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Roval claims new Rapide C38 wheels outperform some deep aero rims

The new wheels are aimed at both road and gravel bikes and cost £1,150

Roval has released a more budget-friendly and shallower version of its Rapide wheelset that is aimed at all-round bikes like the Specialized Roubaix. The Rapide C38 uses the carbon rim from the C38 wheelset which has a 21mm internal rim width to support wider road and also gravel tyres, while it's claimed that a new DT Swiss hub brings dependable performance. They’re tubeless-ready too.

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While deep-section race wheels like the Roval Rapide CLX are very fun to ride thanks to their speed, pro racers and normal riders will often turn to a shallower rim for everyday riding. This is partly to save those speedy wheels for race day, and partly because shallower wheels are less of a handful to ride in the wind.

Roval Rapide C38-5

Roval says that the Rapide C38 wheels are the ideal training choice for racers, while also being a performance upgrade that is within reach financially for a lot of riders.

The Rapide C38 combines a mid-depth 38mm deep rim, that is 21mm wide internally to better fit wider tyres, with DT Swiss’ new 370 hubs to create what Roval says is the ideal wheelset for everything from long dirt roads to summiting high alpine ranges.


Roval Rapide C38-3

Owners of the original C38 wheelset will be familiar with the rim that Roval is using for the Rapide C38. The carbon clincher rim is 21mm internally, tubeless-ready and Roval says that it is capable of supporting both road and gravel tyres.

While Roval describes the C38 rim as “sensibly aerodynamic,” it also says that the Rapide C38 will “aerodynamically outperform many deeper, aero-specific rims.”


Roval Rapide C38-1

Interestingly, the wheels are spinning on a new set of hubs from DT Swiss. The 370 looks like it's been designed specifically for disc brakes, featuring a centrelock mounting for the disc rotor. Internally, an 18-tooth ratchet ring provides an engagement rate of 20º for “lightning-fast engagement.”

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Like DT Swiss’ other more budget-friendly hubs such as the 350, the 370 uses J-bend spokes which, for the Rapide C38, come in the form of DT Swiss Competition Race spokes. In a move that will please many wheel builders, the spokes also have brass Pro Lock nipples.

While slightly heavier than aluminium nipples, brass nipples are much better for longevity as they are far less susceptible to corrosion, therefore coping better with wet weather and repeated washing.

Roval Rapide C38-4

The hubs are compatible with 100x12mm & 142x12mm thru-axles and feature sealed cartridge bearings. Roval claims a weight of 1560g for the set, or 1600g with tubeless tape installed.

The Rapide C38 wheels cost £1,150 and are available now. A set is on its way to towers as we speak, so watch out for a review on the site soon...

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philhubbard | 3 years ago

I was quite looking forward to these, seems a shame that in the US they are $1000, so there is a £480 premium for the UK on todays exchange rate or you can see it as 40% more expensive than in the US

Joe Totale | 3 years ago
1 like

For a shade under £900 from Spokesman I got some wheels with basically the same rims, much better hubs from Erase and CX Rays. That meant they weigh over 200 grams less than these more expensive wheels and will come with a better guarantee.

Rapha Nadal replied to Joe Totale | 3 years ago

Is there a better guarantee than lifetime warranty and no-fault crash replacement?  Probably not tbf. 

Joe Totale replied to Rapha Nadal | 3 years ago

That is good TBF.
I think the best one I've seen is from the Cycle Clinic who will even retrue the wheels for free.

check12 | 3 years ago
1 like

"While Roval describes the C38 rim as “sensibly aerodynamic,” it also says that the Rapide C38 will “aerodynamically outperform many deeper, aero-specific rims.”"

erm - numbers or that's just marketing BS.


Liam Cahill replied to check12 | 3 years ago
1 like

If there were numbers I'd have included them

mdavidford replied to Liam Cahill | 3 years ago

Well arguably you could have included  "...though they did not provide us with any data to quantify this." or similar.

Grahamd | 3 years ago

I was considering the previous version, however having read the Nadsta thread about a catastrophic incident I'll be looking to see something significant to restore my confidence in the brand.

Surreyrider | 3 years ago

No mention of how much they weigh...

herewardthefake replied to Surreyrider | 3 years ago

Last version was around 1650g. Can't see that changing much. 

Rapha Nadal replied to Surreyrider | 3 years ago
1 like

1,600g apparently.  Here's an article that reads less like a copy & pasted press release:

Liam Cahill replied to Rapha Nadal | 3 years ago
1 like

Apologies for missing the weight. I've amended.

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