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Gravel Wheelset: Roval Terra CL vs. ??

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Gravel Wheelset: Roval Terra CL vs. ??

Old 01-24-23, 01:24 PM
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Gravel Wheelset: Roval Terra CL vs. ??

Specialized is currently have a sale on its Roval Terra CL wheelset for $1,312; what other wheelset at this price point or lower should also be under consideration?

I had also considered the slightly less expensive Roval Alpinist CL II, which would be a better all rounder, but decided to commit to gravel riding for now.

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Old 01-24-23, 02:34 PM
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What are you looking for in the new wheelset? What do you want to change about your old wheelset?

The Roval Terra CL is not especially deep and runs with basic(but very good) DT350 hubs.
As a general option, Lightbicycle has a ton of different wheelsets to choose from- select the rim profile and customize from there. They are established, well respected, and a great value. Another well regarded similar option is BTLOS.

https://www.lightbicycle.com/700C-tu...vel-bikes.html
This wheelset with rims that have nearly the same spec, DT350 hubs, 24 spokes front and back, and weigh 100g more costs $790. Its 32mm external, 25mm internal, and 35mm deep.
Or put some DT240 hubs on and its only $929 and weighs the same as the Roval.
Upgrade to DT180 hubs, bling and whatnot, and for $1385 you have a wheelset that also weighs less than the Roval.
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Old 01-24-23, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
What are you looking for in the new wheelset?
Thank you for your suggestions. I am mainly looking for a lighter CF wheelset to offset the heavier gravel tires.

Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
What do you want to change about your old wheelset?
No complaints about the stock wheels, which have DT Swiss XR 361 asymmetric rims laced via 28 spokes to i9 1/1 hubs.

Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
The Roval Terra CL is not especially deep and runs with basic(but very good) DT350 hubs.
I have only heard good things about this hub, especially since the 36T upgrade in 2022. My road wheels have DT 350 clones so I kind of know what to expect maintenance wise.

Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
As a general option, Lightbicycle has a ton of different wheelsets to choose from- select the rim profile and customize from there. They are established, well respected, and a great value. ...

https://www.lightbicycle.com/700C-tu...vel-bikes.html
I looked at the WR35 you linked above, the WR38, and the WR40. Light Bicycle has way too many options. I also don't know why LB would charge an extra $85 for the 36T version of the DT 350 freehub; did LB buy up all of the remaining stock of 18T?

Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Or put some DT240 hubs on and its only $929 and weighs the same as the Roval.
Upgrade to DT180 hubs, bling and whatnot, and for $1385 you have a wheelset that also weighs less than the Roval.
I hear you, but I am not 100% sold on the DT EXP freehubs yet. Also, weight reduction at the rim is more important than at the hub.
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Old 01-24-23, 07:11 PM
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Have you considered Campy Shamal C21s?

.

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Old 01-24-23, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Shadco View Post
Have you considered Campy Shamal C21s?
Too narrow for gravel? Stock wheels have an internal width ("IW") of 22.5 mm, and the new conventional wisdom seems to be 24 mm or 25 mm IW for 38 mm or 40 mm tires?
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Old 01-24-23, 09:32 PM
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I have LB WR50s with the 240exp hubs and they have been excellent for gravel.. zero problems with durability, tires mount easily, etc. in retrospect I could have spent less on cheaper hubs and less cross section but they were still cheaper than the Rovals I was looking at so I got carried away. Rovals should be good as well.
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Old 01-25-23, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
Too narrow for gravel? Stock wheels have an internal width ("IW") of 22.5 mm, and the new conventional wisdom seems to be 24 mm or 25 mm IW for 38 mm or 40 mm tires?
My gravel wheels have rims that are 25mm external and 20mm internal. They were fine before the trend to go wider picked up steam and they are still fine.
I wouldnt not call the recent trend towards wider rims 'new conventional wisdom'. That term seems like an oxymoron, but more importantly, its more of a guideline than a rule.

The Bontrager Paradigm SL rim, which comes on mid-level Checkpoints, is 26mm external 21mm internal.
The WTB ST i23 rim, which is a popular model for many brands to use has a 23mm internal.
Cervelo Aspero 600 uses Alex rims that are 27mm external and 23mm internal.

Get what you want, its a ton of money and you should be discerning- makes sense. I just dont think that a rim profile that was perfectly acceptable in 2021 is now suddenly 'bad' just because some new rims in the same segment are a couple mm wider.
A 38 or 40mm tire can mount to a 17mm internal rim without issue and perform perfectly. That just isnt some extremely wide tire that will cause issues.
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Old 01-25-23, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
My gravel wheels have rims that are 25mm external and 20mm internal. They were fine before the trend to go wider picked up steam and they are still fine.
I wouldnt not call the recent trend towards wider rims 'new conventional wisdom'. That term seems like an oxymoron, but more importantly, its more of a guideline than a rule. ...

... I just dont think that a rim profile that was perfectly acceptable in 2021 is now suddenly 'bad' just because some new rims in the same segment are a couple mm wider.
Gotcha. I am not at all saying that an IW of 21 mm or 22 mm is somehow bad or inadequate, or that narrower wheels which are otherwise fine need to be swapped for wider counterparts. It is just that if anyone were to buy gravel wheels now, might as well buy wider ones.
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Old 01-25-23, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
Specialized is currently have a sale on its Roval Terra CL wheelset for $1,312; what other wheelset at this price point or lower should also be under consideration?
Real world experience here: I bought the Terra CL wheelset about six weeks ago at full price. Sadly, I'm now outside of the return window; happily, I find the wheels to be good value even at $1750. At that price point, competitors tend to have bladed spokes (better) and proprietary hubs (worse in my estimation -- the DTS 350s are rock-solid reliable and any shop in the world is familiar with them), and most have hookless rims (worse in my estimation, but I'm a slow adopter. They're probably fine and may even be preferable at low psi with wide tires). For me, the selling point is that the rims are identical to those used on Roval's (recently-discontinued) top-level gravel wheelset, which sold for $2500...So, those rims should be light and strong.

I suspect that they are blowing out these wheels at a great price because they are about to be discontinued and replaced with a version that has hookless rims, since that's where the industry is going. So that could be a deciding factor.

As ​​​mstateglfr has explained, you can go with internet brands and get nearly the same specs (but with the rims being an unknown) for a LOT less money; with Roval/Specialized, you're basically paying more money for the the name brand, which has value. As a very large brand with a reputation to protect, they have reason to produce high-quality rims and to put everything together very nicely, and they will back it up with a huge dealer network. For me, that's worth something...But if you're on a budget, then a brand like BTLOS might make sense. Lots of people are happy with them. But at the current sale price, I know what I would do.

By the way: if you buy the Rovals, have a set of tubeless valves handy; the set that they send with the wheels are some sort of bad joke -- they don't hold air at all.

If you've got any Qs about the Roval wheels, let me know.
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Old 01-25-23, 12:02 PM
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I have the bontrager comp to the rovals. bontrager 25mm internal width is nice for making fat tires. Only downside to them the 108 pt engagement does seem to add extra drag at 35+ MPH, even at over 200lbs its hard to get over 40 on these wheel where my road bike will be 50 on the brakes. Under those speed limits, the hubs are fantastic and has held up great up to 50c WTB venture tires and 32c road slicks

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/e...wheel/p/27195/

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Old 01-25-23, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Real world experience here:
Thank you for your valuable feedback based on real life experience.

Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
I bought the Terra CL wheelset about six weeks ago at full price. Sadly, I'm now outside of the return window; happily, I find the wheels to be good value even at $1750.
Does not hurt to try calling Specialized or the dealer for a courtesy price match.

Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
At that price point, competitors tend to have bladed spokes (better) and proprietary hubs (worse in my estimation -- the DTS 350s are rock-solid reliable and any shop in the world is familiar with them), and most have hookless rims (worse in my estimation, but I'm a slow adopter. They're probably fine and may even be preferable at low psi with wide tires). For me, the selling point is that the rims are identical to those used on Roval's (recently-discontinued) top-level gravel wheelset, which sold for $2500...So, those rims should be light and strong.
This pretty much sums up my thought process as well while researching these wheels vs. others up to the same price point. I am also a late adopter; these wheels are for a gravel bike bought at the end of last year, which is my first bike with disc brakes or tubeless wheels.

Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
I suspect that they are blowing out these wheels at a great price because they are about to be discontinued and replaced with a version that has hookless rims, since that's where the industry is going. So that could be a deciding factor.
Just in case, I placed an order ASAP upon reading this.

Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
As ​​​mstateglfr has explained, you can go with internet brands and get nearly the same specs (but with the rims being an unknown) for a LOT less money; with Roval/Specialized, you're basically paying more money for the the name brand, which has value. As a very large brand with a reputation to protect, they have reason to produce high-quality rims and to put everything together very nicely, and they will back it up with a huge dealer network. For me, that's worth something...But if you're on a budget, then a brand like BTLOS might make sense. Lots of people are happy with them. But at the current sale price, I know what I would do.
On Light Bicycle's website, a Falcon Pro wheelset works out to be $1,000 + shipping, so for the difference I went ahead with the Roval Terra CL.

Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
By the way: if you buy the Rovals, have a set of tubeless valves handy; the set that they send with the wheels are some sort of bad joke -- they don't hold air at all.
Which valves do you use on these wheels? I know nothing about tubeless. On my gravel bike, the tubeless tires came with tubes and a bottle of Stan's.
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Old 01-25-23, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
Which valves do you use on these wheels? I know nothing about tubeless. On my gravel bike, the tubeless tires came with tubes and a bottle of Stan's.
Just get some decent brass valves from Stan's or WTB - something like that. They'll be fine. I recommend that you don't even bother trying the valves that come with your wheels -- from the reviews I've read, others have had the same issue I had. If you try them, you'll likely just have to unseat the tire bead and swap 'em out anyway.

btw, when I mounted tires to these wheels, I was able to seat the beads with just a floor pump. Very convenient.

Enjoy your new wheels!
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Old 01-25-23, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
Does not hurt to try calling Specialized or the dealer for a courtesy price match.es and a bottle of Stan's.
Okay, dude, I owe you one. I had no intention of trying this, since I bought the wheels about seven weeks ago, and their return window is 30 days. But after reading your suggestion, I gave them a call. CS guy said they don't normally do this, don't expect it again, but we'll do it for you this time. You saved me $438+tax.

Thanks for the great idea!
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Old 01-25-23, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Okay, dude, I owe you one. I had no intention of trying this, since I bought the wheels about seven weeks ago, and their return window is 30 days. But after reading your suggestion, I gave them a call. CS guy said they don't normally do this, don't expect it again, but we'll do it for you this time. You saved me $438+tax.

Thanks for the great idea!
Very glad to hear this!
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Old 01-26-23, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
I have the bontrager comp to the rovals. bontrager 25mm internal width is nice for making fat tires. Only downside to them the 108 pt engagement does seem to add extra drag at 35+ MPH, even at over 200lbs its hard to get over 40 on these wheel where my road bike will be 50 on the brakes. Under those speed limits, the hubs are fantastic and has held up great up to 50c WTB venture tires and 32c road slicks
You are 10mph slower because the drag of these wheels? That would be a shockingly high amount of drag.
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Old 01-26-23, 09:04 AM
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I'd put Zipp 303S on your shopping list, though at $1300 the Terra CL's are a little lighter (1400 vs 1500 g) and wider (25mm vs 23mm internal).
The Zipps are deeper - 45mm - though if you're running gravel tires on them I'm not sure the aero difference is probably a factor. The Zipps make good road wheels as well.
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Old 01-26-23, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
I'd put Zipp 303S on your shopping list, though at $1300 the Terra CL's are a little lighter (1400 vs 1500 g) and wider (25mm vs 23mm internal).
The Zipps are deeper - 45mm - though if you're running gravel tires on them I'm not sure the aero difference is probably a factor. The Zipps make good road wheels as well.
The actual weight difference is > 100 g, closer to 150 g, because Roval includes rim tape and valve in its stated weight, while Zipp does not. As you said, for gravel I prioritized weight reduction over aero. Also, I have had straight pull wheels since I started road biking (until the stock wheels on my gravel bike) and J-bend spokes just look odd to me.
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Old 01-26-23, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Just get some decent brass valves from Stan's or WTB - something like that. They'll be fine. I recommend that you don't even bother trying the valves that come with your wheels -- from the reviews I've read, others have had the same issue I had. If you try them, you'll likely just have to unseat the tire bead and swap 'em out anyway.

btw, when I mounted tires to these wheels, I was able to seat the beads with just a floor pump. Very convenient.

Enjoy your new wheels!
Thanks. I have read the same so I won't bother trying the Specialized ones. I found the pair that came with my 45 mm tall FFWD wheels, but they seem a little long. I will give those a stab, but if they do not work out, how are the colorful Muc Off ones?
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Old 01-26-23, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
Thanks. I have read the same so I won't bother trying the Specialized ones. I found the pair that came with my 45 mm tall FFWD wheels, but they seem a little long. I will give those a stab, but if they do not work out, how are the colorful Muc Off ones?
I haven't tried those...But my sense (from limited experience) is that any good brass valves should be fine. The pair that will come with your wheels seem a bit plastic-y, definitely light and flimsy.

Once you have the tires set up tubeless, at some point you should buy a pack of valve cores -- like these. You'll find that the cores will occasionally get a bit clogged with sealant (it'll seem tougher to pump them up) and need to be replaced. It's just routine maintenance. I probably do it every several months when I am checking and topping off sealant levels.
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Old 01-26-23, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
I'd put Zipp 303S on your shopping list, though at $1300 the Terra CL's are a little lighter (1400 vs 1500 g) and wider (25mm vs 23mm internal).
The Zipps are deeper - 45mm - though if you're running gravel tires on them I'm not sure the aero difference is probably a factor. The Zipps make good road wheels as well.
I considered those, and also the 303 Firecrest, which is designed more specifically for gravel. But I'm much more comfortable with the DT Swiss hubs than Zipp's proprietary design. There are some anecdotal reports of problems with the 303 Firecrest hubs.

Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
The actual weight difference is > 100 g, closer to 150 g, because Roval includes rim tape and valve in its stated weight, while Zipp does not. As you said, for gravel I prioritized weight reduction over aero. Also, I have had straight pull wheels since I started road biking (until the stock wheels on my gravel bike) and J-bend spokes just look odd to me.
The straight pull spokes are much less likely to de-tension initially, and hence much less likely to need a truing after the first few hundred miles...Though they do pose more of a challenge for an LBS that might eventually need to true them or replace a spoke, since the spokes are round and hence prone to twisting. A mechanic needs to know what she's doing.

As far as weight goes: My Terra CL wheels were spot-on: I weighed them AFTER putting on better valves, which are marginally heavier than the stock (worthless) valves, and they were 1410g for the wheelset.
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Old 01-26-23, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
You are 10mph slower because the drag of these wheels? That would be a shockingly high amount of drag.
32c specialized Roubaix road tubeless tires. theory not much drag, but does feel like hub is at it's limit at those wheel RPM freewheeling. It's pretty consistent feeling no matter what hill I'm on...sadly

I need to take them back to trek store to get looked at for service or replacement.
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Old 01-27-23, 08:53 AM
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On the hub drag topic, I have noticed some freehubs feel a little more draggy when new. Not necessarily related to the points of engagement, etc.
The stock wheels that came on my last Cannondale bike (Formula hubs) had a very draggy freehub when new, to the point where the crankset would slowly keep turning on it's own at speed if I spun it up and let it freewheel. This went away after a few hundred miles.
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Old 01-28-23, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
I considered those, and also the 303 Firecrest, which is designed more specifically for gravel. But I'm much more comfortable with the DT Swiss hubs than Zipp's proprietary design. There are some anecdotal reports of problems with the 303 Firecrest.
Iíve had some minor issues with my 303 hubs, mostly that the freehub comes off VERY easily and causes a mad search for pawls.

Iím happy with them though. I also have some 24IW 32mm Reserve wheels that came stock on the Aspero- theyíve been bombproof but are a little heavy w. DT 370 hubs
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Old 01-28-23, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by phrantic09 View Post
Iíve had some minor issues with my 303 hubs, mostly that the freehub comes off VERY easily and causes a mad search for pawls.
The DT hubs do that, too. Others as well, I think.
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Old 01-29-23, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
The DT hubs do that, too. Others as well, I think.
They do- but nothing like the Zipps. The Zipp hub if you look at it wrong the driver body comes off.
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