Roval Rapide CLX Rear Wheel
Roval and Specialized continue to set innovative standards for wheel engineering and performance that changes our perceptions of wheel and tire capability, even at the highest levels of cycling. With an hugely impressive performance in the 2020 Tour de France, the Roval Rapide CLX wheel design brought new glory to these combined design efforts, with a stage win on this rear 60mm profile carbon disc brake wheel while wearing the Specialized Turbo Cotton clincher tire. Yes, a clincher. In fact that is what the Rapide CLX was designed for. It is a rare disc brake road wheel that is not a tubeless design. Sold here as the rear wheel, the Rapide CLX has another distinguishing feature in that the front and rear wheels carry rims of different heights and widths to maximize aero performance based on the aero, stability and wind requirements as well as the relative airflow variances faced by each wheel. When you factor in Roval's 2:1 lacing system and incredible construction processes, you have to consider the Rapide CLX one of the most innovative wheel designs made to date.
It all starts with the rear specific carbon rim, which has been maximized by essentially combining the aerodynamic excellence of Roval time trial dominating CLX64 with the light weight and superb manners of their polka-dot jersey winning CLX32. The internal rim width of 21mm can easily carry tires from 24-32mm, but aero optimal for 25-28mm. The rear complements the wider, shallower front by adding efficiency from a different external width, height and rim shape to minimize drag at the trailing edge of the bike. At 60mm deep, and with a 30mm external width, the Rapide CLX rear rim reduces turbulence and yields the greatest aerodynamic benefit. Since the rear wheel doesn’t affect steering the way the front does, this deep section doesn’t adversely impact handling. The shaping of the rim structure contributes to reducing overall drag, and when built up as a rear wheel and combined with the front delivers maximum speed in real world conditions where stellar climbing performance meets slippery aero efficiency, with confident and sure handling overall bike regardless of wind conditions.
It is crucial in understanding these amazing wheels to know that Roval builds wheel systems, not wheels, and in the case of the Rapide CLX, this extends to two totally different front and rear designs, as well the conceptual benefits of each within a larger systems as a front and rear wheelset that is part of a larger system- the complete bike. 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 Rapide CLX front 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 Rapide 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 no doubt that Roval has created a formidable clincher racing wheel with the Rapide CLX system. If World Tour riders are simply willing to ride a clincher tire in a Grand Tour, they must be impressed by the performance, while trusting it to be of real benefit over tubular or tubeless options. The combination of aerodynamics, light weight, and overall riding characteristics have been equal to the task in the Tour de France. That speaks volumes about this 781 gram rear, and it is a full production wheel, thanks to the UCI, Roval and Specialized. Match it up with the Rapide CLX front for a 1400 gram real world road weapon available to any cyclist who dares to be greater.
- Aero, fast 60mm clincher rear wheel for disc brake equipped bikes;rear specific rim design
- Handbuilt carbon disc brake clincher rim wheel for all-around attacking, climbing, descending use
- Compatible with clincher tires ranging from 24c to 32c wide, aero optimal at 25-28
- Rapide CLX Rim rear spec: Depth 60mm, IRW 21mm, 30.7mm ERW, clincher rim design, disc only
- 30.7mm rear / 60mm depth developed to minimize drag at the trailing edge of the bike, reducing turbulence and yielding the greatest aerodynamic benefit with less need to consider handling in the wind towards more weighted and disguised rear portion of the bike
- Built with integrated systems approach to ensure reliability, performance and the lightest weight possible
- Spoke holes drilled at precisely the angle the nipple head will interface with the rim
- Roval AeroFlange Disc rear Center Lock Disc brake straight pull hub with sealed cartridge bearings; strong, light and fast with aerodynamically optimized, with wide bracing angles for increased strength and reduced spoke weight
- 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
- Weight: 751 grams (wheelset 1400g)