Numbers don't lie — since their launch two years ago, Roval Component's Alpinist and Rapide wheels have been under more podium-topping riders than any others in professional cycling. (Right now the win tally is at 155 and counting.) In and of itself that's quite the feat, but Roval didn't get where it is today by resting on its laurels; progression is the name of the game, and in the spirit of pushing the capabilities of its components to even greater lengths, today the company announced that its new for 2022 Alpinist CLX II and Rapide CLX II wheels are now tubeless ready. Essentially, the fastest wheels on the block are even faster.
So, why is going tubeless a big deal?
It's a big deal for a couple reasons: Going tubeless massively improves puncture resistance, cutting down the likelihood of a flat. Tubeless tires are known to give a better ride feel, and they're lighter. Proving these points, Roval's new wheels offer lower rolling resistance, incredible handling and the flat protection of a tubeless system.
The new Rapide CLX II is your new everyday wheel — it combines the superior handling of a tubeless system with the aerodynamics of a deep-section TT wheel and the lightness of a climbing wheel. The Rapide went through the most rigorous testing Roval had embarked on to date, and the result is an efficient and climbing-capable ride with world-class handling, even in windy conditions.
The Alpinist CLX II is made for the minimalists out there: it's the lightest, best-handling wheel for Roval to date. The acceleration is hyper-responsive, the cornering is all-time and rough roads don't stand a chance against these babies. This 1250-gram tubeless wheelset is built for speed and smoothness.
Both the Rapide CLX II and Alpinist CLX II utilize a hooked rim, which provides a more secure tire bead retention and an easier set-up and mounting experience than anything prior. The hooked rim allows for real-world riding pressures up to 110psi, if you're into that.
Are there any downsides?
Sure — there are two sides to every coin, right? Going tubeless presents a couple challenges: first off, it's pricier on the front end, probably the biggest barrier to tubeless becoming the standard throughout the cycling world. And in our experience, there are a couple pitfalls: 1. If your rim strips start to break down, the tires will slowly lose air in a maddening fashion, and you eventually have to get the rim bed re-sealed, and 2. In the rare event you break a spoke, it’s more expensive to get it replaced. But, collectively having endured dozens upon dozens of flats, we can say the overall peace of mind that comes with tubeless is hard to beat.
If you're intrigued and want to pick up a pair for yourself, the Aplinist CLX II and the Rapide CL II are available now at rovalcomponents.com.