Specialized Roval Fusee SL 25 Wheelset
Specialized has an established name for building cutting edge bicycles in almost every field of cycle sport. Road racing, recreational riding and all flavors of mountain biking are just a few of the areas where Specialized has a finger in the cycling pie. They have also been developing a strong reputation for other bicycle components. Their BB30 carbon crankset, for example, is one of the lightest and stiffest cranksets on the market. Under the name of Roval, Specialized have been quietly increasing their market share while developing an impressive range of performance wheels.
Not just for stock anymore
There was a time when you would really only see Roval wheels on stock Specialized bikes, but they have established themselves as a credible wheel brand in their own right. When it comes time to make that wheel upgrade, they should be considered along with all the other quality wheel manufacturers such as Mavic and Shimano.
The Roval Fusee SL 25 is in the middle of the range at $800. For that money, you should expect a wheelset that is solid, reliable and durable, but nothing that really sets the world on fire. The SL 25s certainly have a workmanlike look. The low flange hubs give the wheels a classic style, although the carbon hub body on the front wheel adds a nice touch of bling.
How do they ride?
This wheelset is pretty much what you’d expect for the money, and maybe a little bit more. At 1495 grams, the SL 25s are surprising light for the price, and the result is a wheel that climbs very well indeed. In the descents, the E5 alloy, low-profile, seamless welded and machined rim had a solid and compliant feel, with excellent and consistent braking characteristics. The DT Aerospeed 1.8mm bladed spokes, as well as looking fantastic, add an extra element of stiffness to the wheels, which felt solid and sure when the time came to lay down some power.
In short, these wheels represent very good value for money. Far from being just a run of the mill training wheelset, or the kind of wheelset you would expect as stock on a mid-priced complete bike, the SL 25s deserve their place among performance components. Light enough to be sprightly in the hills and stiff enough for the full-on sprint, they would be a good choice of all-round wheel to race on, and would be an excellent wheel for fast training rides. With excellent durability – as you’d expect from Specialized – you’ll be able to enjoy them for many, many miles to come. If you need a versatile spare set of wheels, you are looking to upgrade the woefully insufficient stock wheels that you got with your non-Specialized bike, or you need something for that first tentative step into racing, then the Specialized Roval SL25 is an ideal wheelset for you.
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