Buying Aero Wheels On A Budget

  • By AJ Johnson
  • Published Nov 8, 2013
  • Updated Jan 29, 2016 at 3:54 PM UTC
Photo: Courtney Johnson

Specialized Roval Rapide CLX 60 Carbon Clincher – MSRP $2,200

The Specs
This isn’t the Big S’s first foray into the aero wheel market, but it is by far its best effort. Considering Specialized just built its own wind tunnel, it’s not surprising to see them launch these hoops. This full carbon clincher is 60mm deep with a 17.3mm internal width and 24.4mm external width. The profile of the rim features the semi-blunted inner diameter shape that is the most popular right now. Exceptionally light for a set this deep and wide, the pair weighs only 1,555g. The Roval hubs feature ceramic bearings and are compatible with Campagnolo, Shimano/SRAM and can be used with 10 or 11 speed drivetrains. Each set comes with carbon rim brake pads and skewers.

The Ride
I was surprised at how quickly these wheels accelerated, both from a stop and coming out of a corner. For a wheel this deep it has a lot of snap to it. When at speed they hold their speed well with the ceramic hub bearings providing that little extra bit of efficiency. With 60mm of rim they do catch some cross winds as I expected, but for any confident rider over 150lb. they won’t pose a concern. The ride quality is amazing. With the extra width at the rim and 24mm tires (I rode these on Specialized S-Works Turbo 24’s that were sent with the wheels) these wheels eat up the bumps and cracks in the road. The Specialized-supplied brake pads, sourced from SwissStop, do a great job of burning speed off. The feel is consistent without any pulsing or grabbing. As the most expensive in the test, they offer all-around performance that justifies the cost.

RELATED: Specialized Debuts Carbon Road Clinchers With Disc Hubs

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