When we set out to create the CLX 50, we had clear goals in mind—create wheels that are 45 to 55mm deep, 2Bliss Ready, aerodynamically optimized, ultra-wide, and around 1200 grams. This meant that they'd have to borrow some weight savings techniques that we developed for the CLX 32, while taking some aero guidance from the CLX 64, if we were going to create what we like to call "the unicorn wheel."
We implemented every lightweight trick in the book without sacrificing anything to durability. And from there, we performed a variety of studies on different wheel depths, ultimately deciding that meeting our strict weight and stiffness targets would be a big gamble with something too deep, which is where 50mm was born from.
After the depth was determined, we jumped headlong into Computational Fluid Dynamics computer modeling to arrive at various rim shapes that could make the CLX 50 as fast as possible. It took a while, but we narrowed the rim shape down to three contenders that were then CNC machined into rims, built into wheels, and put into our Win Tunnel. In the tunnel, we tested every wheel, ours and the competition's, with a 24C (measuring ~26mm wide) Specialized S-Works Turbo tire inflated to 100 PSI, as tires can drastically affect performance. Testing wheels by themselves, not on a bike, is often seen as malpractice, but in our years of testing experience, the numbers have shown that the deltas between bike and wheel, and wheel alone, to be consistent.
After finding the most optimized rim shape that supported our svelte weight requirements, we opted to lace the rims to our Aero Flange (AF) hub, which features the legendary CeramicSpeed bearings, via 16 DT Swiss Aerolite spokes. Now it was time for final testing validation. The result? A 50mm-deep, 1230-gram tubular wheelset that blows the competition out of the water in the weight department, but is also measurably faster in every conceivable test than every wheel in its category.
Rim Type: Carbon tubular
Rim Material: Carbon
Braking Surface: Carbon Fiber
Brake Track Height: 12mm
Rim Depth: 50mm
Rim Width: 27.4mm external
Spoke Pattern: Radial
Spoke Count: 16
Spoke Type: DT Swiss Aerolite T-head
Nipple Type: DT Swiss Pro Lock hexagonal
Front Hub: Roval AF1, CeramicSpeed bearings
Assembly Method: Hand-built
Extras: Roval padded wheelbag, Roval steel QR, SwissStop Black Prince brake pads