Mavic Ksyrium Elite Review

With over 100 years in the cycling trade, French manufacturer Mavic has built a formidable reputation in its product range. Its Ksyrium wheelset model originates from 1999 with clinchers introduced as a basic constituent, and it has been continually developed since then with the Elite version amongst the lower end of the Ksyrium brand.

This wheelset features some of the advanced technologies of the more elaborate models but still retains a very affordable price of just over £400. These wheels have a combined weight of roughly 1550 grams with the radially 18 spoked front wheel being the lighter of the two at 690 grams.

The 20 spoke rear wheel incorporates the unique Mavic branded ‘Isoplus’ style lacing which is two-crossed on the non-driving side compensated by a more radial type pattern on the other side. In addition to the polished aluminium finish there are silver or black versions. The spokes of are of the straight-pull bladed variety which when combined with fully adjustable cartridge bearings allows for greater smoothness in the ride.

One extra feature of the wheelset is the lack of spoke holes on the rim underside which alleviates the need for rim strips, while the spoke nipples are connected to threaded ares within the rim interior. The front rims have a 23 mm depth compared to the 25 mm at the rear, and the brake tracks have been milled for greater efficiency.

When tested, the Elite scores top marks for stiffness despite its lightweight feel, but there tends to be a slight but acceptable jarring on rougher terrain. On the more even stretches of road, the bike handling is faultless with a very smooth ride and any attempts at sudden prolonged acceleration are rewarded with an equally dynamic response.

As Mavic test all their wheels next to their main base in the French Alps, it is no surprise that hill climbing can be more than adequate with the Elite although the general stiffness can mean that more pedalling power is required. With some of the Mavic products there is a whistling sound around the spokes on fast downhill stretches, but this is not apparent with the Elite. Also, there is no discernible rub on the brake pads when pedalling harder.

Mavic also offer some basic tools as part of the price, but they are plastic and do not seem too robust. They are free so it is worth accepting a bladed spoke holder and a spoke wrench made specifically by the company. There is also a rear bearing adjusting tool, but perhaps the least useful of the freebies are an assortment of advertising stickers, some which have an extremely shiny silver taint.

Depending on your taste, these stickers can be thrown away, but this should not deflect from the notion that these wheelsets can give a responsive smooth ride at half of the price of many of the competitors, on the background of years of research at the Mavic testing area.

Mavic Ksyrium Elite

Rating by Adam Samuel: 4.5 stars

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