Mavic Crossmax SX wheels review
Mavic’s SX wheels bridge the gap between the firm’s lighter weight Crossmax ST wheels and burly DeeMax downhill race wheels and are designed to take the abuse enduro riders can dish out without being too heavy.
Weighing just 1,800g –about 200g lighter than last year’s wheels or an equivalent pair of Hope Pro 2s on DT5.1D rims –the SX sits competitively in the strong, light and efficient market.
Unlike traditionally spoked wheels, Mavic’s Crossmax series use Zicral spokes – 24 on each wheel –which although stiff and strong, absorb trail buzz and vibration well. Laced with a two-cross pattern on the front, and a two-cross non-drive pattern/one-cross driveside pattern and straight-pull spokes, the wheels look very simple.
The hubs come in a dashing white for 2009. Up front is a 20mm unit with a six-bolt disc pattern and out back is a 135mm number, which is adaptable for bolt-through designs. It also houses the new ITS-4 pawl system, which uses a rapid engagement system, ensuring two of the available four-sprung pawls are always engaged for a no-slip performance.
The rims are high-performance CNC-machined numbers which are UST tubeless compatible and are both very strong and light. Unlike normal rims, they aren’t penetrated by the spokes – there are threaded ‘chimneys’ in the rim which the special nipples for adjusting the spokes screw into. A spoke key is supplied.
The new SX is lightweight and still feels very tough. The rim strength is very good – we’ve ridden ours with pinch-punctured tyres down severe flights of stairs on photoshoots and have suffered no damage to the rims.