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.
Roval also claims that the aerodynamics outperform many more expensive, deeper rims that have been designed specifically for aero benefits.
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.
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.
Roval backs up the new Rapide C38 with a lifetime warranty. It quotes a weight limit of 209kg/240lb for the wheels.