Roval Rapide SLX 40’s – Product Review

Product review by Kris Zentek

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I have been riding my Roval SLX 40 carbon clinchers for two months now and want to share my thoughts them.

Out of the box, they weigh in at under 1400g,  very respectable for a set of clinchers! Retailing at £1,500 the wheels also come supplied with skewers and a set of Swissstop black brake pads. With claimed performance of similar spec wheels costing double the price they really do give you value for money! 

My wheels arrived just in time for our team training camp in Mallorca in March. Infact, the first time I put them on my Tarmac-Expert team bike was when we arrived at the hotel. Specialized UK had supplied us with two different sets of tyres to test while we were on the training camp, the Roubaix and S-Works Pro. I decided on the Roubaix tyres for the week.
Over the following days I really put these wheels through their paces. We’ve had sunshine, strong winds and rain and the Rovals performed brilliantly! On the flats they roll effortlessly and given their 40mm deep section rim, cut through the wind with ease. Some pretty fierce crosswinds on the bay road didn’t give me any problems at all, and allowed me to join in with the attacks as we chased down the Port De Pollenca sign that marked the end of each day’s training.
imageIn the mountains they were light enough to get me up the passes with team mates on narrow rims, and on the fast descents they were rock solid – pulling me through corners. In the sprints I never felt any flex in the wheels either.

imageThe breaking performance is surprisingly good for a full carbon rim, very responsive in the dry without any fading on the mountain descents. Time will tell if this remains the case, as breaking on brand new wheels and pads is always going to be better.

When the roads were wet I still felt in control the entire time, though I naturally moderated my speed a bit more given the dodgy road surfaces when it rains in Majorca.
The Roubaix tyres have been excellent in all conditions, and haven’t once failed me. I hope that the lighter S-Works tyres give me the same confidence when I try them next week…
In summary, these wheels look great and really finish off the look of my Specialized Tarmac Expert race bike. They perform great in all conditions, keeping me stable on the road and upright in the corners. With the performance you get from these wheels they are excellent value for money.
I’m really happy with the Roval SLX 40 carbon clinchers!
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