Disc wheels are primarily about aerodynamics and stiffness. Time trials tend to be fairly flat so cutting through the air and not losing any wattage to flex are of utmost importance. But, if you can do those two things and cut weight you have something special. That’s exactly what Specialized set out to do in designing the Roval 321 disc wheel.
The new Roval 321 is the lightest manufactured disc on the market at 1,005 grams, but aerodynamic weren’t sacrificed to get there. Thanks to plenty of time in the Win Tunnel, which just celebrated its fifth birthday last week, the Specialized aerodynamics team was able to design a wheel with the widest possible shape to maximize air contact and flow.
There are a lot of quality of life design features in the wheel worth mentioning as well.
- The design was optimized for a 26c tire, which helps with ride compliance.
- The drive side has a recessed pocket to accommodate the rear derailleur in its most inboard position.
- There will only be a clincher variant of the 321 and the wheel is tubeless ready.
- The valve hole is large enough to accommodate a standard pump head and only requires a 60mm valve stem.
- The opening is covered with a nice hard snap in cover, not a lousy sticker.
The 321, named for the countdown before every time trial, is available in rim and disc brake versions with a retail of $2,500.