Mavic Aksium Review

French manufacturer Mavic have constructed many variable wheelsets throughout their 100+ years existence, and the Askium is one of the more basic models priced at approximately £200.

They are one of the heaviest wheels weighing in at approximately 1735 grams with the front wheel set at 800 and are available in clincher mode only. The aluminium rims have a sleeve joint which has helped to reduce the weight by up to 60 grams and have a black anodised finish. With a depth of 24 mm they have been pinned and machined to allow for greater efficiency in braking.

The traditional steel spokes are straight-pull and bladed with a good high tension, while the nipples are brass and use the self-locking concept. There are 20 spokes on both set of wheels with radial lacing at the front and on the non-drive rear with crossed lacing on the rear drive. The spoke holes are drilled through the rim and extra durability is provided by hammer hardening for the eyelet area.

Extra pluses are the aluminium cartridge bearing hubs which are very reliable and smooth and the steel reinforcement between the hub body and the two pawl mechanism, which can generate quite a bit of noise.

As for road worthiness, their weight generally rules them out of racing and they do not fare particularly well on aerodynamics, but they are stiff and durable over multiple surfaces. The wheels can stay true over the roughest of terrain and would seem to be perfect for training rides or touring. Even over smooth surfaces speed attained can be up to 5 mph higher than for the average mass produced wheels.

For climbing, once again the weight tends to lead to an increased level of pedalling power, but nothing of great significance. When riding on the downhill stretches the wheels run smoothly with greater speeds than expected. As the wheelsets are tried and tested for quality control in the French Alps close to the Mavic factory, it is wise to assume that hill work will be an essential part of the trials.

The wheelsets are sold with a range of freebies including a pair of tyres with tubes, some rim strips, a user guide and a warranty card. Another factor which may be important is that the wheels do have striking good looks, for those riders interested in looking the part.

The Mavic Aksiums may not be the fastest and most lightweight wheels on the market, but for the price charged, they perform many of the functions available from many of the top of the range models, which is all that is required for those cyclists who will be buying them. With high quality spokes and rims fitted, any difficult maintenance tasks should be kept to a minimum and for touring riders this is an essential factor.

Mavic Aksium

Rating by Adam Samuel: 4.5 stars

Like This?

Written by: