The rims are machined in between each spoke bed, making for an impressive bare weight of just 1,370g a pair (1.02kg front, 1.12kg rear including tyre and skewer). The front wheel features Mavic’s lightweight Zircal (aluminium) bladed aero spokes while the rear has the same Zircal blades on the drive side, and tubular carbon fibre spokes on the non-drive side.
These are among the tightest and smoothest wheels we’ve ever tested, with hard, out-of-the-saddle sprints, big lean angles in corners, and rough roads and cobbles all handled with the minimum of fuss. The braking takes some getting used to, though.
The combination of hard pad and hard surface makes for powerful grip, and we were having to use much less force than usual to get the same stopping power to the rim. It does require setting up perfectly, and the first 75-100km were a pretty noisy affair until they were run in.
Mavic have designed their own tyres to complement the new SLR wheels. The Yksion tyres – Griplink at the front and Powerlink at the rear – are supple, lightweight full slicks with a gummy surface that offers a great balance of flexible cushioning and tenacious grip. In fact these feel very similar to our current favourite clincher, Schwalbe’s Ultremo ZR.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine.