Specialized Roval CLX32 Disc review

Tubeless-ready aero disc hoops

This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

The previous generation CLX40 was a firm favourite with us, combining a nicely shaped 40mm-deep aero rim with quality hubs for a well-priced disc wheelset that rode well and proved tough enough for everything from road to cyclo-cross racing and gravel riding. 

  • Highs: Smooth, strong, light and rapid
  • Lows: Ambitious claimed weight
  • Buy if: You're after a fast, fuss-free set of tubeless-ready disc wheels for your road bike

Specialized claims the new CLX32s have better aero properties than the 40s, even though the rims are 8mm shallower. The new rim design is fully tubeless compatible; the wheels ship with unique spoke-hole plugs as well as tape which can be removed should you want to go tubeless. Specialized claims this saves weight over the usual tubeless rim tape.

The 32s share the same aero-tuned hubset as the 60mm-deep aero wheels found on the Venge Vias Disc, with the new relatively shallow rim having a blunted shape.

The internal 20.7mm width shapes the tyre well. We ran them with 25mm Continental GP 4000s, which once fitted measure 27mm wide.

Claimed weight for the CLXs is 1350g a pair, though ours came in at 1450g with standard end caps and rim tapes. That's still impressively light, and their lack of mass was evident when riding.

Specialized has done a significant amount of work on the rim construction so the ride feel is more akin to a lightweight set of climbing wheels rather than wide, tough disc hoops for all-conditions riding.

Aero performance is hard to judge outside of a wind tunnel, but Specialized claims these are significantly quicker than the CLX40s, with an eight second advantage over 40km. We found that they really shone in blustery conditions, with side winds having no more effect than on a traditional aluminium rim, such as Mavic's Ksyrium.

The Ceramic Speed-equipped hubs run extremely smoothly. The rear hub uses DT Swiss 240 internals inside the aero-shaped shell so pick-up is quick and the freehub smooth with DT's signature buzz. DT also provides the aero spokes. The rear uses a combination of Aero Comps and Aerolites to balance the drivetrain forces.

We've used our pair on tarmac and switched them onto a gravel machine for workouts over ruts, rocks and dirt. After plenty of miles the 32s have come out unscathed, with not a buckle in sight and no loss of tension in the spokes, which says a lot for their hand-made construction.

The CLX32s further enhance Roval's reputation as a wheel maker rather than just the in-house brand and wheel of choice for Specialized's road, gravel and cyclo-cross bikes.

The wheels come with standard rim tapes fitted, tubeless conversion kit, standard end caps, front and rear 12mm thru-axles, quick-release skewers and wheel bags.

Price

  • Front: £770 / $1025 / AU$1675
  • Rear: £1100 / $1375 / AU$2125

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