With the Tour de France in full flow, Specialized has announced details of the brand new Roval CLX 32 wheels that Tony Martin will use for the first time in the uphill time trial to Megève on stage 18.
The Roval CLX 32 wheels are designed as replacements for the old Roval CLX40s, aiming to trump the slightly deeper previous model in every area, including aerodynamics.
>>> Road bike wheels: a complete buyer's guide (video)
Of course with a wheel of this depth, the most important factor is always going to be weight, and the Roval CLX 32 wheels should hit the mark in that regard, with claimed weights of between 1,350g and 1,175g depending on the type of wheels you go for. Specialized says that most of this weight has been shed from the rim (which has been reduced from 40mm to 32mm from the CLX 40s), a change which should mean sharper acceleration uphill.
Specialized also says that the Roval CLX 32 wheels have been optimised to work best with 26mm tyres, and the aerodynamic improvements that have been made to the rim apparently mean that they have “the aerodynamic performance of some rims almost 2x their depth”.
Of course as you would expect from all modern wheels, the Roval CLX 32 wheels are very wide (with a massive 20.7mm internal rim width) to make them work well with wider tyres, while they are also tubeless-ready. However what is more surprising is that Specialized has chosen to equip the wheels with CeramicSpeed bearings as standard, so it will be interesting to see if the smooth rolling performance is matched by bearing longevity.
Watch: buyer's guide to aero wheels
The wheels are available in four different configurations: rim brake clincher, disc brake clincher, rim brake tubular, and disc brake tubular. The disc brake options are sold with end caps for quick release and 12mm thru-axles (12x100mm front and 12x142mm rear).
The wheels are priced at £700 for the front and £1,000 for the rear, with immediate availability.
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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
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