Mavic Crossmax SX Wheelset

Mavic Crossmax SX Wheelset Mavic Crossmax SX Wheelset

Mavic Crossmax SX Wheelset

As one who has worked in a bike shop, the term “all-mountain” is a phrase that is probably the most used and abused when describing mountain bikes and mountain bike parts.  There are very few bike riders who want a bike that is just good for racing, or only good on descents, or a bike that is incredibly durable, but needs to be airlifted to the top of the trail.  Most mountain bikers want a bike that can do it all, but how far does that flexibility have to go in order to earn the tag of “all-mountain”?  For me, all-mountain means a lot more than trail riding.  All-mountain – and this goes for wheelsets as wheel as the whole bike - has to be really at the higher end of robustness so that it can take the hardest obstacles the trail can come up with, and also withstand the toys and tests of skill that you might find along the way.  That said, all-mountain must provide you with the comfort to ride all day and in all conditions.

Can the Crossmax really do it all?

Therefore, in my mind at least, all-mountain asks a lot of bicycles and bike components!  Enter the Mavic Crossmax SX wheelset.  The first thing to say about this innovative wheeset is that it is not the lightest, but at 1755g it is not heavy.  They would do well on a not-too-hilly endurance course where the lightest wheels are less important and durability and comfort become bigger factors.

What you gain for a few extra grams is well worth it. The wheelset rims are now 21mm, wider than the previous incarnation of this wheel, and give you a wider profile and point of contact with the ground.  That makes handling all the more sure footed, and cornering a joy.  Especially if you are considering enduro-style events, these features are a major bonus from a comfort and body fatigue point of view.  Also, if you are riding all day, tiredness inevitably kicks in, and the lines you take become a little less accurate, making cornering a little more precarious.  The wider rim and greater profile of this wheelset is much more forgiving of these indiscretions, allowing you to achieve that sense of flow long into the ride without feeling you have to concentrate intensely to achieve the right lines the way you do with lighter, low profile rims.

Technology where it counts

Mavic has also made sure that the rotational weight of the Crossmax SX wheelset has been minimized so that the wheels are lightweight where it counts the most.  As well as widening the rim, they have reduced the weight by using their Inter Spoke Milling Process (ISM) which means that the rim holds the most metal where it needs it most, i.e. where the spoke attaches to the rim, while the weight can be trimmed where it is not required between spoke contact points.  The result is that the Crossmax SX wheelset climbs surprisingly well and neatly responds to power.

Value for money?

There is no doubt that a true “do it all” wheelset comes at a price.  $899 is not inexpensive.  And you also have to pay a price in terms of weight – there are lighter wheelsets out there at the same price point, and even lower.  But what you get in the Crossmax SX is true flexibility of use.  They are good for the trail, highly robust on descents and obstacles, and the most pleasant surprise is that they climb as well as or better than some wheelsets whose total weight is significantly lighter.  For my money, the Crossmax SX wheelset is excellent value and truly earns the coveted title of “all mountain”.

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