Early in the 'cross season I mounted the Roval Rapide CLX with a set of 33c Challenge Fango tires, and they remained the go-to race day hoops from September to December.
Editor's Note: This article is part of our Cyclocross Race Bike Shootout series, which also includes reviews of top competition steeds from Trek, Jamis, Specialized, and Van Dessel, as well as SRAM Force CX1 and several 'cross tires.
The Lowdown: Specialized Roval Rapide CLX 40 Disc Tubular Wheels
If you're a cyclocross racer in the market for a top flight set of disc-compatible race day carbon tubulars, Specialized's Roval Rapide CLX 40 are worth serious consideration. They're an ultra-stiff, speed-seeking set of carbon hoops that yield true performance gains over traditional alloy wheels. Wheelset weight is a wispy 1,340 grams for the set, which goes a long way toward diminishing the weight penalty that comes with choosing disc brakes over cantis. And these 40mm hoops are built around a pair of alloy hub bodies that encase smooth running CeramicSpeed bearings, and in the rear, best-in-class DT Swiss 240 internals. Bottom line, they're at least in the same conversation with the heretofore leaders in this space, Zipp's 303 Disc Tubulars, which cost about $500 more and are listed as being 95 grams heavier.
At $2,000 for the set, they cost more than some of the 'cross bikes raced by competitors in my old guy cat. 3 category, but they are cheaper than some of the main competition.