Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Roval France wheels - true aero precursor

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Roval France wheels - true aero precursor

Old 04-04-17, 03:02 PM
  #1  
Pawlus
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Poznań, Poland
Posts: 178

Bikes: Moser Leader NP, Koga Miyata WT 86'

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Roval France wheels - true aero precursor

Hi. Being a bit lucky I managed to lay hands on vintage Roval wheelset. These were made in France way before Specialized bought the company. They appear to be of a very good quality. I wanted to share with the community.

Here's a quick link to Classic Rendesvous:Roval wheels

Here are photos of my wheelset:




In my wheels front wheel has 24 spokes and rear 20 spokes on the drive side and 10 on the NDS.

I would appreciate any additional info about those wheels.

Cheers
Paweł

Last edited by Pawlus; 04-04-17 at 03:06 PM.
Pawlus is offline  
Old 04-04-17, 04:35 PM
  #2  
old's'cool
curmudgineer
 
old's'cool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Chicago SW burbs
Posts: 4,375

Bikes: 2 many 2 fit here

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 242 Post(s)
Liked 48 Times in 35 Posts
Originally Posted by Pawlus View Post
rear 20 spokes on the drive side and 10 on the NDS.
That's a very cool concept; makes a lot of sense technically, by reducing the gap between DS and NDS spoke tension (i.e., assuming equal spokes, applying them more evenly in terms of their strength and fatigue properties.
It also looks like the NDS spokes are arranged radially, so virtually none of the drive torque is transmitted through the centre of the hub. There's a theoretical advantage there, allowing the hub shell to be built a little lighter.
What does all this sophistication add up to, assuming strength and other properties are held constant? - probably a few grams, I guess. But it's cool from an engineering perspective.

Last edited by old's'cool; 04-04-17 at 04:35 PM. Reason: speling
old's'cool is offline  
Old 04-04-17, 04:51 PM
  #3  
Citoyen du Monde
Senior Member
 
Citoyen du Monde's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,974
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 15 Times in 10 Posts
Roval had a few major disadvantages back in the day: they were very expensive (in large part because shipping was more expensive back then and you were basically shipping air), you could only true them by removing the tire (which meant that virtually no mechanic wanted to work on them), and the spare parts were basically impossible to find (spare spokes, bearings, etc...). Had they been a bit more affordable back in the day; I would have perhaps tried to get a set for myself. About 10 years ago, I bought out most of the old 1980's stock from Cinelli and they had something like 10 sets of Rival wheels still in boxes which they had procured for Laser bikes. I wasn't able to convince them to sell them to me.
Citoyen du Monde is offline  
Old 04-04-17, 06:01 PM
  #4  
Bianchigirll 
Bianchi Goddess
 
Bianchigirll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Shady Pines Retirement Fort Wayne, In
Posts: 27,667

Bikes: Too many to list here check my signature.

Mentioned: 146 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2059 Post(s)
Liked 928 Times in 564 Posts
They were pretty fancy wheels back then I only a saw a few pair and they were Tri Guys.
__________________
Bianchis '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, '93 Reparto Corse SBX

Others but still loved; '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape SLX Bertoni "Speckled Trout"
Bianchigirll is offline  
Old 04-04-17, 07:29 PM
  #5  
Chombi
Senior Member
 
Chombi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 11,138

Bikes: 1986 Alan Record Carbonio, 1985 Vitus Plus Carbone 7, 1984 Peugeot PSV, 1972 Line Seeker, 1986(est.) Medici Aerodynamic (Project), 1985(est.) Peugeot PY10FC

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 145 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 19 Times in 16 Posts
The black finish on the rims seem to be the weakness on the Rovals, It does not take too many miles to get the sidewalls all messed up looking from wear from brake pads, and the rest of the rim seems to chip easily. I really suspect that they are painted and not anodized like most other rims....
Anodizing wear at the sidewalls but nowhere near as quick and as bad.
I think they also came in silver, but then the black with the polished silver accents really does look cool...
I have have two sets of Rovals that needs clean up and restoration and I'm thinking, maybe I should strip off their beat up black finishes on the rims and give them a good polish, then hit them with Scott Brite pads lightly to give them that subtle grain you see on other aluminum bike components.

Last edited by Chombi; 04-04-17 at 07:44 PM.
Chombi is offline  
Old 04-04-17, 11:45 PM
  #6  
styggno1
Steel is real
 
styggno1's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 925

Bikes: A lot - accumulated over +30 years

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 293 Post(s)
Liked 439 Times in 156 Posts
Got a silver pair in the 80ies. Used for time trial only. Hubs are very high quality. Bladed spokes. Strong rims and the wheels stayed true. Very satisfied at the time. Still is but now more for the aesthetics. I have seen information of them being first made in 1977.

edit: Found the source of information - Radfahren 2/1990, S. 40 - 44
"Ein einzelnes, sich wie im Fahrrad drehendes konventionelles Laufrad kommt nach Messungen von LeHanneur (10) auf eine Luftwiderstandsfläche von cwA = 0,05 m2. RovalLaufräder (1977 entwickelt: tiefe Feige, Säbelspeichen mit Hammerkopf, 24 Speichen je Laufrad) haben hingegen einen Wert von etwa cwA = 0,03 m2."

Funny thing - these were considered as deep (tiefe) section rims back then. And they were - compared to conventional rims. Now they are not...

Sorry for the bad picture.

Last edited by styggno1; 04-05-17 at 12:12 AM.
styggno1 is offline  
Old 04-05-17, 05:33 AM
  #7  
El Chaba
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 281
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 93 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 7 Posts
I had a teammate with a pair back in the late 80's-early 90's....I borrowed them on a half dozen occasions for time trials. They were fast wheels. I also recall several smaller riders using them for general racing. I guess that they were not alone as I also recall Roval coming out with a version with more spokes and possibly a beefier rim for those applications; I don't recall how many spokes there were for which versions. My other recollections of the wheels were that the hubs used internal parts from Maillard; they were essentially the same as the contemporary 700 hubs....I further suspect that Maillard went beyond supplying parts and actually made the hubs. If I am not mistaken, William Lewis Imports was the importer for the US...
El Chaba is offline  
Old 04-05-17, 05:35 AM
  #8  
plonz 
Senior Member
 
plonz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Western MI
Posts: 2,466
Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 539 Post(s)
Liked 195 Times in 140 Posts
Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
The black finish on the rims seem to be the weakness on the Rovals, It does not take too many miles to get the sidewalls all messed up looking from wear from brake pads, and the rest of the rim seems to chip easily. I really suspect that they are painted and not anodized like most other rims....
Anodizing wear at the sidewalls but nowhere near as quick and as bad.
I think they also came in silver, but then the black with the polished silver accents really does look cool...
I have have two sets of Rovals that needs clean up and restoration and I'm thinking, maybe I should strip off their beat up black finishes on the rims and give them a good polish, then hit them with Scott Brite pads lightly to give them that subtle grain you see on other aluminum bike components.
Are you referring to different Rovals? The ones in the OP look to have machined sidewalls.
plonz is offline  
Old 04-05-17, 07:05 AM
  #9  
miamijim
Senior Member
 
miamijim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 14,035
Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 384 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 47 Times in 41 Posts
Originally Posted by plonz View Post
Are you referring to different Rovals? The ones in the OP look to have machined sidewalls.
That's worn off anodizing.
miamijim is offline  
Old 04-05-17, 08:37 AM
  #10  
styggno1
Steel is real
 
styggno1's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 925

Bikes: A lot - accumulated over +30 years

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 293 Post(s)
Liked 439 Times in 156 Posts
Pics of my hubs - the non black variety.

Will polish up nicely once I get around to it.




Rim height (no air in tubes make it seem higher maybe):

Last edited by styggno1; 04-05-17 at 08:45 AM.
styggno1 is offline  
Old 04-05-17, 08:41 AM
  #11  
styggno1
Steel is real
 
styggno1's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 925

Bikes: A lot - accumulated over +30 years

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 293 Post(s)
Liked 439 Times in 156 Posts
styggno1 is offline  
Old 04-05-17, 11:04 AM
  #12  
Pawlus
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Poznań, Poland
Posts: 178

Bikes: Moser Leader NP, Koga Miyata WT 86'

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
You're right Old's'cool, this is indeed a very interesting concept. Roval was first to use cross/radial lacing on the rear wheel to increase stiffness and reduce drag. I also never heard of any other manufacturers building stock wheels with bladed spokes. I have the same era wheels build onto Campagnolo Record hubs. Looking at these two it feels like there's a decade separating them.

Chombi, I think you're right. These rims look more like they were painted and not anodized. That said I don't think that braking surfaces are messy or ugly. My set must have pretty low mileage (judging from their condition) and the surface looks pretty tidy. Here's a quick snap of a rim joint where you can see how paint/anodizing wore off:


Styggo, even tho by today's standards those rims are nothing special it makes me smile they were the precursors of Shamals and Zipps. Here's a photo of my on a bike with inflated tires for comparison


Ps. Silver rims look higher!
Pawlus is offline  
Old 04-05-17, 11:26 AM
  #13  
non-fixie 
Shifting is fun!
 
non-fixie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: South Holland, NL
Posts: 9,825

Bikes: Yes, please.

Mentioned: 247 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1765 Post(s)
Liked 1,885 Times in 911 Posts
Probably the best-looking wheels ever, these Rovals. I have bought a pair for that very reason years ago, but haven't found the right bike for them yet.

__________________
Autumn Leaves











non-fixie is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Revracer
Bicycle Mechanics
16
12-04-13 05:37 AM
arimajol
Classic & Vintage
20
12-11-12 07:08 PM
on the path
Road Cycling
18
06-11-12 03:29 PM
lopek77
Bicycle Mechanics
10
05-20-11 10:50 PM
Chuckk
Classic & Vintage
7
01-03-11 08:15 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.