Thursday, September 27, 2012

Just in: Rol Race SLR wheelset

Last week, the rear American Classic Carbon 58 on the Green Monster cracked a spoke nipple and is out of commission until I can get a new spoke and nipple from AC.  I've been looking for a lighter wheelset for a few months now, but didn't want to spend a fortune.  Based on several recommendations from friends, I decided to head over to Rol Wheels' website to take a look.  Hit the break for the deetz.

I was impressed by the selection, spanning from full carbon wheels to aluminum clinchers.  I was in the market for an all-around training/racing wheel that doesn't lose all the aero advantage of the Carbon 58s but weighs in light enough to respond to fast attacks.  I settled on the Race SLR after watching this review by (now Peloton Magazine) for the Race SL wheelset (the same wheelset with 4 less spokes per wheel, for people who are not as fat as I am).  Kinlin XR-300 rim (30mm deep, 19mm width), Sapim CX-ray spokes (24 front/28 rear), and Rol's own hubs with EZO bearings for a claimed weight of 1565 grams.  Online only for $650.

Before I even got the wheels, I was impressed by Rol's customer service.  I called Sean Lambert, the owner, and left him a message saying I had a questions regarding the wheels.  He emailed saying he was at Interbike, but that he would try to call soon.  And he did!  We had a nice chat about wheel aerodynamics, weight, and strength.  You can tell that Sean is a total "bike guy" and just loves talking bikes, even though I'm sure he had plenty of appointments at Interbike.  It's service like that that builds repeat customers.

They arrived yesterday, and tonight I slapped the cassette and tires over from the American Classics.  One thing's for sure, these are some sharp looking wheels.  They also came with included skewers that feel a little heavy but seem very sturdy and look great including little details like exposed allen screws to hold the handles in place.  They also keep the springs in place on the nuts, very clever little design trick.

Rol skewer side
More Rol front

They also came with very nice feeling Ritchey wheel tape installed.  A small detail, but a nice touch nonetheless.

I'm excited to try them out soon, and will update with my thoughts soon. They're mounted up on the Green Monster and ready for the fast club rides.  I'm hoping that they make closing gaps at 35+ mph easier than with the Ksyriums.

Mounted up on their new home (the red stripes are electrical tape for the valve stems).

Also, coming soon is my discussion on the three sets of wheels I own: Mavic Ksyrium SL, American Classic Carbon 58, and now the Rol Race SLR.  Stay tuned!

Semi-aero, deep aero, or box style?


  1. Hi,

    Whats your thought on ROL Race SLR.


    1. Hi Ray, sorry for the delayed response. I like it a lot. Super stiff, pretty light, and strong enough to ride gravel and dirt. The hubs are magic sauce smooth, and the freehub has a nice sound. The icing on the cake is that Sean (the owner) is really awesome to deal with, and loves bikes. Definitely worth checking out.

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