Roval CLX braking performance question

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nemeseri
Posts: 685
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:40 pm

by nemeseri

I'm thinking about buying a dedicated climbing wheelset and I have my eyes on the Roval CLX 32 set. Light, aero, wide, not extremely expensive.

Any first-hand experience regarding this set would be welcomed. Especially about braking performance and lateral stiffness.

I have great concerns about braking performance. I've only tried zipp nsw, mavic cosmic pro carbon sl and reynolds wheels so far. Out of these, I was impressed with the new zipp showstopper performance and I think mavic is also pretty good in dry conditions. With reynolds, I found that braking was "fair" in dry conditions and terrible in damp / wet. How are the rovals clx wheels compare to these brands in dry and wet?

by Weenie


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Beaver
Posts: 448
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 6:06 pm
Location: Lower Saxony - Germany

by Beaver

Concerning braking they are average - for best performance (especially in the wet) you will need a textured brake track as found on Campa/Fulcrum, Enve, Mavic and Zipp (also Bontrager XXX, but these are a little worse than the others).

The carbon/basalt brake tracks are not bad, but the others are just better. And be careful not to buy an old version of the CLX, in the beginning the used a basalt coating, which doesn't last long... Carbon/basalt looks like 3k carbon, basalt coating is just a smooth black surface.

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This was also used by Enve:

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Reynolds rims were also destroyed in Tour Mag. tests with very high, repeated brake force, they are one of the worst here. Many people also complain about "pulsing" when braking with their Strike wheels.
Last edited by Beaver on Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

alexmcm09
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:02 am

by alexmcm09

I'm running CL 50 wheels that came with my Tarmac SL6 Pro. They use the same rim as the CLX wheels but with round spokes and heavier hub internals.

In the dry I think they brake really, really well. They tend to squeal though so make sure you toe in the pads properly. I am using direct mount brakes with them which does help, but I don't feel a huge difference in the dry when compared to my DT Swiss PR1400 wheels.

In the wet is another story though. I simply refuse to ride them if it's raining. The non textured braking surface is very ineffective in the wet.

I'd have no issue recommending them, especially on a climbing bike. Lightweight, good aerodynamic performance and WAY cheaper than competing wheels from the likes of ENVE and Zipp. Plus the DT Swiss internals make servicing so easy.

toronto-rider
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2006 7:58 pm
Location: Toronto

by toronto-rider

I was after a good all round tubeless compatabke wheel last year and ended up with the Roval CLX 50. Love the wheel and tubeless has been the best thing will never buy a non tubeless wheelset.
On to the braking, well in the dry they are ok, not as good as my aluminum wheels. In the wet, you might as well use your feet.
How Quickstep and Bora use this wheel in the wet in high speed descents blows my mind. Talk about difference in braking distances between teams in the Peleton. If ever there is a call for discs in the pelaton carbon wheels in the wet.
I know that Campy Bora, Enve, Mavic and Zipp latest wheels are way better braking than the Rival and some come close to Aluminum wheels in terms of braking.
When I was looking for a wheel very few had the internal width and tubeless I was looking for. Now all the current wheels released in 2018 math those critirea.
If I were to buy a wheel today I don’t know if I would buy the Rovals again. Yes they are the cheapest but the extra money for all the other brands is worth it considering the difference in braking to the Rovals. I would not take the Rovals on a cycling trip that had long descending, if it rained I would be petrified.
So great wheels in the dry, .... but.

The new Bontrager wheels and Knight wheels look good. I would look at them over Zips.
I still think the top 2 are Enve and Campy Bora, however don’t know how good Bora tubeless is.

TheKaiser
Posts: 511
Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:29 pm

by TheKaiser

Beaver wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:29 am
Concerning braking they are average - for best performance (especially in the wet) you will need a textured brake track as found on Campa/Fulcrum, Enve, Mavic and Zipp (also Bontrager XXX, but these are a little worse than the others).

The carbon/basalt brake tracks are not bad, but the others are just better. And be careful not to buy an old version of the CLX, in the beginning the used a basalt coating, which doesn't last long... Carbon/basalt looks like 3k carbon, basalt coating is just a smooth black surface.
Thank you for bringing up this very important difference! Basalt fiber cloth is fairly readily available from composites suppliers, but rim suppliers don't seem to commonly distinguish between if they use the actual fiber as an outer ply in the laminate or if they simply coat the braking surface with some sort of epoxy layer that is infused with basalt particulates.

That is a pretty big difference, in my opinion, both in terms of the durability of the brake track, and in terms of the ability to chieve the better heat dissapation that basalt fibers can supposedly bring to the table.

Do you happen to know what the various open mold suppliers who claim "basalt brake tracks" are using?

Since you seem to know carbon rims pretty well, I should also ask, have you seen any open mold sources for rims with the textured type tracks that the big brands are using?

Hexsense
Posts: 462
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:41 am

by Hexsense

If good braking texture is not needed, i'd go all the way down and buy a good Chinese carbon fiber wheelset instead (like Light-Bicycle, Venn, Yoeleo, etc.) .
For low budget carbon wheelset with good braking, disc brake is the way to go.

User avatar
Beaver
Posts: 448
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 6:06 pm
Location: Lower Saxony - Germany

by Beaver

TheKaiser wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:55 pm
Beaver wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:29 am
Concerning braking they are average - for best performance (especially in the wet) you will need a textured brake track as found on Campa/Fulcrum, Enve, Mavic and Zipp (also Bontrager XXX, but these are a little worse than the others).

The carbon/basalt brake tracks are not bad, but the others are just better. And be careful not to buy an old version of the CLX, in the beginning the used a basalt coating, which doesn't last long... Carbon/basalt looks like 3k carbon, basalt coating is just a smooth black surface.
Thank you for bringing up this very important difference! Basalt fiber cloth is fairly readily available from composites suppliers, but rim suppliers don't seem to commonly distinguish between if they use the actual fiber as an outer ply in the laminate or if they simply coat the braking surface with some sort of epoxy layer that is infused with basalt particulates.

That is a pretty big difference, in my opinion, both in terms of the durability of the brake track, and in terms of the ability to chieve the better heat dissapation that basalt fibers can supposedly bring to the table.

Do you happen to know what the various open mold suppliers who claim "basalt brake tracks" are using?

Since you seem to know carbon rims pretty well, I should also ask, have you seen any open mold sources for rims with the textured type tracks that the big brands are using?
Light Bicycle uses carbon-basalt brake tracks and they look exactly as those used by DT Swiss (and other OEM DT Swiss wheels like Swiss Side or Roval). This could be the same supplier...

Image

Image

For textured brake tracks you need to remove the resin with laser (as Campa/Fulcrum and Mavic do it) and machine the brake track afterwards with the cuts for better water extrusion. At the moment no chinese open mold supplier offers these. It's another big step and they will need to invest and do a lot of research and testing. I am not sure if we will see these in the near future.

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Zipp seems to be the most advanced:

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And Enve seems to be pressed but I am not sure - this could be an easier approach...

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Bontrager just uses small laser cut holes, but according to early reviews, it's not as effective as the others:

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Last edited by Beaver on Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jj911c2
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 1:46 am

by jj911c2

I have the CLX 32s and they brake fine in the dry but are pretty poor in the wet. I have a set of the Enve 3.4 with newer brake tracks and they are dramatically better at stopping in the wet.

by Weenie


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