MSRP: $595 Weight: ~1775 grams Pros: relatively light weight, modular design, traditional spokes, great price, easy set-up Cons: slightly flexy at times
I’ll start off by saying I bought these for my personal set of wheels. I see a lot of wheels come and a lot of wheels go. At the end of the day, this is the set that I chose to keep. For me, it was everything that I need in a wheelset. They’re the perfect balance of light, stiff, tough, and the price is just right. To me, you can’t find a better bang for your buck.
We reviewed the a prototype set of wheels from Specialized not to long ago that they call the Control Carbon 29. Specialized found a way to do a tubeless carbon rim with no bead lock. It put carbon rims into a price point that has never existed before. Although they managed to get the wheelset $1000 less than their competition’s, they’re still on the expensive side, especially for an everyday set of wheels. The difference in weight between the Stan’s Arch EXs and the Rovals was negligible. We’re talking less than 1 ounce difference, and about $600 cheaper. Putting them at just under $600. Watch for them to go on sale at your favorite LBS, and you can pick up a SET for about 5 benjamins.
While I’ve ridden stiffer wheels, these will do just fine. In some situations, a little flex is a good thing. Keep in mind, I’m a bigger guy. If you weigh 180 lbs. or less, you’ll probably never notice.
They use traditional j-bend spokes and traditional nipples, so no need to worry about bringing extra spokes with you on trips. Just about any bike shop will stock spokes to get you going again.
Another HUGE feature, is the modular design of the hubs. Meaning, they make tons of adapters for both the front and rear to fit any bike. On the front, you can choose from standard QR, 9×100 thru, 20mm thru, and 15mm thru axle. On the rear, you can choose from standard QR, 10×135 thru, 12×135 thru, and 12×143 thru. They even make a freehub body for the new SRAM XX1 group.
Setting these up as tubeless had to be the easiest I’ve ever done. I’m pretty sure you could set these up without an air compressor.
All of these factors make these wheels my favorite wheelset on the market.