28-05-2020 - Mountainbiken, Nieuws

Roval introduceert de nieuwe LTD Control SL wheels

Of de naam van het spel nu worldcup XC-racen is, persoonlijke KOM’s oprapen of backcountry exploratie, het is redelijk om te zeggen dat het spel vandaag de dag anders wordt gespeeld. Lichtgewicht is nog steeds een topprioriteit, maar de eisen die vandaag de dag aan XC-wielen worden gesteld, worden steeds diverser naarmate de rijders zich op nieuw terrein begeven. Elite-niveau XC-races hebben nu een terrein dat een hoge puckerfactor garandeert en de uitrusting tot het uiterste drijft. Moderne XC-fietsen worden ontworpen met een agressievere geometrie en vering, waardoor ze een verleidelijke keuze zijn om snel te gaan in ruw terrein. En rijders zijn overal op zoek naar uitrusting die meer doet dan alleen de zoektocht naar progressie overleven; ze zijn op zoek naar uitrusting die de prestaties die het moderne rijden vereist, verbetert. Om aan deze behoeften te voldoen – om rijders te helpen hun totale potentieel aan XC-races te ontsluiten, om trailrijders in staat te stellen verder en sneller te gaan met minder zorgen over de broosheid – is Specialized er trots op dat ze de nieuwe controlewielen kunnen introduceren. Toonaangevende lichtgewicht. Ongekende kracht en stabiliteit. En een held van een velg die garant staat voor minder pinch flats dan wat je op dit moment rijdt.


Bringing the new Control wheels to life involved a rigorous cross-examination of everything we’ve ever done, and ultimately led us to develop an entirely new wheelset from axle to rim. The new Control is an exercise in radical design, no-holds barred engineering, and state of the art production.

Weight is always going to be a paramount concern when it comes to XC wheels. Every single gram counts when hunting podiums or personal bests. Rotational mass is the enemy of speed; it dulls handling and saps precious watts. Being heavier than other light wheels doesn’t win races. Being the lightest might. At 1240 grams per set, the New Control SL Team Issue is one of the lightest mountain bike wheelsets on the market. It’s also lighter than most road wheelsets.

Durability matters. Having the lightest wheels used to be good enough for bragging rights, no matter how questionable the longevity. Those days are gone. The lightest wheels on the market aren’t worth much if they can’t deliver you to the finish line, or if they leave you stranded miles from the nearest road. Through rigorous prototyping and a grueling series of testing protocols — both in the test lab and in the real world — the new Control delivers a toughness and durability exceeding that of many much heavier all-mountain wheels.

Ride quality is tailored to the demands of modern XC and trail riding. The shape of the new Control rim is carefully designed and laid up to be laterally stiff so that they track with precision, yet vertically compliant enough to deaden trail buzz and deliver a smooth ride. This ensures razor sharp handling without harsh side effects, ultimately reducing rider fatigue and improving lap times.

Pinch protection is something that most people don’t talk about. Meanwhile, the single biggest time loss in XC racing is due to flat tires. So it makes sense that if the goal is getting from point A to point B as fast as humanly possible, then something should be done to reduce the risk of flat tires.

Control SL Team Issue

1240 grams is an obscenely light weight when talking about mountain bike wheelsets, the kind of weight that XC racers dream about. But light weight alone is no longer enough. So, we sweated the details and engineered the new Control SL Team Issue wheels to be sharp handling, smooth riding, extra durable, and less likely to pinchflat your tires, in addition to being some of the lightest weight production wheels on the planet.

No punches were pulled. These wheels use the lightest hubs Roval has ever made, period, along with a rim that has been designed from the ground up to meet the rigors of modern high performance XC riding and racing. This is a very limited production run, carefully hand-built and finished with a special graphic treatment.

Not all heroes wear capes

Take a look at the shape of this rim. 29mm inner width, asymmetrical profile, stepped internal rim bed, 4mm wide flats atop the hookless rim wall. It took SIXTEEN different prototype shapes, and countless hours spent designing, testing, breaking and redesigning, to finally arrive at the rim you see here. It weighs 358 grams, and is stronger than any rim close to that weight.

There’s just enough vertical compliance engineered in to provide a comfortable, true tracking, long lasting ride. And those wider than usual flat tops atop the rim walls? It’ll take 22% more force than the competition to pinch-flat tires with these rims. The new Control wheels are packed with features that help bring out the best in your ride, but these rims are the stars of the show.

Asymmetry begets symmetry

The asymmetric design of the Control rim offers some subtle but important benefits. With the spokes offset to one side of the rim, this allows us to reduce the spoke offset that usually occurs at the hub. In turn, this means we can generate greater bracing angles for the spokes between the hub and rim, while also minimizing the spoke tension differential that often occurs between drive and non-drive side spokes. The end result is a wheel that is stronger, laterally stiffer, more durable, and in the case of the Control, allows us to utilize the same length spoke throughout the whole wheelset.


To build the lightest wheels, you have to consider every single component that goes into those wheels. The hubs on the Control SL Team Issue are a prime example of that detailed scrutiny. They are the lightest Roval hubs ever made. Straight pull spokes use slightly less material than j-bends, so they were used here. The spoke holes are drilled at a precise angle to match the rims directly without any undue stress.

The freehub utilizes DT Swiss’ EXP mechanism; 54t engagement, fewer moving parts than before, less drag, and outboard bearing placement all work to ensure that these wheels deliver strength and durability without any excess flab.


Design. Prototype. Test. Test again. Every step of the Control design and prototyping process leads to this. Control field testing included a deep pool of critical and talented riders around the globe, who punished our work in all conditions, from World Cup races to crushing backcountry miles. They made it their mission to sniff out weaknesses and expose them. Sometimes they sent us back to the drawing board, and we thanked them every time. Control wheels also endured thousands of hours of grueling lab tests—simulating exaggerated real world forces—generating relevant data regarding strength, stiffness, weight, and other critical measures. We compared the test data to all the relevant wheels we’ve made in the past, and to every respected wheel in the market. The result? Control wheels excel in both qualitative and quantitative test results.



Clincher: Hookless Carbon fiber, 2Bliss ready
RIM MATERIALCarbon fiber
RIM WIDTH29mm Internal


FRONT SPOKE PATTERNRadial/Two-cross (2:1)
SPOKE TYPE24 DT Swiss Aerolite spokes
NIPPLE TYPEDT Swiss Pro Lock alloy nipples


FRONT HUBRoval hub shell, DT Swiss Internals, 6-Bolt rotor, sealed ceramic cartridge bearings
REAR HUBRoval CNC-machined alloy body, high-quality DT internals and 54t quick engagement ceramic sealed cartridge bearings


EXTRASNo-fault crash replacement policy. Lifetime warranty

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