Quick Step’s new Specialized Roval-Campagnolo hybrid wheels

Campag elements more prevalent than anticipated

Specialized announced back in January that its Quick Step team would at last be rolling on its in-house Roval wheelsets this season along with a few others built with "Specialized-engineered hubs and spoking patterns alongside Campagnolo-engineered rims and spokes/nipples systems."

As it turns out, the latter category is apparently limited only to carbon tubular wheels like the one we spotted on Stijn Devolder’s machine at the start of stage 7.  Devolder’s rear wheel was labeled as a ‘Roval Alpiniste SL Carbon’ (a production model) and indeed used the (near) production-spec SL hub and DT Aerolite spokes. However, the rim is clearly borrowed from Campagnolo and the 24-hole spoke lacing was a standard 1:1 two-cross/radial pattern instead of Specialized’s 2:1 configuration. 

Up front, it looked like Devolder was running a tubular version of Specialized’s new 2009 aluminum wheel, complete with milled-out rim, carbon-bodied hub and exposed spoke nipples.  We found the matching rear on a teammate’s bike the morning of stage 8 and in spite of Specialized’s claims, that one used a standard 1:1 lacing pattern as well. 

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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