Mavic Ksyrium SL wheelsets - clincher

4.24/5 (25 Reviews)
MSRP : $1149.90

Product Description

The Ksyrium SL Wheelset delivers a combination of Mavic's most innovative technologies with a new head-turning aesthetic. Race proven features include ISM InterSpoke Milling rim technology and extra-light components including the FTS-L freehub Zicral spokes a carbon front hub.

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Reviews 1 - 5 (25 Reviews Total) | Next 5

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Just Desserts a Recreational Rider

Date Reviewed: May 26, 2016

Strengths:    Echo the "Bomb-proof"
Competitive performance - great all-arounder for the long term

Weaknesses:    Catches crosswinds - noticeable in front; even worse than Zipp 404
Probably not the lightest for climbs nor the most advanced aero

Bottom Line:   
Even knowing there are boatloads of Kysrium SL reviews already here, I felt compelled to write one because they have served me so loyally for 8 years (2006-8 model maybe?).
These wheels saw 5-9k/year for five years, about 4k total thereafter - STILL GOING.
Went through other brands of wheels while the SL's live forever: Alex broke spokes and ultimately the hub; Zipp 303 developed waves in braking; Zipp 404 permanently damaged on a typical pinch-flat pothole; Velocity/Shimano eventually lost hub integrity. Despite wear, still trust these more at 40-53 mph than others in my stable; even have a second pair that wait patiently for the others to fail.
Never out of true or broken despite use in rain, northern crap roads, and four or so crashes - did have rear bearing races replaced after I cleaned too zealously. 165 lb of aggressive recreational rider.
And I bought these used (therefore my value judgment may not be applicable, plus I'm cheap), so probably some race miles before me.
Great every day wheel for rec riders and training wheel for racers.

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Favorite Ride:   The one I'm just done with

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   T-town Swap Meet

Similar Products Used:   See above

Bike Setup:   Scattante Super-Go Carbon special - 6600 Ultegra triple (Hey, I said I was cheap)

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Kane

Date Reviewed: December 12, 2012

Strengths:    Stiff
Almost bomb prove!!!
Damn good spokes (almost as thick as half a chopstick)
No rim strip needed

Weaknesses:    Could be more aero
Plastic skewer tips get damage easily
A lil cheaper would be nice

Bottom Line:   
Bought this wheelset after i broke an easton ea90slx, trained on it for a few months then I took it on a 3 months tour across the US and put almost 5000 miles on it. Went through pot holes, loose gravel roads, a few crashes, sun and a lot of rain then ended up at a beach in Seattle. Still spinning, quiet, tight hub and most importantly, still damn true. The wheel climbs well when i took it up some mountain passes and accelerates real well for a 1500~g wheelset. Control is very sturdy coming down 10-15 miles of descent, no shake whatsoever. Braking surface is pretty wide and tacky. However, its not the best wheelset for solo breakaway and holding threshold (if only it was more aero ehhh...). But overall a very very very tough wheelset.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by chris a Recreational Rider

Date Reviewed: September 25, 2012

Strengths:    Looks, reasonably light, nice sound on the road. Great skewers with a really positive locking action
The red hubs look great

Weaknesses:    I've hit one small pot hole with these and the front wheel is out of true. The ride is pretty harsh and the freewheel has a lot of drag. The front hub has a fair amount of play which I can't seem to eliminate. The wide spokes seem to catch a lot of wind for such a low profile wheel. They don't feel very stiff on the road.
Special tool needed for nipples

Bottom Line:   
These came on a second hand Lynskey and they certainly look the part. Right from the word go, I struggled to steer the bike well going downhill. Uphill was great, but I could never get it to track well going into corners. I began to suspect it might be the wheels, so I swapped them out for a friends handbuilt set and the bike was totally transformed. Much stiffer, more controllable and the bike went exactly where I wanted to go, like I was used to with my Bianchi. No more cutting corners or worrying about on coming traffic.
I know a lot of people love these wheels, but I really haven't been impressed. After talking to a wheel builder we both question Mavics QC as some people get great sets and others get dogs.
I commute on the wheels, but my commute is up through quiet roads in the hills so I have an hours climbing from town to get home. Its a great ride and I thought these wheels would be better than they are.

They never really feel fast, but the garmin tells me I'm going as fast as I do on other wheels
I'll get them trued up and flick them on, and replace them with a handbuilt set which will be the same weight and stiffer.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Ride:   Basket Ranges - Adelaide Hills

Similar Products Used:   Zondas, Mavic Equipes, TWE handbuilt

Bike Setup:   Lynskey Level 310, dura ace 7800 group set

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Mike Tippett

Date Reviewed: September 24, 2012

Strengths:    When I bought my Cervélo RS at the end of 2010, I wanted a lighter wheel than the Fulcrum Racing 7s it came with. I traded them in when I bought the bike and added a fair number of bills to get them. They're very decent looking wheels with the red hubs, mesmerising to look at when riding (viewed from behind, so I'm told), the one red spoke is sort of flash. Despite being very noisy wheels for the heavier rider, they remain true and the rims are strong.

Weaknesses:    The problem is: I am heavy. And after riding 6000 km on them, I can say that Mavic wheels are not suitable for heavy riders. By heavy I mean between 95-100 kg (I am tall). When the bike was quite new, I noticed what I thought was the bottom bracket clicking, but after many months of thinking the bike was noisy, nope: it was the wheels. Whenever the bike went in for service, the mechanic would lube the spoke heads with HHS2000 and they'd be quiet for a few rides, then the click click click would start up again. SO ANNOYING! I am talking about loud clicks, sometimes 5 or 6 per revolution of the crank, and not just on hills, but also on the flats with no torque going through the chain.

Bottom Line:   
I think the problem with the Mavic Ksyrium SL is that the design is backwards. The radial spokes are on the drive side of the hub and the angled/crossed ones are on the opposite side, unlike virtually every other wheel I've seen. The other thing is that there are 10 spokes on either side.

The Fulcrum Racing 1 Competition Limited Editions I replaced the Mavics with ($710 from, delivered to my door) have 21 spokes and 14 of those are on the crossed/drive side of the hub....the 7 radial spokes are on the other side. A friend of mine of similar weight has 6000+ km on his Racing 1s (with the smaller hub) and his are still silent. Although I've not ridden these new wheels long enough to write a review, I am so relieved to not have that loud clicking all the time!!! Fulcrum rates them for riders up to 109 kg, and I am always 10 kg or more below that. I never did see an official rider kg limit for the Mavics but if there was one, I would think it's 75 kg.

I gave the Mavic Ksyrium SLs to my son, who is also tall but fortunately about 20-25 kg lighter than me. Even for him the wheels are noisy now that I've broken them in so to speak, but we will have the spokes retensioned to try and minimise that soon.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by masterofnone

Date Reviewed: June 16, 2012

Strengths:    Light, strong, stiff

Weaknesses:    Price? Road wheels are pricey, but compared to deep aeros and carbon tubulars these are a bargain.

Bottom Line:   
I needed a laterally stiffer wheelset than the set that came with my bike, and if they were lighter it would be a bonus. I wasn't looking for the flashiest, lightest, aero, blah blah blah. Well, this wheelset is both, as well as plenty durable. They've taken quite a few last second "oh s***!" surprise potholes and nary a whimper. I bought the notubes kit and converted tubeless, and I have yet to get a flat since doing this almost two years ago (knock on wood!). The initial sticker shock is my only complaint, but compared to the entire road wheel market out they're reasonable. I could have shopped the web for the lowest price, but I will spend a little more to support my LBS. There are a lot of fashionista mavic haters on this site, but I have a couple sets of mavics on my mtb's, and despite years of abuse and no maintenance they've been extremely reliable. Another unintended bonus is they match my bike perfectly and look blingtastic, like they were meant for it.

Reviews 1 - 5 (25 Reviews Total) | Next 5

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