Something XC From the French

MavicIt’s been said that there are two things that will always be true in the cycling world: Chris King will always make the best head- sets, and Mavic will always make the best wheels. Whether or not that’s actually true is up for debate, but Mavic’s reputation is pretty impressive. Mavic is one of the oldest companies in the cycling industry, second only to Fuji. Its manufacturing dates all the way back to 1889 when it started as a nickel-plating company that specialized in the production and sale of spare bicycle parts. Since then, Mavic has become the most recognizable wheel-maker in the business. Mavic has stuck to building its wheels exclusively out of metal, until now. This is Mavic’s first venture into the carbon rim market—the Crossmax Pro Carbon.

Tech Info:

This carbon wheel is avail- able in 27.5- and 29-inch diameters with a SRAM XD or Shimano freehub option and will fit any modern standard axle with the help of the included adapters. The hubs are Mavic’s own, with a forged-aluminum construction and axle, and Mavic’s ITS-4 four-pawl engagement with 7.5 degrees of movement between engagement points. Mavic uses a sealed cartridge bearing system that’s double-sealed from the elements and comes with a micro-adjustment system for bearing tension.

The rims are carbon fiber with an internal rim width of 23 millimeters and an external width of 28 millimeters. Mavic claims this width complements 2.1–2.25-inch-wide tires best. The Crossmax wheels use straight-pull lacing with 24 spokes front and rear. The rims are also UST compatible and use a hookless bead design to increase strength and reduce tire burping. Our pair of 29er test wheels weighed in at an impressively light 1570 grams with the tubeless valves installed. The wheels sell for $2000 and are available from local bike shops and select online retailers.

Mavic2On the Trail:

Out of the box, the Crossmax wheels felt light in our hands, like a true cross-country race wheel. We installed a pair of WTB Nine Line 2.25-inch-wide tires to the wheels and were able to seat them easily. The rims are tubeless ready and use a little spacer on the valve to make sure that no leaks occur. We set the tires and didn’t have any issues with leaking from the valve or rim during our testing.

Our first impressions proved that these are seriously fast wheels. The bearings rolled very smoothly, and there was little to no friction. The rim width did complement the shape of the tires, although a couple of our test riders would have preferred a slightly wider rim. Out of the saddle, the wheels were stiff and responsive and came alive under hard efforts, especially on steep, punchy climbs. Over rocks and technical sections of trail, the Crossmax wheels were forgiving and not overly stiff.

During our testing, we were impressed at the overall strength of the wheels. Some of our test riders were a little concerned about the spoke count and wondered if the wheels would hold up to abuse. We didn’t have any issues with spoke tension or the wheels going out of true. The hubs did require more attention than other brands we have ridden and needed to be adjusted a little more often than we would have liked.


• Light
• Fast rolling
• Stiff


• Hubs are high maintenance


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