Roval goes wider with new Control SL Team wheelset

Roval SL Team wheels
Roval's latest XC carbon rims are 4mm wider than before (image credit: Roval) (Image credit: Roval)

Roval has revealed a new version of its premium XC mountain bike wheels

Branded as the Control SL Team issue, these wheels feature a significant number of new design details and mechanical upgrades.

Engineers and marketing analysts at Roval have responded to trends and market demands, realising that wider rims were being desired by most XC riders. Where the traditional threshold for internal diameter rim width was 25mm, the current trends are towards 29mm, creating a more stable platform for tyres to structure around, when inflated.

Responding to these requirements, the Roval Control SL Team issue wheelset features a 29mm internal diameter rim, which has grown from 25mm. This wider rim ensures optimal tyre profile shaping and superior traction, especially during high-load cornering.  

With the increase in width, Roval engineers also reshaped the rim lips, giving them more surface area. The design logic behind this change was to create a larger area, better managing force dispersion, thereby avoiding pinch flats in rocky and rooty terrain.

According to Roval’s own testing, the reprofiled Control SL Team issue rim has 22 per cent greater pinch-flat resistance than its predecessor.

Carbon-fibre rims are generally desired for their low weight, but with skilful fibre-orientation and construction, there are also ride-quality and steering accuracy gains to be had. Roval’s composite team have managed to create rims which are laterally stiff, delivering excellent steering input responsiveness, whilst having great vertical compliance too, absorbing trail buzz.

Although the Control SL Team issue wheelset weights a mere 1,240g, its new construction has 29 per cent superior impact resistance.

Spinning on the latest DT Swiss hub technology, Roval hub shells attach 24 straight-pull spokes, to reduce overall weight. Internal mechanics are provided by a 54T DT Swiss EXP star ratchet system, which features low frictional drag, impeccable engagement speeds and proven durability.

Larger and lighter, the 2021 Control SL Team issue wheelset has the weight classification to appease even those most obsessive XC gram-counter. Its wider profile will also appeal to those XC riders who aren’t shy to venture down more technical trails, or mountain bikers keen on trying wider 2.4in tyres, on a lightweight rim.

Roval is marketing its Control SL Team issue wheelset at $2,650.

Lance Branquinho
Freelance writer

Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born journalist who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. As well as Bike Perfect, Lance has written for, and Cycling News.