The all-duty wheelset these days is both in high demand and has a lot demanded from them. Riders are venturing further into gravel roads, but those same riders don’t want to sacrifice speed and efficiency. Heck, I’m riding up 3000 ft ascents one day and bombing singletrack the next on my Open UPPER. With that, the Roval Terra CLX wheelset was built for high-end gravel bikes, but don’t pin them as “just a gravel wheel” because if I could choose just one wheelset, these just might be it.
Roval Terra CLX Gravel Wheelset Features:
- Built with Roval AFD hubs
- Uses the new DT Swiss Ratchet EXP freehub
- DT Swiss Aerolite T-head spokes
- Tubeless-ready with hooked bead
- 25mm internal width
- Compatible with 28-47c tires
- Includes padded wheel bags
- Lifetime warranty and crash replacement – details
- 275 lb. rider weight limit
- Weight: 1320 grams (actual, with tape and valves – 1296g stated)
- MSRP: $2500 (set, sold individually)
Roval is the real wheel deal
Roval has been branching out in recent years. Back in the day, it was exclusively the house brand of Specialized Bicycles, but the folks at Roval are trying to change that mentality by actively promoting their wheels on bikes other than those from the Big S. The truth is, snooty consumers are still slow to adopt this, but performance talks and Roval is turning heads in a big way. With tons of success at the WorldTour level Roval has turned that expertise into their Terra lineup of gravel wheels, with the Terra CLX being the top dog.
Now, for a wheelset that’s still trying to eschew their “house brand” image, these are without question, pricey when you consider what’s on offer at that price point from the likes of Zipp, ENVE or HED. But, if you are going purely on performance, the ultra-wide and ultra-awesome Roval Terra CLX holds its own with all the top brands.
Walking through the specs, the Terra CLX checks every box. At 25mm internal width, these hooked rims are easy to live with and boast a wide variety of tire compatibility from 28-47c. While others are going hookless, keeping that little hook makes tire selection easy.
Rounding things out, the Roval hubs actually feature DT Swiss internals and utilize their Ratchet EXP freehub for quick engagement and smooth spinning. They feature a nice, unobtrusive sound to them when descending or coasting at speed. It’s a nice sound. Speaking of hubs, that front hub spindle looks minuscule, but it’s stiff as can be. I love, love, love that Roval uses external nipples to true things up with ease (though no truing was necessary during the test period).
Road, yes road miles
Starting out, the Terra CLX’s were set up for road duty. Mounted with a set of ENVE SES 29c Tubeless Road Tires, the Terra CLX’s were the belle of the local road climbs up American Fork Canyon. At a mere 1320 grams, I wanted to climb and then climb some more. To be honest, I felt a little reluctant to get these wheels dirty because they looked so nice and clean on the tarmac.
All my time with the Terra CLX’s has been with tubeless tires. The ENVE SES tires mounted up with ease and featured a nicely-supported profile with that wide internal width. I felt like a superhero on every climb and descent and never got blown around in crosswinds. At 32mm deep, these aren’t going to be the best choice for fast flats, but stability is always a nice trait for wheels of any depth. While I loved these for road duty, it was time to get them dirty.
Dirt and gravel (of all varieties)
My typical gravel routes are a mixed bag of road, gravel and singletrack. I can stitch together some pretty epic rides that keep any bike guessing just how much of each discipline it will see on any given ride. Aboard the 3T Exploro RaceMax, the Roval Terra CLX’s really displayed just what makes them great wheels. For gravel adventures, I mounted up a set of the new WTB TCS Light Venture 40 tires. They slipped onto the rims with ease, but did take some finagling to get them seated (I have that issue with all WTB gravel tires).
The Venture 40 tires allow you to hit just about any type of terrain and are an ideal tire choice for the Terra CLX wheelset. The combination of a fast gravel bike and super-responsive wheels resulted in PR-crushing times all over the place. I can confidently dive into singletrack corners and the wheels respond. With their quick engagement, it’s easy to adjust to unexpected obstacles on low-speed singletrack climbs. And, because they are so light, they are quite snappy when laying down the power.
Durability has been great and these wheels show no signs of wear and tear — even after 500+ miles of roughhousing in the dirt. While the shape, width and performance of these wheels is absolutely superb, the price remains steep. That said, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything that can excel in as wide a variety of terrain as the Terra CLX’s. I have loved them everywhere.
- Tubeless-ready right out of the box
- So, so lightweight
- Can take a beating
- Inner rim width makes for a nice tire profile
- A great example of Roval’s innovation (and why you should take them seriously)
- Just might be that perfect “one wheelset to rule them all”
- Killer lifetime warranty for original owners (even two years for second owners)
- Still shedding that “house brand” image for some riders
- Changing tires our regularly will inevitably puncture the tubeless tape (as opposed to TLR strips that Bontrager uses, for example)
The Bottom Line: Roval Terra CLX Wheelset
If you want a single wheelset for today’s modern gravel bikes, the Roval Terra CLX is an easy choice if you can swallow the price of entry. With that though, you’re getting a wide rim that’s proven durable and is wicked-light for sustained road climbs or long-distance gravel adventures. DT Swiss internals keep things rolling and that lifetime warranty is bazonkers good.
Buy Now: Available at JensonUSA
It's always good to get aboard something that you don't have to think about. That's always a surefire way to distinguish a good product from a bad product. With the Roval Terra CLX wheelset, you truly do get that "one wheelset to rule them all" as you can transition from road to gravel with ease. And, they are so stinking light, they practically fly up any climb.