While it's easy to convince ourselves that we'd be better riders with the latest widget or if we were on the newest bike, literally buying speed is a difficult thing to do if you already own a high-end rig. But one of the most effective methods is to bolt on a lighter wheelset. And at just 1,240-grams for the pair, or around 100-grams lighter than a single 29er Assegai, Specialized's new Roval Control SL Team Issue wheels are among the lightest.
Not only that, but they're also saying that the new rim design means that much more force is required before you'll slice a tire compared to the old version. Okay, so they're lighter and more reliable?
Roval Control SL Team Issue Details
• Intended use: cross-country
• Wheel size: 29"
• Weight: 1,283-grams (actual, w/ valve stems)
• Rim width: 29mm (internal)
• Rim material: Carbon fiber
• MSRP: $2,650 USD
• More info: www.specialized.com
I always refer to this kind of stuff as 'no excuses components,' for obvious reasons, but not being able to blame your gear doesn't come cheap. The Control SL Team Issue wheelset goes for $2,650 USD. The Details
If you come to Pinkbike for the downhill and enduro content, or if you're more concerned with sending gaps than saving grams, the 358-gram Roval rim might sound fantastically light. And it is, no doubt there, but it's also in the same ballpark as other options; ENVE's M525 comes in at 341-grams, Crankbrothers' XCT at 365-grams, and it's Stan's 300-gram Podium SRD rim that takes the barely-there title. But all of those are between 23mm and 26.5mm wide internally, whereas the Roval rim is a huge-for-cross-country 29mm wide inside.
A wider rim can mean more sidewall support and less tire squirm at low pressures, especially if you're using lightweight racing tires with toilet paper-thin sidewalls.
It also gets rim walls that are 4mm wide, which is almost twice the width of what you'll see on most rims. Think of the top of the rim sidewall as a knife's cutting edge, which it can certainly be when you slam your rear wheel into that same rock yet again; Specialized is essentially making it wider and duller to lessen the chance of you having to walk out of the forest. They're saying that it takes 22-percent more force to pinch a tire than it did with their previous Control SL rim and its more traditional design.
All I'm reading is that I can take lines that are 22-percent dumber when I'm on my cross-country bike. And if you were considering a tire insert, it might be redundant if you're using these wheels.
The rim's shape is actually much more complicated than its predecessor, with an asymmetrical design that, with the Roval hubs, means there's a single spoke length all around and more even tension. The rim bed is stepped to make tubeless setup a bit easier as well, and there are the usual claims about more vertical compliance and improved (by 29-percent!) strength.
More importantly, they come with a lifetime warranty and no-fault crash replacement promise.
There's a set of Roval hubs at the center of each rim, with the rear using DT Swiss' new EXT clutch system
, along with Competition Race straight-pull spokes and Pro Lock aluminum nipples. "Straight pull spokes use slightly less material than j-bends, so they were used here," Specialized says, which is hard to argue with. They're bladed, too, which makes truing and tension adjustments much easier.
So, what's the deal with the new Roval wheels: Can they actually be this light and, as Specialized claim, stand up to rowdy cross-country riding? My test wheels just arrived yesterday so I don't have an answer to that question yet, but I will soon. They've have been installed on a high-mileage test bike, so expect a full review of these apparently lighter and stronger Roval wheels later this spring.
There goes my downvotes.....let’s see how much downvotes I can get til November
Anyway, I tried tubeless + HuckNorris with light tires (Michelin Force AM Performance Line) as heavier ones (Schwalbe Hans Dampf SuperGravity), light tires with tubes, DH tires with tubes, the same SuperGravity tires with tubes, etc..
I hate when I have to pump up the tire just to compensate its tendancy to fold when putting pressure on. I mean, it's not by accident if track cars have extra-rigid casings to allow better feedback and most of all to avoid tires to fold on them when putting G's on.
But then... I have no will to fk with it to be honest. On my home trails I run 1plies with pepi and it's a rather low chance of puncturing, then for big mountains I can't get arsed anymore - DH casing+tube. I may try pepi+sealant in DH casing to get the said damping effect in the tire.
Unless you're racing, IMO it's just worth it to run the burly stuff. What's the goal of running light wheels and tires - Strava KOM's? Getting home a few minutes faster? I ended up telling myself I'll get home a little slower and that I'm done chasing uphill times, so it's better to run the Smash setup all the time and be able to do stupid things on my bike, because doing stupid things is fun. And actually on average it probably saves me time because I never flat or have to call my wife to pick me up when my rim detonates.
And +1 on the wheel swap; this is also great when you have different tire setups. Hot-swap wheels with burlier tires in 1min, vs 15min for a new Tubeless install.
BUT... I was mostly just joking around.
Big S gets a lot of shit, but they do their wheels right.
I could get convinced to drop my DT aluminums for this... But not that that kind of money.
More recently (all have been within the past year) a friend blew out the XFusion shock on his bike. Local dealer said something to the tune of "8 weeks" to get a warranty replacement IF it was under warranty, and they doubted it. The other shop gave me a phone number and XFusion had a new shock on the way almost instantly.
really? Where u read that
A 2.5 WT and 35 mm internal works like a dream to me.
Sorry. Shoot the punctuation Nazi at your leisure.
I do not see any benefit on a mountain bike.
And what exactly does "lifetime warranty and no-fault crash replacement promise" mean??
I love it when reviews regurgitate marketing BS which doesn't hold true in real riding conditions.
(the only time straight pull spokes are easier to adjust is under lab conditions in the shop. And perhaps the occasional ease of replacing one without running into the cassette like J bends).
Oh: HUCK TO FLAT!!!
Roval aluminum = no limit rider
Another way to look at it: an asymmetric frame is a great solution, from an engineering perspective, but it's a hassle for consumers who may want to spec other wheels. Asymmetry in the rim is a more universal solution, but produces more engineering challenges to ensure both sides of the rim have similar impact strength.
Makes me wonder, I currently ride with 142x12 rear hub. If I'd get another bike with a 148x12 spacing at some point, if I'd use a 142x12 hub there with boost adapter (which shifts the hub to the right and moves the brake rotor to the left, wouldn't that make the wheel more symmetric too? If so, that would be something a lot of people could try (considering the popularity of boost at the moment).
Yes, you could shift a 142 mm hub. Compared to a Boost hub, you may get more symmetrical bracing angles, but you would accomplish it via weakening the disc side, not strengthening the drive side. A better solution is to use a Boost hub with asymmetric rim and compensate for any remaining imbalance via different spoke diameters on either side.
Speaking of EVO6, Liteville/Syntace kind of do the same. I'm running the Syntace W35 wheelset in my bike. I've got symmetric spacing front and rear but the rims are asymmetric. 29mm inner width, look a bit (or a lot) like the Ryde Trace 29. Wouldn't be surprised if these actually are Ryde rims, considering they also use Sapim spokes (who own Ryde). They use different spoke gauges left and right to equalize spoke tension so they've gone quite the distance. To then realize they actually primarily make their stuff for Liteville bikes (which have asymmetric rear spacing) it sure is kinda odd.
Got to say I'm kind of a brute in the wheelbuilding dept. I almost always build with DT Alpine III spokes, these just never break even though they're only a fraction heavier than DT Competition (and it is weight added close to the hub). Even if I'd do a horrible job at building my wheels, they'd probably never break.
Do I live here? Yeah
Do I know how to destroy a wheel? Yeah
Can I do it on Bennett? Yeah
Have I? Yeah
They do not have the same material properties because the bladed spokes have gone through an additional cold forging process....
You also gloss over the fact that all spokes already have a stress concentrator either at the J-bend or where they are butted, so much so that you would basically have to cut the spoke to get it to fail elsewhere. Have you ever seen a spoke fail in the middle? I have not.
Rock strikes generally occur on the side of a spoke, I'm not sure how you would strike a rock with the front of a bladed spoke? This would mean that bladed spokes are actually less prone to failure due to rock strike since they have a larger surface area to absorb the impact then a round spoke.
I've broken lots of round spokes, never bladed. All of my wheels are now built with bladed spokes. There is a reason almost all high performance MTB wheels are built with bladed spokes. You should try them.
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