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  1. #1
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    Angry Roval Wheels pretty much suck

    In 2008 I bought an S-Works Roubaix with a set of the old Roval "Red Star" hubs. Those lasted about 500 miles and the rear hub sent wonky. Since they were less than 1 year old they got sent back to Spec for a look. They repaired the hub, and then less than 200 miles it happened again, this time 30 miles from home and the bike was un-ridable. Next they gave me another set of brand new carbon rims, suppose to have been built by Reynolds. The stupid dealers didn't know to not give rubber brake pads so my LBS switched me to yellow stops. The braking was horrible and LOUD. I then switched to zipp cork but it was too late, the sidewalls were melting and those wheels were done.

    I took back to the store I bought it from, they were a big Spec dealer and they got me 2011 Roval 45's, now with alum braking surface. They road okay, really liked the Reynolds sourced ones better...plus these were on the 2011 SL4 S-Works Tarmac. So ran them for 18 months and then about 3 months ago BANG one of the spokes explodes. Took to the local shop as the original place I bought them didn't have Spec any more. So the LBS did the best they could to fix them, but never 100% true. Then 3 weeks ago as I am riding a nasty cracking noise starts up when I am climbing.

    At that point I was done. Ordered a set of Mavic Kyserium SLS, what a difference. The bike never road this nice with any of those $1500 wheel sets for Junky Roval. So now I figure I can battle with Spec to see if they will back them. They are total jerks saying "abuse" and "way too old" The spokes broke while I was just riding down the street and once it busted they were hosed.

    Why say "Limited Lifetime Warranty" when you wheels are such pieces of junk that we need to cash in on that warranty.

    100% I will never recommend Roval and now I stuck with a pile of junk. I would love to drive down to Morgan Hill and throw them through the corporate headquarters front window, but I guess I don't need to spend a night in Jail.
    Sworker.......

  2. #2
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    Yeah...I had a LBS trying to sell me a set of Roval wheels and talk me out of the ROL wheels I was wanting to buy. I went home and did some reading and it confirmed what I pretty much already knew, few "house brand" wheels are any good. They didnt rate well at all. If you want good wheels, look to a company that specializes in them. I stuck with the ROL decision.

    My only beef...and it is what it is I guess, is that few mid/high end bikes come with wheels worth a crap. It's sucks that when you drop $2-10K on a bike, you pretty much know right out of the gate, you're going to need to replace the stock whhs/tires to really expire cd what the bike can do.

    Oddly enough, the same goes with cars...few come with nice wheels or tires stock.

  3. #3
    Dr. Buzz Killington
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    Quote Originally Posted by Typetwelve View Post
    Yeah...I had a LBS trying to sell me a set of Roval wheels and talk me out of the ROL wheels I was wanting to buy. I went home and did some reading and it confirmed what I pretty much already knew, few "house brand" wheels are any good. They didnt rate well at all. If you want good wheels, look to a company that specializes in them. I stuck with the ROL decision.

    My only beef...and it is what it is I guess, is that few mid/high end bikes come with wheels worth a crap. It's sucks that when you drop $2-10K on a bike, you pretty much know right out of the gate, you're going to need to replace the stock whhs/tires to really expire cd what the bike can do.

    Oddly enough, the same goes with cars...few come with nice wheels or tires stock.
    I was in the same boat. My Scott Foil 15 (MSRP $5000) came with Mavic Cosmic Elites. Gross. Luckily, I bought the bike new on eBay for $2749 because the seller owns a shop and was simply clearing his 2012 inventory, so I got a nice bike for a mid-range price. You'll definitely find that a lot of manufacturers put mediocre wheels on nice bikes because they're more about selling the sizzle and not the steak itself.

    As for cars I think manufacturers are starting to learn. My car's 18" wheels and upgraded suspension were part of a $595 package, which I thought was a pretty good deal from the stock 17's. When I visited the Ford dealership from where I got my car I noticed that every model had some mack-daddy models with rims that you'd previously only find aftermarket.


  4. #4
    Online Wheel Builder
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sworker View Post
    I would love to drive down to Morgan Hill and throw them through the corporate headquarters front window
    Haha I lost it on this one...

    But in all seriousness I'm sorry about your experience. Sounds to me like there was a cascade of mistakes by your dealer, all of which could have been prevented had they not been so negligent.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SauronHimself View Post
    I was in the same boat. My Scott Foil 15 (MSRP $5000) came with Mavic Cosmic Elites. Gross. Luckily, I bought the bike new on eBay for $2749 because the seller owns a shop and was simply clearing his 2012 inventory, so I got a nice bike for a mid-range price. You'll definitely find that a lot of manufacturers put mediocre wheels on nice bikes because they're more about selling the sizzle and not the steak itself.

    As for cars I think manufacturers are starting to learn. My car's 18" wheels and upgraded suspension were part of a $595 package, which I thought was a pretty good deal from the stock 17's. When I visited the Ford dealership from where I got my car I noticed that every model had some mack-daddy models with rims that you'd previously only find aftermarket.

    First off, holy typos on my first post, that's what I get for posting from a phone.

    Second, you're right about car companies and wheels. They're slowly coming around. Go back 20 years ago, most domestic cars came with 15" wheels and "sporty cars" 16". Should would have thought that tiny wheels with giant, flexy sidewalks would handle like crap? Gee.

    Now you're seething 17-20" wheels coming standard and it's a good trend, more wheel (if lightweight) = better handling.

    Now tires...there's still a way to go with that one. I often take the stockers off a car when I first buy it and buy some good tires. Ill save the stockers and put them back on when I trade it. So many stock tires plain suck, if you check out OEM reviews on places like tirerack.com, they rate horribly and are ironic enough, often more costly than far better tires in the same class.

    What really gets my goat are sport car tires. I had a '01 Mustang GT, '03 Cobra, '04 GTO and '08 Mazdaspeed 3...all came with awful tires stock.

  6. #6
    Dr. Buzz Killington
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    My car's stock tires were Michelin Pilot Sport 3's, which are Z-rated summer-only tires that cost $262 apiece at Tire Rack. I switched them out for Michelin MXM4 Primacy all-seasons because the stock ones sucked in snow.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Typetwelve View Post
    First off, holy typos on my first post, that's what I get for posting from a phone.

    Second, you're right about car companies and wheels. They're slowly coming around. Go back 20 years ago, most domestic cars came with 15" wheels and "sporty cars" 16". Should would have thought that tiny wheels with giant, flexy sidewalks would handle like crap? Gee.

    Now you're seething 17-20" wheels coming standard and it's a good trend, more wheel (if lightweight) = better handling.

    Now tires...there's still a way to go with that one. I often take the stockers off a car when I first buy it and buy some good tires. Ill save the stockers and put them back on when I trade it. So many stock tires plain suck, if you check out OEM reviews on places like tirerack.com, they rate horribly and are ironic enough, often more costly than far better tires in the same class.

    What really gets my goat are sport car tires. I had a '01 Mustang GT, '03 Cobra, '04 GTO and '08 Mazdaspeed 3...all came with awful tires stock.
    I hear you on the stock wheels. I remembered my 98 Grand AM came with 15 inch steel rims. I got rid of those and brought some 16 inch polished aluminum American Eagle. My current ride, 08 Mazda 6 came with 17 inch aluminum wheels though the tires were okay(Michelin). But I think it's due to the previous owner not rotating them since the front 2 had more wear that rear 2. For replacement, my LTD recommend I go with Velozza. The thread pattern looks aggressive, thus I went with them.
    Last edited by RoadrunnerLXXI; 05-04-2013 at 05:05 PM. Reason: grammar error
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  8. #8
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    Well the original LBS was at least willing to fight for me with specialized, they now no longer sell Spec at all, so I had to use my local LBS (and these guys are my friends but were not selling road bikes when I bought this s-works bike). They called Specialized and immediately the warranty guy started saying "those are too old, obviously since he broke a spoke he must have abused them etc." The guy was a deal jerk. Now they used to sell tons of Spec but lately the competition in the Bay Area has forced them to carry other brands so Spec isn't paying much attention to them.
    I am thinking of going down to the shop myself and introduce myself as the manager of the bike shop (I can use their account number) so I don't have 2 nearly new trashed rims. What they hell am I going to do with a 2011 set of wheels that I can no longer get in true and has a cracking noise when you climb???????

    that is why that front Spec windows is looking really good, only 50 miles from my house
    Sworker.......

  9. #9
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    I would have been better off with cheap Chinese wheels...oh well, I got a ripping great deal on Mavic Kysrium SLS from my trusted LBS and my Roubaix rides better than it did on any of the 3 sets of Roval carbon wheels.
    Sworker.......

  10. #10
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    Re: Roval Wheels pretty much suck

    I got rid of mine after the fifth broken spoke on the second warranty set. I weigh 170-175.

    Got a custom built set.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SauronHimself View Post
    My car's stock tires were Michelin Pilot Sport 3's, which are Z-rated summer-only tires that cost $262 apiece at Tire Rack. I switched them out for Michelin MXM4 Primacy all-seasons because the stock ones sucked in snow.
    ..and I bet the Primacy MXM4 (would of purchased them for my car, but doesn't have the preferred load rating for 235/40r18) sucks in the snow compared to my snow tires I use for the winter.
    2010 Specialized Secteur Elite upgraded with 32T cassette and does not have Stan's (yet)
    2009 Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29er upgraded with 36T cassette and Stan's Arch EX rims and tubeless. Considering a 1x10 upgrade
    2013 Cannondale CAADX-6 Tiagra upgraded to 32T cassette and Stan's Alpha 400 rims and tubeless
    2008/2009 Burton T6 156cm with Burton Triad Bindings & DC Judge boots

  12. #12
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    Glad that I am not the only one to have an issue with these wheels.
    Sworker.......

  13. #13
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    I only ride on Campy wheels. I even beat up a set of Campys cheapest wheels, Khamsin's, on my Cross bike and after 3 years they have NEVER needed to be trued, still in great shape.

    My Girlfriend has a set of Eurus and I have Shamal Ultra's no issues in the 4 years we've had them.
    You mean you can't use a road bike on a downhill course?

  14. #14
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    Mine worked fine for the first few years. Then I started breaking spokes, and with the Roval proprietary design, that meant I had to take the wheel to a Specilaized dealer so they could order the spoke from Specialized. My wheel would be out of commission for 1-2 weeks at a time. I thought about using the hubs to build a new wheelset after I cracked a rim in a crash, but the design limits you to using the Specilaized Roval rims and spokes.

  15. #15
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    That is what happened with this last set, but I broke the spoke in a place where I had no choice but to ride a few miles to get home. That pretty much ruined the wheel.

    I was going to do the Campy wheels or Mavic, just did the Mavic due to easier availablity of parts and Mavic's direct sale to the LBS with no middleman gave me a smoking good price.
    Sworker.......

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