Ask Jaroslav Kulhavý, and he'll tell you—every gram counts in cross country racing. But with XC tracks becoming more aggressive than ever, just being a flyweight wheel is no longer sufficient. If you're searching for the perfect XC-race wheelset to pair with your Torque Tube equipped RockShox RS-1 fork, end your quest with the Roval Control SL.
Ask Jaroslav Kulhavý, and he'll tell you—every gram counts in cross country racing. But with XC tracks becoming more aggressive than ever, designing just a flyweight wheel is no longer sufficient. Now, wheels need to be as tough and stiff as they are light, with all of the handling characteristics that seasoned trail riders have come to expect. These days, XC wheels need to be more like the Roval Control SL 29 Torque Tube.
When our riders asked us for the ultimate carbon cross country wheels to pair with their RockShox RS-1, we knew that they were really asking for some pretty specific features. They had to be lightweight in order to be low in the inertia and weight departments, strong enough to navigate over rocks and roots on a short-travel race bike, and wide enough so that the tire profile was optimized for both traction and rolling resistance—not an easy feat.
To check all of these design boxes, we started by looking at our Control 29 Carbon rim to see if we could improve on an existing race-ready wheel option, and we found that the stronger (higher modulus) the carbon fiber you use, the less of it you need, and this equates to less weight with the same levels of strength and rigidity. This allows us to add three millimeters (from 27 to 30) of external width, keep our Zero Bead Hook design, and drastically reduce the overall weight.
Enough with the technical specs, though, the real question is how will this positively alter your ride? Install a Control SL 29 Torque Tube wheelset and you'll instantly notice the extremely low inertia that brings both faster acceleration for the punchy efforts required of XC racing and quick deceleration for late apex drifts, compressor-free tubeless tire installation that is free of burps, and a notable reduction in rolling resistance. In other words, there's less hassle and more speed.
For the build, we kept with our core design tenants of lightweight and durability, so we made sure not to skimp. This starts with building each wheel by hand, knowing that while this is widely a lost art, a real person can catch machine-missed discrepancies that result in a sub-par build quality. We took the refined 2Bliss-Ready carbon rim and matched it with a SRAM predictable steering thru-axle front hub and our CNC-machined rear with 24 front and 28 rear DT Swiss Revolution Spokes—all by hand. The rear hub also uses DT Swiss 240 internals, with their star ratchet system that makes for lightning fast engagement, easy service, and legendary reliability.
Go ahead, charge that steep climb you've yet to clean, or take the rocky line you never believed carbon wheels could handle—the Control SL 29 Torque Tube wheels will deliver ride after ride.