First look: Specialized Roval Roubaix 322X wheelset

Ready for the cobbled classics

Is it classics season already? Yup, sure is and Specialized steps to the plate with its eponymous Roval Roubaix 322X clincher road wheelset.

In marked contrast to other deep-section wheels we've tested, the Roubaix 322x prioritises ride comfort and durability courtesy of its shallow 19mm-deep aluminium box-section rim and relatively generous 24/30 front/rear spoke count. Crossed lacing is used all around for even more comfort and Specialized's DoubleDrive lacing pattern puts twice as many DT Swiss Aerolite spokes on the driveside for more even spoke tension.

DT Swiss is also tapped for the front and rear hub internals and the front hub shell includes a snazzy carbon fibre centre tube. Campagnolo and Shimano/SRAM-compatible freehub bodies are available and titanium quick-release skewers are included.

Actual weight of our test set is a reassuring 1586g per set (plus 92g for skewers). If all goes well, we'll be testing these wheels on some actual Belgian cobbles come April!

Price: US$1050

James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA

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