Issue #029 Review

The Lab: Roval Traverse SL Fattie 29 Review

Our global test team has been pushing products to the very limit on the world’s toughest trails. In The Lab, durability is rewarded and weaknesses have nowhere to hide. This time, we tested the Roval Traverse SL wheels.

If we’re being honest, any performance gains from riding carbon wheels tend to be ruled out when you consider the extra dollar you have to invest. At worst you can destroy the rims within seconds with a faulty line choice or too little tire pressure. Fortunately we’ve found that the Roval Traverse SL wheels have a little something special, which means they’ve not only survived the past 14 months of testing, but the rims have remained true and intact despite a number of punctures. Christoph has been testing the conventional 142 mm model with a Boostinator adaptor in his 148 mm-wide rear hub.

He’s been waxing lyrical about their acceleration and precision–unlike other carbon rims, the Rovals aren’t too stiff to ride. It was easy to mount tubeless tires on the hookless rims, but the tubeless tape did come loose during testing. After the first 12 months were up, Christoph realised that these wheels needed a thorough service as the bearings were wearing out and the spokes needed tensioning. However, Christoph is adamant that if you’re going to go carbon then it should be the Roval. After all, they won’t cost you a kidney, coming with a very fair RRP of € 1,599.


Strengths

  • good mix of stiffness and flex
  • easy to pick up speed
  • lightweight
  • robust

Weaknesse

  • loose spokes
  • worn bearings

Tester: Christoph
Length of testing: 14 months
More info: specialized.com

Price: € 1.599
Weight: Front: 733 g / Rear: 832 g Total: 1.565 g