New Mavic Ksyrium wheels, clothing and helmet - first look

French brand celebrates 125th birthday with new collection

To celebrate its 125th year, Mavic has launched a collection of limited edition clothing and a new, more aero version of the legendary Ksyrium wheel, which shows the way in which the hoops’ design will move forward in 2015 and beyond.

The range starts with a new version on the high-end HC Jersey. The jersey, as with all of Mavic's apparel, was designed and developed in the Annecy HQ.

The jersey uses body mapping technology that places the seams away from potential irritation point and fits the contours of the body.

We had chance to try the apparel, helmet, shoes and wheels on a 75km test ride, and we have to say we were impressed. The jersey is close fitting yet not restrictive and the combination of high stretch yet high-wicking fabric and mesh panels was highly breathable and kept us comfortable.

The jersey is neatly detailed with three rear pockets (one of which is zipped) that sit on a reinforced mesh-lined section to stop the pockets from sagging even when weighted down. It will be priced at £85.

The HC Jersey blends high-stretch, high-wicking, and mesh fabrics throughout

The HC 125 bib shorts also uses body mapping to create a form fitting shape, and will retail for £110. They use a combination of materials from a feather light mesh for the full back and braces to very stretchy stretch fabric in high movement areas, and, finally a 'skin power' fabric to offer compressive support.

The big story on the 125s, however, is the use of an all-new 3D Pro insert. This pad is the result of a research project that logged the sit bone widths in a cross-section of people. That’s led to a pad design that concentrates density of the padding in crucial areas.

The pad is a sandwich of different foam types, from low-density, high-compliance and quick-wicking, to high-density memory foam for maximum support. In total each pad uses three different densities and six different thicknesses within each pad. Three different pads are available: for women and for riders over and under 70kg.

 The new 125 HC bib shorts feature an all-new 2D Pro Insert pad

New Mavic Ksyrium 125 Ans wheel

The 125 Ksyrium is available in a limited edition of 6,000 worldwide and shows – for the first time – what we'll be seeing on the next generation of the famous wheel. Firstly the combination of Zicral (alloy) and Tracomp (carbon) spokes have both been refined, reducing a little weight while maintaining strength. The hub remains unchanged from the previous range topping SLR model. They will be priced at €1,100 a pair.

The biggest change is with the rim. Mavic both pioneered and patented the ISM rim shape. ISM or inter-spoke-milling is a way of reducing the weight of an aluminium rim by machining or milling out material from between the spoke beds.

 With just 6,000 being made available worldwide, we got to try lucky number 13

Up until now this has been achieved by machining the inner face of the rim on the original Ksyrium design. The current incarnation uses their 3D shaping, which removes material from the inner face and sides. The latest 4D shaping however uses a unique robot controlled cutting tool that etches away excess material over the whole surface of the alloy rim.

We visited Mavic's rim manufacturing facility just outside Lyon, and although photography was forbidden, we did get to see first-hand the 4D process.

The new Ksyrium 125 debuts Mavic's new 4D inter spoke milling, promising lighter weight and improved aerodynamics

The raw welded rim (another Mavic first is welding rims rather than the traditional pinned process) is scanned and measured by machine and each dimension recorded and transmitted onto the milling machine. This is because there can be minute variations in the thickness of the raw rim before the milling process, and Mavic has to ensure that just the right amount of material is left to ensure consistency throughout.

The new rim design hasn't reduced much in the way of weight – Mavic claims no more than a couple of grams per rim – but the new fluid and smoother shape has shown under testing to offer a huge improvement in aerodynamic performance, which is where the original Ksyrium design has received criticism. The complete wheel weights without tyres are a claimed 605g for the front and 765g at the rear, 1,410g a set. 

A new wheel deserves new tyres and this is somewhere that Mavic has spent a lot of time and research. The new Yksion Pro 125 Ans limited edition is front and rear specific, available in both 23 and 25mm widths.

Mavic's Annecy lab has spent more than a year developing the new tyre shape and compound, concentrating their efforts on low rolling resistance, cornering grip and wet weather performance. The front tyre uses tread pattern designed to evacuate water quickly with a soft sticky compound in this section for powerful levels of grip. Puncture protection is in the form of a kevlar breaker bonded to the 127tpi casing. Claimed weight is 190g for 23mm tyre and 210g for the 25mm.

The rear tyre has its own specific tread pattern and is made from a harder compound than the front. It’s also fitted with a lighter nylon breaker. Mavic's thinking is that higher protection at the front is most important but in the rear you want the lowest possible rolling resistance so a minimal breaker is important.

Out on the road, the 25mm tyres were truly impressive, we've always thought up until now that Mavic's tyres have been a decent bonus when buying a set of wheels, but not tyres we'd actually buy on their own.

With the improvements they've made on the new Yksion Pro – tenacious levels of grip on high speed corners and decent levels of comfort – it’s now become a tyre we'd happily choose. That comes with a caveat: we'd like to spend a little more time on them especially on more varied road surfaces (the hills around Lyon on the whole were super smooth).

Side by side, the rims before finishing; on the left is the previous Ksyrium ISM machining, on the right you can see just how much more material is removed with the 4D process, not to mention how much smoother the rim looks

Cosmic Helmet

We also got chance to see and try Mavic's new helmet, the Cosmic Ultimate, which takes the original SLR helmet and refines both the shape and the materials.

We praised the original SLR for its superb build quality and fit, but it wasn't one of the lightest lids around. Mavic also understood this and so its combined R&D team at Annecy set to work on improving the road offering. Like in its apparel department, Mavic has plenty of resources on tap for helmet design, as plenty of the other brands within the group are in the business of head protection – mainly from snow sports.

Mavic has stripped back every element to reduce weight. It researched and tested the EPS foam core, to lighten it while still testing to international CE and CSPC standards. The polycarbonate shell is thinner, the crash structure is reinforced with carbon fibre and the straps are lighter. The helmet now weighs a competitive 210g for a medium.

The new Mavic Cosmic Ultimate helmet. Mavic claims a medium weighs 210g

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