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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Umm, holy crap. I imagine some Easton produced Carbon wheelsets are soon to come. I guess Reynolds and Zipp are about to get some competition. Add in the new wheels from Rolf, FSA, American Classic and others and you can see why Mavic and Michelin are trying come up with that absurb road tubeless gimmick which requires their special wheels and tires. Hmm.

Link:

http://www.bicycleretailer.com/bicy...article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000443079
 

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Mavic is an innovator.

Coolhand said:
Add in the new wheels from Rolf, FSA, American Classic and others and you can see why Mavic and Michelin are trying come up with that absurb road tubeless gimmick which requires their special wheels and tires. Hmm.

In my eyes, I see Mavic as an Innovator. As low cost manufacturing moves overseas and the rest of the non-asian world pins its economic future on knowledgeable jobs, Mavic is looking to new products - hence the "absurb road tubeless gimmick which requires their special wheels and tires."

Innovation helps companies differentiate themselves from the competition - and Mavic and Michelin are doing just that. There are two options: do it cheaper, or do it better. Mavic is attempting the "do it better" route which deserves a lot of credit.

I don't work for Mavic or Michelin, but I do work in the bike industry so I see where Mavic is coming from and applaud them.

~Brett
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
rodiegonebad said:
In my eyes, I see Mavic as an Innovator. As low cost manufacturing moves overseas and the rest of the non-asian world pins its economic future on knowledgeable jobs, Mavic is looking to new products - hence the "absurb road tubeless gimmick which requires their special wheels and tires."

Innovation helps companies differentiate themselves from the competition - and Mavic and Michelin are doing just that. There are two options: do it cheaper, or do it better. Mavic is attempting the "do it better" route which deserves a lot of credit.

I don't work for Mavic or Michelin, but I do work in the bike industry so I see where Mavic is coming from and applaud them.

~Brett
Big thread on this issue already. But in summary: there already is a non-clincher rim design out there- tubs. These new UST-road (for the lack of a better term) rims will be heavier (to hold the tire on) and the tires heavier (to keep the air in) then the equivilent tubed tire set up. Bonus- it will probably cost more.

UST on the mountain side has been a serious wash. While the ability to avoid pinch flats has been a bonus, the weigh and leakage issues still remain.

Nobody is looking to run low pressures or avoid pinch flats on the road. Rotating weight is key on the road, especially when racing. So introducing a heavier wheel and tire, that costs more and doesn't seem to offer many tangible benefits qualifies as hype, not innovation- something that you probably seen all to often in the cycling industry. I know I have.

Mavic is sort of a Innovator- but what have they done in the last 4 years? Al spokes? Nice, but they just ended up on an overpriced and overweight wheelset. Easton, Shimano, Cannondale and many others have done alot more Innovating component wise then Mavic. Add in up and comers like FSA, Zipp, Crank Brothers and others and Mavic looks like someone pedaling expensive solutions to a problem nobody has then innovators.
 

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Gotta agree with you on this, Coolhand. The UST thing was just a gimmick IMO, and any hare-brained idea for tubeless roadie stuff is even worse, because we still have sew-up's that work just fine.

I think I saw a poll on CampyOnly! asking if Campy came out with an 11-speed group, would you buy it. The majority said no, thank Gawd. I mean, with 10-speed, haven't they pushed about as far as they can with chain strength/reliability for example?

We need yet another 'format' change, disguised as "innovation", so we all have to eventually 'upgrade' - why?? For the same greedy reasons that the electronics industry came up with CD's, then DVD's, then SACD's, ad nauseum: when sales start getting flat, an industry feels they have to come up with something "new & improved" in order to fleece the consumer of his hard-earned money.

The best way we can fix that is simply not to buy it. I'm not a retro-grouch, but at some point this crap gets ridicoulous.
 

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Coolhand-

Coolhand-
You made very good points earlier and I agree with you on some of them. To me, the road/UST thing is pointless but they still haven't come out with final designs so it could still work. Maybe cyclo crossers will find a use for it.

Mavic has done some cool things. They did bring newer materials to rims, newer ways of joining the rim in, big fat al. spokes, hubs that last a long time and general good solid product. In addition to that, when it comes to the bottom line, in the US market Mavic has huge marketshare on both "boutique" wheels (ksyriums) and even the hand made rims that use open pros/CXP's. I bet that 50% of every new bike that goes out a bike shop door has either a mavic wheel or rim on it. So regardless of their innovations (or lack thereof), they are doing something right - selling a crapload of product, merchandising well and providing neutral support for the major Euro and USA races, which as a consumer, speaks to me as a company that is buttoned up and reliable.

I don't see them on the cutting edge of technology but they do provide good product.
 

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UST works very well for MTB and probably for CX too....just not in the way it was originally intended by Mavic, Rigida, and Hutchinson. The hot set-up is basically a suitable "normal" tire + sealant. It's as light as a lightweight inner tube + outer tube combination, has better puncture resistance, less rolling resistance (quite significant), allows for reliable low pressure.

Not trying to be blunt, but if you can't get tubeless to work you're doing something wrong or have chosen an incorrect equipment combination. For MTB purposes the system in itself is reliable and high performance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Spiderman said:
Coolhand-
You made very good points earlier and I agree with you on some of them. To me, the road/UST thing is pointless but they still haven't come out with final designs so it could still work. Maybe cyclo crossers will find a use for it.

Mavic has done some cool things. They did bring newer materials to rims, newer ways of joining the rim in, big fat al. spokes, hubs that last a long time and general good solid product. In addition to that, when it comes to the bottom line, in the US market Mavic has huge marketshare on both "boutique" wheels (ksyriums) and even the hand made rims that use open pros/CXP's. I bet that 50% of every new bike that goes out a bike shop door has either a mavic wheel or rim on it. So regardless of their innovations (or lack thereof), they are doing something right - selling a crapload of product, merchandising well and providing neutral support for the major Euro and USA races, which as a consumer, speaks to me as a company that is buttoned up and reliable.

I don't see them on the cutting edge of technology but they do provide good product.
Thanks for your thoughtful post, I agree on almost all of it. I think Mavic does make nice stuff, but are in a real rut for the last two years or so. All of the major advances they made date back at least 3 years now, as far as the Maxtel (sp?) alloy, Al spokes and the like. Open Pro's are nice, but their failure to address the click issue, the creeping weight issue, ever increasing price or really improve the product in several years has let everyone else catch up. Velocity, DT Swiss, IRD, American Classic and others all have good options now. Similarly for Michelin, in road tires, the axial pros were the hot tire when they came out. Now others have passed them, making cheaper tires that are just as good, or equal priced tires that are better.

If both companies think road UST is the answer, they are mistaken- and wasting valuable R&D and promotional time on a false premise. For Mavic- they need to realize that in the high end wheelsets, weigh is king and carbon is the future. With loss of OEM spec on the lower end (really pronounced this year), and the amazing amounts of nice high end wheelsets at the same price as the K's, but with carbon rims or lower weights at the high end, Mavic's market share is eroding. They have the chops to strike back, but if they waste their time on road UST, they may get left behind Shimano, Campy, FSA, Rolf, American Classic, Zipp, Reynolds, and the Easton owned Velomaxs.

Honestly, the level of Mavic spec is dropping from what I have seen. Its still pretty good, but its going down every year. Other then tweaking the rims on the SL's, what changes have they really made on the road side in the last 3 years? Its the same stuff with minor tweaks (at best) for 3 years straight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
divve said:
UST works very well for MTB and probably for CX too....just not in the way it was originally intended by Mavic, Rigida, and Hutchinson. The hot set-up is basically a suitable "normal" tire + sealant. It's as light as a lightweight inner tube + outer tube combination, has better puncture resistance, less rolling resistance (quite significant), allows for reliable low pressure.

Not trying to be blunt, but if you can't get tubeless to work you're doing something wrong or have chosen an incorrect equipment combination. For MTB purposes the system in itself is reliable and high performance.
I was talking UST, not Stan's or Eclipse systems. Running a UST tire and rims, with the goop added to keep it from leaking constantly (making tire swaps a PITA), leads to a very heavy system with lots of rotating weight and its expensive to boot.

The Stan's or Eclipse systems (especially the later heavier rim strip versions) do work better, although they are not for the mechanically challenged. Further, the guys in our shop that run them have major PITA issues if you want to change tires frequently (necessarly in VA if you race, due to amazingly different conditions). Also the later rim strip versions are not that light either. A few people have found certain tires that just dont work with either system, and certain riders have never really gotten the system to work right. Honestly, on the MTB side, for 75% of riders a regular tube and tire set up is the lightest, cheapest, lowest hassle and all-around best solution. For the other 25% UST or Stan's or Eclipse is a better solution. I have ridden all of the systems, and they all have their good and bad sides. Using the right tool for the right rider is the key.

Cross is another discussion of course.

;)
 

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There's one thing I haven't read here yet. It's the power transfer you feel with the K and XMax wheels. Lightweight isn't everything, especially when it starts robbing you of power. There's something about the spoke and hub interface of the wheels I mentioned which makes them feel very zippy.
 

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Coolhand

Coolhand-
I completely agree with you on the marketshare eroding. That is 100% true. Right now, the problem with carbon fiber wheels/rims is that they are still on the elite level and it will still be a couple years before trickle down ensues and we start seeing Hyperon's stock on Cannodales. Mavic does make good stuff, but you are right, they have allowed the competitors to catch up.

I wonder if there are numbers out there with revenue etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
divve said:
There's one thing I haven't read here yet. It's the power transfer you feel with the K and XMax wheels. Lightweight isn't everything, especially when it starts robbing you of power. There's something about the spoke and hub interface of the wheels I mentioned which makes them feel very zippy.
Good point. My next bike may come stock with these (as I am selling my Seven in the classifieds), so I will get a better chance to compare them to the handbuilt 32 hole 3 cross Campy record/dt revolution/open pros I have been riding for years, and the pimpy set of Rolf Elan Aero's I ordered for race wheels. However, the Reynolds are lighter and just as stiff (but currently way expensive).

That is why the Easton acquisition of Velomax is so threatening. They can bring their carbon engineering and contraction capacity to the already pretty nice Velomax set-ups. Once properly engineered carbon setups (or hybrid Al/Carbon rims like the lower end Zipps) hit the 500-600 dollar price point (and they will), Mavic needs to have a counter punch. To me that should be a full carbon rimmed clincher (ala Reynolds and Campy) version of the K's, with a lighter hub. The bladed Al spokes are fine, but I am not sure they are any better then something like the Sapim CX Rays (which my Rolfs are coming with- woo hoo!).

Just my opinion, of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Spiderman said:
Coolhand-
I completely agree with you on the marketshare eroding. That is 100% true. Right now, the problem with carbon fiber wheels/rims is that they are still on the elite level and it will still be a couple years before trickle down ensues and we start seeing Hyperon's stock on Cannodales. Mavic does make good stuff, but you are right, they have allowed the competitors to catch up.

I wonder if there are numbers out there with revenue etc.
Yeah, the all carbon clinchers are still way expensive- but with Easton and FSA entering the wheel game I predict in less then 2 years (probably as late 05 models) there will be sub $1000 carbon clinchers. Reynolds has alot of capacity- I expect they will have a carbon rimmed model in that range as well. This is great news for us, but not so good news for Mavic. The other amazing thing is how cheap you can get a 17 pound bike for now. Heck, a D/A equipped Cannondale R3000 (with K's) weighs 15 pounds stock (no pedals) in size 54, and retails for around $3500. Just a couple years ago 15 pound bikes right out of the box were quite rare and very expensive. They same principle is coming on carbon wheels.
 

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Coolhand said:
Good point. My next bike may come stock with these (as I am selling my Seven in the classifieds), so I will get a better chance to compare them to the handbuilt 32 hole 3 cross Campy record/dt revolution/open pros I have been riding for years, and the pimpy set of Rolf Elan Aero's I ordered for race wheels. However, the Reynolds are lighter and just as stiff (but currently way expensive).

That is why the Easton acquisition of Velomax is so threatening. They can bring their carbon engineering and contraction capacity to the already pretty nice Velomax set-ups. Once properly engineered carbon setups (or hybrid Al/Carbon rims like the lower end Zipps) hit the 500-600 dollar price point (and they will), Mavic needs to have a counter punch. To me that should be a full carbon rimmed clincher (ala Reynolds and Campy) version of the K's, with a lighter hub. The bladed Al spokes are fine, but I am not sure they are any better then something like the Sapim CX Rays (which my Rolfs are coming with- woo hoo!).

Just my opinion, of course.
I agree with that the $500-600 aluminum/carbon wheelset is not far off. Once the manufacturers get a handle on the carbon clinchers, watch out.... I saw Real-Design is now selling carbon wheels. The 1500gr carbon clincher is $1300 pair. www.real-design.com
 

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Mavic is huge and part of the Solomon-Adidas group which is the largest sports equipment conglomerate in the world. I don't think they'll have any shortage of resources in order to compete effectively. Heck they probably could just buy Easton and shut them down :confused:

Regardless, I'm looking forward to some more affordable carbon clinchers as well. I wouldn't mind a pair of Reynolds if they were around the $1000 mark.
 

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Damn, all you guys are already poo-pooing the idea. Basically that's all it is at this point and they are in testing phases. One team hutchinson sponsors at a press conference saw and caught wind of the riders wheels. Michelin jumped the gun I guess (also involved) and decided to do a press release. If it doesn't work they will probably pull the plug.
So these guys are in the testing phase at this point. It WOULD be a high pressure system for sure.

You guys are talking like Mavic is going to shrivel up and die in the next couple of years. They have supported this industry for so long and are recognized as a serious supporter and give so much back to cycling. Mavic's biggest threat so far has been Shimano and talking with some friends that are Mavic reps I know they said that hasn't even worked out to be a threat.

Mavic's biggest ordeal so far? Bontrager Wheels. Customers buy a new high end Trek road bike and want the Bontragers taken off and replaced with Mavic's hoops. Shop now has a pair of brand new Bontragers to sell and bike shop is less likely to buy more wheels from Mavic rep when he returns because he's got to somehow unload the Bonty's first. Also, Mavic has AWESOME relationships with the IBD. These Easton wheels - will they be distributed by Velomax reps or under Veltec Sports - the US Easton, Sidi distributor?

It's kinda like hydration packs. What do you think of first? Probably camelback, right? Are there a lot of other companies taking away market share? Sure. Mavic is the king of wheels and will be for a long, long time. Just my opinion of course.

BTW, I ride Dura Ace 7700 wheels and love them.
 

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rodiegonebad said:
Damn, all you guys are already poo-pooing the idea. Basically that's all it is at this point and they are in testing phases. One team hutchinson sponsors at a press conference saw and caught wind of the riders wheels. Michelin jumped the gun I guess (also involved) and decided to do a press release. If it doesn't work they will probably pull the plug.
So these guys are in the testing phase at this point. It WOULD be a high pressure system for sure.

You guys are talking like Mavic is going to shrivel up and die in the next couple of years. They have supported this industry for so long and are recognized as a serious supporter and give so much back to cycling. Mavic's biggest threat so far has been Shimano and talking with some friends that are Mavic reps I know they said that hasn't even worked out to be a threat.

Mavic's biggest ordeal so far? Bontrager Wheels. Customers buy a new high end Trek road bike and want the Bontragers taken off and replaced with Mavic's hoops. Shop now has a pair of brand new Bontragers to sell and bike shop is less likely to buy more wheels from Mavic rep when he returns because he's got to somehow unload the Bonty's first. Also, Mavic has AWESOME relationships with the IBD. These Easton wheels - will they be distributed by Velomax reps or under Veltec Sports - the US Easton, Sidi distributor?

It's kinda like hydration packs. What do you think of first? Probably camelback, right? Are there a lot of other companies taking away market share? Sure. Mavic is the king of wheels and will be for a long, long time. Just my opinion of course.

BTW, I ride Dura Ace 7700 wheels and love them.
I have to disagree, Mavic's biggest threat is carbon wheels. Until they come out with a lighter set of carbon wheels, FSA, Bonty, Easton and others will continue to eat away at their market share. There are quite a few people out there willing to spend $700-800 for K's but far fewer are willing to spend $1500 for carbon tubies.... Carbon wheels have two problems today. 1. they are expensive 2. they only come in tubies. Once the price drops down to less than $1000 for carbon clinchers(as another poster said, it will happen), Mavic better be ready to counter....

Just my opinion of course and I ride Dura Ace 7701 wheels and love them :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
rodiegonebad said:
Mavic's biggest ordeal so far? Bontrager Wheels. Customers buy a new high end Trek road bike and want the Bontragers taken off and replaced with Mavic's hoops. Shop now has a pair of brand new Bontragers to sell and bike shop is less likely to buy more wheels from Mavic rep when he returns because he's got to somehow unload the Bonty's first. Also, Mavic has AWESOME relationships with the IBD. These Easton wheels - will they be distributed by Velomax reps or under Veltec Sports - the US Easton, Sidi distributor?

It's kinda like hydration packs. What do you think of first? Probably camelback, right? Are there a lot of other companies taking away market share? Sure. Mavic is the king of wheels and will be for a long, long time. Just my opinion of course.

BTW, I ride Dura Ace 7700 wheels and love them.
Mavic was the king- but not anymore. They have already lost the high-end to super high end markets to Reynolds, Zipp et al. They have lost the lower end pre-built and lower end rim market. Their strength is the mid-range stuff and the captive race market. But with the amount they spend on race sponsorship and team sponsorship, that has to cut into their net margins.

Hard to tell how Easton will distribute- honestly they probably may do a combination of channels. Veltec (who owes me 2 EP's now- come on fellas, daddy needs his fancy Sidi road shoes and HAC4 Plus already! ;) ) is the obvious channel though. My guess is it may be a combination of Veltec and maybe QBP (depending on the deal Easton and Veltec have).

Mavic may make this work, but given the extensive issues mountain UST ran into, with a much more compelling story to tell the customers- road UST looks pretty iffy. Add in the current existance of tubbies (especially the carbon rimmed ones), and its understandable how skeptical many people are. Mavic still makes nice (if a bit expensive and a bit heavy) stuff, and they have a decent rep. However, many IBD's have had more than their fair share of runaround by Mavic on warranty issues, replacement parts and availability woes- so dont count on a fountain of goodwill there.
 

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