Wow!! - Great post about roval wheels!! I have a set of them that I have wondered about. This kind of information is the reason to be on the list - neat!
wet and cold N. Canton, Ohio
<BruceCumberland@comcast.net> Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2003 3:33 PM Subject: Re: [CR]Roval Wheels ???
> When I was working around bicycles , in Austin , Texas , around 1983
> or there-abouts . . .
> One of the darker chapters of my "checkered past" occurred when I
> worked for the "North American Distributor" of Roval Wheels . Whole
> wheels were not shipped into the U.S.A . Shipments consisted of fairly
> large numbers of bulk parts , which were then built-up , right there in
> Austin .
> I began by working at the shop which had been building all of the Rovals
> , for the importer . Later I allowed myself to be talked into working
> for the importing business itself . "Jumped from the frying pan , right
> into the fire."
> If I remember correctly , I was around Roval Wheels , in 1983 - 1984
> . And I would guess that they had been an item in Austin for perhaps a
> year and a half or some such , before I began working at that shop . I'm
> certain that those wheels were around in 1983 . I'd guess that they
> might possibly have been around in 1981 .
> I saw many of them . I saw them being built . I saw them being
> trued . I shipped many of them .
> It was all so long ago , and far away . . .
> But , it I remember correctly . . .
> One of the least popular wheel options was a fairly normal amount of
> spokes , 28 spokes , and with the same count front and rear ? Those
> rims were silver colored , instead of black . Were those rims for
> wired-on tires ( "clincher" ) , instead of for sew-up tires ?
> There were I believe there ( 3 ) , fairly standard , common ( for
> Roval anyway ) spoke combinations . But , perhaps there were only two ?
> Charlie listed two of them in his posting .
> Towards the end of my time there , the importer turned away from doing
> much more business with Roval . Perhaps he stopped entirely ? But ,
> as business with Roval was winding down , there was a wheel set , which
> was something of a super-duper wheel-set .
> I know that there were front wheels with only 12 spokes . To go
> along with a 12-spoke front , honestly I can't recall if the rear had 18
> spokes , or fewer . But I know that I held at least one 12-spoke front
> wheel in my own hands .
> I know that the designer of the wheels , in France , seriously wished
> he could work his way down to only 6 spokes in the front wheel . He felt
> that 3 spokes per side , 3 spokes per hub-flange , was the minimum .
> And again , things are a bit vague , but there were some very general
> recommendations about weight . Of course , the weight recommendations
> had been loosely converted from kilograms into pounds . If I recall
> correctly , one of the weight recommendations was at the 175 pound level .
> But , they were not exact recommendations . Also , I could be mistaken
> As with any exotic equipment , especially equipment made some years ago
> , and irreplaceable today , you will want to be careful . My opinion
> would be that 180 pounds , on a pair of 18 - 24 wheels , ridden with
> care , should not be a problem .
> I'm sure you know what happens to the black color on the rims , if you
> use your brakes in the rain .
> The "official" touch-up method , at both the shop where most were
> built , and at the importer , was to use a black felt-tip marker on the
> wheels , before passing the wheels along . The black finish was fairly
> delicate . A black "Marks-A-Lot" or "Magic-Marker" was used to
> touch-up quite a few wheels .
> And finally , my only personal claim to fame !
> Quite a few times , I had seen a great number of the spokes , lying
> about loose , before being built-up into wheels . I wondered why the
> spokes were all very slightly curved , instead of straight . One day I
> thought perhaps I understood ! I looked very closely at the spokes ,
> several of them . The spokes were NOT perfectly oval in cross section .
> Each spoke had a sharp edge , and a blunt edge . Each spoke was actually
> "tear-drop" shaped !! Which of course meant that each spoke should
> properly have a leading edge , and a trailing edge . The obvious
> orientation would be to have the blunt edge leading , like a tear-drop ,
> or like some sort of fairing on an aircraft .
> I pointed this observation out , both to the main wheel-builder , and
> to the importer . Neither one was impressed . They had more than
> enough to worry about , without thinking about the orientation of each
> individual spoke , in each wheel !!!!
> So , there ya go . The very next time that you build-up a Roval
> Wheel , from loose parts , please make sure to use the correct orientation
> , on each and every individual spoke ( after all , there aren't very many
> of them ! ) .
> Raoul Delmare
> Marysville Kansas
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Charles T. Young" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: "Eric Elman" <email@example.com>; <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2003 7:50 PM
> Subject: Re: [CR]Roval Wheels ???
> > There were at least two combinations of Roval wheelsets. I have one pair
> > with 24/18 and another pair with 18/16. I wonder which, if any of these, I
> > should be riding at around 180 lbs.
> > They do feel nice but there must be some slop in the 16 spoked front wheel
> > at the hub. It is true and tight but induces a nasty low speed shimmy -
> > manageable but unpleasant on my Holdsworth Professional and purely
> > outrageous when fitted to my DeRosa SLX Professional. Need to fuss with it
> > and would welcome any Roval tips and tricks.
> > Charlie Young
> > Honeybrook, PA
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Eric Elman" <email@example.com>
> > To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2003 7:13 PM
> > Subject: [CR]Roval Wheels ???
> > > A short time ago I posted a question which led to the conclusion that
> > Roval
> > > wheels were on topic. Next question is in regards to number of spokes.
> > > was recently told that Roval wheelsets were available with three
> > > spoke counts to accomodate riders of different weights. Can anyone on
> > > list confirm this, and if so, can you advise what the options were for
> > both
> > > front and rear wheels? Finally what OLN sizes did they come in?
> > >
> > > Thanks in advance,
> > >
> > > Eric Elman
> > > in stormy Somers, CT