I got a nice Christmas present. Santa left me a slick pair of Mavic Crossrides. My old Shimano WH-M535′s were in need of replacement. Not because I was too hard on them and they gave up, either. I ride a MTB frame that I’ve converted into a single speed commuter and was looking for a nice set of 26″ wheels to help get me from A to B and back again.
Opening up the box, you see a nice clean set of wheels and a plastic bag with your skewers and the rim tape (which really isn’t tape anymore, but more on that later). Mavic puts together a nice instruction booklet on how to assemble your new wheels upon opening up the package. It’s not too difficult, but to those who haven’t done it before, it’s a nice visual guide (and a surprising amount of lawyer speak in multiple languages in the back).
These wheels weigh in at 1700 grams which aren’t too bad. The rims are aluminum (6106) and the spokes are steel. A couple of cool features about these wheels are the Hammer Hardening and the Self Lock system. The Hammer Hardening (H2) gives a higher amount of strength on the rim where the spoke meets it to provide a stronger mate. The Self Lock system does not allow the spoke thread to loosen during use which provides you with less maintenance and a truer wheel for a longer period of time.
The rear spokes on the drive side are laced radially to promote better energy transmission during riding. Mavic calls this their Isopulse technology which sounds pretty good. I would have come up with something like that, too. The spokes on the non-drive side of the rear wheel are laced ‘regularly’ and this apparently gives a more balanced energy transfer.
I am used to rolling rim tape around the inside of the rims to protect the tubes from where the rims have been drilled for the spokes. Instead these came with an extruded polyurethane strip that had been heated and sealed to form a circle. I pulled it over the rim and pushed it into place so that it seated nicely. There are a couple of pictures in the gallery above that show the rim tape seated properly.
Anyhow, now that you know all of the technical details (important ones at least), I can tell you how they felt when I was riding them. I stuck a new set of Continental Travel Contact Reflex’s on and off I went. My first impression was how smooth the ride felt. I’m sure there was a bit of ‘new bias’ playing in my mind. I took them over some smaller pot holes just to make sure that they would hold together. They did, fortunately for me.
As always, I’ll post an update in a couple of weeks and give a more detailed riding impression.
Stiff. Solid. Smooth. These are the words that I kept thinking of when I was enjoying the new wheels while commuting over the last couple of weeks. These are the first wheels that I have had with flat spokes and while I figured that the geometry of the spokes wouldn’t make that big of a difference, it was still something that was on my mind during riding. As long as they maintain their tension, they can be whatever shape they want.
The braking on these wheels was smooth thanks to the machined groove down the center of the braking surface. It’s tough to get an impression of how much better the life of my brake pad is because of this over two weeks, but I was curious about this fact. Does the center groove prolong the life of the break pads?
All in all, they’re a good set of wheels if you’re looking for an upgrade or a replacement set for your bike.