Roval Introduces Faster Rapide and Alpinist CLX Wheels

June 8, 2020

There are riders who live for the climbs, and who savor the purity of riding the lightest bike possible. And there are riders who want nothing more than to own every city limit sprint, every time trial, riders who ache to stretch the peloton out from the front and who want the fastest, most slippery wheel possible in every situation. Whether you’re a classic mountain climbing grimpeur, or a high wattage rouleur, Roval has a new wheel for you, specifically designed to amplify on your strengths.

For classic all-round racing, for bagging KOMS and burning the legs off your friends and enemies alike, for all the terrain from flats to rollers to crosswinds, we present the Rapide CLX. Roval’s goal in developing it was to make the fastest all-round wheels in the world. The Rapide CLX is a true do-it-all and do-it-fastest wheelset; successfully merging the light weight of climbing wheels with the lower aerodynamic drag of a dedicated aero setup, yet retaining the steady handling of shallow-rim wheels.

For the climbers and the uncompromising lightweight purists, they offer the Alpinist CLX. The lightest clincher road wheels they’ve ever made, Alpinist CLX delivers the holy grail of minimalist performance; potent acceleration, incredible climbing speed, and the feathery absence of mass that lets your bike disappear beneath you.

Rapide CLX-Complete Speed

Roval believes they’ve made the fastest all-around road wheels in the world. The Rapide CLX wheelset essentially combines the aerodynamic excellence of the UCI TT World Championship dominating CLX64 with the light weight and gentlemanly handling of the Polkadot-Jersey winning CLX32. The result is a wheelset that delivers maximum speed in conditions found in real-world riding; climbing performance, slippery efficiency of a dedicated aero setup, and stable, confident handling, regardless of wind conditions.


Since Roval’s goal with Rapide CLX was to make the fastest wheelset for real-world conditions, they analyzed what it takes to go fast from every angle.

They discovered that instability at the hands of wind gusts significantly reduces speed. At worst, this instability causes crashes. At best, instability causes you to slow down. A new development goal was established; reduce instability from wind gusts in order to increase speed. Spoiler alert; Rapides are 25% more stable than CLX50s.

The quest to increase stability lead them to examine human reaction time and how it intersects with aerodynamics and handling. The average human reaction time is between one and one-and-a-half seconds. That’s why short, sharp gusts have the greatest destabilizing effect. We tend to correct for these at exactly the wrong moment, after the gust has stopped. We slow down because these experiences are unpredictable and unnerving.

Armed with this knowledge, Roval aerodynamicists set out to reduce the impact of side gusts. Since the front wheel induces the vast majority of instability from gusts, we made the front rim shallower and wider than the rear. This shape boosts stability, while boasting impressively low drag. Since the rear wheel impacts stability much less, it is deeper and narrower, optimized more singularly on minimizing drag.

Together, the wheelset yields less drag than most 65mm deep wheels, but with 25% less steering torque from wind gusts than the CLX50.

The bottom line; you’ll ride faster, farther, with more confidence, in a wider range of conditions than you previously imagined possible


Alpinist CLX- Light Makes Right

Conquer mountains, flatten hills, and feel your bike come alive with the lightest road clincher wheels Roval has ever made. Mass is the enemy of performance, and there’s no room; nor excuse, for a single excess gram when chasing KOMs and mountaintop primes. Weight has been pared to the absolute minimum in order to capitalize on every watt of energy without sacrificing any of the strength, ride quality and durability that are crucial to long term performance and satisfaction.


In order to create a 1,248 gram wheelset they had to visualize each wheel as a complete system.

By making wheel systems, not just rims, Roval engineers can control every aspect of the wheel; rim design, hub design, spoke spec and lacing pattern. This eliminates the variables associated with off-the-shelf components. In turn, eliminating variables allows optimization, and optimization means that the Alpinist CLX has precisely the amount and type of material needed, in precisely the correct place, doing precisely what it was designed to do.

This design approach allows Roval to minimize weight and simultaneously optimize strength and durability. For example, by designing the Aero Flange hub and specifying the spokes and nipples, as well as the lacing pattern, Roval knows the exact angle that each spoke will interface with the rim. This enables the to drill the spoke holes in the right diameter for the nipples and at precisely the angle that they will interface with the rim. Stress risers are minimized, every extra gram of excess material is eliminated, and long-term durability is enhanced.



The Aero Flange hubs found on both Rapide and Alpinist wheels form the basis of strong, light, slippery fast wheels. Aerodynamically optimized, with wide-bracing angles for increased strength and reduced spoke weight, they also feature ultra-smooth sealed cartridge bearings and the refined precision of DT Swiss’ new EXP freehub internals.


Good design only gets you so far. Roval tests relentlessly. Days on end spent in their wind tunnel. Hour upon grueling hour in the test lab, using exaggerated forces to measure durability, strength, and stiffness. Field testing, where they draw on a deep pool of talented riders to evaluate wheels in the harshest of real-world conditions. World Champs and domestiques alike campaign on prototypes in World Tour competition. Once the wheels have proven themselves in these areas, they are ready for you.


Roval works obsessively to create wheels that are True to Your Ride, but they don’t stop there. As riders, they know that shit happens, so they have your back with a lifetime warranty and a free no-fault crash replacement policy.

Lifetime Warranty

Roval wheels are warrantied against defects in material and workmanship for lifetime of the customer.

“**it Happens”No Fault Crash Replacement Policy

If a rider damages their Roval product while riding within the first two years of ownership, they’ll replace or repair it for free. This policy applies to all Roval products purchased in the USA, whether it came stock on a bike or was purchased aftermarket. For additional details, check out RovalComponents.com/warranty