A while ago Michael Hutchinson told us in strictest confidence that in his own tests on the track, the Rolf Vector Pro came out as the fastest front wheel of all the aero designs he rode. Hopefully he won’t mind us blowing his cover…
There have been a few changes at Rolf since the Vector Pro, but the revolutionary paired spoke technology that made the old Rolf wheels so fast, makes the new ones fast too.
Fewer spokes are used, but when they are paired at the rim and highly tensioned, the wheel can be made as stiff as a traditionally laced wheel with double the spoke count. All Rolf’s wheels are handbuilt and this is an integral part of the process. Fewer spokes equals less drag; the spoke nipples are hidden inside the 34mm-deep rim too.
The aluminium clincher Vigors are suitable for both time trialling and road racing. With 14 bladed spokes in the front and 16 in the rear the Vigors are UCI legal. At 1,495g per pair they are light as well as aerodynamic – perfect for hilly TTs.
We can confirm that the Vigors don’t feel any more flexible than a standard spoked wheel. A clever flange system on the driveside hub spreads the load of the torque – Rolf says this effectively doubles the number of pulling spokes. The flanges of the front hub sit 85mm apart for greater stiffness. They accelerate well too – pickup is excellent, via three steel pawls housed in a titanium freehub body.
Although £800 seems a lot to pay for aluminium wheels, you are getting a lot of design and technology for your money, not to mention top-quality materials and hubs manufactured in the USA. If word gets out that these are one of the best all-round wheels we've ridden, soon there could be a lot of people out there with the same secret weapon...