Mavic R-Sys Review

mavic rsys wheelset 300x262 Mavic R Sys ReviewThe Mavic R-SYS has received some negative coverage recently, largely due to the alleged failure of their trademark carbon spokes. Made from reinforced tubular carbon fiber, Mavic initially had difficulty with the integrity of the spokes and recalled the wheelset, before making modifications allowing the wheels to be re-released. In the meantime, customers were given a free Mavic Aksium wheelset to keep, even when their R-SYS wheelset had been returned to them, which said a lot for Mavic’s level of customer service. That said, the R-SYS is a top of the range wheel, and one should not expect any kind of failure of this nature.

R-Sys Experience

We can only speak of our own experience, but we rode R-SYS before, during and after the recall notice, and never had any difficulties with them. And it is not as if our team is only light riders or light on our equipment. At almost 200lb, We’ve got a rider at the heavier end of the spectrum for a competitive cyclist. It would also be untrue to say that we tested the wheels only in the best of conditions, or on the best surfaces. Our tests took place in road races, and continued on into the winter time at cyclocross races. So, while there definitely were failures that got back to Mavic, we didn’t experience them, and we’ve got some nice sets of Aksium out of the deal.

Ride Test and Design

The first thing you notice about R-SYS wheels is that they are super stiff, possibly the stiffest wheelset we’ve ever ridden. When you lay down power on shorter, steeper climbs, or when you rise to sprint, you can feel the bike leap forward as every ounce of power you send into the cranks is translated into acceleration. Strong acceleration is partly due to the R-SYS impressive weight: 1390 for the standard set and 1365 for the “Premiums”. The rest is down to the unique technology and concept behind the carbon spokes. Standard spokes use only tension, i.e. the spokes pull the rim and hub together. The carbon spokes in R-SYS use compression as well as tension, similar to a wagon wheel. This combination in our tests resulted in a uniquely stiff wheel.

During cyclocross races, the R-SYS was similarly impressive. Out of 180 degree turns, the improved acceleration was significant, whilst the wheel accepted the punishment of the course without having to be trued at the end.


The original concerns about the R-SYS wheelset must have had some foundation, otherwise Mavic would not have had cause to recall them, and issue a partially redesigned wheel. Having said that, they dealt with the issue in a customer friendly manner and stand behind their wheel design. However, we have to recommend against this wheel since there are so many other choices. Any wheel can fail, so some riders may decide that they can live with the risk and snap up some of these maligned wheels for an excellent value.

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