First Look: Mavic Lightens Up with new Crossmax SL Wheels

Crossmax SLR 275 29 mavic mou (6)

Until now, Mavic’s updated Crossmax Wheel Tire Systems on the mountain side have been geared towards the ever popular buzz word, Enduro. However, each successive launch has brought lighter and lighter wheels, and the all new Mavic Crossmax SL is the lightest yet. Not only are the wheels the lightest in the new WTS range, the wheels are the lightest mountain bike specific wheel system Mavic has produced. Designed specifically for cross country riders, racers, and fast trail riders, the Crossmas SLs certainly aren’t the uber wide wheels that have become so popular lately. Instead the wheels offer impressive durability with a new rim profile to create an impressively light aluminum wheel at an affordable price.

Crossmax SLR 275 29 mavic mou (7)

Crossmax SLR 275 29 mavic mou (3)

Much of the weight savings is thanks to the new rim profile that takes advantage of Mavic’s proprietary ISM 4D milling. Continuing with their UST tubeless rim channel, the SLs also see Mavic’s FORE drilling. This is what allows for an unpierced rim cavity, with the FORE aluminum nipples on Zicral bladed spokes threading directly into the rim. Mavic introduced UST technology in 1999/2000 and has helped set the standard to this day. Obviously tire technology has changed quite a bit, so Mavic doesn’t expect you to run UST tires – though you could. Instead, Mavic’s Wheel Tire System tires use a UST bead, but still need sealant to run tubeless. Crossmax SLThis interface with the UST bead and the UST rim is a big part of the reason Mavic hasn’t investigated hookless or super wide rims. Mavic is conforming to the ETRTO standards for tire and rim sizing, which they helped produce. Currently, Mavic feels that the various rim widths are ideal for their intended purposes. Drastically increasing the width or removing the hooks could potentially affect bead security, so Mavic doesn’t feel that the technology is there yet.

That means the Crossmax SL has a similar width to the previous Crossmax SLR, though it has an entirely new shape. The new rim features walls that are angled more to the outside which allows the tire to fill out more, and also puts the rim hook at a better angle for increased impact protection. Mavic claims the rims result in a 50% increase in impact protection which is good news for folks who run low pressure – or just kill it all the time. Also in this case, 23mm external/19mm internal measurements are fairly close to the competition for light weight, XC wheels.

4d Milling Mavic

Compared to other Mavic rims which use ISM 3D machining on the top and sides, 4D rims see material removed around the entire surface of the rim. Extra material still has to be left at the nipple insertions in order for the FORE drilling to have enough support.

Crossmax SLR 275 29 mavic mou (2) Crossmax SLR 275 29 mavic mou (1)

Further weight savings is accomplished through the use of a carbon front hub shell, with an aluminum rear. Twenty Zicral spokes radiate from each hub with a 2x front, and IsoPulse rear lacing pattern (radial drive/2-cross non drive). Crossmax SL wheels continue with the ITS-4 freehub with Shimano 10/11 speed compatibility as well as an optional XD freehub body. Axle compatibility includes QR and 15QR for the front and QR, 12×135 and 12×142 rear. Sold in 26, 27.5 and 29″ sets, the 27.5 and 29″ wheels will include an optional fit for Lefty Supermax forks. No Centerlock option here, the hubs are 6 bolt only.

Availability for the Crossmax SL Wheel System is planned for September, with a retail of $999.90.

Crossmax SLR 275 29 mavic mou (5) Crossmax SLR 275 29 mavic mou (4)

Weights:

  • 26” (1390g per pair, 630g front/760g rear)
  • 27.5” (1470g per pair, 665g front/805g rear)
  • 29” (1520g per pair, 690g front/830g rear) Actual weight – 700g front/ 833g Rear

Comments

Craig - 07/16/14 - 4:46am

I had a set of Crossmax wheels in 2001 and again in 2007 and both sets were incredible. These new ones are a great price. When it comes to needing a new set of wheels I think I would buy Crossmax again rather than a China carbon wheelset like many people are starting to do.

Chris - 07/16/14 - 7:44am

Radial on the drive side?! Yet crossed both sides on the front… All the pedalling torque is transmitted via the hub shell to the opposite flange.

I’ll stick with my Rovals, which are crossed at the back (14 left, 14 right spokes) and non-brake side radial at the front (16 left, 8 right spokes), until that’s been beta tested!

Chsad - 07/16/14 - 7:47am

I just don’t get what Mavic is doing here. 1k narrow aluminum wheels? For a bit and not much more then that you can Roval controls, Nox or the new Ibis carbon. All wider and as light. If you want wider aluminum Stan’s has you covered there. I really want to like this new offering but it seems as if they are living in 2005.

Brad - 07/16/14 - 9:05am

19mm internal width? Well I guess they might make a good road disk wheels if you’re still running 10 speed?

steve - 07/16/14 - 9:16am

wow those nox are sweet, you can spec i9 or c king hubs which is huge, sadly no 26. The ibis not so much with no information listed on the hubs

worthnote - 07/16/14 - 10:35am

The radial lace on the drive side is to allow room for the cassette while keeping the hub wider. Mavic uses a proprietary custom spoke and spoke interface with the rim. The rims and spokes in combination create a stiff enough interface that the lacing pattern is not as noticeable as other wheels that use a standard spoke and rim interface.

It is perfectly mavic of them to make these too narrow. Mavic could do a lot better job listening to the market instead of force feeding their dealers(customers) that their ideas are the best.

Jesse Edwards - 07/16/14 - 10:43am

Mavic really has no idea what riders (at least in North America) want. 19mm internals is a joke in 2014. WTB KOMs w/ DT Swiss 240s will be light, and wide enough for 2.4s, and has no proprietary nonsense . Ridiculous.

groghunter - 07/16/14 - 11:37am

“Mavic doesn’t feel the technology is there yet” is code for “we don’t see a method to vendor lock you with beadless rims.”

professor - 07/16/14 - 12:08pm

I see a home for these on my disc cross bike but not on my mountain bikes.

packfill - 07/16/14 - 12:24pm

19mm internal width? Are they not paying attention? These are dirt road wheels.

Trevor - 07/16/14 - 12:29pm

@Brad – I’ve been running a first gen set of Crossmax29 wheels on my disc cross bike for about 6 months, and while not as light as some options, they are plenty stiff. I have been running them tubeless for the past month with Sector28s from Hutchinson, which makes the bike even more comfortable. AND Mavic’s older (maybe newer mtb design too, don’t own one) freehub for road will actually run a SRAM/Shimano 11s cassette just fine without spacers, so I would assume their MTB freehub is the same; I haven’t tried because I put a campy freehub on it because I could. :)

@Chris – Radial drive side works just fine. The majority of Mavic’s Zircal spoked wheels run drive side radial on the rear wheel. Ksyriums, Crossmax, etc. they are plenty strong and stiff for the majority of riders. Everything will have a mechanical limit, but the old ones I own have been dead reliable, and I am not a small rider.

Pete - 07/16/14 - 1:26pm

Been looking for a ksyrium complement for a front disc-brake swap-in on my road bike, but no center-lock is a non-starter as I want to use a Shimano freeza rotor.

JM - 07/16/14 - 3:04pm

I just wish they could manage to wake the guys up in the north American warehouse long enough to ship my customers order I placed 14 days ago…

Ripnshread - 07/16/14 - 4:49pm

That solves it! UST is NOT dead….wait…oh…lol

fast foreward freddie - 07/16/14 - 7:14pm

Narrower than my road rims!

Papa_bikes - 07/16/14 - 7:29pm

@JM what wheel set r you waiting for?

Jdog - 07/16/14 - 9:03pm

From the same guys who won’t support road tubeless. C’mon.

Jugi - 07/17/14 - 10:05am

I have been running Crossmax SLR’s for a couple of summers now. During early June this year, my bike got into a bit of an accident during transportation and the rear wheel’s rim took such a hit from the side that it won’t be straight ever again, but it’s still ridable. In my mind, that is exactly what I expect a wheel system of this quality to handle – all you can throw at it at the trail and then some. I have put a new rim and some spokes on order, and sooner or later the wheel will hopefully be as good as new. If I would’ve lost the possibility of repair, these SL’s would have been a very nice option. And for anyone interested – I race XC marathons on 2.0″ wide tires, so Mavic’s rim dimensions are close to perfect in my mind.

Jeff - 07/18/14 - 2:59am

I’ve had good luck with Crossmax wheels. I’ve only owned the ST versions but they have all been very strong. I have yet to knock one untrue. Very stiff wheels. 2.25″ is about as wide as I go on them and they work out great… anything wider and you probably would want to look at their all mountain wheelsets. I would buy these over Chinese carbon any day.

StupidLeftyOwner - 07/18/14 - 1:37pm

I was waiting for this new version of the SLRs to upgrade my Cannondale, and now I find out they will only be compatible with Lefty Supermax hubs?! Mavic should have made a standard Lefty hub version instead, because that way they would fit all of Cannondales F29s on sale right now and the yet to come F-SIs instead of just the latter… That’s what I get for buying a bike with a proprietary fork and hub…

tricky - 09/03/14 - 5:15pm

I ride 26′ Crossmax SL, the silver ones, (M.Y. 2003) v-brake version and they still rolls nice! Super strong, light (1495 gr.) and reliable wheels! The ceramic coating wears out very slowly and I ‘m sure there is a lot of miles yet in them!

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