Specialized’s Roval wheel brand has unveiled a new CLX 50 wheelset for the 2017 season, available in a choice of rim or disc brake versions and costing £1,700.
The new CLX 50 wheelset slots in between the deeper section CLX 64 and the shallow CLX 32. Roval says it saw an opportunity to provide a wheelset that married the lightness of the 32 and the aerodynamics of the 64.
The new wheelset taps into the growing market for wide profile, tubeless-ready disc brake wheelsets, but it’s also available for rim braked bikes and there’s even a tubular version, to keep everyone happy.
The timing of the launch of the wheels just happens to coincide with the start of the Tour Down Under this weekend, and with Peter Sagan spotted testing a disc-equipped Venge ViAS Disc, could we see these wheels make their race debut?
According to Specialized, the new CLX 50 offers “a light weight, aerodynamic and confident handling wheel that lets the rider decide how they want to race with best in class weight and crosswind performance.”
The design goal was to create a 45-55mm wheelset with a sub-1,400g weight to maximise aero performance, while also offering tubeless compatibility and an on-trend wide rim, says the company. It calls the result the “the unicorn wheel.”
As the name suggests, the new wheelset features a 50mm deep rim, and the internal width measures 20.7mm. The clincher version is tubeless compatible and there’s also a tubular version that will appeal to racers and the pro teams the company sponsors.
The disc brake version is more than just a regular rim brake with a different hub. Roval says that being freed of the restraints of the rim brake track and extra material required allowed it to use a different layup and more impact resistant material to provide a rim that is not only stronger but also 20g lighter than the rim brake version.
Roval developed new Aero Flange hubs with a wide bracing angle and 2:1 lacing pattern, and packed with DT Swiss 240s bearings and internals, with upgraded CeramicSpeed bearings for a potential speed boost. Rims and hubs are laced together via DT Swiss Aerolite spokes with external DT Swiss alloy Prolock nipples. The disc hubs will be compatible with quick release and 12mm thru-axles, and ship with 11-speed freehubs, and SRAM XD and Campagnolo freehubs are available.
The new CLX 50 is available for rim brakes in a choice of clincher (1,375g) or tubular (1,230g) and disc brakes (1,415g).
The wheels should be available soon, we've got a pair of the disc brake wheels arriving for review soon.
David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes.