Mavic Crossmax SLR 29″er Wheels: Out Of the Box- by Grannygear
On a rainy day in So Cal, the only rainy day we have had all year actually, I unboxed a set of beautiful Mavic Crossmax SLR 29″er wheels. Stunning, really, in a kind of Space Ranger/Flash Gordon way. With the thick Zicral spokes, machined ISM 3D rims, and white hubs with the ITS4 free hub system…well they are not subtle. Also in that box was a cornucopia of stuff. Wheel bags (Really? How pro…makes me feel all special), axle conversion end-caps, adjustment wrenches, tubeless valve stems, and even a custom spoke mounted magnet for a bike computer (the stock ones would likely not fit the thicker spokes). Suggested retail is $999.90.
A wheel like this is polarizing. It has more techy labels that go with it than most for sure…UST, SUP, QRM+, Zircral, ISM 3D, ITS4, etc. But mostly, it is the nature of proprietary wheels with dedicated, unique spokes, etc, that are a mixed bag. On the one hand you have the potential for a well engineered system that, when taken as a whole can eclipse a ‘standard’ wheel in weight, stiffness, tubeless use, etc. On the other hand, a wheel built from discrete components like separately sourced hubs, spokes, etc, can be more easily repaired in most bike shops across town or the world and still will perform well.
However you feel about that, the Crossmax SLRs are pretty bold wheels and these kept some engineers busy for a while. I took the bare wheels except with 9mm end caps (rear wheel only) and weighed them at 866g rear and 740g front. This is right in there for Mavic’s numbers. I added some rotors (take note of the fixing bolt lengths…10mm max depth on the screws), installed the tubeless valve stems on the sealed, UST rims, and installed a set of Vredestein tires with ease using a floor pump. Nice. pop…POP!!
The rims are only 19mm internal width, so in that sense the rims are a bit out of step for this day and age as things move towards wider and wider rims. However, as an XC rim, 19mm is likely all you need unless you like running really low PSI settings tubeless. As a trail bike wheel, and these are rated as such, then a 2.2/2.3″ tire might be more limited on these if you want to go to low air pressures. Although the benefits of wider rims and how that plays into tire cross section shape, tread pattern, etc, are being debated, a wider rim does allow for more sidewall support and less tire deflection when the tire is side loaded.
These wheels will live on a hard tail 29″er, most likely, that will be used for long endurance rides or fast XC stuff, so big tires and super low pressures are not on the horizon. I expect them to be quite adequate in this use, rim width wise, but I do also expect that Mavic has to be watching the ‘wider is better’ trend with interest.
So these will be on trail soon and we will be reporting back as time goes by.
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.