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Roval Alpinist CL offers top-tech at lower price point

With trickle-down tech from the more-expensive CLX, the Roval Alpinist CL promises similar performance with just a slight weight penalty.

Fresh on the heels of the recent release of the Alpinist CLX, Roval has introduced the Alpinist CL.

With trickle-down tech rim, spoke, and hub tech from the more-expensive CLX, the Roval Alpinist CL promises similar performance with just a slight weight penalty.

The benefit? The Roval Alpinist CL has a lower price point.

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With DT Swiss Aerolite spokes offering reduced rotating mass, changes in speed should be less dramatic compared with heavier hoops. The DT Swiss 350 series hubs should give quick engagement, and performance expected of these mid-priced wheels.

Roval — Specialized’s “house brand” — says what distinguishes the Alpinist CL wheels apart from others is the weight, which is in part a function of rim shape. Not only has this rim shape been through Specialized’s in-house aero testing facility — the “WinTunnel” — during the R&D phase (it says so right on the side of the rim), it’s been race-tested by Deceuninck–Quick-Step through the 2020 season.

The Roval Alpinist CL rim is laced around a DT Swiss 350 hub with the serviceable Star Ratchet drive system. Photo: Roval

At 1,365g/set, the Alpinist CL wheels are only 70g heavier than the more-expensive Alpinist CLX. And for further comparison, they are nearly 175g lighter than comparable wheels from Enve and Zipp.

Roval Alpinist CL details

  • Rim: carbon clincher
  • Dimensions: 33mm depth, 21mm internal width
  • Weight: front 601g, rear 764g
  • Spoke count: 24 front/24 rear
  • Spoke pattern: front two-cross/radial (2:1), rear one-cross/two-cross (2:1)
  • Hubs: DT Swiss 350, CenterLock, sealed cartridge bearings, DT Swiss Star Ratchet internals, 12mm thru-axle compatible (convertible to quick release)

Pricing starts at $1,600 for the 1,365g wheelset.