The not-so-minor details
Mavic Crossmax XL WTS Wheelset
Claimed, w/o tyres or tubes.
Good value with included tyres.
XD Driver is an additional cost.
Mavic’s Crossmax wheels have quite the reputation. Mavic, the French gods of rolling gear, have long made the rims and wheels that other manufacturers aspire to equal, and the Crossmax line has been at the pinnacle – le summet, if you will.
Their are four flavours of Crossmax wheels available, and we’re taking a look at the newest version of the XL wheelset in a 650B format (26″ and 29″ are available too), which is right in the sweet spot with the popularity of enduro-style riding/racing. Mavic bill these wheels as the “adventurer’s choice”; I once ate a sea urchin, that’s pretty adventurous, so hopefully we make the cut.
First thing, these wheels come pre-dressed with some excellent looking tyres! Mavic have been developing rubber for both mountain and road bikes over the past few years, and this will be our first experience on their treads. The Quest tyres are a 2.4″ width, with a generous bag to them, nice and soft compound, with a lowish-profile centre tread. The claimed weight for them is 780g in 650B, and of course they’re tubeless ready too.
The wheels themselves are a pleasant evolution, rather than a blank-sheet re-design. Mavic have bumped the internal width of the rims up to 23mm, for more tyre stability, as well as changing the rim profile to make it more dent resistant. The milling on both the hub and rim is something pretty special, giving the wheels that gorgeous ‘carved from a hunk of aluminium’ industrial chic that we really like. 24 massive Zircal spokes hold each wheel together, with radial lacing on the rear driveside.
We haven’t yet removed the tyres to weigh the wheels on their own, but the claimed figure is 1710g. With tyres and tubes fitted, the complete weight of our 650B wheels is just on 3.6kg, which will drop significantly once we go tubeless (valves are supplied).
We’re genuinely looking forward to riding some Mavic wheels again. With the trends towards super-wide rims we’ve been seeing in the all-mountain category, it’ll be good see how some high-quality not-so-wide wheels perform in comparison. These will be finding their way onto our Norco Range long-term test bike very shortly. NB. Our wheels are fitted with an XD Driver body, not a Shimano driver as is standard.