Mavic Deemax Pro 27.5 wheelset review£879.00

The legends are playing catch-up

BikeRadar score3.5/5

Anyone who was a fan of downhill racing in the early 2000s can likely conjure up images of bright yellow wheels smashing tracks under the fastest riders. Back then, Mavic's signature yellow was used for the bar-setting Deemax wheelset. Today, Mavic has expanded the Deemax line to include the Deemax Pro hoops aimed at enduro and all-mountain riding.

Mavic Deemax Pro specs

  • 27.5in hookless aluminum rims
  • Internal width: 28mm front / 25mm rear
  • Mavic QRM hubs with 7.5-degrees of engagement
  • UST tubeless
  • 24 straight-pull aluminum spokes
  • Mavic suggested rider and bike max weight: 120kg (264lbs)
  • Actual weight: 1,700g, (810g front / 890g rear)

The rear hub is laced radially on the drive side, something rarely seen
The rear hub is laced radially on the drive side, something rarely seen

That narrow rear rim

With a rear rim width of a paltry 24.55mm, Mavic claims lighter weight and improved cornering due to slight deflection to allow a tighter turning radius. On the trail, that seems like a bit of stretch. 

While the rear is a tad roomier than its 24mm claim
While the rear is a tad roomier than its 24mm claim

It does make sense, in theory, having the rear wheel deform to cut corners closer, but I have to question how much of it is actually the tire flexing and squirming, rather than the wheel itself. 

If I had to pick, I'd do as Mavic has done and run the wider rim on the front.

Mavic Deemax Pro 27.5 ride impressions

I rode the wheels with Mavic's own Claw Pro XL 2.5in front tire and Quest Pro XL 2.4in rear tire. Though Mavic brands the setup as a wheel-and-tire system any 27.5in tire is fair game. 

On the trails, the Deemax Pros had a fantastic ride feel. Contrary to what I envisioned from the all-aluminum build (the spokes are made of aluminum opposed to standard steel spokes), they didn't have a harsh ride or ping around the rocks. Instead, they ripped through the woods with a light and reactive ride quality, with almost a soft deftness about them. The large volume Mavic tires maximized the velvety feeling. 

The solo standout yellow spoke points to the valve
The solo standout yellow spoke points to the valve

The freehub certainly wasn't the fastest engaging, but it wasn't something that jumped out as a determent while on trails. Also, there was a decently loud ratchet emanating from the back wheel while coasting, I'll leave that as a positive or negative.

Throughout use on two different bikes, thousands of feet of vertical, and countless rocks and questionable lines, the Deemax Pros never once took up space in my truing stand. 

In fact, other than swapping and pumping up tires, literally zero maintenance was performed. In spite of my hands-off approach, spoke tension was still spot on, the bearings spun smooth, and the hubs rolled without any looseness. The Zicral aluminum spokes encountered branches, bushes, and random rocks but are holding on perfectly fine.

The rear rim surface (not at the bead) did suffer a few dings and deep scratches, but again, it had zero effect on the wheelset as a whole. 

ISM is Mavic-speak for inter-spoke milling, which is a fancy way to say excess material is removed between the spokes
ISM is Mavic-speak for inter-spoke milling, which is a fancy way to say excess material is removed between the spokes

Mavic Deemax Pro bottom line

If you're an enduro rider/racer who wants some unique, low-key wheels but doesn't want to spend a small fortune, the Deemax Pros are worth a look. If you can live with the proprietary spokes and nipples, the strength and durability should withstand many miles of riding. Plus, the UST sealed rims are hands-down the easiest way to set up tubeless tires. 

In a world awash with outrageously priced carbon wheels mixed with questionable knockoffs, it's reassuring to know the wheel masters over in France are still offering durable wheels at respectable prices. 

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