Some say, you're not a true weight weenie unless you hate Mavic wheels. If you're new to the sport, it's hard to understand why, especially when Mavic make a wheel like the Ksyrium Elite, a respectable weight, respectable durability for a respectable price. Sure, their hubs aren't the best in the market, and their cosmic carbone line of aero wheels are a few generations behind on the aero game, but overall if you're buying a Mavic wheel you know you're not buying a bad wheel. If anything, they represent the safe option, they're not particularly good value for money, nor are they particularly cutting edge, and for the weight weenie crowd, not being either of those options (and having proprietary parts) gets you shunted.
Mavic continue the tradition with their new Ksyrium Elite wheelsystem for 2016. With a recommended retail price of 630 EUR (vat included) and a claimed weight of 1550 grams they're not particularly cutting edge, in fact, if you look at the previous Ksyrium Elite S wheelset, which are cheaper and 1520g you might ask what's the deal?
Looking at the finer details we observe that Mavic are using a wider rim. Sure, wider rims are old news but what's particularly exciting is that Mavic are bringing their ISM 4D technology down to this wheelset, meaning they're able to make incredibly light weight wide rims. Mavic are claiming a weight of 405g for the rims, which is very competitive to the other wide rims on the market today (generally in the 440-500g range). Mavic are keen to emphasise that the rim is a complete redesign.
As you can see Mavic are still quite keen on their proprietary spokes, and selling the wheel as a wheel system. This may be a deal breaker for some (particularly those who are confident working on their own machines), but for the majority of cyclists (especially those who are not confident with wheel maintenance) it shouldn't be too much of a concern. We also notice that Mavic (not surprisingly) continue to insist on their Isopulse spoke lacing. According to Mavic it's supposed to make a more "balanced" wheel (evens out the spoke tension). However, in practice radially laced spokes aren't as effective as transferring torque, requiring a stiffer (heavier) hub body.
It's interesting to note that Mavic recommend a minimum width of 25mm for these wheels, and supply their own 25mm tyres with the rim system. The rims are still 24mm (front) and 26mm (rear) deep but now feature a toroidal shape for (slightly) improved aerodynamics.
I understand for many of you this is quite a boring topic, especially since wide (and reasonably light) rims have been around for a while, but for Mavic this is a huge step, and in my humble opinion a step in the right direction. I hope that we see a wider Cosmic Carbone wheel, using this Ksyrium rim as a platform in the near future.
Expected them to be available with Starbike within the next few months, and as always, active weightweenie members will receive a 5% discount on items purchased from Starbike. I'm currently looking at getting a set in for review so stay posted for my review on these wheels.