The Roval CLX 64 Disc wheelset's rolling speed is unquestionable and their acceleration is impressive, just be careful of their twitchiness.
Fast to accelerate
Versatile despite their depth
Handling and twitchiness
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For straight line speed alone the Roval CLX 64 Disc wheels would have a spot on our Editor’s Choice list, but the fact they also climb well despite their depth only sets them apart further. They just had to be on our Editor’s Choice list for 2019.
The Roval CLX 64 Disc wheels are the deeper siblings to the Roval CLX 50 Disc wheels that I rated very highly last year.
The extra depth gives these wheels an aerodynamic advantage over other 50mm deep wheelsets which is why you'll find them fitted on the Specialized S-Works Venge as standard, which was the bike I tested them in.
I tested these wheels on a particular tough Kent loop (amongst others) that had well over 1700m of climbing and I'm happy to dispel the myth that deep section wheels can't climb. With deep section wheels I tend to find that descending is where the extra depth can cause problems, catching crosswinds more easily. Even on still days I found the Roval CLX 64 Disc wheels to be quite unstable, adding a twitchy-ness to the ride that was disconcerting on descents. It was even noticeable when reaching down to take a bottle out, with the bike prone to slight speed wobbles. To combat this I found myself loading the front end with slightly more weight, especially on descents.
Interestingly, despite the extra depth I found the wheels quick to accelerate - faster than the Hunt 50 Carbon Aero Disc wheels - without feeling like I had to overcome the levels of inertia usually felt with wheels of this depth. I'm sure this is helped by their light weight – 1580g for 64mm deep wheels is impressive.
In a straight line these wheels absolutely rocket along, pushing my pace far higher for the same effort, and I'm sure the S-Works Turbo Cottons I used helped, too. I'm not surprised that my Strava activities were littered with PBs when using these wheels – including on climbs.
>>> See more at Specialized
Along with Zipp, ENVE and Hunt, Roval has long been pushing wide internal rims, the better to seat tubeless tyres. These Rovals are tubeless ready, although I didn't run them as such. Even so, my 26mm Turbo Cotton tyres sat flush with the rim - thanks to the fat 20.7mm internal width - at least giving me a bit of extra aero help. I'm sure the wheel's CeramicSpeed bearings, DT Swiss internals and DT Swiss spokes helped keep the Rovals rolling along nicely.
At £2000, the Roval CLX 64 Disc wheels are firmly a luxury item, but they closely match Zipp's competitor wheels and come in well under the price of Enve wheels of a similar depth.
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