The D'Huez is a result of our best thinking: at the wheel-building bench, the computer design screen and on long late winter rides. From the hubs' internal parts out to the rim's farthest point, we put everything we had into this wheel, among our most popular new designs.
The D'Huez is named for the legendary Alpine climb that's featured in so many Tour de France battles. Our lively 1,430 gram hoops live up to the history and will climb alongside wheels costing many times more.
Strengths: Smooth, quiet, tough. The wide rims (24mm) make 25mms a good choice, but 23mm tires on these wheels would feel like a racing setup.
Weaknesses: None so far.
I purchased these as “insurance” wheels when John Neugent announced the demise of Neuvation. I have ridden alloy 16/20 and 20/24 wheels from John on four bicycles, and was always surprised at the astonishing quality/cost ratio. I finally wore out a rim on some SL3s after several years, but the newer SL5s and SLWs held up just fine under the demanding conditions of country pavement in North Central KY. I wanted a wheelset that would stand up to a beating and comfortably roll on 25mms without feeling like going from a Miata (light wheels with 23mm) to a panel truck (larger tires). (Neuvations were so inexpensive that you can have a climbing set and a distance touring set and a racing set, but I do not race.) The point is, for the price of one set of carbons, a rider can reserve alloy sets with different cassettes for different conditions. I needed these ROLS to be everyday riding wheels for the rough roads, the KY climbs, and the descents. We do not have the mountains here that I have encountered in Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia, just lots and lots of rollers. I am seriously into comfort, most of my rides are 40-50 miles; the occasional 80 milers are rough on my battered old engine, but I want the option to feel free to do them when the spirit moves me.
The ROL wheels came to my attention when I was reading the Southern California (SOCAL) Cycling Club website, then I went on to read the Road Bike Reviews. My decision was between purchasing these, the November alloy wheels, the Zipp alloy wheels, or having some Velocity rims built up by a buddy of mine.
I am allergic to paying over $1000 for an alloy wheelset, so did not opt for the Swiss DT Swiss hub, but went for 24/28 spokes.Sean Lambert of ROL called me shortly after I placed my order to discuss my choice. I recommended that he put a bit more detail on his website re the DT Swiss hub option, since that adds $300 to an $800 dollar wheelset, this put them over my ceiling price for alloy wheels.
The wheels: perfect out of the box, which as I understand is not the case with some wheels costing a great deal more. The weight seemed in line with the advertised weight considering that the hub body does add over the spec on delivery. With the higher spoke count, I expected more weight, but they were close enough to the 20-spoke wheels I already had, which was a major selling point. Decalling was fairly understated compared to many, which I prefer, and they “glow” somewhat in the dark. I ride mostly solo, and brand name recognition from a pack of people admiring my bankroll (think ENVE or Lightweight, for example) means nothing to me.
I have put about 300 miles on these. I did notice a weight increase from the Neuvations when I ran 25mm Schwalbe Durano Plus on both wheels: these are heavy tires, but I have never had a puncture flat with these tires, only one tube-related flat. When I switched the front tire to the Durano (standard) it felt immediately more like the lighter 20-spoke Neuvation SLW front wheel. I run my tires at abt 85-90 psi and have no problem with ignoring them until they get down to below 70 psi. These are, after all, 24mm wide rims. Remember my note about comfort?
300 miles is not much, but enough to allow me to recommend these for anyone who rides on less-than-perfect surfaces and does not have a car loaded with wheels behind them on their rides. I have complete confidence with this wheel/tire combo on corners and descents (but I have to admit that I have not yet hit any heavy rain.) Wide rims with lower tire pressures seems counterintuitive to the speed-demons out there, but I noticed on a 18-20mph group ride that I seemed “quieter” than the other bicycles. My line put me briefly “offroad” as a paved margin had crumbled and there was no loss of control or panic (on my part) as I jumped back on. The group went over a bridge with a notorious steel “L” lip, and most of them came to a standstill. Why they did not chose another route is beyond me, but this did not concern me at all. I do not look for trouble, but these wheels are more than capable of handling the unexpected pothole and other hazards, by virtue of the spoke count and overall quality. I “hopped” the lip, but did not concern myself with going truly airborne, just wanted to take a little weight off. No, these are not Ambrosios with 36 spokes, or carbons that have to be babied and cost half the price of the rest of my bicycle, but I have no doubt that I made the right choice.
Similar Products Used: Neuvation M28 Aero, R28 SL3, SL5, SLW
Bike Setup: 2007 Specialized S-Works Roubaix w S-Works carbon bar
Campagnolo (mixed gruppo) drivetrain
Brooks titanium B-17 saddle
Schwalbe Durano (f) and Durano Plus (r), 25mm for this review
Date Reviewed: June 20, 2014
Strengths: Smooth, when I give more they ask for more! Really absorbs road noise!
After waiting to upgrade from the stock wheels that came with my bike, I finally got these wheels! I did a lot of research on carbon wheels and felt they really weren't what I needed so I started to look for a lightweight aluminum wheel that's performance wasn't jeopardized by making them the "lightest wheels" out there. After reading all the reviews for these wheels I emailed the company and told them what I was looking for in a wheel and they recommended these.
After taking them for a spin, I am more than pleased! They make the ride so smooth, climbing is a dream and they are fast! I took them on a route that has some rough areas and they absorbed the vibrations, making what was a dreaded ride, smooth and enjoyable! I would highly recommend these wheels!
One last thing!!! You can not beat the customer service of this company!!!!
Strengths: Lightweight, stiff, smooth. Good value, great customer service.
Weaknesses: none so far.
I purchased this wheel set to replace the Dura Ace 7850 CL 24. A very nice wheel set. I also have a custom build with White Industry Hubs and HED C2 rims which I also like. I wanted a wheel set that gave me the best of both worlds. Light weight for spinning up fast and climbing, but with a 23 mm rim and hand built. I had read all the reviews of the D 'huez wheel set, plus I own a set of Volants so I knew it would be high quality. I left a message with Rol to see if they could answer some questions. 20 min later Sean called me back and we talked for 15-20 minutes. I was impressed. The wheel set arrived a week later.
The wheels were perfectly true out of the box. They came with a 1.85 mm spacer because I requested 11-speed compatible. I mounted some Continental GP 4000s tires. I have now done a few rides and all I can say is that I am very impressed. I knew they would be good, but so far the quality has exceeded my expectations. These wheels match my riding abilities and the terrain I ride: I am a climber and most of my rides have rolling hills. They get up to speed fast and hold speed. My previous wheels were not flexy but I just feel that this wheel set is that much more stiff- perhaps it is the wider rims. I can really feel it out of the saddle when I climb or when I hunker down and try to blast it out on the flats. The wider rims also offer a more dampened ride on chip top . I am 160 lbs and run 90 in the front and 95 in the back, about 10 psi less than the Dura Ace wheel set. I can't speak too much about their durability but if I would expect them to last since I am going on 3 years with my Volants without any issues.
Strengths: Light weight, not too flashy, low maintenance.
Weaknesses: My set has the red, dura ace 10 spd specific hub body. Other than that, none that I can think of.
I purchased my d'huez wheelset in October of 2007, and they have been my daily wheels ever since I received them. I'm 6'0" and 160-170 lbs depending on my fitness level and time allowed to exercise. After six years of hard riding, I took a closer look at them today, while getting ready to change a tire, and found a crack at one of the nipples on the drive side of the rear wheel. I have never had any issues with the wheelset; never needed truing, just regular hub cleaning and lube. They have been great wheels, and I have enjoyed riding on them, but I am very bummed that the rear wheel is now cracked. I would recommend them, but be cautious of their durability and inspect them.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: August 6, 2013
Strengths: Really light and stiff; they just keep rolling. I find myself using cogs that are two or even three smaller than I used to with my Mavic Ksyrium ES wheels that finally gave up the fight after about five years. I like the look of the Rol wheels and even like the rear hub noise that some people find bothersome when coasting downhill. I've only just started riding with the Rol wheels so I can't speak to their durability, but from other satisfied reviewers I anticipate they will hold up very well. But right out of the gate the ride quality is terrific. Since my local bicycle shop suggested Zipp 202 as a replacement wheelset at a price tag of about $2,700 and the Rol D-Huez wheelset goes for $725 now, my on-line research has really paid off. In fact, when my bicycle shop mechanic put the new wheels on, he was very impressed with their quality and amazed by their lightness.
Weaknesses: None thus far
At least for serious, but not racing, road riders like me, the Rol D-Huez wheelset seems like a wonderful deal and an absolute pleasure to ride. Moreover, as advertised, Sean and Paul are readily accessible and extremely helpful. It's great dealing with a successful, high-quality and responsive American smallish business.
I am fortunate to be in Europe for a couple of weeks at months end and my wife is allowing me to bring my bike on her vacation. I immediately searched out Alpe d'Huez to see where it was and how to get there. It's a six hour drive south of Paris.
Strava tells me the climb is just a gentle 8.1% for ... Read More »
If anyone is interested I've created a Real Life Video (rlv) for the alpe d'Huez climb filmed from a handlebar mounted bike last autumn. It includes the video file : 1.1GB, 38 minutes, .rlv/.pgmf and .gpx files. I've not made a .tts file but if anyone cares to do this let me know.
It is a torrent ... Read More »
I have been reading and reviewing Wheels because I have 2 sets of wheels with a lot of miles. Sean Lambert at Rol Wheels built them in the spring of 2007 and I have over 35,000 miles on the Race SL's and 22,000 miles on the D Huez. I do have all miles documented too. I broke a couple spokes on the R ... Read More »