Upgrade to Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheelset?
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  1. #1
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    Upgrade to Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheelset?

    I'm considering upgrading my wheelset to 2012 Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheelset that just came up on CL in my area. I'm an older rider, 70-100 mi. a week on an older (2001) LeMond Zurich with stock Aurora Matrix wheels. I'm running Ultegra 9 speed. Will the Mavic's work with a 9 speed? (hub is Shimano/Sram) Is the upgrade worth it for such an old bike? I typically ride rough roads, will these wheels be a harsh ride? Is $450 reasonable if they are indeed in excellent condition, very low miles as advertised? I'm 64, weigh 140, looking to do some centuries this summer. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    When you can get the new, wide Neuvation for $399 new, that doesn't sound like a very good deal to me. It's not very hard to find a used set of Mavic Ksyrium SLs in the $300-400 price range.

  3. #3
    'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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    i'm one of many on this forum that know Mavic wheels are nothing special. in fact, they've tried (for some reason) to re-invent the wheel and have ended up taking a few steps in the wrong direction. because of their involvement w/ pro racing and the extremely high visibility they get because of that, they've managed to get a crazy amount of OEM spec and also a ton of aftermarket sales.
    the wheels are not very smart in a number of ways. since i'm currently well caffeinated i'll list them for you.
    1) low spoke count...this means the rim must be heavier to maintain strength. this is why Mavic mills out the area between the spokes (they call it 'ISM') to keep the weight reasonable. as anyone that has the slightest knowledge of physics knows, the rim is the last place you want to add unnecessary weight.
    2) proprietary spokes/hubs/rims...this means if/when you damage a wheel, you have to find a shop that actually has the parts to fix it. good luck w/ that.
    3) the spokes are threaded directly into the rim. this requires large, threaded holes in the rim. this creates stress risers and many Mavic rims crack well before they're worn out.
    4) the Mavic freehub is about the worst engineered product in all of cycling. one cartridge bearing on the outside where the load is lowest, and a phenolic bushing on the inside where the load is greatest. EVERY other freehub in the world runs on 2 bearings. the Mavic freehub needs frequent lubrication (every 2-4mos for most users) to keep it working properly.
    there are literally thousands and thousands of Mavic wheels in use and most of them work just fine. but...if you want something that is light-ish, dependable, and not expensive, there are many other good options. Elites are going brand-new with tires for $799 or less every day, so the ones you're looking at (if near-new) aren't a bad deal. the wheels have nearly zero impact on ride quality compared to tire size, construction, and pressure. if you want a nice ride, get some good quality 25mm tires and inflate them to 80-85 rear and 70 or so in the front at your weight.
    #promechaniclife

  4. #4
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    Mavic Ksyrium Elites are okay wheels. They were stock on my 2005 Orbea Onix, and I know that more recent versions are lighter, but even then the new ones aren't the best value for what you spend. I'd second the motion on a set of Neuvations for $399, or I'd also consider the Boyd Roleur set for comparable money.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    i'm one of many on this forum that know Mavic wheels are nothing special. in fact, they've tried (for some reason) to re-invent the wheel and have ended up taking a few steps in the wrong direction. because of their involvement w/ pro racing and the extremely high visibility they get because of that, they've managed to get a crazy amount of OEM spec and also a ton of aftermarket sales.
    the wheels are not very smart in a number of ways. since i'm currently well caffeinated i'll list them for you.
    1) low spoke count...this means the rim must be heavier to maintain strength. this is why Mavic mills out the area between the spokes (they call it 'ISM') to keep the weight reasonable. as anyone that has the slightest knowledge of physics knows, the rim is the last place you want to add unnecessary weight.
    2) proprietary spokes/hubs/rims...this means if/when you damage a wheel, you have to find a shop that actually has the parts to fix it. good luck w/ that.
    3) the spokes are threaded directly into the rim. this requires large, threaded holes in the rim. this creates stress risers and many Mavic rims crack well before they're worn out.
    4) the Mavic freehub is about the worst engineered product in all of cycling. one cartridge bearing on the outside where the load is lowest, and a phenolic bushing on the inside where the load is greatest. EVERY other freehub in the world runs on 2 bearings. the Mavic freehub needs frequent lubrication (every 2-4mos for most users) to keep it working properly.
    there are literally thousands and thousands of Mavic wheels in use and most of them work just fine. but...if you want something that is light-ish, dependable, and not expensive, there are many other good options. Elites are going brand-new with tires for $799 or less every day, so the ones you're looking at (if near-new) aren't a bad deal. the wheels have nearly zero impact on ride quality compared to tire size, construction, and pressure. if you want a nice ride, get some good quality 25mm tires and inflate them to 80-85 rear and 70 or so in the front at your weight.
    Nice post. I agree completely!
    There I was...

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the replies - exactly the info I was seeking. I am now thinking new might be a better way to go. Now I have to convince myself such an upgrade is worth the $$. I intend to try 25's as soon as current tires show some wear. And cxwrench, your next cup's on me : )

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    i'm one of many on this forum that know Mavic wheels are nothing special. in fact, they've tried (for some reason) to re-invent the wheel and have ended up taking a few steps in the wrong direction. because of their involvement w/ pro racing and the extremely high visibility they get because of that, they've managed to get a crazy amount of OEM spec and also a ton of aftermarket sales.
    the wheels are not very smart in a number of ways. since i'm currently well caffeinated i'll list them for you.
    1) low spoke count...this means the rim must be heavier to maintain strength. this is why Mavic mills out the area between the spokes (they call it 'ISM') to keep the weight reasonable. as anyone that has the slightest knowledge of physics knows, the rim is the last place you want to add unnecessary weight.
    2) proprietary spokes/hubs/rims...this means if/when you damage a wheel, you have to find a shop that actually has the parts to fix it. good luck w/ that.
    3) the spokes are threaded directly into the rim. this requires large, threaded holes in the rim. this creates stress risers and many Mavic rims crack well before they're worn out.
    4) the Mavic freehub is about the worst engineered product in all of cycling. one cartridge bearing on the outside where the load is lowest, and a phenolic bushing on the inside where the load is greatest. EVERY other freehub in the world runs on 2 bearings. the Mavic freehub needs frequent lubrication (every 2-4mos for most users) to keep it working properly.
    there are literally thousands and thousands of Mavic wheels in use and most of them work just fine. but...if you want something that is light-ish, dependable, and not expensive, there are many other good options. Elites are going brand-new with tires for $799 or less every day, so the ones you're looking at (if near-new) aren't a bad deal. the wheels have nearly zero impact on ride quality compared to tire size, construction, and pressure. if you want a nice ride, get some good quality 25mm tires and inflate them to 80-85 rear and 70 or so in the front at your weight.
    Great post.
    I need that printed out in a wallet-size so everytime someone rolls up showing off their new set of Mavic super wheels, I can just hand them a card and say "read this".

  8. #8
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    Agreed TK. cxwrench pretty much summed it up.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    i'm one of many on this forum that know Mavic wheels are nothing special. in fact, they've tried (for some reason) to re-invent the wheel and have ended up taking a few steps in the wrong direction. because of their involvement w/ pro racing and the extremely high visibility they get because of that, they've managed to get a crazy amount of OEM spec and also a ton of aftermarket sales.
    the wheels are not very smart in a number of ways. since i'm currently well caffeinated i'll list them for you.
    1) low spoke count...this means the rim must be heavier to maintain strength. this is why Mavic mills out the area between the spokes (they call it 'ISM') to keep the weight reasonable. as anyone that has the slightest knowledge of physics knows, the rim is the last place you want to add unnecessary weight.
    2) proprietary spokes/hubs/rims...this means if/when you damage a wheel, you have to find a shop that actually has the parts to fix it. good luck w/ that.
    3) the spokes are threaded directly into the rim. this requires large, threaded holes in the rim. this creates stress risers and many Mavic rims crack well before they're worn out.
    4) the Mavic freehub is about the worst engineered product in all of cycling. one cartridge bearing on the outside where the load is lowest, and a phenolic bushing on the inside where the load is greatest. EVERY other freehub in the world runs on 2 bearings. the Mavic freehub needs frequent lubrication (every 2-4mos for most users) to keep it working properly.
    there are literally thousands and thousands of Mavic wheels in use and most of them work just fine. but...if you want something that is light-ish, dependable, and not expensive, there are many other good options. Elites are going brand-new with tires for $799 or less every day, so the ones you're looking at (if near-new) aren't a bad deal. the wheels have nearly zero impact on ride quality compared to tire size, construction, and pressure. if you want a nice ride, get some good quality 25mm tires and inflate them to 80-85 rear and 70 or so in the front at your weight.
    One more vote of agreement. I have never really forgiven MAVIC for starting this whole boutique wheel business. It's resulted in a greatly diminished skill set among bike mechanics (lots no longer know how to build wheels) and a greatly dimished selection of rims, spokes, and hubs. And (until you get into the CF tubular wheels) no substantial performance increase but a substantial price increase for wheels that are really just average.

  10. #10
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    I feel like cxwrench's post should sit by itself as a sticky in this forum

  11. #11
    T K
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    It should be the first thing that comes up if anybody Googles Mavic.

  12. #12
    'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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    wow, thanks guys. i'm used to being the *sshole on this forum and people getting pissed at me all the time. this is kinda nice for a change!
    #promechaniclife

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    wow, thanks guys. i'm used to being the *sshole on this forum and people getting pissed at me all the time. this is kinda nice for a change!
    The only people that think you're an *sshole are the ones that can't take the truth. You know your sh!t, and you tell it like it is.
    If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?

  14. #14
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    People dont like hearing they spent $500-$1000 on the worst performing wheels out there.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    wow, thanks guys. i'm used to being the *sshole on this forum and people getting pissed at me all the time. this is kinda nice for a change!
    Heck, don't put yourself down like that cx!! Let us do it for you! Naww, just kidding mate!

    You left out a point about the Mavic - they need a special spoke wrench. A person for whom I used to mechanic their race bikes came to me one day with a set of Mavic "high end" wheels that needed a bit of truing. Those wheels came standard on the bike they had just bought. They had heard my rants about wheelsets with proprietary parts many times but, as we know, it's tough to buy a complete bike that doesn't sport a set of wheels something like these. So in their naivety they wheeled this bike in with a "Can you true these, I have a race tomorrow?" familiar request.

    As I'm not a shop that has to fix all kinds of bikes to stay in business, I didn't have a wrench to fit so I couldn't help this person. I told 'em that if they bought themselves a wrench, I'd true the wheels. I dunno what happened but I never saw that set of wheels again, I'm very happy to say.

    In addition to this, another time, same person, earlier wheels - they had a bike with the low-end Shimano wheels (I forget the model number) with something like 16/20 spokes or 20/24 and I was working on it one day. I'd just acquired a set of OpenPro/Ultegra/DT Comp/32/32 wheels for my own dirt road bike. I wanted some "dirt" on those Shimano wheels so while I was tinkering with the bike I popped the wheels out and removed tires and cassette and weighed the wheels - yessssss, they were heavier than my new bulletproof 32/32 "curmudgeon" wheels - wheels that would have made even Peter White proud.

    I knocked over a pound in weight off her wheels by getting her a set of BWW Blackset Race that weighed 1371g and that had sensible (for her approx 100-130lbs of bodyweight) 24/28 DT Rev spokes. And those wheels went for an incredible $330 at the time too.

    The URL for this whole thread is now saved in my .txt files as a great future resource. Thanks for spelling out the plain facts cx.
    .

  16. #16
    'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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    you're right as usual Mike, another good point. you can't even true them if you don't have the proprietary tool(s)!
    #promechaniclife

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    wow, thanks guys. i'm used to being the *sshole on this forum and people getting pissed at me all the time. this is kinda nice for a change!
    Your posts are always on target cx. Thanks for you insight!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    wow, thanks guys. i'm used to being the *sshole on this forum and people getting pissed at me all the time. this is kinda nice for a change!
    Aw come on! I've got your back

  19. #19
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    Re: Upgrade to Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheelset?

    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    wow, thanks guys. i'm used to being the *sshole on this forum and people getting pissed at me all the time. this is kinda nice for a change!
    It doesn't mean we don't think you're and @sshole,we just happen to agree with you this time ;-)

  20. #20
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    You know how many "Mavic guys" are squirming reading this and don't know what to do? They want to defend their beloved wheels but fear flamage. Too funny.

  21. #21
    'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwbishop View Post
    It doesn't mean we don't think you're and @sshole,we just happen to agree with you this time ;-)
    that's more like it!
    #promechaniclife

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    i'm one of many on this forum that know Mavic wheels are nothing special. in fact, they've tried (for some reason) to re-invent the wheel and have ended up taking a few steps in the wrong direction. because of their involvement w/ pro racing and the extremely high visibility they get because of that, they've managed to get a crazy amount of OEM spec and also a ton of aftermarket sales.
    the wheels are not very smart in a number of ways. since i'm currently well caffeinated i'll list them for you.
    1) low spoke count...this means the rim must be heavier to maintain strength. this is why Mavic mills out the area between the spokes (they call it 'ISM') to keep the weight reasonable. as anyone that has the slightest knowledge of physics knows, the rim is the last place you want to add unnecessary weight.
    2) proprietary spokes/hubs/rims...this means if/when you damage a wheel, you have to find a shop that actually has the parts to fix it. good luck w/ that.
    3) the spokes are threaded directly into the rim. this requires large, threaded holes in the rim. this creates stress risers and many Mavic rims crack well before they're worn out.
    4) the Mavic freehub is about the worst engineered product in all of cycling. one cartridge bearing on the outside where the load is lowest, and a phenolic bushing on the inside where the load is greatest. EVERY other freehub in the world runs on 2 bearings. the Mavic freehub needs frequent lubrication (every 2-4mos for most users) to keep it working properly.
    there are literally thousands and thousands of Mavic wheels in use and most of them work just fine. but...if you want something that is light-ish, dependable, and not expensive, there are many other good options. Elites are going brand-new with tires for $799 or less every day, so the ones you're looking at (if near-new) aren't a bad deal. the wheels have nearly zero impact on ride quality compared to tire size, construction, and pressure. if you want a nice ride, get some good quality 25mm tires and inflate them to 80-85 rear and 70 or so in the front at your weight.
    Looking into a new wheelset and found this valuable piece of information and just wan't to say thank you.

  23. #23
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    I joined this forum to say thanks, you have just saved me from what sounds like a big mistake cxwrench.. Thanks.
    If I could bend your ear, I weigh always around 97kg to 100kg! Ride a Scott Foil 40. Its standard R501's are round, but EVERYONE says it's weakest point, I am currently riding a 23 on the front and a roubiax 23/25 on the back. I have 2 new GP400s 25's in the box to replace these when they fail.
    In the same price range as the mavics what would you recommend? I climb hills, alot and do flat bunch rides of 40ish k's 3 times a week and riding solo I max out at about 100k's per trip... Oh and what PSI??

    Next time you're in Oz I'll buy you a beer!

  24. #24
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    I'm your weight, 700x25's are the way to go, maybe even 28's if they'll fit.

    Pressure, I run about 100 psi up front and 105 psi rear. I'm probably a bit high in the front but it feels nice having a little harder tire int he front for sprint training since it's cx season and I'm doing a lot of max effort training. I don't like the squishy tire feel for that. For comfortable riding maybe drop 5psi and give it a go. For 700x28's I was in the ballpark of 70 front 80 rear and the ride was very nice.

    You're not so heavy that regular wheels are a problem but super ultra mega lightweight may not be the best.

    The neuvations mentioned earlier are a good choice. Mavic open pro with ultegra hubs is a good choice. I'm a fan of velocity wheels since they're office is local, velocity A23's have treated me really well. I think they also have a big facility in Australia so they should be easy to come by, might even have been started in Australia. Velocity deep V's or dyad's are more durable rims but weigh more. A23's are the racing rims but they seem to hold up pretty well still. 28f 32r spokes would be a nice durable build with the A23's for a light wheelset.

    Pricepoint would be helpful to know as well.

  25. #25
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    I weigh in at about 88 kg

    Despite the issues with the freehub (which I haven't had issues yet)...

    I am quite content with the Kysrium Elites. When my Conti GP 4-seasons wear out, I'm going tubeless, which is an easy conversion, despite not being design for tubeless in the first place.

    fortunately my LBS has the tools and spare parts to service my wheels (and I did have one go out of true after a crash)....

    when the freehub bushing goes.... I'll be getting myself a custom build with Stan's Alpha 400 (as my other bikes have Stan's rims)

    Shimano wheelsets are nice, but their tubeless ready ones have the similar weaknesses in the rim as the Kysrium Elite & SLS
    2010 Specialized Secteur Elite with the RBR not-approved Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheelset
    2009 Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29er upgraded to SRAM X9 with 1x10 and Stan's Arch EX rims and tubeless.
    2013 Cannondale CAADX-6 Tiagra with 9-speed SLX RD to run 11-32T cassette and Stan's Alpha 400 rims and tubeless
    and
    Some Burton snowboard setups, one with stiff ol' Camber and one with Rocker-Camber-Rocker

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