2012 Mavic CrossMax SLR mountain bike wheels

Seems VeloVert is on a roll, first with the 2012 Scott Spark unveiling and now a peek at the all-new 2012 Mavic CrossMax mountain bike wheels.

If you recall that video showing Julien Absalon and others blind testing prototypes, Mavic hinted that the lighter wheel isn’t always the better wheel, and in fact the new CrossMax rims actually come in about 20g heavier (again, if our translations are accurate). The good news? They’re wider, which is a very welcome change and keeps them in line with current trends, and they get a rounder profile to improve stiffness.

To make up for a bit of the rim’s weight gain, they’ve dropped the spoke count on the range-topping SLR to just 20 front and rear. Make the jump for more pics and details…

2012 Mavic CrossMax mountain bike wheels get wider, rounded rims to improve stiffness and handle larger tires better

The rim now has a 19mm inside width on the SLR and ST, and the SX grows to 21mm. Asymmetric spoke holes and the rounded profile give it better lateral stiffness both at the rim and as a system. The wider platform should make it work better with fatter tires.

The hub shells get a little extra machining at the disc mounts to shave grams.

2012 Mavic CrossMax hubs get more pawls for quicker engagement and easy pop cap axle swaps

The freewheel gets a fourth pawl, decreasing angle of engagement to just 7.5º, a claimed 60% improvement over prior models.

The adjustment nuts were retooled to stay tighter and be easier to remove the freehub, allowing quick access to the internals. On the outside, new tips pop in and out to swap easily between 9×135, 12×135 and 12×142. On the front, all three models can convert to 9mm, 15mm TA or 20mm TA.

Shown at the top of the post, the 2012 CrossMax SLR wheels come in at 660g F / 780g R (1440g pair) with 20 spokes front and rear (down from 24/24 on current model). Rear, like on all the wheels, gets their IsoPulst 2x lacing on the non-drive and straight pull on drive side, and all wheels use their Zicral alloy spokes. Compare that to 690g/830g for the 2011 model and you get a 80g savings overall (for 6-bolt disc brakes. The SLR and ST models continue to offer 6-bolt and Centerlock options, SX is 6-bolt only).

2012 Mavic CrossMax ST mountain bike wheels

2012 CrossMax ST wheels tip the scales at 765g/825g (1590g pair) for a savings of about 25g over current model. They use 20/24 spoke counts.

2012 Mavic CrossMax SX mountain bike wheels get wider 21mm inside width rims for bigger rides

The heavier duty 2012 Mavic Crossmax SX bumps to 21mm inside width rims and gets 24/24 spokes with 2x lacing on both sides of the rear. Weight is 825g / 930g (1775g pair), same as current.

At the moment, there’s no word on Lefty or 29er models getting these same upgrades, but it’s highly likely they’ll follow suit in short order. Oh, and no carbon rims for now, either.

(Note to Mavic: Seriously, we’d love to come to your next product launch in France. Just sayin, the trails look amazing…)

All photos via VeloVert.com. They’ve got more from the Mavic press launch, check them out here.


  1. It looks like there’s also a bearing where there used to be a notoriously iffy bushing, all of these changes are very welcome, and way, way overdue.

  2. Will not buy another Mavic MTB wheelset until they fix the creaky noise coming from their ill designed spokes. And, if you break a spoke……..good luck. Not only the wait to get replacement, but the outrageous cost. Mavic customer service and their warranty are also the worst in the business.

  3. It´s easy to build a lighter wheelset with “common” components. e.g. DT Swiss 240, SuperComp Spokes and Stan´s rims. Those Mavic wheels are so inherent proprietary, with what advantage? Could somebody please explain?

  4. The only advantage of Mavic: The Bling factor. And, that’s it.
    Stan rim, DT240, CX will beat Mavic’s lightest set by at least 100-150 grams.

  5. The thing about mavic wheels is that spokes, rims, hubs and everything is designed to work together. That makes Mavic wheels last longer, it makes them stiffer, and as Bluejay says, they have bling factor but that’s not all!

    Can’t wait to try the new 2012 Mavic Crossmax SLR wheelset!

What do you think?