The bar has been set very high for carbon wheelsets in recent years. Advances in carbon materials and construction methods have arguably had an even greater impact on rims than on framesets, enabling ever lighter and stronger wheels.
Healthy competition between the established carbon specialists, along with a number of new contenders, has made for a thriving market with plenty of choice.
In this environment it takes a lot for a new set of hoops to impress us - and Roval's new Terra gravel/adventure wheelset certainly does that.
Jaw-droppingly lightweight is only part of the story. After all, these are wheels intended to perform on the rough stuff. Given the quoted weights Roval would already have our attention, but they're also including a lifetime warranty and free crash replacement. They may not be cheap, but they certainly offer good value... these might be the last carbon gravel wheels you need to buy. Let's take a look at the specifics:
There are two models in the Terra range at launch - Terra CLX and Terra CLX EVO:
Both the CLX and CLX EVO are priced at £1850 per pair, including Roval padded wheelbag and pre-installed Roval tubeless rim tape and valves.
Then there's that impressive warranty to back them up, including a "no fault" crash replacement policy:
Roval wheels are warrantied against defects in material and workmanship for lifetime of the original customer.
If a rider damages their Roval product while riding within the first two years of ownership, we'll replace or repair it for free. This policy applies to Roval wheels purchased in the USA after September 1st 2019, whether they came supplied stock on a bike or were purchased separately. For full details, check out rovalcomponents.com/warranty
The CLX are currently the lightest 25mm internal width gravel wheels on the market at just 1296g per pair, which makes their generous crash replacement programme all the more remarkable.
We're pleased to see that they've included a hook-bead rim, rather than going hookless. This should ensure that the Terra rims are compatible with the widest range of tubeless tyres, irrespective of brand or model, even at lower pressures. It also means that you can run 28mm tyres at up to 90PSI on the CLX, making these a versatile wider road wheelset, not just a pure gravel specialist.
As we've come to expect from Roval there are tried and tested DT Swiss freehub internals, and each wheel is handbuilt with DT Swiss Aerolite spokes.
Carbon wheelsets can sometimes give a harsh ride, but Roval say they've paid particular attention to this, using a precisely calculated carbon layup to give a smooth ride feel without sacrificing strength.
Because Roval designed the entire wheel as a complete unit, knowing exactly which spokes and hubs they're using, they've had full control over how and where to reinforce the wheels for optimum strength without excess weight. We're certainly looking forward to getting a set on test!
The CLX EVO with their 30mm internal width and super light build would be an ideal match for the OPEN WI.DE. - combining true off-road capability and chunky tyres with a healthy dose of versatility.
The CLX would be the perfect pairing with Cervelo's new "fast more-than-road" Aspero - a gravel bike with the emphasis very much on speed, regardless of terrain.
We've added the Terra CLX and CLX EVO to our online interactive Bike Builder. Configure your own dream bike from scratch, or check out these sample builds with the Aspero and WI.DE.
The Terra CLX are available now, although initial supplies are limited so if you want a pair then don't hang around! The CLX EVO are available now in 650b and from the beginning of January in 700c.
At launch they're available with Shimano HG freehub bodies, and SRAM XDR will follow very soon.
The Terra range is disc-brake only, for Centerlock rotors, and clincher only (with no tubular models, at least for now). They're designed as "tubeless first" - i.e. optimised for and provided ready to run tubeless, but can be run with tubes if and when required.
Our video review of the Roval CLX50 wheels, ridden and reviewed by Bespoke Cycling, London.Read more
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