We were massively impressed with the 700c versions of Specialized’s Roval CLX 32 Disc wheels. According to the engineers who developed them in Specialized’s wind tunnel, those 32mm-deep wheels have a more aerodynamic profile than their 400mm-deep forebears. That same profile is present on this 650b wheelset.
The wheels are tubeless compatible (or ‘2 Bliss Ready’ in Specialized speak) and can be set-up with either standard tubeless rim tape or Specialized’s rim plugs, which are included along with 12mm thru-axle end caps, quick-release levers, fittings for quick-release frames and a pair of wheel bags.
The rims’ wide internal width (20.7mm) means they’re perfectly suited to big-volume gravel tyres (I ran mine with 42mm Specialized Sawtooth tyres). I set them up tubeless using Specialized’s plugs, which was pretty easy and didn’t require too much fettling. However, If you’re looking for rims to run massive road+ tyres then these will come up short in terms of width.
The rest of the wheels are constructed with quality DT Swiss spokes and nipples, DT Swiss hub internals and top-grade CeramicSpeed bearings, which all go a long way towards justifying their price tag.
Either on the road or off it, these 650b CLX 32 Disc wheels roll remarkably well. Their sheer lack of mass (1,333g for the pair — 596g for the front, 737g for the rear, including tubeless valves and rim plugs) means they add some real zing in your climbing.
They’re stiff enough to avoid flexing and pushing you offline in the rough stuff but not so stiff to be jarring. So, if you’re lucky enough to have a gravel bike that takes the smaller 650b size (such as a Mason, Rondo Ruut, 3T Exploro or Open UP), then these would be a great addition. For everyone else, it’s well worth checking out the brilliant 700c versions, which cost the same as these.
Roval CLX 32 Disc 650B specifications
- Rims: Carbon
- Rim type: Clincher
- Rim depth: 32mm
- Spokes: DT Swiss
- Spoke count: 24 (f), 24 (r)
- Nipples: DT Swiss Pro Lock hexagonal
- Hubs: CeramicSpeed bearings, DT Swiss 240 internals
- Weight: 1,333g (pair), 596g (f), 737g (r)