Lightweight launch: Specialized releases new Roval Alpinist SLX and Terra CLX II wheelsets

Gravel riders and roadies with a penchant for shaving off grams can make use of these hoops

Detail shots of Specialized's new Roval Alpinist SLX and Terra CLX wheels
(Image credit: Specialized)

Specialized has launched two new Roval wheelsets - one for gravel and one for road - which both claim to be some of the lightest in their respective fields.

The new Terra CLX II wheels are the "lightest, most durable edition of our ultra-premium Roval gravel wheels", according to the American company. They will tip the scales at just 1,250g, lighter than many road wheelsets, let alone the best gravel bike wheels.

They are lighter than the previous Terra CLX models thanks to Roval’s all-new Low Flange Disc hubs, which have been borrowed from the Alpinist CLX II road wheels.

Specialized says that the "tier of weight-savings translates to rocket-like acceleration off the starting line, nimble performance in the hills, and unleashed efficiency on those loaded-down long-haul excursions".

The carbon wheels have a hooked rim, meaning they can be combined with almost any tyre or pressure. The 25mm internal width, means the wheels can take 28-47c tires, giving the user endless options. The hubs spin on DT Swiss 180 hub internals, with SINC ceramic bearings.

The wheels are tubeless compatible, obviously, and are built to last. A pair will set you back £2500, with the front £1050 and the rear £1450 individually.

Peter Sagan using the new Specialized Roval Terra CLX wheels

(Image credit: Specialized)

Away from the world of gravel, the other wheelset launched today is the first ever alloy pair to gain the Alpinist branding. The press release says they are the "pinnacle of what can be achieved with alloy".

The SLX is the alloy version of Roval's top-of-the-range Alpinist CLX IIs, which were launched last year. 

They have the same 6069 alloy rim (24mm deep) as the previous SLX rim, but its newly engineered shot peen treatment increases fatigue life, according to Specialized. It comes with DT Swiss 350 hubs and Sapim spokes, the overall weight has been reduced by 30 grams.

This means a total weight of 1,485g, at a price of £760 for the pair (£310 for the front and £450 for the rear individually). According to the press release, the wheels are "stiff enough for high-powered efforts yet supple enough for sublime handling at an affordable price".

The set is, of course, tubeless compatible, just like its bigger brother the CLX II, and, says Specialized, is designed for riders to go as fast as they could possibly want to.

Specialized's new Roval Alpinist SLX wheelset shot in a studio

(Image credit: Specialized)

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Adam Becket
Senior news and features writer

Adam is Cycling Weekly’s senior news and feature writer – his greatest love is road racing but as long as he is cycling on tarmac, he's happy. Before joining Cycling Weekly he spent two years writing for Procycling, where he interviewed riders and wrote about racing, speaking to people as varied as Demi Vollering to Philippe Gilbert. Before cycling took over his professional life, he covered ecclesiastical matters at the world’s largest Anglican newspaper and politics at Business Insider. Don't ask how that is related to cycling.