A loudly buzzing hub, deep aero rims, and the fastest look of the peloton. There’s no upgrade quite like some new carbon wheels. With the limited edition € 3,700 Roval Rapide CLX II Team wheelset, the Californian brand don’t just pull out all the stops, but also aim to pull at your heartstrings! Is silver the new gold, and will these wheels make you as fast as the pros?

Few road bike components are as emotionally charged as carbon wheels. And it’s rarely just about performance gains. Wheels are THE upgrade for roadies, making you look and feel the part, like you’ve got the fastest, hottest bike on the road. With the new Team edition Roval wheelset, Specialized are breaking new ground, not just upping the game technically, but also appealing to your emotions. Can they deliver?

Roval Roval Rapide CLX II Team | 1395 g (incl. valve and rim tape) | € 3,700 (including wheel bag, S-Works tires, and Roval bottles) | Manufacturer’s website

New Roval Rapide CLX II Team – € 1,000 per second gained?

In addition to the wheels and tubeless setup, the € 3,700 package includes a wheel bag, two S-Works Turbo RapidAir tires, and two exclusive Roval water bottles. In total, the package comes in at € 1,000 more than the Roval Rapide CLX II, which was the Californian brand’s flagship wheelset up until now.

BOB – Best of the Best. It’s with these modest words that Specialized present their new Roval Rapide CLX II Team wheelset. The promise: 0.5 watts less drag and 130 grams less weight than the previous flagship set, the Rapide CLX II, which we’re currently testing. According to Specialized, the aerodynamic advantage offers a 1 second gain over 40 km.

Tutto completto: Both wheels including rim tape and tubeless valves weigh in at just 1395 g.
You can only guess what hot stuff is inside

A large part of the weight difference is due to the new hub, developed in collaboration with DT Swiss, which is said to be 50 grams lighter than the previous version. Specialized say they’ve also shaved off 40 grams from each rim with the help of a new carbon layup, while relying on the same shape and offering the same level of durability and stiffness. The wheelset is claimed to weigh 1360 g excluding valves and tape, including which it should tip the scales at 1390 g. Of course, we weren’t just going to take their word for it, so we weighed them for all the weight weenies out there, and our scale read 1395 g. However, it’s still a whole 108 g lighter than the Roval Rapide CLX II wheelset despite this slight discrepancy – the Roval Rapide CLX II set we’re reviewing weighs in at 1498 g.

It’s easy to tell the Team edition apart from the previous Roval Rapide CLX II

Is silver the new gold? Roval Rapide CLX II Team

According to Roval, it is! The hubs boast a striking new, silver finish, which just so happens to match perfectly with the new SRAM RED. Fun fact: the raw finish helps reduce the hub weight by 2 g. Unfortunately, Roval decided against colour matching the decals, keeping them in a classic white.

Missed opportunity: Matching silver decals would have completed the look.
Specialized continue to rely on hooked tubeless rims, which they believe is the future.

Safety thanks to hooks: The Roval Rapide CLX II Team wheelset effortlessly meets the requirements of a top-end wheelset for professional athletes, even with regard to the current discussion about hooked vs hookless. Limited to 1,500 sets, the wheels continue to rely on a proven hooked rim design. According to Specialized, this continues to lead the way in terms of safety and reliability. Specialized recommend a tire width of 28 to 30 mm.

The new silver hub clearly stands out. Its weight has been reduced by a whole 50 g!

Apple vs Roval? Unboxing the new Roval Rapide CLX II Team wheelset

All of us in the GRAN FONDO HQ were super excited when we received the new Team edition Roval Rapide wheelset. Not just about the wheels themselves, but also the unusual packaging. Specialized promised us a big box with exclusive, high-quality presentation. When the package arrived at the editorial office, there was some confusion. Is that a bike box? There’s no denying that the new Roval Rapide CLX II Teams come in a big box. We carefully cut the box open, expecting to find a high-quality package wrapped inside the brown cardboard. But that wasn’t the case. Even though the wheels were hidden behind semi-transparent paper with Specialized’s mission statement printed on it, we didn’t have the hoped-for unboxing experience. The brown cardboard box was battered on the outside, and the rough handling of international shipping also left traces on the inside.

This was somewhat annoying considering the price. We would have liked double packaging for an unboxing experience like you get from Apple, for example. Why? There’s no denying the importance of the packaging and unboxing experience in the perception of value (and also protecting the product in transit).

Roval Rapide CLX II Team – Can you buy pro team membership?

But back to the contents: Once you’ve opened the huge box of the new Roval Rapide CLX II Team wheelset, you’re presented with a big “welcome to the team” emblazoned on the lid, and you know this is about more than just a wheel upgrade. It’s about the entire package, including the pro feeling. Of course, you’ll have to do more than just buy a new wheelset to call Evenepoel, Roglic, and Vollering your teammates. But having the same equipment as the pros has always had a big appeal in the road bike world. And Roval bank on this with their new wheelset. However, it’s up to you to decide whether this feeling of exclusivity is worth the price.

A Banksy or the Roval Rapide CLX II Team?

Wheel sets like the Roval Rapide CLX II Team definitely belong on bikes. But if you also want to admire them on your living room wall, you should definitely check out the “guide to bikes in the home” in our sister magazine DOWNTOWN. For those who didn’t know: bikes and bike mounts can be decorative too.

The promise is clear: with these wheels, you too can be an S-Works pro

The new Roval Rapide CLX II Team wheelset isn’t just technically superior, but also limited, and priced accordingly – and perhaps that’s what makes them so appealing. After all, carbon wheels aren’t just for performance; they can be for show, too. No, this wheelset won’t make you a Specialized pro team member, nor will you receive a wildcard invitation to ride a grand tour. But at least you can feel a bit like a pro, riding the same wheels. For perfect execution, we would have liked better packaging and colour-matched silver decals.


  • significant weight savings compared to their predecessors
  • lots of extras
  • expensive and limited (read: exclusive)


  • lack of premium unboxing effect
  • decals aren’t colour matched
  • expensive and limited 😉

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Words: Jan Fock, Robin Schmitt Photos: Jan Richter