Specialized has updated its Roval Traverse range, releasing three wheelsets aimed at trail riding to enduro racing. The new wheels include the carbon Traverse SL II and Traverse HD, plus a more affordable Traverse Alloy.
The wheelsets come in either full 29er, or as a 29 front 27.5 rear, Specialized says they won't be offering a 27.5in front wheel as the industry is moving towards 29er or mullet setups.
While Specialized are confident they have built the best mountain bike wheels, they have also updated the Roval warranty which now includes a lifetime warranty and a '**it Happens' No Fault Crash Replacement on all Roval wheels.
Roval Traverse SL II 240/350
The Roval Traverse SL II is the lightest of the new Roval wheels and is aimed at trail riding. It's not just about low weight though, the front and rear-specific rims are also said to be stronger by 15 percent at the front and 25 percent at the rear than the previous Traverse SL. Not only are they tougher, but vertical compliance has also been enhanced by a claimed 21 percent. That should help them be more comfortable and aid traction as well.
The 30mm internal diameter is sandwiched between the new 'Flat Top' bead profile which increases the beadhook size from 2.7mm to 5mm. The increased surface area is claimed to require 85 percent more force to pinch flat compared to a standard round bead.
Built up with 28 DT Aerolite spokes the Traverse SL II weighs in at a claimed 1645g (including valves, and tape) with DT Swiss 240 hubs, although you can also spec cheaper 350 hubs and save $800 / £475.
Roval Traverse HD 240/350
Aimed at enduro, park and all-mountain riding, the Roval Traverse HD is said to be the strongest trail wheel they have made. Again front and rear-specific rims offer different ride qualities with more compliance on the front and increased stiffness at the rear.
The Traverse HD also features the larger 'Flat Top' bead profile and 28 DT Aerolite spoke build which means it only weighs 61g more, tipping the scale at 1,706g with a DT Swiss 240 EXP hub, valves, and tape. Traverse HD rims are also available with DT Swiss 350 hubs as well.
Roval Traverse Alloy 350
Lastly, there is the Traverse Alloy wheelset which offers a budget option for trail, enduro, and bike park shredders. The rim is made from 6013 alloy and shot peened for improved impact and fatigue strength. The rim itself measures 30mm internally and has an internally canted bead shape which is said to hold the tire more securely during impacts.
The wheels are built around DT Swiss 350 hubs and 28 Sapim spokes with Sapim alloy nipples. The claimed weight for the Traverse Alloy 29 wheelset is 1,904g (with valve and tape).
All three wheels have a rider weight limit of 125kg / 275lbs. Specialized also says that all the wheels are suitable for use on e-MTBs, although they recommend a Traverse HD on the rear for better impact resistance.
Roval ThreadBed Valve
We are seeing many brands coming up with new Presta valve designs that are better suited to run with tubeless tire setups. While most of the best tubeless valves are designed to get more air into the tire to help set up, Roval has aimed to solve a different issue.
Their ThreadBed valve screws directly into the inside of the rim, removing the need for locking nuts and eliminating air loss when the rim flexes. The ThreadBed valve features on the Traverse SL II and Traverse HD wheels, but not the Traverse Alloy.
The ThreadBed-compatible carbon rims can still be run with standard tubeless or Presta valves if needed and the ThreadBed valves are compatible with tire inserts too.
Lifetime warranty and '**it Happens' No Fault Crash Replacement policy
Roval now back their products with a lifetime warranty and a No Fault Crash Replacement Policy for the original purchaser, as well as covering subsequent owners for two years from purchase.
The '**it Happens' No Fault Crash Replacement Policy ensures repair or replacement for any damage caused by riding within the first two years of ownership, covering both products that come on complete bikes and aftermarket products purchased after 1st July 2023.
On top of that there is also the Assisted Replacement Policy which extends after the two-year '**it Happens' policy. That means Roval will offer a replacement or repair at a discounted price if the damage isn't covered by the warranty and the '**it Happens' policy has expired. Assisted replacement is available up to five years from the date of original purchase. The Assisted Replacement Pricing structure is as follows:
- Under 3 years = 35 percent off
- Over 3 years & under 4 years = 25 percent off
- Over 4 years & under 5 years = 20 percent off
Availability and pricing
The Traverse range starts at $850 / £760 for the Traverse Alloy wheelset, the Traverse SL II and HD with DT Swiss 350 hubs will retail for $1,500 / £1,525 and the top of the range Traverse SL II and HD with DT Swiss 240 hubs cost $2,300 / £2,000. US pricing TBC.
For more details on the new Traverse wheelsets or the '**it Happens' No Fault Crash Replacement Policy, head over to Specialized.com.
We have a set of Roval Traverse SL II wheels in to test so expect a full review soon.