mass would have outweighed the benefits of tubeless tires. Our goals for these wheels were clear. The Alpinist CLX is  the lightest road clincher we have ever made, and the Rapide CLX delivers an unmatched combination of aerodynamics, light-weight, and stability. For the time being, in order to achieve these uncompromising goals, as well as the real-world performance that helps us deliver on the promise of “True To Your Ride” we rely on tube-type tires. We do see the promise of tubeless tires, and when it’s possible to create tubeless wheel/tire systems that outperform tube-type clincher systems, that’s what we’ll recommend to riders.

Is there a rider weight limit on these superlight wheels? Yes, a big rider! Like all Roval carbon wheels, the Rapide CLX and Alpinist CLX are designed for a maximum rider weight of 240 lbs, or 109 Kg.

Will you be making Alpinist CLX and Rapide CLX in rim-brake models? No. These wheels will be available in disc brake models only.

Will Alpinist CLX and Rapide CLX be available for tubulars? No, these are clincher only wheels.




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