Mavic has a number of new and improved products for the coming year, but one thing the French brand does not have in its line-up is a single carbon fiber clincher. Although the wheel type has gained some popularity for its pro, carbon-tubular look with the convenience of a clincher, Mavic isn’t going there.
“By the time you get the brake track managed to the point it’s dissipating heat, and you get the strength high enough to where it matches aluminum, you get to the point weight-wise where you negate the benefit of going with carbon,” said Mavic USA communications manager Zack Vestal.
Mavic’s biggest push for 2013 is the CXR 80, which James Huang reported on in June. But the company also overhauled its long-popular Ksyrium with a new SLS model and made some tweaks to its helmet and shoe lines.
The new Ksyrium SLS weighs in a 1,395g a pair, with a lighter rear hub, lighter rims and lighter spokes than Ksyrium’s of the past. The Ksyrium SR model was discontinued.
Similarly, with the R-Sys line, the SL and SLR models merged into the R-Sys SLR. That ‘new’ wheelset with tubular carbon spokes gets the sidewall machining Mavic calls ISM 3D, titanium bearings (from the SL) and the Exalith brake track (from the SLR). A pair weighs 1,295g.
The Exalith brake track is a textured, dark-colored treatment on aluminum, which Mavic claims stops “18% better” than standard aluminum. From a distance, wheels with Exalith look like all-carbon rim. Unlike all-carbon rims, however, the wheels brake well in the wet.
Another wheel with Exalith, the Cosmic Carbone SLE, was new in 2012. For 2013, this 52mm wheelset weighs less (1,620g pair) thanks to swapping aluminum for steel in part of the axle, plus a redesigned hub. This coming year, the wheelset will come with tires for $2,000.
Also, Mavic claims that a new brake pad has eliminated the loud squealing the wheels used to have during the initial break-in period.
On the mountain side, Mavic only joined the 29er game in 2012. For 2012, there is expanded rear-axle-type compatibility down the range.
Of note is the new $600 Crosstail, which has a UST-ready tirebed, ISM machining and a 4-pawl aluminum hub. The younger brother Crossride is $300 a pair.
Mavic expanded its helmet line with the $100 Espoir road model and the $110 Notch trail helmet.
One new shoe is the $189 Scree, a heavy duty trail shoe designed for endurance events like the TransAlp or the TransAndies. Featuring Gore-Tex, four Velcro straps and a Conta Grip outsole, the Scree has ankle support and an aggressive tread for hiking and riding.
The $129 Alpine XL shoe was reworked with a new sole, a beefed-up scuff guard, a new insole called OrthoLite – Mavic benefits from sister company Solomon here – and a speed lace.