Although not a huge company, Rolf Prima’s 2013 line-up offers a good snapshot of current trends in the cycling world: 650b mountain wheels, 11spd-compatible hubs, wide-rim road wheels, carbon clincher road wheels and disc road wheels. One interesting offshoot: a road wheel built for disc and rim brakes.
Rolf Prima calls its new rim shape ‘Delta,’ and the wide-rim style debuted on 2012 wheels. For 2013, Rolf has brought the Delta style to all its top-end wheels, which measure 22mm wide in aluminum and 23mm in carbon. For context, 19mm was the old standard of sorts on metal wheels.
Rolf marketing manager Brooke Bauer said the company found that the Delta shape on its TdF6SL 60mm wheel proved faster in the wind tunnel that the company’s prior 80mm wheel. “Also, the shape works on any frame, and improves the ride quality and durability of the wheel,” Bauer said.
The Elan has been Rolf’s climbing wheelset for some time now, and the new Elan Alpha keeps that designation, although the company is hoping the added aero benefit of the Delta shape will make the wheel more of an all-arounder. Whatever the perception, the 1,315g alloy wheelset now has 20 spokes front and rear.
The new elan alpha uses rolf prima’s ‘delta’ rim design with a 22mm wide rim: the new elan alpha uses rolf prima’s ‘delta’ rim design with a 22mm wide rim Ben Delaney/BikeRadar
Rolf’s Delta design calls for 22mm on aluminum rims
After offering an 11-speed Campagnolo-compatible hub for 2012, Rolf will now do a Shimano 11-speed compatible hub on its new high-end wheels, such as the Elan Alpha.
One interesting concept from Rolf is the rim brake/disc brake wheelsets, of which the company has two. The Elan Alpha Disc has an aluminum rim brake track and disc-compatible hubs. The idea is that you can use them between bikes, or to invest cautiously in disc brake on the. However, the rear hub is 135mm — standard spacing now for disc-compatible road and cross bikes, but incompatible with the 130mm spacing on standard caliper road bike frames.
The company does not have carbon clincher disc wheels, but it did upgrade its regular carbon clinchers with ceramic bearings and 11-speed hubs for 2013.
Finally, on the mountain side, Rolf is expecting its line-up to include the all-carbon Roles 9CXC, a 23-spoke 29-inch wheelset, and also rolled a 650b version of the Roles into the mix.
The new 9cxc is a 1,500g carbon 29er wheelset: the new 9cxc is a 1,500g carbon 29er wheelset Ben Delaney/BikeRadar
29 inches. 100 percent carbon. 1,500g. $1,799 – The new Roles 9CXC