Out Of the Box: Mavic Crossroc WTS- by Grannygear

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When I saw the concept of the Wheel and Tire System put forward in the catalog for the Mavic Crossroc wheel and Crossroc Roam tire, I had some questions.  What was so special about this ‘system’?  Could I not use any other tire on there?   What gives here?  So I asked some pointy questions to Zach Vestal, marketing wizard at Mavic to see what he had to say.  Basically the idea was to have a tire/wheel combo that had a known, pre-designed level of performance when it comes to tire fitment, especially concerning tubeless use, as well as weight trade-offs, traction, and reliability.  That way the consumer knows that he is getting, right from the ‘factory’, a guaranteed, proven combo for the intended use, and in the case of the Crossroc/Roam, at a relatively low cost.

Now what do we make of that?  There is for sure a bit of the old saying “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” as the marketing guy waves his arms, but if you have ever struggled in the garage until the wee hours of the morning trying to get a poorly matched wheel/tire combo to set up tubeless, then you may appreciate this approach to a WTS…Wheel Tire System.  But Zach was quick to point out that this is just a wheel and just a tire when you get down to it and they can rise and fall on their own merits but that Mavic was looking to take as many of the nasty variables out as possible.  Make sense?

So, out of the box came the goodies to see what we had here.  The wheels are good looking, what with the 24 bladed spokes (F/R) and black/white and grey graphic scheme.  The tires have a bold lettering to them as well and together they have a distinct but not too annoyingly loud motif.  The tread is pretty aggressive, with lots of angled, smaller knobs on the main tread and blocky side knobs.  My first thought is that it looks like a good set up for harder, dry conditions and the casing looks pretty good too in a 2.2 size.  The single compound in the tread is the 60 shore A All Round Compound (ARC) and they are UST Tubeless Ready, so they are not the heavy type of UST tire that can be run dry, but these require sealant to remain air fast.  The accepted norm.  They also have the ‘Guard’ built into this tire, an extra layer of protection to keep you rolling, not repairing.

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The rear hub is a 2 pawl system, the TS-2, and the alloy axle allows for out of the box 142×12 and 9mmQR with two included adaptors (shown in the one pic above) and a rear 5mmx135mm standard QR. The front is QR 15 with no mention of options here.   As well, you get the tubeless kit with two rim strips, valves, and assorted bits.

The rim is a bit narrow at a 19mm internal width and that is bucking the trends of late, but is not unexpected from a European based company.  As well, this wheel is not an AM or heavy trail type wheel but more a general purpose XC/Trail wheelset.

Up on the scale, the parts weighed out as follows:

  • Front wheel/tire combo as it came out of the box with a 29″ tube and normal rim strip – 1887g/4lbs 2oz
  • Rear wheel/tire combo as it came out of the box with a 29″ tube and normal rim strip – 2002g/4lbs 6 oz
  • Bare front wheel – 835g
  • Bare rear wheel at 142×12 setup – 962g
  • Tires – Front=800g  Rear=795g
  • Converted tubeless – Front=1813g/3lbs 15oz  Rear=1928g/4lbs 4oz

Mavic claims a 1755g weight (oops…that was for 26″ wheels) 1930g for both wheels and I have 1797g so that is below their numbers.  Notice we dropped 148g going tubeless.  Not bad, even with the significant rim strip in there.  Retail is right at $502.00 for all this.

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After I weighed them, I installed the tubeless kit, using the instructions that are printed in about 17 languages, it seems.  Luckily for this under educated American, one of them was English.  The install was very simple and the moment of truth was upon me.  Would they inflate easy, this ‘system’ from Mavic?  It took less than 2 strokes with a floor pump to get the tire well on its way to being seated on the rim.  I think I could have done it with a frame pump.  Seriously easy.  Maybe even a strong breath would have done it if I had lip enough to get my mouth over the valve stem.  If the WTS system does nothing else for me but that, I am happy.

The wheel will be run on a couple of bikes, an XC hard tail and an FS so we can get a bit of a handle of the way they roll.  Stay tuned.

Note: Mavic provided the items for this test/review at no charge to Twenty Nine Inches. We are not being bribed nor paid for this review. We will strive to be honest with our thoughts and opinions throughout.