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  1. #1
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    Roval Traverse SL carbon all-mountain wheelset - first impressions

    Just got my Roval Traverse SL carbon all-mountain wheelset from Specialized. Claimed weight is 1500 grams for the set. Here are my actual weights, with 2Bliss ready rim strip and valve stems installed. Wheels are set up 20mm thru-axle front, and 12x135 thru-axle rear. Weighed with a Park DS-2 digital scale.

    Front: 716 grams
    Rear with standard freehub body: 805 grams
    Rear with XX1 XD-compatible freehub body: 794 grams

    Set with standard freehub body: 1521 grams
    Set with XX1 XD-compatible freehub body: 1510 grams

    So they come in very close to the claimed weight.

    I haven't ridden the wheels yet, but so far I'm impressed. At $1650 they are a whole lot less expensive than the Haven or Enve all mountain wheelsets at a similar weight. Internal width is 22mm, versus the Haven at 21mm and the Enve AM at 24mm. And the rear hub uses DT 240s internals (with the 36 tooth ratchet), so it should be bulletproof and easily maintainable. Plus it is XX1-ready with the DT Swiss XX1 freehub body, and is convertible to any axle configuration supported by the DT 240s. E.g. Specialized does not directly support 12x135 thru-axle, just 12x142, but the DT Swiss 12x135 end caps just popped right on.

    This is my first carbon wheelset, and I'm losing 314 grams (11.1 ounces, .69 lbs) over my old wheelset with Ibis-branded Joytech hubs and Stan's Flow rims. Hoping to see a big difference in the feel of the bike. Will report back after I have some time on the rims.

  2. #2
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    My set just came. I did not weigh them as I have found Speciailed wheel weight pretty close in the past, but I am happy they are again accurate. I just set them up tubeless with the front being Schwalbe Hans Dampf. Very easy set up, but I will say I used an air compressor, simply because I have it available. I used soapy water on the bead and bead pop was distinct and they seal immediately with one scoop of Stan's. Schwalbe tires have always set up easily for me in the past. Now on he rear I used a Specialized Eskar 2bliss armadillo elite. This tire was very difficult to get on the rim and then I broke two tire lever trying to get it off. Once on, this tire seal up quickly and I used 1.5 scoops of Stan's because history has taught me that Specialized tire are a little more porous than the Schwalbe. The reason I put the rear tire on and then had to take it off was I generally like to set the rim tape with a tube for a good seal. I did not do this to the front rim and it seal up perfectly. So from the factory, the rim tape is installed ready to go. The valves do have removable cores, but they both needed a little Stan's to seal. I think the Stan's universal stems are better, but I am not sure it would have mattered, it could be the way Specialized actually cut the tape around the valve stem hole.

    All in all the wheels look great, definitely light and the DT based hubs work perfectly. I have mine set up with XX1 and will be finishing my Mojo HD XX1 build today. I have used Roval Control Trail SL wheels for a year and they are stiff and light. I have mine custom built Chris King hubs. I also ran the original Roval Traversee (aluminum rim) wheels and those were great. Some of the Specialized high end Roval have had issues with spoke breakage by some and this is due to the use of the lightweight triple butted DT spokes. I have not had this issue because I built that custom built set with standard double butted DT spokes and even with the original Traversee with 28r/24f spokes I was fine. These wheels have 32 spokes so I hope this won't be a problem.
    Last edited by bpd131; 07-16-2013 at 01:09 PM.

  3. #3
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    trench--any update on how those Roval's are working for you on your HD?
    I'm always looking for new people to ride with. If you are on the Front Range, shoot me a PM and let's go ridin'.

  4. #4
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    I have a set of 26" Traverse SL's on my Blur LTc and love them so much!

    I feel quote lucky as they are not for general sale in the UK but the Concept store did me a deal on some ones the distributor had for warranties for anyone who owned a S-Works Enduro.

    I moved from a set of 2003 (I know) Mavic Crossmax and they are like chalk and cheese. Much lighter, noticeably stiffer and the wide rim holds the 2.2 and 2.3 tyres I use so nicely that fast cornering has become a joy.

    If you are in the market for some new wheels and want some reasonably (for carbon) priced look no further. They're not even marked with Specialized branding which I liked a lot

  5. #5
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    I recently fitted a set of Traverse SL 29's to my Salsa Horsethief (120mm travel FS).

    As with milfredo above, I was lucky to get a set, as they're not readily available in the UK - spotted 'em on offer in one of the Spesh Concept stores.

    First impression was the stiffness of the wheels. They're easily on a par with the Hope Pro 2/ZTR Flow rimmed wheels that I was running, and noticeably stiffer than the Arch EX rims that I have previously run on the bike. The steering precision is great with a 34mm leg fork.

    However, after only about 6 rides, all is not well I noticed the spokes pinging in the rear wheel quite a lot, and initially put it down to the wheel bedding in; it has improved, but I'm still thinking it could probably do with the tensions checking. Then, this afternoon, one of the spokes in the front wheel broke at the point where the nipple is screwed on.

    So, TBH, I'm not too impressed for what is meant to be an 'all-mountain/enduro' wheel. I'm beginning to wish I'd have gone with a custom build from the local wheelbuilder.

    FWIW, I weigh 90kg (about 200lbs) in full riding kit and, although I ride some fairly rough trails (see the link to video), I keep my wheels on or fairly close to the ground, and I'm not known for breaking lots of kit.

    p.s. it's not me in the video footage!

    The beast - YouTube

  6. #6

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