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When Roval set out to create the CLX 50, they had clear goals in mind—create wheels that are 45 to 55mm deep, aerodynamically optimized, ultra-wide, and around 1200 grams. This meant that they'd have to borrow some weight savings techniques that were developed for the CLX 32, while taking some aero guidance from the CLX 64, to create what could be called "the unicorn wheel."
Roval implemented every lightweight trick in the book without sacrificing anything to durability. And from there, they performed a variety of studies on different wheel depths, ultimately deciding that meeting the 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, Roval engineers 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 they narrowed the rim shape down to three contenders that were then CNC machined into rims, built into wheels, and put into Specialized's Win Tunnel. In the tunnel, they tested every wheel, Roval's, 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 Roval's years of testing experience, the numbers have shown that the deltas between bike and wheel, and wheel alone, are consistent.
After finding the most optimized rim shape that supported Roval's svelte weight requirements, they opted to lace the rims to the 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.
Wheel Size: 700c
ISO Diameter (ETRTO): 622
Tire Type: Tubular
Brake Type: Rim Brake
Hub: Roval AF1, CeramicSpeed Bearings
Axle Type: Quick Release
Hub Spacing: QR x 100mm
Drive Type (Rear Hub): -
Rim: Carbon (50mm Depth, 12mm Brake Track)
Rim Width: 27.4mm (Outer)
Spoke Count: 16H
Spoke Type: T-Head (DT Swiss Aerolite)
Weight: 535g (Front Only)
This product was added to our catalog on March 2, 2018