Our best-selling Race SL is a favorite with racers looking for precise handling, ride quality and speed. It's perfect for road racing, criteriums and triathlon. It's already one of the best-reviewed wheels on the market and for 2013 we made it even better.
We've improved the Race SL with a new rim profile that is wider and stiffer. At 23mm wide, our new rim design improves tire performance by shortening the tire sidewalls and producing a wider contact patch. It adds up to more confidence in the turns, along with more comfort and improved aerodynamics. The 28mm tall profile provides the stiffness aggressive riders appreciate, as well as an aerodynamic advantage.
Strengths: The value for the money is unparalleled. The wheels are durable, appropriately aero as an all-rounder, beautifully true out of the box AND after more than 10,000 tough miles, including harsh New Hampshire winter riding.
Weaknesses: As others have said, the soft aluminum free hub body is susceptible to gouging from the cassette. This is not truly a weakness of this wheelset, however, as all aluminum free hub bodies suffer from this same issue. This is a small penalty for a significant weight savings.
I initially purchased the Race SL's in April of 2012. Now, almost three years and over 10,000 miles later, the wheels ride like they are brand new. I did have a minor problem with a cassette-damaged free hub body, which was replaced (as stated, the customer service, coupled with the quality of the wheels will have you coming back to ROL as a loyal, repeat customer). This set of wheels is incomparable at the price. I have friends who baby their $2,000+ wheels and fret constantly over road conditions. When they've seen how the Race SL's perform (and, equally as important, how they feel on the road....light, stiff, responsive) they are sorry that they blew a boatload of money on wheels that they are afraid to ride! The Race SL's will take anything that you can throw at them and beg for more. I cannot believe the quality of these wheels for the money. I'll be purchasing a new bike his spring and --- for giggles --- I've looked at every wheel brand imaginable....from boutique carbon clinchers to ultra-lightweight alloy wheel sets. The wheels that were most intriguing cost between $1,300 and $1,900, but they all lacked one feature or another. One set had a nice carbon rim but a questionable hub design. Another carbon clincher had an aluminum braking surface, but weighed 1,800 grams. Yet another looked like the cat's meow, but had LOUSY reviews from both magazines and customers. With all of that reading (I've been at it for months, researching upgrades for my upcoming bike purchase), I could have saved myself a boatload of time. When all is said and done, no one --- and I mean no one --- has been able to show me a better wheel than my Race SL's. Yup, I'm going to buy another pair (this set will be the new, wider design) for my new ride!
If you are worried about buying a set of Race SL's sight unseen, have no fear. You will be blown away by the quality of the wheels. And, equally as importantly, you will be blown away by the (truly unbelievable) customer service.
Strengths: I've put about 5,000 miles on these wheels and they are still as true as when they came out of the box. Light and stiff, a total pleasure to ride, and is a huge improvement over the stock Bontragers that came with my bike. I highly recommend these. And I too have benefited from the great customer service.
Excellent wheels, great value.
a Road Racer
Date Reviewed: December 16, 2014
I have now put on about 1K miles in 3 months on these wheels and they are still straight as the day I got them. I think these are an awesome wheel-set and especially at the price. I knocked off about 1K grams from the stock wheels and they have been so smooth to ride on. If you are thinking about these, I wouldn't hesitate as they are really a great buy. Sean the owner at ROL is also super easy to work with and was very helpful when I was trying to decide on which ROL set to go with.
Strengths: The great price and quality of the Race SL wheel set.
Weaknesses: None so far.
This is my 3rd ROL Wheel set (2 others are Volants) and they have not disappointed. The quality of the hubs and spokes is evident as soon as they were ridden. They respond quickly and have remained true after much abuse. Another great strength is the support of Sean at ROL Wheels. He is willing to answer questions and provide service second to none.
After 3 years, the ROL Race SL's have certainly lived up to their reputation! My old TREK 5200 with the 8-year old Rolf Vector Wheels got wrecked, and so I replaced it with a Trek Madone 5.2. However, the Madone came with some VERY mediocre Bontrager wheels. After researching, and talking with Sean (at ROL) I went with the ROL SL's. Compared to any other wheels I've had, the ROLs corner, handle, accelerate and stop BETTER. They're also much less expensive than the big "name brand" wheelsets. In the 3+ years I've owned these, I ridden roads, tracks, & hardpack trails. I can't say enough good things about them! I'm VERY PLEASED with my ROL wheels! I would buy them again in a second!