05 Nov 2012

The Specialized Roval wheel program is monumental; there are wheels for every flavour of riding and budget, with alloy and carbon versions available in their Control (cross country), Control Trail (trail riding) and Traverse (all-mountain / gravity) wheels.

It’s in the area of carbon rims that Specialized are leading the pack. No other large scale bike brand has branched out into world of carbon rims in like Specialized. Even their hard hitting S-Works Enduro will come stock with carbon hoops in 2013.

More recently, Specialized have pushed the realms of mountain bike rim technology with the unveiling of a new ‘hookless’ carbon rim. Simply put, the rim does not have the traditional bead hook arrangement, an element that has been assumed as vital in holding the tyre on in the past.

Does the tyre stay put? Apparently so. Specialized claim that even at pressures far below usual operating range (sub 20psi) and under extreme cornering forces, they have had no instances of tyres rolling off the rim.

The unconventional approach of a hookless rim has many benefits: the rim sidewalls can be made stronger (as the rim wall can be kept one thickness throughout), lighter and far more cheaply.

Watch the video below for more, then jump below to hear our thoughts.