Roval Alpinist CLX Rear Wheel
When making the call to develop a climbing wheel, Roval sought to deliver a pure climber's dream, with the knowledge and understanding that unless you are racing a pure climbing time trial, like the one held on the Alpe d'Huez, mountain wheels must not only be crazy light, but also able to manage the approach in the peloton, connecting descents, as well as surface and weather variables that come with climbing in steep places. The new Alpinist CLX is the lightest road clincher wheel design Roval has ever made. When climbing, mass is the enemy of performance, so the engineers pared the Alpinist CLX down to the absolute minimum to capitalize on every precious watt of energy without sacrificing any of the strength, ride quality and durability that are crucial to long term performance and satisfaction of wheels that must do more go uphill. This is a rear disc brake road wheel designed strictly for clincher tires and the pure satisfaction of a wholly capable 686 gram rear wheel.
Design and concept always start with the rim, which mostly defines the goal of a wheel. The carbon rim the Alpinist CLX was built utilizing a complex and precise carbon fiber layup schedule in order to minimize weight, optimize strength and durability, while serving up a smooth riding, superb handling wheel that could be a massive asset while climbing, and more than hold it's on the approach and during the most technical descents. The combination of the rim's footprint and profile ensures great strength despite the weight reduction, while the footprint engenders confidence from stability and control. The internal rim width of 21mm can easily carry tires from 24-32mm, but is optimal for 25-28mm in the mountains. The shaping of the rim structure contributes to some aero efficiency and reduced drag, though pure aerodynamics were not the focus here. When built into a complete wheel, the Alpinist CLX is a quite capable design that will continually surprise you in the best ways.
It is crucial in understanding this amazing lightweight wheel to know that Roval builds wheel systems, not wheels, and in the case of the Alpinist CLX, the combination of rim strength, spoke tension, and hub flange design is paramount. Each component part of a Roval wheel (rim, spokes, nipples, hub) has been carefully chosen and optimized to work together. In other words, you can't buy a Roval rim then lace it to whatever hub you want. From and engineering perspective, spoke angles, tension, how the the nipple interacts with the rim, etc., have been developed to produce the exact performance, weight, and overall ride characteristics that each wheel is intended for. Hence, here you have the Roval AeroFlange Disc rear hub with a sculpted aluminum body and aero flanges that are a specific strength, height and angle to shorten spoke length, carry load under high tension and create the proper path to the rim. The rim also has spoke hole drilling that reduces risk of damage at high tension, and factors in the head shape of the nipple and how it interacts with the rim. This is pure engineering, with each component designed for specifications in load, strength, and functionality that combines with the Alpinist CLX rim to create a superior rear wheel.
By designing and creating their own hubs within the system concept, Roval dictates the internal specifications, and they built the AeroFlange Disc rear Center Lock disc hub around standardized sealed cartridge bearings, an oversized alloy axle and end caps. This hub takes advantage of increased strength and reliability of the DT Swiss’ EXP freehub internals, which boast a single-actuated star-ratchet; this decreases drag and weight while simultaneously increasing axle strength by moving bearings outboard on the 12/142mm thru-axle design. DT provides the spokes for the Alpinist CLX, with their butted, and lightly bladed DT Aerolite T-head design ideal for high tension and resilience, along with their alloy Pro Lock hexagonal nipples. The rear wheel carries 24 spokes, in Roval's 2:1 lacing process: doubling the spoke count on one side. On the rear wheel, the drive mount is the dominant side and is laced 2x, with the disc side being laced 1x, a rarity which can be safely achieved thanks to the exemplary engineering, stoutness of the rim and hub flange, as well as the incredible tension load borne by the Aerolites. The nipples allow for external true and tension service, should the need arise.
There is an argument to be made that more aerodynamic wheels are still an advantages while climbing, but current research finds that there is a speed break-point for that benefit in a pro racing environment, so that once the speed drops enough, having lighter, more responsive wheels is more beneficial. Many riders who aren't at that level will hit that break-point sooner in the mountains, but still love to climb and enjoy the experience. Any climb with tight switchbacks and punchy mini-climbs within the ride also favors wheels that respond more quickly, and the constantly changing speeds don't favor aero wheels. The point being there is real world market for super light climbing wheels that can still handle the rest of the day with confidence and some efficiency. The overall build quality, disc braking and stability of the Alpinist CLX will be inviting to any cyclist who loves to go uphill. And did we mention the rear weighs in at just 686 grams, as part of a 1248 gram clincher wheelset? Well, yes, but why else are you considering this amazing Roval wheel design?
- Designed for climbing, and at 686 grams the lightest Roval carbon clincher disc brake rear wheel ever
- Superlight clincher rear wheel for disc brake equipped bikes, with wider rim, lower profile
- Handbuilt carbon disc brake only clincher rim wheel optimized for the steepest, longest climbs, but fully capable on descents and approaches as an all-rounder
- Compatible with clincher tires ranging from 24c to 32c wide, optimal at 25-28
- Alpinist CLX Rim spec: Depth 33mm, IRW 21mm, clincher rim design, disc only
- Complex, precise carbon fiber layup schedule in order to minimize weight, optimize strength, durability
- Wheel built with integrated systems approach to ensure reliability, performance and the lightest weight possible, in a smooth riding, superb handling wheel
- Spoke holes drilled at precisely the angle the nipple head will interface with the rim
- Rear hub takes advantage of increased strength and reliability of the DT Swiss’ EXP freehub internals, which boasts a single-actuated star-ratchet; this decreases drag and weight while simultaneously increasing axle strength by moving bearings outboard on the 12/142mm thru-axle design
- Roval features a 2:1 lacing process: doubling the spoke count on one side (drive on the rear, disc mount on the front)
- Rear wheel: 24 DT Aerolite T-head spokes, laced 2x drive-side, 1x on disc side w/ DT Pro Lock alloy hexagonal nipples
- Designed for a maximum system (bike/rider) weight of 275lbs (125kg)
- Includes: padded wheelbag, Lifetime warranty, No Fault Crash Replacement (details on Roval's website)
- Axle: 12/142mm thru-axle
- Disc brake rotor mount: Center Lock
- Size: 700c
- Freehub: Shimano HG/SRAM 11s
- Finish: Satin Carbon/Black, Satin Carbon/White
- Weight: 686 grams (wheelset 1248g)