Roval CLX 50 – Tubular Front
First came our CLX 64. Then the 32s. And after racking up multiple wins in Grand Tours, Worlds, and everything in between, we knew that our best bet was to take the line to new heights, or well, new depths. We needed to design one wheel that was a true quiver killer. One wheel that had all the aerodynamic benefits of the 64 in a package that climbed like the 32, and that’s where the all-new CLX 50 comes in.
When we set out to create the CLX 50, we had clear goals in mind—create wheels that are 48 to 54mm deep, aerodynamically optimized, ultra-wide, and under 1400 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."
Even though the CLX 50 is similar in weight to many wheels in the “lightweight” category, aerodynamics came at the forefront of the development. With this, we jumped headlong into Computational Fluid Dynamics computer modeling to arrive at various rim shapes that could make the CLX 50 as fast and light 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 the Win Tunnel.
The tubular version of the CLX 50 also features a rim design that differs from the clincher version, in order to be aerodynamically optimized for tubular tires. And to prove our concepts, we tested every wheel, ours and the competition's, with a 24C tire (measuring 26C), as tires can drastically affect testing. We chose a modern-width tire to design our rims around, because they not only allow for less tire pressure (which results in more comfort and less rolling resistance) but are also just as aerodynamically efficient when paired with the correct rim width.
After finding the optimized rim shape that supported our svelte weight requirements, we opted to lace this front rim, via 16 DT Swiss Aerolite spokes, to our Aero Flange (AF) hub with the legendary CeramicSpeed bearings. And when it was time for final testing validation, we were left with a 50mm-deep, 1230-gram tubular wheelset that's not only ~ 275 grams lighter than the competition’s similar depth wheels, but is also measurably faster in every conceivable test than each 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 quick-release, SwissStop Black Prince brake pads
- Weight: 535g