Meet the all-new Roval Control wheels

Whether the name of the game is World Cup XC racing, racking up personal KOMs, or bagging peaks and backcountry exploration, it’s fair to say that the game is being played differently these days. Light weight is still a top priority, but the demands on XC wheels today are becoming more diverse as riders venture into new territory.

Elite level XC racing now features terrain that guarantees a high pucker-factor and pushes equipment to its limits. Modern XC bikes are being designed with more aggressive geometry and suspension that makes them an alluring choice for going fast in rough terrain. And riders everywhere are looking for equipment that does more than just survive the quest for progression; they are looking for gear that enhances the performance that modern riding demands.

To meet these needs—to help riders unlock their total potential XC radness, to enable trail riders to go further and faster with fewer concerns about fragility—we are proud to introduce the new Control wheels. Class-leading light weight. Unprecedented strength and stability. And a hero of a rim that guarantees fewer pinch flats than whatever you are currently riding.

(RE)DEFINING THE BREED

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.

Notice the top of the rim wall on the new Control rim. See how it’s wider than usual? We stopped accepting the status quo and decided to do something about pinch flats. That rim top is 4mm wide, and this width and specifically designed shape means that it takes 22% more force to pinch a tire than before. Riders can now ride harder, on lighter tires, at lower pressures, with fewer flats. Beyond any talk of gains made by less rotational weight or improved ride quality, reducing the risk of flat tires GUARANTEES a faster wheel.

Control SL Team Issue

Instant classic, limited edition

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 pinch flat 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.

Control SL

The racer’s edge, a bulletproof featherweight

Packing all the Team Edition features into a more widely accessible wheelset, the Control SL sets a new standard for XC performance. An all new, designed from the ground up, asymmetric rim is laced via equal length straight-pull DT Swiss spokes to the lightest hub Roval has ever made. The result of all this attention to detail and quality is an XC race wheel that excels everywhere from the race course to the backcountry. Its incredibly light weight is matched by above-category toughness and durability, with razor sharp handling and a ride quality that brings out the best in modern mountain bike performance.

Not all heroes wear capes

Control Rim

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.

CONTROL SL / TEAM HUB

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.

TESTING

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.

Control SL Team Issue

Instant classic, limited edition

RIM
RIM TYPEClincher: Hookless Carbon fiber, 2Bliss ready
RIM MATERIALCarbon fiber
RIM WIDTH29mm internal
SPOKE
FRONT SPOKE PATTERNPattern 24, 2-Cross (1:1)
REAR SPOKE PATTERNPattern 24, 2-Cross (1:1)
SPOKE TYPE24 Straight-Pull T-Head DT Swiss Competition Race
NIPPLE TYPEDT Swiss Pro Lock alloy nipples
HUB
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
OTHER
ASSEMBLY METHODHandbuilt
EXTRASLifetime warranty
WEIGHT

(WITH RIM TAPE AND

TUBELESS VALVES)

1248g

 

Control SL

The racer’s edge, a bulletproof featherweight

 

RIM
RIM TYPEClincher: Hookless Carbon fiber, 2Bliss ready
RIM MATERIALCarbon fiber
RIM WIDTH29mm internal
SPOKE
FRONT SPOKE PATTERNLaced Radial/Three-cross (2:1)
REAR SPOKE PATTERNLaced/Three-cross (1:1)
SPOKE TYPE24 DT Swiss Competition Race

spokes

NIPPLE TYPEDT Swiss Pro Lock alloy nipples
HUB
FRONT HUBRoval hub shell, DT Swiss internals, 6-Bolt rotor or Center Lock, sealed cartridge bearings
REAR HUBXD: Roval CNC-machined alloy body, high-quality DT internals and 36t quick engagement ratchet system cassette. XD freehub with 6-Bolt rotor or Shimano Microspline freehub with Centerlock. Sealed cartridge ceramic bearings.
OTHER
ASSEMBLY METHODHandbuilt
EXTRASLifetime warranty
FRONT WEIGHT571g with plugs and valves
REAR WEIGHTXD/Microspline

677g/685g

 

Control Carbon

The Control Carbon combines the exact same rim as our previous (World Championship Winning) Control SL, laced to rugged DT Swiss hubs and dependable J-bend spokes to deliver performance that up to now cost twice as much.

RIM
RIM MATERIALCarbon fiber
RIM WIDTH25mm internal
SPOKE
FRONT SPOKE PATTERNTwo-cross
REAR SPOKE PATTERNTwo-cross
SPOKE COUNTFront/Rear: 28/28
NIPPLE TYPEDT Swiss Brass
SPOKE LENGTHFront Right/Left:

277mm/272mm

 

Rear Drive-Side/Non-Drive:

273mm/274mm

HUB
FRONT HUBDT Swiss 350 Classic, 28h, 15x110mm thru-axle, 6-bolt, includes 15x110mm 19mm OD end caps & 31mm end caps
REAR HUBDT Swiss 350 Classic, 28h, 36t quick engagement ratchet system cassette, 12x148mm, includes SRAM XD freehub
BEARING TYPESealed cartridge
OTHER
ASSEMBLY METHODHandbuilt
EXTRASTubeless valve stems
WHEELSET WEIGHT1610g

 

OUR COMMITMENT

We work obsessively to create wheels that are True to Your Ride, but we don’t stop there. As riders, we know that shit happens, so we have your back with a lifetime warranty and a free no-fault crash replacement policy.

Lifetime Warranty

Roval wheels are warrantied against defects in material and workmanship for lifetime of the original owner.

“ **It Happens” No-Fault Assisted Replacement Policy

If you damage an eligible product while riding and it’s not covered under warranty, we’ll replace or repair it at a discounted price.

For additional details, check out https://www.specialized.com/za/en/warranty