Mavic Ksyrium SL Review
There’s not much new to say about the Mavic Ksyrium SL wheelset. This stalwart of Mavic’s racing wheelset collection has been around a long time, and for good reason. Durable, light, and always fairly priced, it has for many years been the aspiration of racers and triathletes looking to equip their bikes with a seriously good wheel. This year’s Ksyrium SL wheelset fits right in. If you want a tough, fast wheel with excellent componentry to speed up your tri, road, or cross bike, then the Ksyrium SL deserves your attention. Best of all, every single year the Ksyrium SL looks great.
Looks good, rides even better
This year is no exception. Mavic has dressed up the Ksyrium SL with a touch of red to make them look even faster than ever. If you can take your eyes off the new paintwork, you’ll find everything you’d expect from the Ksyrium SL. This was my first seriously good wheelset, and everything I enjoyed years ago when I bought mine is still there for 2011. Zicral spokes, super smooth bearings in a carbon front hub, asymmetrical rims for extra strength and stiffness. As ever, it’s a lot of strength and responsiveness in a light wheelset. At 1485g, this Ksyrium SL deserves to be part of the best race bikes whatever the discipline. Add a few new perks from Mavic’s top-end Cosmic line like a super-sharp braking surface, and the Ksyrium SLs are not just as good as ever, they’re even better.
My Ksyrium SLs have seen duty as a race wheel, before hitting the grass and mud on my cyclocross bike, and now – scratched and scuffed – they roll out all winter as a super smooth training wheel that can go all winter without repair. A 2011 Ksyrium SL wheelset will always have a place in my collection – they look great, last for what seems like forever, and can do just about anything, and do it well.
Is there a down side?
It’s hard to question the Ksyrium SLs. Sure, in the past there were a few questions about ease of repair and Mavic support if anything did go wrong, but Mavic is fighting back with a new ‘MP3’ warranty that should make repairs and replacements much more straightforward. The only thing I can’t figure out is why choose the Ksyrium SLs, at $1200, over the comparably priced Ksyrium SR wheelset. They weigh the same, they have pretty much the same specifications, and they can both perform at just about anything. So why pick the SLs? Well, with the new paintwork, they really do look spectacular.
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