Roval Releases New $650 Traverse Alloy Wheelset

May 24, 2021 at 13:06
by Mike Kazimer  
Roval Traverse 2021

Roval's new $650 Traverse alloy wheelet is aimed at riders looking for a set of do-it-all wheels that won't break the bank while also tipping the scales at a reasonable weight.

The rims have a 30mm internal width, and are constructed from Roval's E5 aluminum alloy that's said to make them “tough enough to handle backcountry rock gardens and questionable line choices at the bike park with confidence.” They're up laced with 28 J-bend DT Swiss Competition spokes and Hex Prolock nipples, a proven combination. As an added bonus, the wheels only use one size spoke for the entire set, which will make it easier to know what size you need if one breaks (283mm for the 29” wheels, and 266 for the 27.5” ones).


Roval Traverse 2021
Roval Traverse 2021


The rear wheels uses a Roval hub shell that houses DT Swiss' new 370 Ratchet LN internals. The 370 LN uses DT's star ratchet design rather than the pawl driven system that was used before. In this case, there's an 18-tooth ratchet ring, which equates to 20-degrees between engagement points, but riders who prefer faster engagement will find that it's a very quick procedure to upgrade to the 36- or 54- tooth options that DT offers.

The wheels are configured with an XD driver body, and have 15 x 110 / 12 x 148mm Boost spacing.

Total weight for the 29” wheels is a claimed 1870 grams, and the 27.5” version comes in at 1830 grams.

More information: rovalcomponents.com

Roval Traverse 2021



105 Comments

  • 88 4
 When I see "questionable line choices at the bike park" in one sentence, and "28 spokes" in the next, my skepticism radar immediately goes up. I hope I'm proven wrong!
  • 14 1
 The Roval website says they have a lifetime warrants.
  • 35 4
 @Garantson: buying a product with a warranty and buying a product where you expect to have to (try/fight to) use that warranty are two entirely different things.

In the words of the immortal Jules Winnfield, "Sewer rat might taste like pumpkin pie, but I wouldn't know cause I wouldn't eat the filthy [mofo.]"

Roval's website also says these wheels have a "system weight limit" of 240lbs. Assuming "system" means bike + rider + gear, then yeah, these are not designed for questionable line choices at the bike park. Cool copy, though! They might be perfectly fine wheels for regular folks riding regular trails, but that doesn't sound sexy at all.
  • 25 5
 More worried about that 20degree engagement!
  • 88 7
 I made a questionable choice at a bar at 2 am last Saturday...also ended in a rim job
  • 1 3
 @drmantistobogganmd: are these the internals DT Have just said there’s a problem with?
  • 6 0
 @Compositepro: no the ongoing part replacement is limited to the EXP ratchets, not the standard ratchet (or ratchet LN)
  • 4 6
 @Compositepro: my 370 internals died in a few months. The drive ring threads stripped. I know this is a study of 1, but I wouldn't run anything less than 350 internals now.
  • 1 0
 Yeah exactly... unless you weigh buck forty. It’s really the silliest way to save a little weight on alum wheelsets.
  • 4 0
 My raceface atlas wheels are 28 spoke and DH specific. 3 seasons never had an issue. They stayed true just as long as any 32h wheel I've had. I ride double black tech
  • 5 1
 @rickybobby18: these are essentially 350 internals.
  • 4 0
 @VtVolk: Please, don't eat the Sewer-rat. Im patiently waiting for another Christmas song...
  • 2 0
 I have beat the crap out of my rovals at the bike park, multiple dings and just use pliers to bend them back.
  • 1 0
 @thustlewhumber: you can also use an adjustable wrench, no teeth to worry about
  • 4 0
 @Garantson: Remember: Warranty and crash replacement is not the same. According to Roval: "warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship".
  • 3 0
 @Garantson: Warranties are usually for manufacturing defects, not smashing them off rocks. You're thinking of a lifetime guarantee or something to that effect.
  • 1 0
 I've got the plastic ones with the same spoke count and touch wood they haven't missed a beat except for when I inevitably do something stupid.
  • 2 0
 @drmantistobogganmd: less pedal kick back with 20degs
  • 2 0
 Lifetime warranty on roval wheels sounds great until you break a part that's technically a re-stickered specialized part and you're out of luck
  • 1 1
 @enis: was the receiving party at least appreciative?
  • 1 0
 @Greghoin: ah gotcha
  • 4 0
 @enis: username checks out
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: They in fact do have a no fault crash replacement program. Look at the website
  • 2 0
 @megatryn: look a little closer at the roval website. They do have a 2 year no fault crash replacement...
  • 1 1
 @enis: made me laugh
  • 4 0
 @enis: wait, giving or receiving?
  • 1 1
 @VtVolk:Roval wheels on my 2017 levo were surprisingly strong, but sure if broke one spoke, fun would have been ended until fixed
32 spokes for life as far as I am concerned!
  • 1 0
 @enis: ask? Asking for a friend
  • 3 2
 @Garantson: Lifetime warranty is a joke. A piece of crap with a warranty is still crap.
  • 2 0
 @aljoburr: technology progresses and components/frames get stronger over time. 48 spoke BMX wheels were normal over a decade ago. How many of them do you see today?

As I stated in my previous comment I have 28 spoke DH wheels and no problems. I also have a set of 24 front/28 rear roval wheels that came on my specialized Enduro. Also no issues.
  • 2 0
 @levizbrown: 2year: yes, lifetime: no. @Garantson was referring to a lifetime warranty. (Also, crash replacement only applies in the US)
  • 16 1
 I really like that they are j-bend spokes. That's great and quite unusual for mass production wheels. I wonder if they are hand built or if they have a machine to lace j-spokes.
  • 21 0
 Yeah, it's hard to go wrong with J-bend spokes and brass nipples. Roval says these are handbuilt.
  • 7 1
 @mikekazimer: Weird question but I'd like to start seeing noise factor in regards to the hub. Not sure if you all have ridden them yet, but where do they fall 0(Onyx) to 10(Hydra)?
  • 15 0
 @erickstm, I haven't ridden the new 370 hubs yet, but considering that they're using the star ratchet design I'd expect them to be on the quieter side of your scale. DT Swiss' start ratchet hubs tend to be quieter than pawl-type designs. Those Hydra's are really easy to quiet down with some Dumonde Tech freehub grease if you're trying to be a little more stealthy.
  • 11 1
 @erickstm: They sound like DT hubs because they use DT internals. I can make a DT hub sound almost silent or as loud as a Hydra with different lubricant setups.
  • 2 0
 @seraph: awesome thanks Mike and Seraph!
  • 7 0
 @erickstm: The Hydras are more like a 7 or 8. I had them. They have a sweet high pitch buzz. I have also had Profile Elite and Ac2's. Those are a 10. Loud and raspy. Never again. Been on Onyx for a while now. Silent as a mute ninja.
  • 5 0
 If you factor in all the cheap bikes out there with machine built j-bend spokes I'd say most mass production wheels have j-bends and that straight pull is the more rare style of build. These guys make automated wheel building tools that are used by a ton of brands. www.hollandmechanics.com/machinery/bicycle-wheel
  • 6 0
 @mikekazimer: I went from a Hope 4 to DT Swiss 350; man, that thing is quiet. Going downhill, I'm all of a sudden hearing all sorts of noises from my bike that I never knew were there. Not sure yet whether that's a feature or a bug...
  • 8 9
 @erickstm: I have an underground night ride fight club. The first question on my ride form is, "What rear hub are you running?" to which the only correct answer to join is "Onyx." Guy showed up once with a King hub and we did three loops around the CVS, lost him, then took off without him. He put down Box Stealth on the form, then showed up saying that bike was broken, had to ride his King. Whatevs.
  • 2 0
 I personally prefer straight pull bladed, as they're easier to replace broken spokes on without pulling the cassette or discs (or even pulling the wheel out of the frame). Also the spoke is better protected if you drop the chain into the wheel. Which means I really like the hub flange on these, as the bend is buried and won't be so easily mangled by the chain (been there, done that, yeah, limit screw, yada yada).
  • 2 1
 @seraph: Could you tell me what you've done to make the DT Starwheel louder?
  • 1 0
 @AdamMTB724: Lube the sides of the ratchets with the regular DT Swiss grease, then lube the teeth with Bike Aid (Dri Slide).
  • 1 1
 @mikekazimer: Sound is friction, why go loud?
  • 2 4
 @aljoburr: Kaz is mainly looking for approbation in his answers, he never really has his own opinion. Contradicts himself all the time.
  • 11 1
 Is DT finally ditching the 3 pawl. It’s always a bummer when you get a decent set of wheels, but have to spent around $250 to get a driver that won’t explode.
  • 5 0
 If a ?, then yes is your answer
  • 1 8
flag labrinsky (May 24, 2021 at 14:49) (Below Threshold)
 DT has been using ratchets in all of their higher end hubs for years. Only hubs with pawls were cheaper ones
  • 19 8
 I mean i can build a ex 511 set with pro 4 hubs for 520€ (635$)
  • 49 2
 Ok, then do it
  • 3 1
 Agreed. Who would buy these?
  • 1 0
 @jaame: I would.
But the mangled Roval rim in my workshop mightean that I'm slightly biased against Spez's claim that they will questionable line choices.
  • 9 0
 That hub flange design is rad. Having to order 3 or 4 spoke lengths is annoying!
  • 8 0
 €799.99 in EU (with 370 hub and 18 LN ratchet). Why those over DT Swiss XM1700 (350 with 36 ratchet) for around €600?
  • 4 0
 Those "Step Fanges" look interesting and are really the only interesting feature being offered here. Roval claims "maximum bracing angle" to reduce failure, but I'm not too sure on that marketing claim. These look like a decent set for the $ and thumbs up on the brass nipples, save the alloy #magicallyturntodust nipples for the road.
  • 1 0
 The spokes that would be on the inside of a conventional flange are slightly farther out with the step flange design. I think the marketing claim is right. The improvement is slight, but it doesn't seem like it would add much manufacturing cost.
  • 1 0
 Just what I thought. A very long time ago I had a set of lightweight hubs with a similar stepped design (even though there all bends would be on the outside, heads on the inside) which created a really stiff wheel. Just the internals were absolute crap.
  • 1 0
 @cedric-eveleigh: I guess I can picture some fatigue prevention by having the j-bend all on the same flange side. Interestingly on the drive-side rear it looks as though they use traditional lacing where arguably these spokes are seeing the most fatigue when compared to the other flanges.
  • 1 0
 @dorkbike: I wonder why they didn't use the stepped design for the drive side of the rear hub.
  • 5 0
 That's a pretty good price point for something that uses authentic DT Star Ratchet internals.
  • 2 1
 It is. I'd confirm weight though if that's important to anyone. Granted the ones I have were take offs and the previous model, but they weighed 400g more than the website stated.
  • 1 0
 @JayUpNorth: with or without stems/tape?
  • 2 14
flag seraph (May 24, 2021 at 13:56) (Below Threshold)
 @JayUpNorth: If you're concerned about weight you shouldn't be buying an alloy wheelset, generally.
  • 1 0
 @DizzyNinja: They had their rim strips in, but they weigh very little.
  • 1 0
 @seraph: There's lots of mid priced ones that weigh around 1900g. That's almost a pound lighter. I would have rather put the money towards one of those sets.
  • 2 0
 My older dt swiss labeled rovals have been kicking butt for a few years now. I'd be all over these at $550, but $650 it makes it a bit easier to justify spending a bit more for a custom set or scoring a higher end used set-up.
  • 7 3
 When your 240 EXP hubs quit working after 50 miles you can buy these to run while DT *fixes your 240's
  • 2 0
 haha, yep
  • 2 0
 I assume $650 for the set? I'm looking to replace the Giant XCT 29" wheelset that came on my Trance (2020) as an easy way to cut some weight and these seem like a great upgrade (XC/trail riding).
  • 3 0
 Have been so happy w the roval carbon hoops that came on my stump - nice to see a reasonably priced allu option
  • 1 1
 I have a set of Roval Alloy 29 wheels I bought last year. The rear hub has an odd , intermittent click/pinging sound. I e-mailed Specialized three times with no response. The local Specialized dealer wanted $35.00 just to look at it. It’s really sad that these wheels are not backed up with warranty or dealer support. I’d like to toss these out but..$650.00..!
  • 4 0
 Take the bike to where you bought it. should be a warranty issue.
  • 1 1
 I assumed 370 had a ratchet on the new bike I got. Reasoning was 370 > 350. Not the case, and the 370 pawl noticeably sucks when it freewheels before engaging. It's annoying they skimp on things that might cost an extra $100 bucks but make a noticeable difference. Also like Code RS, can't get me the C bro? And no ratchet hub? On a 5 thousand dollar bike?
  • 3 0
 Whenever I look at my bike, I can't help but think "Wow, what this bike needs is Roval components".
  • 2 0
 Yea now more affordable and even last fewer run than before
  • 2 1
 $650 USD = $783 CAD but $pecialized Canada has them priced at $920 CAD
  • 1 0
 Currency markets fluctuate. Any Product Manager who has had the “privilege” of trying to price and sell products in international currencies knows you can take a bath and be unprofitable real quick, with the rally or flip of either market’s currency (and it’s costly to update websites/brochures/operations/internal systems - and - most importantly unpopular with end consumers to adjust MSRP multiple times through the year as exchange rates fluctuate).

Each company has their own recipe to set international prices, but it’s part art and part science and typically will be set for the model year or product run. Besides accounting for profitability and estimated demand, the rubric to set MSRPs will also involve current exchange rates, 5-8 rolling quarters of currency valuation, as well as a 3-5yr weight.

My guess is since the Canadian dollar is currently stronger than it has been in nearly half a decade (compared to USD), they’re hedging their bets while trying to not overprice (and hurt demand) and basing the international MSRPs on a more average historical exchange rate.
  • 2 0
 @desertedonice: not really, they’ve generally gone with “exchange rate + %” for the last 20 years. I get your point with other companies though, Giant’s tend to be closer to exchange rate on a given year, fluctuating with guesstimates
  • 1 0
 Finally, a roval wheelset where the pricepoint reflects the quality....
  • 1 0
 One size does not fit all
  • 1 0
 Roval is Specialized, right? Why the separate branding I wonder.
  • 1 0
 Probably a variety of reasons but it lets Spec sell 'brand name' components on their bikes. Instead of just generic "50mm alloy stem", it's "50MM ROVAL forged alloy stem". This lets them charge more and also capture more of the profit as a result of owning the whole component build. Roval might also appeal to buyers/markets that wouldn't be receptive to Specialized. From a supply chain perspective, they're purchasing more volume which gives them price negotiation power and volume discounts, etc. Might also give them some wiggle room with production if they can 'scavenge' production inventory from their aftermarket division. Lastly, this doesn't seem to be the case, but it lets companies release products that might risk the image of the main business.
  • 1 0
 price and weight looks like middle finger to nukeproof.
  • 1 0
 Very competetive weight!
  • 2 3
 Dt swiss poor engagement.or pay almost 200$ to still have a poor engagement
  • 6 7
 i take delivery of my NOBL TR37 Carbon tomorrow with Hope Pro 4. Cant wait to never ride Roval again.
  • 3 2
 Just got my NOBL TR37 with Hydras. Stoked!
  • 1 0
 @Monsterman156: Just ordered mine as well! Judging by this chain I might not get them as soon as I'd hoped Razz
  • 1 1
 Too bad their pawled freehub is gonna fail on you in a few rides.
  • 2 0
 Right in the article itself:

"In this case, there's an 18-tooth ratchet ring..."

The hubs to not have a pawled freehub.
  • 1 1
 @privateer-wheels: So, for another $150+ to get the 18-tooth star rachet and then another $100+ more for a 36/54 tooth rachet ring upgrade? It's no longer at the stated price.
  • 1 0
 @CSharp: These wheels come stock with the 18t ratchet. That is in the base price.

But yes, correct on the 36/54 as far as I can glean. That will cost ya!

$920+ CAD for a wheelset with 18t engagement. Plus the better part of what, $150-200 for a 54t upgrade.

I9 and Crank Brothers has 1/1 hub based wheels for the same or less. I'm sure many others do too, once you consider that upgrade. Not much more and you're into truly hand built options. I can't see the value in these Rovals here in Canada.
  • 2 4
 Hunt wheels. That is all.
  • 1 0
 Surely you have to buy them and fit them as well?
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