Rims and hubs are purpose defined and designed specifically to work in concert with each other and the spokes. This helps minimize weight and at the same time optimize strength and durability. For example, by designing the hub and optimizing the spoke count, we know the exact angle and location that each spoke will interface with the rim. This enables us to lay-up the rim with reinforcement precisely where the spoke nipples will be, and then to drill the spoke holes at precisely the angle that they will intersect with the rim. There is no wasted material, and stress points that can be caused by generic components are eliminated.
Starting from a blank screen, every Roval component from hub to rim to complete wheel assembly is first rendered as a “solid model.” Advanced computer modeling software allows us to optimize the materials and geometry of each wheel component. Finite Element Analysis simulates loads and stresses, enabling our engineers to rapidly refine and optimize their designs before they ever exist in physical form.
Using a combination of advanced CNC mills and old-school craft, the prototyping begins here. Hubs are whittled out from solid billet stock, and the molds that will be used to form the rims are machined into shape.
Carbon fiber is placed into the molds in strategic sequence. This is known as the layup, and the “layup schedule” that gets generated here will ultimately be the guide used when the wheels reach the production stage. The layup schedule is part hard number crunching, and part black art. An initial layup schedule is developed and a prototype built and tested. Based on the test results, another layup schedule is developed and tested. This process continues until we arrive at the optimal layup schedule.
From prototype to production, every wheel gets assembled by hand. There is no substitute for the experience and meticulous attention to detail that a human being brings to the craft of wheel building.
We are so committed to furthering the development of our wheels that we built our own wind tunnel. No other wheel manufacturer can say that. This allows us to validate our CFD process, and enables us to test wheels mounted on real bikes, with real tires, in real-world conditions at various yaw angles. We then refine the design using the data we glean from the wind tunnel.
Design. Prototype. Test. Test again. Test in the real-world. Every step of the design and prototyping process leads to this. We draw from a deep pool of critical and talented riders around the globe, who punish our work in all conditions, who make it their mission to sniff out weaknesses and expose them. Sometimes they send us back to the drawing board, and we thank them every time.
Thousands of hours of punishing lab testing—simulating exaggerated real world forces – generates relevant data regarding strength, stiffness, weight, and other critical measures. We compare the test data to all the relevant wheels we’ve made in the past, and to every respected wheel in the market. This ensures that our wheel i snot only up to the task it was designed for, but that it will also advance your ride.
The best riders in the world are often the hardest to please. Their continual feedback from prototype through production enables us to perpetually improve the performance of our products. The victories they have racked up on- and off-road at World Championships, World Cups, Olympic games and Spring Classics are the ultimate proof of concept.