Review: Token RoubX Prime Disc Brake Allroad Wheelset

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“Token is more than just a bike company and we want our products to reflect this. When a Token product is in your hand, you’ll clearly see the pride and craftsmanship used to make it. Over a decade ago, we began our journey to make high-quality and innovative products for people who love to ride. We have learned a lot of lessons over the years and this has helped us to constantly improve.” -Token

In the big scheme of the universe, a decade is a mere blip. In the bicycle industry, a decade is an eternity. In just ten years, electronic drivetrains and disc brakes on road bikes have become par for the course, and 11-speed is so 2009. This decade has seen the development of gravel bikes, bikes that resemble a cyclocross bike but with bigger tyre clearance and a comfier ride, and a bunch of other stuff you never realized you really needed (but somehow immediately wanted). Riders are flocking to gravel bikes and roads in search of adventure, camaraderie, and a break from the humdrum of traffic and everyday life.

Token RoubX Prime Disc Brake Allroad Wheelset Review and Weights

Carbon fiber wheelsets are now considered the norm, even for riding the potholed and washboarded roads that constitute some of the gravel cycling experience. Ten-year industry veteran, Token, joins the gravel party with a new carbon wheel option, the RoubX Prime Disc Brake Allroad Wheelset. We beat it up around the dirt roads of Gainesville, FL, and beyond to put them to the test…

Token RoubX Prime Disc Brake Allroad Wheelset Review and Weights

Token tout the RoubX wheelset as a one-size-fits all design, intended for cyclocross, cross country mountain bike and gravel bike use. That’s a lot to ask.

Token RoubX Prime Disc Brake Allroad Wheelset Review and Weights

The RoubX’s hookless, tubeless rim supports any tyre between 700c x 38mm, all the way up to 29 x 2.1″.

Token RoubX Prime Disc Brake Allroad Wheelset Review and Weights

Built with carbon rims featuring the company’s RAR rim profile, Token is confident their wheelset will leave others way behind. Token aren’t forthcoming about the meaning of RAR on their website; Radically Awesome Rim?

Actual Weights & Specs

Actual weights for Token Roubx disc brake all-road bicycle wheels for gravel bikes

Placed onto my trusty gram scale, the front wheel with rim tape installed weighed 710.5g. Advertised weight is 671g, which I assume is for a bare wheel.

And the rear wheel, 833g with rim tape installed. Advertised weight is 823g, again I assume for a bare wheel with cassette body installed. Combined weight of both wheels is 1,543.5g, which is 49.5g more than the manufacturer’s spec weight of 1,494g. Taking into account most manufacturers add a fudge factor of about three percent for weight, Token is at least decently close.

Token RoubX Prime Disc Brake Allroad Wheelset Review and WeightsThe rims used for Token’s wheelset measure 33mm deep, as indicated by the G33 nomenclature referenced above in a neat gold logo. Rim width measures 31.1mm externally and 25.3mm internally.

Token RoubX Prime Disc Brake Allroad Wheelset Review and WeightsToken doesn’t skimp on spokes, selecting Pillar’s Wing 14G stainless steel bladed and butted aero spokes and 14 gauge, external aluminium nipples in anodized black.

Token RoubX Prime Disc Brake Allroad Wheelset Review and WeightsTwenty-four straight-pull spokes front and rear laced in a two-cross pattern provide plenty of strength.

Token RoubX Prime Disc Brake Allroad Wheelset Review and Weights

At the heart of Token’s RoubX Prime Disc Brake Allroad Wheelset are the company’s “D1” hubs. Internal specs aren’t published in great detail, but the high quality “Premium” bearings employed in the wheelset feel smooth with adequate shielding from the elements.

Token RoubX Prime Disc Brake Allroad Wheelset Review and WeightsToken rely on Shimano’s centerlock disc brake rotor mounting standard, which is a boon if you swap rotors in and out as often as I do reviewing various wheels and bikes. It also typically produces a lighter wheel weight.

Token RoubX Prime Disc Brake Allroad Wheelset Review and WeightsThe review wheelset arrived configured for thru-axle front and rear (12mm x 100mm and 142 x 12mm).

Token RoubX Prime Disc Brake Allroad Wheelset Review and WeightsHowever, courtesy of the additional end cap and axle kit supplied with the wheelset, they can easily be converted to support regular quick releases.

Token RoubX Prime Disc Brake Allroad Wheelset Review and WeightsAbove, the Shimano compatible cassette body comes milled and drilled to save a little weight. The wheelset is also available with SRAM’s XD driver.

Disc Rotor and Tyre Installation

Rotor installation is a breeze with center lock, and the fastest, in terms of rotor swaps, of the two rotor standards.

Token RoubX Prime Disc Brake Allroad Wheelset Review and Weights

For the duration of the review, I mounted Hutchinson’s Verde tyre in 700c x 38mm. Both tyres mounted easily to the wheels, without the need to pry them on with tyre levers. The tyres inflated nicely, courtesy of Bontrager’s TLR Flash Charger pump, but I’d expect the Topeak Joe Blow Booster pump would have no troubles either. Use an air compressor? Even easier. Sealant used was Orange Seal’s Endurance Formula.

As a final note on this subject, tyres were easy to remove from this wheelset. I’ve ridden at least two different wheel brands in the past that required an insane amount of force to remove tyres – tyre brand was irrelevant. This isn’t so handy when you’re standing by the side of the road. This issue needs to be factored into your purchase decision, especially in this day and age of tubeless gravel tyres.

Token RoubX Prime Disc Allroad – Ride Review

At 1,543 grams, the Token RoubX wheelset one of the lighter Allroad/Gravel bike wheelsets currently available. The RoubX’s decently light weight translates into good acceleration and excellent handling characteristics, especially in crosswinds. With a rim depth of 33mm, the rims are aero enough to perceive some benefit, but not deep enough to be blown all over the place. Remember, a typical gravel tyre adds additional height to one’s bike versus a 700c x 25mm road tyre, which also affects gearing and adds a virtual wind sail to one’s wheelset. Extra surface area equates to more area to catch the wind.

Token RoubX Prime Disc Brake Allroad Wheelset Review and Weights

Once accelerated to a rolling speed of 20mph (32km/h) on a fast and smoothish gravel road, the Token RoubX’s hum along nicely and hold their speed well. I am no aerodynamic wind tunnel expert, but the aero effect of these wheels and most aero wheels on gravel is questionable, particularly when you factor in how disruptive a 35mm+ wide gravel-specific tyre can to be to air flowing across the bike. Thankfully, I believe in the power of placebo. Thus if I feel fast, I am fast… at least in my little world! The RoubX wheels felt fast, and I would be happy riding these wheels fitted with WTB’s Exposure 700c x 32mm tires if I were inclined to knock out a few roadie miles.

For the duration of the review, I wasn’t kind to these wheels. They saw duty on my local and nearby dirt and gravel roads (Watts Dixon can testify how awesome the riding is here in Florida), some of the trails that make up the yearly Tour de Gainesville route (an MTB event), and general riding around the place.

Token RoubX Prime Disc Brake Allroad Wheelset Review and Weights

The Token RoubX wheels stayed perfectly in true, a good testimony to the skills of the wheel builder and quality of materials used. The wheels have plenty of logos and graphics adorning them, but they are subtle in that their gray color blends well with the color of the rim and tyre.

Token RoubX Prime Disc Brake Allroad Wheelset Review and Weights
The nondescript box that arrived at my house.

Thus, the RoubX’s aren’t too flashy. With that said, Token does offer a much brighter livery with fluoro green logos, which won’t suit every rider, or bike. If I had more time, I would have fitted WTB’s Resolute or Panaracer’s Gravelking SK tyres to this wheelset, both of which have tan or brown sidewalls available. That really adds a touch of class and makes one’s wheelset and bike stand out from the crowd.

Token RoubX Prime Disc Brake Allroad Wheelset Review and Weights
Observant types will notice my chain is too short.

In sticky situations like the one pictured above, the rear hub’s engagement system worked adequately well when I had to pick a delicate line and finesse the bike. Or, those times when you’re riding the wrong bike on an MTB trail, and you need to make a last-second change in direction. I’ve ridden faster engagement systems, but considering this wheelset’s intention is mostly gravel, they are well up to the task. Freewheel operation is quiet during coasting.

I’m unaware of a rider weight limit on this wheelset, but yours truly weighs anywhere from 155lbs to 160lbs/69kg to 71kg, dependent on how much I’ve been stuffing my face. The RoubX wheels have been rock solid and I’ve been most unsuccessful at budging them laterally during out of the saddle efforts. The thru-axle interface is a no brainer for me on disc wheels nowadays, and as expected, no rotor rub when I attempted to throw the bike and wheels about the place.

Tyre pressure is one of the biggest factors to ride quality and the most overlooked factors regarding overall comfort on a bicycle. I’ve run into so many blokes at a gravel ride or race, banging on about the merits of suspension on gravel, yet their tyres are inflated to 50psi or higher. Why?! Drop your tyre pressure and enjoy the free suspension effect of a comfy ride.. and roll faster too. Depending on the tyre, I generally inflate to 32 to 35psi on the front, and 35 to 38psi on the rear. Those were the pressures I ran with the Token RoubX wheels, all of which resulted in a smooth ride.

Braking Performance

There’s nothing bad to say about Shimano’s hydraulic disc brakes. In fact, this paragraph is almost a moot point. Mount your disc brake rotors, align them with the calipers and go ride. Zero issues. On the Token RoubX wheelset or any other, if your bike is fitted with true hydraulic brakes, they’ll bring you to a screeching halt in wet or dry conditions.

Token RoubX Prime Disc Brake Allroad Wheelset Review and Weights

Token RoubX Prime Disc Brake Allroad Wheelset – Summary

The Token RoubX wheelset is well-built from high quality materials and proven to be a reliable and flexible package that is perfect for gravel cycling. From here, I may further test their “all road” claims and mount some really wide tyres, such as Schwalbe’s Furious Fred (they measure about 2″), on my Lynskey PRO GR. These tyres are suitable only for the smoothest of gravel roads (they’re a bit flimsy) and will only fit on a bike with serious tyre clearance. But, they roll oh so fast. I’ll report back if there’s anything newsworthy about that setup.

Positives:

  • The wheel end cap system and easy axle swaps for the rear wheel make this wheelset almost future proof… until another standard is concocted.
  • Decently light weight with good acceleration and ability to hold speed.
  • Easy to mount and remove tyres.
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Subdued look, which is a good match for most bikes.

Negatives:

  • Straight-pull spokes are fantastic until one of them breaks. For this reason, I prefer J-bend. J-bend spokes can easily be sourced at your local bike shop. A potential owner should think about acquiring a few spare spokes for this wheelset.
  • No valve cores supplied with the wheelset. This may have been an oversight (?) on this review wheelset, but a wheelset of this nature should arrive ready to roll with tubeless tape installed and valve cores on the wheels, or at least supplied.

Token RoubX Prime Disc Brake Allroad Wheelset Review and Weights

The Token RoubX wheels are a little reclusive at this time, and generally appear on UK-based sites only at the time of writing. For what they are -good, high quality wheels- they are well priced at $US 1,325.00 / £1,099.00 GBP (remember, the exchange rate varies). Compare this to a carbon wheelset of similar quality and weight, and you’ll be paying a lot more.

TokenProducts.com


Article by Gravel Cyclist. Jayson O’Mahoney is the Gravel Cyclist: A website about the Gravel Cycling Experience.

25 COMMENTS

    • I think the Specialized Roubaix litigation department took a bit of a kneecapping when Fuji (the owner of the rights, which is only licensed to Specialized AFAIK) slammed their hands on the table over the Cafe Roubaix imbroglio a few years back.

  1. … which is unfortunate since I’m glad they are bringing carbon rims down to a reasonable price. Ten years ago you would have paid as much for a high-end alloy wheel set.

  2. Straight pull spokes being hard to source is a thing of the past. They are easily found at shops or online. It’s not 1995 anymore, Jayson.

      • Must be. Any shop can get SP spokes from DT or Sapim. The really great shops will have a spoke machine and custom cut you some while you shoot an espresso. 😉

          • Straight pull spokes also allow the wheel builder to achieve much higher tensions, and match the spoke angle to the rim drilling. Both make for a stronger, stiffer wheel.

              • For carbon wheels that we build, we use a computer model of the hub and a 3-axis CNC when drilling the spoke angle. This allows us to drill the rim exactly at the same angle as the spoke. This keeps any off axis load off of the spokes and rims. The wheels are then loaded into a press after lacing to set the tension. When the press is released, the tension on the spokes is greater than what can be achieved otherwise.

                How do you manufacture and drill your rims?

                • How much greater tension does lining up hub and rim hole angles really provide? I mean, most rims out there have a max kgf of between 120-130, which is easily achievable with j-bend spokes. You said “much higher tensions”. So unless you’re landing in the 160 range my rebuttal still stands. High tension doesn’t always default to a great wheel set. Why would anybody want a stiff as hell wheel for allroad anyway, that completely defeats the purpose.

  3. Would love to see a review of their road wheels. Maybe some comparison review of the “cheap” carbon wheels and throw in a high end wheel to see what spending a large amount more gives you. Cheap, meaning from an established company that stands behind their product like these, Boyds, and the like, not extreme cheap

  4. Note: The tires mentioned in this review should be the Hutchinson Overide… not the Verde. The “O” in the hot patch is stylized, obscuring the name of the tire – just poor marketing/branding.

    These tires fit “loose” on many rims that I’ve tried them on. while wheel and tire manufactures are getting better in adopting “standards” we still have a ways to go.

What do you think?