New Roval Rapide C38 is a more affordable carbon wheelset for road and gravel riding

New 38mm-deep wheelset is claimed to be rugged, lightweight and aero

Roval Rapide C38 wheelset

Specialized’s Roval wheel brand has launched a new, more affordable set of carbon road bike wheels. Of course, “affordable” isn’t really a term that applies that well to carbon bike wheels, but at £1,150 the Roval Rapide C38 wheelset undercuts the brand’s other offerings, without, according to Specialized, sacrificing component quality or aerodynamics.

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Roval says the handbuilt Rapide C38 is designed as an all-rounder, light enough to use on the road as a climbing wheel and robust enough for use off-road as a set of gravel wheels.

Roval also claims that the aerodynamics outperform many more expensive, deeper rims that have been designed specifically for aero benefits.

Roval Rapide C38 rims
Rims on the Roval Rapide C38 wheels are tubeless-ready and laced with corrosion-resistant brass nipples.

At 38mm-deep and with a 21mm internal width, the Roval Rapide C38 wheels follow the modern trend of wide and deep rims. Their claimed 1,600g weight (714g front, 886g rear) is on the mark too.

They come in Centerlock disc-brake spec only and, unlike Roval’s flashy pro-level Rapide CLX and Alpiniste, they’re tubeless-ready too. Hubs are the latest DT Swiss 370 with an 18-tooth freehub ratchet, running on 12mm thru-axles.

Roval rapide C38 hubs
Rapide C38 wheels roll on DT Swiss’s latest 370 hubs.

The wheels come with 24 spokes front and rear, with DT Swiss Prolock brass nipples that should make them easier to keep true over time, as brass is less subject to corrosion than alloy. 

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Roval backs up the new Rapide C38 with a lifetime warranty. It quotes a weight limit of 209kg/240lb for the wheels.