French company Mavic is set to launch a new road wheel that's 10% lighter than its current range-topping Ksyrium ES and, it claims, 30% stiffer. Mavic has used a completely new design concept, based around clamped carbon fibre spokes, to create the R-Sys.
Production versions will be used for the first time in next month's Tour de France and limited numbers will be available in the shops around the same time.
The new carbon spokes are light - 5g per spoke and nipple compared with 7g for a Zicral (aluminium alloy) version as used on the Ksyrium ES. But the most significant development is in lateral (side-to-side, as opposed to up-and-down) stiffness because the spokes don't stretch or compress as much as steel or aluminium, and because Mavic clamp them at both the rim and the hub to limit wheel distortion further when you're riding.
The new design technology, called TraComp, means that there's less stress on the rims, allowing Mavic to reduce the amount of material used there and so keep the rotational weight down. The R-Sys clincher front wheel hits the scales at 570g and the rear at 785g, making for a total wheelset weight of 1,355g. You save 25g with a tubular set-up.
We don't have an official UK RRP yet but it'll be €1,100 on the Continent, which converts to about £750.
Our only slight problem is with the R-Sys name, which is pronounced 'arse-iss'. They really should have thought that one through.