Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLR wheelset review

Aero clinchers

BikeRadar score2/5

These wheels are lightweight and loaded with tech. When we first reviewed them we gave them four stars, but almost a year on they haven’t proven easy to live with. 

By keeping an alloy outer rim Mavic can add their unique Exalith coating for huge amounts of braking power and control even when in the wet. The flat R2R carbon spokes run continuously from Rim2Rim for phenomenal cornering stiffness and power delivery. 

According to Mavic, the ‘helicopter chop’ noise of spoke and rim insertion hole turbulence also smooths overall airflow. Add low weight and you’ve got a very sharp feeling and responsive, if sometimes harsh, ride. 

They are stubborn to turn and blow about a lot in crosswinds though, and our long-term set has also thrown up both bearing and spoke loosening issues. Plus, the rest of the aero game has moved on substantially, with features such as toroidal rims, which makes the Mavic’s handling seem worse in comparison.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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