by Marc Basiliere
July 16, 2014
Sub-1,400g tubeless-native alloy wheelsets? Yes, please.
Really the first successful pre-built XC wheelset and the first successful tubeless wheelset, Mavic’s Crossmax has a long history. Coming in an era of locally-built, steel-spoked wheels, the French company broke the mold with its sealed spoke bed, Zircal (aluminium) spokes, and (later) removal of unnecessary material from between the spokes.
For 2015, Mavic is introducing a redesigned Crossmax SL wheelset- and it’s light. Coming in under 1,400g in the 26in (yes, 26in) size, the new Crossmax SL is the lightest mountain wheel that the company has ever built. 26in Crossmax SLs are 50g lighter than this year’s Crossmax SLR, the 29er version is a full 100g lighter than its predecessor:
- 26in (1390g per pair, 630g front/760g rear)
- 27.5in (1470g per pair, 665g front/805g rear)
- 29in (1520g per pair, 690g front/830g rear)
Because no tape is needed for tubeless sealing (or to keep sharp edges from puncturing tubes), Mavic’s advertised weights come without asterisks. Despite their light weight, 2015 Crossmax SL wheels are endorsed for both cross-country and fast trail riding.
Thanks to Mavic’s ISM 4D (Inter Spoke Milling 4 Dimension) process, the rims are as much as 10% lighter than those they replace, reducing inertia and improving acceleration. Rather than distinct cuts (as in the 2014 SLR), the 4D mill cuts a continuous path along the rim, softening the transitions between meaty threads for the nipples and thin walls between. The smoother rims measure 23mm/19mm across and are 21mm deep.
Mavic’s now-proven ITS-4 rear hub accommodates standard quick releases as well as 12x135mm and 12x142mm through axles. Shimano 10- and 11-speed cassettes can be fitted as stock, as can SRAM 11-speed cassettes with an aftermarket XD driver. The front hub accepts standard quick releases and 15QR thru axles. For the Cannondale fans in the audience, 27.5 and 29er versions will be available to fit Lefty Supermax forks.
Details are not yet available for the rubber side of the equation, but the 2015 Crossmax SL will be available as a Wheel Tyre System Stateside beginning in September for $1,000.
UK Pricing will be £870 for the wheelset and it’ll start appearing this autumn. There are no plans for matching tyres just yet.