Roval CLX 50 Clincher Rim Review

Everything about building wheels, glueing tubs, etc.
sethjs
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:02 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

by sethjs

I bought a pair locally and have done a 100k, 3k meters with 20% gravel ride on them (Fishrock) with Armadillos and a bunch of additional straight road riding (with a lot of climbing) with GP4000sII tires. I've been running them at 80 psi front, 85 psi rear. I FTP at 290 and weigh 157 pounds. Most of my riding is on 303 firecrest tubulars laced to WI TI11, followed by Bora Ultra 35 tubulars and then HED Belgiums laced to CK R45. I've exclusively ridden them with a Baum Corretto.

So with that background:

1. They *feel* fast. Probably placebo. But I have been putting up good times on them. Eg today's ride: https://www.strava.com/athletes/12436

2. The GP4000sII 25 clincher, using digital calipers, comes out a hair under 28mm. I've run "wide" wheels for a long while, but none that produce such a wide tire. The HEDs are 17mm internal and I run 25mm tubulars on the other wheels, which keep their size. I really like the extra width. Gives more confidence in the turns on the fast descents. See the PR on the very steep backside of Hawk Hill today. And I wasn't trying and didn't feel like I was pushing.

3. Beyond the width, they're just confidence inspiring on descents from a handling perspective. I assume this is a combo of stiffness and weight. Their braking, however, isn't so great, which I'll get into below.

4. I get no brake rub with about 2-3mm of space. I get brake rub on the 303s laced to the WI TI11s all the time. I have to run the brakes wider. With Zipp hubs, even worse.

5. I had a fair bit of crosswind on the Golden Gate Bridge today. No problem. Not necessarily better than a Bora 35 or Zipp 303, but definitely no worse.

6. They're as comfortable as the Bora 35s. I find the Bora 35s to be very comfortable. I find the Zipp 303s, same tires, same pressures, to be noticeably less so. This is apples and oranges because I'm comparing the clincher CLX50 to the other 2 which are tubular, but net is comfort is as good as the Bora 35s, which I think are great.

7. Their weak point: their braking is pretty bad. Can you stop? Yes! But if the Bora 35s are really good for carbon rims (and decent in the wet, too) and the Zipp 303s OK in the dry (though scary as all heck in the rain - like - the hills of San Francisco are just downright dangerous on them), these are substantially worse in the dry and I don't yet know in the wet. Why worse? The front wheel gets hot fast and then starts squealing. The rear wheel, when braking with more than about 40% force, has been vibrating really strongly, which is then sent through the frame. It's terrible. I tried a bunch of different pads and moved the positioning of the brake shoes around a bunch. Tried clamping the QR very tight. But nothing worked. I sent it in to the bike shop today. They believe they've fixed it - primarily by swapping my Tune AC14 QR for a steel QR. Of course, I can run the Boras, Zipps and HEDs in the Baum without any problem with the AC14. I haven't yet picked it up to verify the QR change fixed the problem. Net: even if the rear wheel issue gets fixed, still substantially worse on the braking front than Boras or Zipp Firecrests. Of course, keep in mind, I'm comparing these CLINCHER CLX50s to TUBULAR 303 Firecrests and Bora 35s. It's possible I'd feel different if I had experience on the clincher versions of those wheels.

Net: the braking sucks, but I *love* everything else about these wheels. Comfortable. Fast. Stable. Confidence inspiring. No crosswind issues. I'm really impressed. I just wish they were 1 gen later on the braking front.

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Beaver
Posts: 344
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 6:06 pm
Location: Lower Saxony - Germany

by Beaver

The CLX 50 brake track should be the "new generation" - did you try different brake pads?

Crosswind stability can be improved with 23mm tires on the front, that's what they are designed around, e.g. 24mm Turbo Cotton.

What's the weight? :)

by Weenie


sethjs
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:02 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

by sethjs

Yup tried the Swisstop they came with, Zipp & Campy. All the same deal. Substantially worse than Bora and definitely worse than the 303s.

jlok
Posts: 464
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:30 am

by jlok

Glad to hear the positives here. I'm waiting for my CLX 32/50 disc combo. Hopefully it will be immune to the brake problem. Gonna run Pro One 25c. With the hookless design I guess it's easily 28mm when mounted.

sethjs
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:02 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

by sethjs

Quick update - shop tried pretty much everything to get the vibration problem when braking under control at the rear. Finally tried another wheel. Same problem. It's seem the Baum with a Dura Ace caliper with the clx 50 just isn't a great combo for rear braking. Gonna try an ee brake.

toronto-rider
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2006 7:58 pm
Location: Toronto

by toronto-rider

Just ordered a pair, in Canada they don't have stock of the rear wheel. Just read the Bike Ridar review of the CLX 64 and was contemplating cancelling my order. If you are in San Fran and ride a Baum I presume you got it from AboveCategory, they use Dura Ace skewers on all their builds. Hope I don't have the same issue with my Specialized re the rear wheel. In terms of wheels I Know the enve and Bora are better wheels but don't have the extra 1k$ to spend on wheels.
In terms of tire pressure, I have Hed Belgium and use 25c tires I am 175lbs. I run 75 and 80 and the comfort is like a magic carpet ride. I sometimes will go about over a week without putting tire pressure and end up at 65. Never had more flats than normal. I plan to run tubeless on the CLX 50 and plan to run 70 and 75. Streets are not the best in my area.


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RC1
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:25 am

by RC1

I've just put a pair of CLX32's on my S-Works Tarmac and given the similarity bar height I thought I'd add my early observations for anyone that's interested. For now am running them tubed with Vittoria Rubino Pro G+ 25mm tyres as we still have some pretty poor late winter conditions, and experimenting between 80 and 90 PSI (I'm 81/82Kg and the bike is dot on 7Kg). All rides so far on less than perfect UK roads, this is what I've noticed:

- spin really well, the bearings are very smooth and silent
- the free hub is very quiet when riding, barely audible - can certainly freewheel in stealth mode!
- seem stiff, I haven't managed to induce any rub as yet, where I could on R-Sys and new Cosmic Pro Carbon that I tried
- it's been windy here lately and they don't get pushed around much or exhibit any extra steering pressure
- braking is fine in the dry (haven't been caught in the rain as yet) with plenty of power and modulation but with one exception....they squeal badly and it's loud, the front being the culprit. Haven't hit any longer descents to see how warm they get or if the braking fades, but will add those comments when I do after the weekend.

Overall I like them, apart form the braking noise, which I'm going to have the shop look at. They make the bike feel fast and responsive with no lack of stability at speed. Corner well too. Will be interesting to see what changes with a tubeless set up, or with lighter summer tyres.

Oh and for those weight-interested souls out there they are very close to the advertised 550g for the front. Mine weighs 962g built up with 25mm Rubino and QR. Take off the 235g for tyre, 64g for QR, 70g for tube and say 30g say for rim tape leaves 563g, not bad.

matty1000
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:56 pm

by matty1000

sethjs wrote:I bought a pair locally and have done a 100k, 3k meters with 20% gravel ride on them (Fishrock) with Armadillos and a bunch of additional straight road riding (with a lot of climbing) with GP4000sII tires. I've been running them at 80 psi front, 85 psi rear. I FTP at 290 and weigh 157 pounds. Most of my riding is on 303 firecrest tubulars laced to WI TI11, followed by Bora Ultra 35 tubulars and then HED Belgiums laced to CK R45. I've exclusively ridden them with a Baum Corretto.

So with that background:

1. They *feel* fast. Probably placebo. But I have been putting up good times on them. Eg today's ride: https://www.strava.com/athletes/12436

2. The GP4000sII 25 clincher, using digital calipers, comes out a hair under 28mm. I've run "wide" wheels for a long while, but none that produce such a wide tire. The HEDs are 17mm internal and I run 25mm tubulars on the other wheels, which keep their size. I really like the extra width. Gives more confidence in the turns on the fast descents. See the PR on the very steep backside of Hawk Hill today. And I wasn't trying and didn't feel like I was pushing.

3. Beyond the width, they're just confidence inspiring on descents from a handling perspective. I assume this is a combo of stiffness and weight. Their braking, however, isn't so great, which I'll get into below.

4. I get no brake rub with about 2-3mm of space. I get brake rub on the 303s laced to the WI TI11s all the time. I have to run the brakes wider. With Zipp hubs, even worse.

5. I had a fair bit of crosswind on the Golden Gate Bridge today. No problem. Not necessarily better than a Bora 35 or Zipp 303, but definitely no worse.

6. They're as comfortable as the Bora 35s. I find the Bora 35s to be very comfortable. I find the Zipp 303s, same tires, same pressures, to be noticeably less so. This is apples and oranges because I'm comparing the clincher CLX50 to the other 2 which are tubular, but net is comfort is as good as the Bora 35s, which I think are great.

7. Their weak point: their braking is pretty bad. Can you stop? Yes! But if the Bora 35s are really good for carbon rims (and decent in the wet, too) and the Zipp 303s OK in the dry (though scary as all heck in the rain - like - the hills of San Francisco are just downright dangerous on them), these are substantially worse in the dry and I don't yet know in the wet. Why worse? The front wheel gets hot fast and then starts squealing. The rear wheel, when braking with more than about 40% force, has been vibrating really strongly, which is then sent through the frame. It's terrible. I tried a bunch of different pads and moved the positioning of the brake shoes around a bunch. Tried clamping the QR very tight. But nothing worked. I sent it in to the bike shop today. They believe they've fixed it - primarily by swapping my Tune AC14 QR for a steel QR. Of course, I can run the Boras, Zipps and HEDs in the Baum without any problem with the AC14. I haven't yet picked it up to verify the QR change fixed the problem. Net: even if the rear wheel issue gets fixed, still substantially worse on the braking front than Boras or Zipp Firecrests. Of course, keep in mind, I'm comparing these CLINCHER CLX50s to TUBULAR 303 Firecrests and Bora 35s. It's possible I'd feel different if I had experience on the clincher versions of those wheels.

Net: the braking sucks, but I *love* everything else about these wheels. Comfortable. Fast. Stable. Confidence inspiring. No crosswind issues. I'm really impressed. I just wish they were 1 gen later on the braking front.



Wow...could NOT agree more with all points EXCEPT #7...best braking I have EVER had. Simply inspiring and better than aluminum braking.

jlok
Posts: 464
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:30 am

by jlok

If you are going to set up tubeless with the supplied plugs, you will have a hard time. Haven't tried the valves yet as I go Stans all the way.

Ditch them and use Stans yellow tape or schwalbe tape. Much better and track pump is all you need.

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Pepsi
Posts: 206
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 8:54 am
Location: Slovenia, Europe

by Pepsi

What about Corima brake pads?

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mpulsiv
Posts: 1021
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:17 pm

by mpulsiv

In case you haven't seen this https://cyclingtips.com/2017/08/special ... -64-review

Each of Roval’s CLX wheelsets were mounted on the one bike and ridden over the same ~700m stretch of road on a still day. The average speed and power (±SEM) were determined for each effort and plotted as shown. Each point represents a single effort, and at least three efforts were performed with each wheelset.

Image
Racing is a three-dimensional high-speed chess game, involving hundreds of pieces on the board.

:arrow: CBA = Chronic Bike Addiction
:arrow: OCD = Obsessive Cycling Disorder

asiantrick
Posts: 122
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 11:18 pm
Location: the OC, CA

by asiantrick

What about roval clx 40? People are selling these dirt cheap on ebay. Might pick up a pair to try out.

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mpulsiv
Posts: 1021
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:17 pm

by mpulsiv

asiantrick wrote:What about roval clx 40? People are selling these dirt cheap on ebay. Might pick up a pair to try out.


Off course people are selling these dirt cheap. The rim is narrow with "V" shape profile. Any modern ~30mm aluminum rim will perform on par with CLX 40.
Racing is a three-dimensional high-speed chess game, involving hundreds of pieces on the board.

:arrow: CBA = Chronic Bike Addiction
:arrow: OCD = Obsessive Cycling Disorder

AJS914
Posts: 1950
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

The point of the graph in the article was to show that he couldn't measure the tiny difference between each wheelset.

November mentioned that article in their recent blog entry:

https://novemberbicycles.com/blogs/blog ... -3w-anyway

by Weenie


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mpulsiv
Posts: 1021
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:17 pm

by mpulsiv

AJS914 wrote:The point of the graph in the article was to show that he couldn't measure the tiny difference between each wheelset.

November mentioned that article in their recent blog entry:

https://novemberbicycles.com/blogs/blog ... -3w-anyway


Yep, this is one of the reasons November gave up on the Rail 34 then Rail 52. I may sound like a broken record, but 95% or riders buy carbon wheels purely for aesthetics to mimic Pro's.
Nowadays, modern aluminum wheel ~30mm deep perform damn well next to deep dish carbon wheels. If you want to ride faster, stop looking at carbon wheels, instead start racing your bike!
Racing is a three-dimensional high-speed chess game, involving hundreds of pieces on the board.

:arrow: CBA = Chronic Bike Addiction
:arrow: OCD = Obsessive Cycling Disorder

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