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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm considering upgrading my wheelset to 2012 Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheelset that just came up on CL in my area. I'm an older rider, 70-100 mi. a week on an older (2001) LeMond Zurich with stock Aurora Matrix wheels. I'm running Ultegra 9 speed. Will the Mavic's work with a 9 speed? (hub is Shimano/Sram) Is the upgrade worth it for such an old bike? I typically ride rough roads, will these wheels be a harsh ride? Is $450 reasonable if they are indeed in excellent condition, very low miles as advertised? I'm 64, weigh 140, looking to do some centuries this summer. Thanks.
 

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When you can get the new, wide Neuvation for $399 new, that doesn't sound like a very good deal to me. It's not very hard to find a used set of Mavic Ksyrium SLs in the $300-400 price range.
 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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i'm one of many on this forum that know Mavic wheels are nothing special. in fact, they've tried (for some reason) to re-invent the wheel and have ended up taking a few steps in the wrong direction. because of their involvement w/ pro racing and the extremely high visibility they get because of that, they've managed to get a crazy amount of OEM spec and also a ton of aftermarket sales.
the wheels are not very smart in a number of ways. since i'm currently well caffeinated i'll list them for you.
1) low spoke count...this means the rim must be heavier to maintain strength. this is why Mavic mills out the area between the spokes (they call it 'ISM') to keep the weight reasonable. as anyone that has the slightest knowledge of physics knows, the rim is the last place you want to add unnecessary weight.
2) proprietary spokes/hubs/rims...this means if/when you damage a wheel, you have to find a shop that actually has the parts to fix it. good luck w/ that.
3) the spokes are threaded directly into the rim. this requires large, threaded holes in the rim. this creates stress risers and many Mavic rims crack well before they're worn out.
4) the Mavic freehub is about the worst engineered product in all of cycling. one cartridge bearing on the outside where the load is lowest, and a phenolic bushing on the inside where the load is greatest. EVERY other freehub in the world runs on 2 bearings. the Mavic freehub needs frequent lubrication (every 2-4mos for most users) to keep it working properly.
there are literally thousands and thousands of Mavic wheels in use and most of them work just fine. but...if you want something that is light-ish, dependable, and not expensive, there are many other good options. Elites are going brand-new with tires for $799 or less every day, so the ones you're looking at (if near-new) aren't a bad deal. the wheels have nearly zero impact on ride quality compared to tire size, construction, and pressure. if you want a nice ride, get some good quality 25mm tires and inflate them to 80-85 rear and 70 or so in the front at your weight.
 

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Mavic Ksyrium Elites are okay wheels. They were stock on my 2005 Orbea Onix, and I know that more recent versions are lighter, but even then the new ones aren't the best value for what you spend. I'd second the motion on a set of Neuvations for $399, or I'd also consider the Boyd Roleur set for comparable money.
 

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wut?
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i'm one of many on this forum that know Mavic wheels are nothing special. in fact, they've tried (for some reason) to re-invent the wheel and have ended up taking a few steps in the wrong direction. because of their involvement w/ pro racing and the extremely high visibility they get because of that, they've managed to get a crazy amount of OEM spec and also a ton of aftermarket sales.
the wheels are not very smart in a number of ways. since i'm currently well caffeinated i'll list them for you.
1) low spoke count...this means the rim must be heavier to maintain strength. this is why Mavic mills out the area between the spokes (they call it 'ISM') to keep the weight reasonable. as anyone that has the slightest knowledge of physics knows, the rim is the last place you want to add unnecessary weight.
2) proprietary spokes/hubs/rims...this means if/when you damage a wheel, you have to find a shop that actually has the parts to fix it. good luck w/ that.
3) the spokes are threaded directly into the rim. this requires large, threaded holes in the rim. this creates stress risers and many Mavic rims crack well before they're worn out.
4) the Mavic freehub is about the worst engineered product in all of cycling. one cartridge bearing on the outside where the load is lowest, and a phenolic bushing on the inside where the load is greatest. EVERY other freehub in the world runs on 2 bearings. the Mavic freehub needs frequent lubrication (every 2-4mos for most users) to keep it working properly.
there are literally thousands and thousands of Mavic wheels in use and most of them work just fine. but...if you want something that is light-ish, dependable, and not expensive, there are many other good options. Elites are going brand-new with tires for $799 or less every day, so the ones you're looking at (if near-new) aren't a bad deal. the wheels have nearly zero impact on ride quality compared to tire size, construction, and pressure. if you want a nice ride, get some good quality 25mm tires and inflate them to 80-85 rear and 70 or so in the front at your weight.
Nice post. I agree completely!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies - exactly the info I was seeking. I am now thinking new might be a better way to go. Now I have to convince myself such an upgrade is worth the $$. I intend to try 25's as soon as current tires show some wear. And cxwrench, your next cup's on me : )
 

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wasssabi
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i'm one of many on this forum that know Mavic wheels are nothing special. in fact, they've tried (for some reason) to re-invent the wheel and have ended up taking a few steps in the wrong direction. because of their involvement w/ pro racing and the extremely high visibility they get because of that, they've managed to get a crazy amount of OEM spec and also a ton of aftermarket sales.
the wheels are not very smart in a number of ways. since i'm currently well caffeinated i'll list them for you.
1) low spoke count...this means the rim must be heavier to maintain strength. this is why Mavic mills out the area between the spokes (they call it 'ISM') to keep the weight reasonable. as anyone that has the slightest knowledge of physics knows, the rim is the last place you want to add unnecessary weight.
2) proprietary spokes/hubs/rims...this means if/when you damage a wheel, you have to find a shop that actually has the parts to fix it. good luck w/ that.
3) the spokes are threaded directly into the rim. this requires large, threaded holes in the rim. this creates stress risers and many Mavic rims crack well before they're worn out.
4) the Mavic freehub is about the worst engineered product in all of cycling. one cartridge bearing on the outside where the load is lowest, and a phenolic bushing on the inside where the load is greatest. EVERY other freehub in the world runs on 2 bearings. the Mavic freehub needs frequent lubrication (every 2-4mos for most users) to keep it working properly.
there are literally thousands and thousands of Mavic wheels in use and most of them work just fine. but...if you want something that is light-ish, dependable, and not expensive, there are many other good options. Elites are going brand-new with tires for $799 or less every day, so the ones you're looking at (if near-new) aren't a bad deal. the wheels have nearly zero impact on ride quality compared to tire size, construction, and pressure. if you want a nice ride, get some good quality 25mm tires and inflate them to 80-85 rear and 70 or so in the front at your weight.
Great post.
I need that printed out in a wallet-size so everytime someone rolls up showing off their new set of Mavic super wheels, I can just hand them a card and say "read this".
 

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i'm one of many on this forum that know Mavic wheels are nothing special. in fact, they've tried (for some reason) to re-invent the wheel and have ended up taking a few steps in the wrong direction. because of their involvement w/ pro racing and the extremely high visibility they get because of that, they've managed to get a crazy amount of OEM spec and also a ton of aftermarket sales.
the wheels are not very smart in a number of ways. since i'm currently well caffeinated i'll list them for you.
1) low spoke count...this means the rim must be heavier to maintain strength. this is why Mavic mills out the area between the spokes (they call it 'ISM') to keep the weight reasonable. as anyone that has the slightest knowledge of physics knows, the rim is the last place you want to add unnecessary weight.
2) proprietary spokes/hubs/rims...this means if/when you damage a wheel, you have to find a shop that actually has the parts to fix it. good luck w/ that.
3) the spokes are threaded directly into the rim. this requires large, threaded holes in the rim. this creates stress risers and many Mavic rims crack well before they're worn out.
4) the Mavic freehub is about the worst engineered product in all of cycling. one cartridge bearing on the outside where the load is lowest, and a phenolic bushing on the inside where the load is greatest. EVERY other freehub in the world runs on 2 bearings. the Mavic freehub needs frequent lubrication (every 2-4mos for most users) to keep it working properly.
there are literally thousands and thousands of Mavic wheels in use and most of them work just fine. but...if you want something that is light-ish, dependable, and not expensive, there are many other good options. Elites are going brand-new with tires for $799 or less every day, so the ones you're looking at (if near-new) aren't a bad deal. the wheels have nearly zero impact on ride quality compared to tire size, construction, and pressure. if you want a nice ride, get some good quality 25mm tires and inflate them to 80-85 rear and 70 or so in the front at your weight.
One more vote of agreement. I have never really forgiven MAVIC for starting this whole boutique wheel business. It's resulted in a greatly diminished skill set among bike mechanics (lots no longer know how to build wheels) and a greatly dimished selection of rims, spokes, and hubs. And (until you get into the CF tubular wheels) no substantial performance increase but a substantial price increase for wheels that are really just average.
 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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wow, thanks guys. i'm used to being the *sshole on this forum and people getting pissed at me all the time. this is kinda nice for a change!
 

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Pathlete and Pedalphile
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wow, thanks guys. i'm used to being the *sshole on this forum and people getting pissed at me all the time. this is kinda nice for a change!
The only people that think you're an *sshole are the ones that can't take the truth. You know your sh!t, and you tell it like it is. :thumbsup:
 

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A wheelist
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11,324 Posts
wow, thanks guys. i'm used to being the *sshole on this forum and people getting pissed at me all the time. this is kinda nice for a change!
Heck, don't put yourself down like that cx!! Let us do it for you! :D Naww, just kidding mate!

You left out a point about the Mavic - they need a special spoke wrench. A person for whom I used to mechanic their race bikes came to me one day with a set of Mavic "high end" wheels that needed a bit of truing. Those wheels came standard on the bike they had just bought. They had heard my rants about wheelsets with proprietary parts many times but, as we know, it's tough to buy a complete bike that doesn't sport a set of wheels something like these. So in their naivety they wheeled this bike in with a "Can you true these, I have a race tomorrow?" familiar request.

As I'm not a shop that has to fix all kinds of bikes to stay in business, I didn't have a wrench to fit so I couldn't help this person. I told 'em that if they bought themselves a wrench, I'd true the wheels. I dunno what happened but I never saw that set of wheels again, I'm very happy to say.

In addition to this, another time, same person, earlier wheels - they had a bike with the low-end Shimano wheels (I forget the model number) with something like 16/20 spokes or 20/24 and I was working on it one day. I'd just acquired a set of OpenPro/Ultegra/DT Comp/32/32 wheels for my own dirt road bike. I wanted some "dirt" on those Shimano wheels so while I was tinkering with the bike I popped the wheels out and removed tires and cassette and weighed the wheels - yessssss, they were heavier than my new bulletproof 32/32 "curmudgeon" wheels - wheels that would have made even Peter White proud.

I knocked over a pound in weight off her wheels by getting her a set of BWW Blackset Race that weighed 1371g and that had sensible (for her approx 100-130lbs of bodyweight) 24/28 DT Rev spokes. And those wheels went for an incredible $330 at the time too.

The URL for this whole thread is now saved in my .txt files as a great future resource. Thanks for spelling out the plain facts cx.
 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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15,563 Posts
you're right as usual Mike, another good point. you can't even true them if you don't have the proprietary tool(s)!
 

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wasssabi
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You know how many "Mavic guys" are squirming reading this and don't know what to do? They want to defend their beloved wheels but fear flamage. Too funny.
 
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