Welcome to the Roval blog. This blog exists to talk about aspects of our brand beyond the standard glossy catalog photos. It is a place where we want to explore what motivates us, and how that applies to you. Here is where we can get gritty, dig around behind the photos of riders with arms raised aloft in victory, sidestep past the spec sheets, and bite into the juicy storymeat of context, knowledge and texture.
Wheels are more than just the latest rim material, a fistful of spokes and some pretty hubs. Bicycles are not just assemblies of disparate components. Every part of every bike, down to every spoke and nipple, serves a specific, carefully designed purpose. The process from drawing board to finished product is made up of people. Cyclists born and bred, our team is obsessive about riding, and about how to make riding better. They are committed to improving your ride. So, we want to use this space to talk about our engineers and our testers and our riders, to give them a voice and get behind their (and our) thinking when it comes to what constitutes a better mousetrap, to better illustrate how they go about making your ride better. That’s what we mean by context.
Roval, the brand, has a long and wildly varied history. Founded in France back in the 1970s by Claude Lanhauer, Roval pioneered many principles widely employed in bicycle wheel design today. Bladed spokes? Aero rims? System-based hubs? Radial non-drive spoke lacing? We’ve been looking at different ways to make wheels better for a very long time. Our engineers are already working to improve the wheels that we so proudly just launched. They do this not out of a need to sell more product, but because they believe that better equipment leads to a more enjoyable ride. These people possess a whole pile of brains; they are an immensely talented, driven, imaginative, and ceaselessly restless bunch. But we’ve never really pulled back the curtain and introduced them. Never talked much about what motivates them, where they draw their inspiration from, what they dream about, how they think. And this matters. We want to tell the stories that they are living on the other side of the product development cycle. Along the way, we want to tap their great big brains for hacks and tips and tricks to making the ride better. We want to share their knowledge.
Then there’s texture. Texture ties knowledge and context to our senses. It fills in and illuminates the spaces around where we came from, where we are now, where we want to go, what we make, why we make it and how we make it. A glossy catalog of beautiful wheels needs not just context, but texture. It needs the hiss of pavement as you lean into a downhill apex. It needs the thump of a cleanly stuck landing and the hanging thread of dust from a trail well ripped. It needs sweat, dirt, and the smell of your favorite chain lube. It needs victories, and it needs some failures.
Our watchwords at Roval are “true to the ride.” Here, in this blog, we want to anchor our product to these words. We are true to the ride. We want to make your ride better. And this is where we want to tie our products to this ethos. Through wind and pissing rain, in blazing summer heat, the climbs, the descents, the potholes, the rock gardens, the glass-smooth fresh tarmac, the chocolate loamy singletrack, the crashes, the stuck on the side of the trail beating a wheel back into shape against the ground, we are true to the ride. So, get on our wheel; let’s tell some stories.