Mavic Crossmax XL Wheelset – The Nitty Gritty.
We recently read Pink Bikes‘ review of the the Mavic Crossmax XL wheelset. We’ve summed up some of the key points and observations they made. For the full article you can get it here. The Crossmax XL wheelset is important for Mavic. While their Crossmax Enduro wheelsets were undeniably popular, they were based on the well-established Crossmax ST and SX platforms – where the XL is the first all-new platform we’ve seen from the French wheelmaker in a couple of years. Unquestionably there was some pressure on Mavic to deliver with these wheels. Mavic have described them as being all round wheels for either trail, all-mountain and enduro riding. They’re available in all three key wheel sizes. At the hub they can be adapted to take 9, 15 and 20mm on the front and 9 and 12mm with 135mm or 142mm spacing on the rear. One thing worth noting is that the freehub body is fully serviceable and every part is replaceable and easy to work on at home with standard tools. The 26″ version weighs in 1660g for the wheels only, which is 95g lighter than the narrower, 21mm wide Crossmax SX. The 27.5″ weighs 1710g and 29″ 1780g.
One thing that always sets Mavic wheels apart from their competition is the UST system. From the factory they come ready to mount tubelessly – there is no need for any kind of rim strip. If you are an obsessive gram counter, this means you save those grams. For the rest of us, it is a sign of what is without doubt the most reliable tubeless system on the market. Mavic UST rims always mount well and hold air longer than any other system we have used. In our six months with these wheels they were mounted with Mavic Quests, Michelin Wild GripR, Hutchinson Squale, and Schwalbe Magic Mary, Hans Dampf and Rock Razor tyres – every single time they went on without fuss, we never need to resort to the compressor to seal them. Out on the trails we never lost air, no matter how hard they were hit they just didn’t burp, holding pressure perfectly even with pressure down towards the 20psi mark.
First impressions of the wheels on dirt were good – the Crossmax XL tick all three of the boxes we’re looking for in a wheel: light, stiff and strong. On the way up the hills, the weight is on the money for where we’d expect a wheelset for this kind of riding to be. That meant they rolled at a good pace and picked up speed nicely – but don’t mistake them for lightweight XC wheels. Coming back down again they were pleasantly stiff, making for a precise, tight feeling to the steering. After those abusive six months of use we can only report good things for their durability – the rims are still as circular as the day they arrived and all of the original spokes are still in there.
After six months worth of riding two spokes did work loose and the freehub needed tightening. If we were buying a set of these, we would pause to think about the availability of spares – it is one issue we occasionally hear from Mavic owners as all the parts to those wheels are proprietary and availability can be tricky, depending on where you live. Mavic have a network of 16 service centres across the world, and aim to solve any issues within 72 hours, although it can vary in other parts of the world.
All in all, a really good light-weight set of wheels for all terrains however you may want to think about changing the tyres up to something else.