Most cyclists are familiar with the Roval name as it relates to Specialized bikes, which makes sense since the French brand was acquired by the American bike company quite a few years ago. However, Roval has been looking to carve out a niche of its own, hoping enthusiasts can see past its relationship as OEM wheels for Specialized, and find their way onto other premium bikes.
As a result, Roval’s new found autonomy has been spearheaded with the arrival of a new range of wheels that also include a lifetime warranty and a no-fault crash replacement program to bolster sales.
Roval’s latest offering is a new wheelset called the Alpinist CL.
According to Roval, its new Alpinist CL pairs the climbing pedigree of the featherweight Alpinist rim with workhorse DT Swiss 350-series hubs and gossamer DT Swiss Aerolite spokes.
The new Alpinist rim technology has already proven itself worthy of the name. In the months since it was unleashed on the pro peloton, Deceuninick– Quick-Step team pros have ridden the CLX wheelset to victory on multiple race stages, notably in Remco Evenepoel’s command performance over 51k and four significant climbs in the Tour de Pologne.
“The new Alpinist CL now brings this mountain-taming performance slightly closer to Earth with a carefully selected build designed to let riders take full advantage of the low rim and spoke mass,” says Roval.
“Mass is the enemy of performance, and the Alpinist CL is the lightest wheelset in its class. Weight has been pared to the absolute minimum where it counts most, allowing your every watt to deliver incredible responsiveness without sacrificing any of the strength, ride quality and durability crucial to long-term performance and satisfaction,” adds Roval.
The backbone of this 1365 gram wheelset is the Alpinist rim. Optimized to provide minimal weight without sacrificing Roval’s signature ride quality, this rim is also wind-tunnel engineered to outperform similar profile depths.
Using complex and precise carbon fiber layup to minimize weight and optimize strength and durability, the Alpinist CL wheelset maintains the smooth ride and superb handling of the CLX edition so you can “lighten your bike, not your wallet”.
Maintaining serviceability is one of Roval’s goals, and to that end, the Alpinist CL uses a suite of technologies to make it easier to keep rolling. Mechanics everywhere will appreciate the external Pro-Lock alloy spoke nipples with standard sizing, as well as the DT Swiss hub internals featuring the reliable and easy-to-service Star Ratchet drive system.
Spokes, bearings and hub end caps are all available from multiple sources should the need arise, meaning riders will spend more time on their wheels and less time waiting for service.
With the ProTour-tested Alpinist rim and rider-centric approach to wheel design, the Alpinist CL is a strong contender for performance-minded cyclists looking for low weight and high value in a climbing-oriented wheelset.
The Roval CL series also includes the existing CL50 Disc wheelset.
The CL50 shares the same ProTour-level rim technologies as the Alpinist CLX and CLX50, featuring DT Swiss 350-level hubs and Competition Spokes and Brass Nipples for excellent serviceability.
“Riders who are looking for an all-around speed weapon, will appreciate the CL50 for its race-ready performance paired with greater serviceability and a lower overall price point,” Roval points out.
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