Strengths: Stiff and fast
Compatible with Campagnolo and Shimano - nothing extra to buy.
Weaknesses: A little noisier than the Open Pro
Supplied valve extension leaves Presta cap open with no way to deflate the tube when using tubes with valve stems of less than 60mm
I purchased this wheel to replace the Mavic Open Pro on the rear of my Lightning P-38 SWB Recumbent.
On my first ride on the wheel, I achieved a personal best time over my 'time trial' route. On subsequent rides I've noticed that I'm 'beating' hills that previously I'd bog down on. Some reviews have stated that the wheel is 'heavy' but it's 200 grams lighter than the Open Pro. There's no increase in vibration. My bike seems to accelerate more sharply and roll on easier.
Strengths: bearings...smooth. ride...smooth. strong. excellent aero advantage at speed is noticeable. braking surface is metallic, so no braking problems.
Weaknesses: climbing, they kind of suck, the weight is there. "carbon thermoplastic" is not carbon, its plastic, so they look cheap compared with space age genuine carbon tubies. Mavic will probably make some real ones soon...
first, support your local bike shop, I have been an ebay junkie, but its just not worth it..too risky, especially for carbon. And who will fix your bike when it is broken when they are out of business? buy new, or locally.
this review is for clinchers.
These wheels are not carbon, they have a carbon looking plastic wind-cheating insert. Up close, they look just ok. Compared to reynolds wheels, they look like toys.
These wheels are pretty nice. The bearings are smooth as anything, or smoother, and at high speed they spin up really nicely, and retain momentum very well. The ride is very smooth. you will feel fast, they are very fast at speed, great race wheels on the flats.
But, well, they are still heavy, and you can certainly feel it climbing. they are probably a little stiffer than the reynolds, but its close. I felt there was considerably more effort required than on my stratus dv's to get them up hills, no question, and the reynolds are just as fast overall, I think. but they weigh 500 grams less, so its not surprising. Of course, the mavics take clinchers which are easier (I own the tubie reynolds). So a mixed review. IF you have never ridden a reynolds or lew or equivalent wheelset, these will feel like the best things ever, and they seem pretty tough, probably more durable. IF you are someplace flat, they probably are the best things ever. But, well, its not flat here....so I sold them. But they were pretty nice for certain purposes. if I lived in florida....
Strengths: Strong. Stiff. Fast. Bulletproof. I weigh 185 on a good day and these wheels rock! Great for time trials, rolling road races, and crits. Could easily be used as everyday wheels. Look at pictures of European Peletons and there a ton of guys riding these wheels. Cipo, Petacchi, Bartoli, Lance on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Weaknesses: Weight, if your looking for a pure climbing wheel
I have always lusted after this wheelset but I found the price a bit high until Mavic changed the wheelset in 2005. Suddenly the price of the 2002-2004 models dropped. I like to race on clinchers because flats are a lot easier to repair than tubulars. I have a race bike through a sponsor that never really excited me to ride it. That was until I started racing it with the Carbones. These wheels are fast fast fast and they look awesome! Yes they are a little heavier than most race wheels but they roll fast and I find them perfect for the local criterium scene. I have ridden many wheelsets and this is my favorite wheelset for races that I have ever owned.