Mavic Crosstrail mountain bike wheelset review
The Crosstrail wheels sit somewhere between the racy Crossmax SLR wheels and the more aggressive Crossmax SXs. The 2011 version has had a few slight modifications but these mainly add up to a lighter wheel package and more distinctive looks. They claim to have shaved 150g off the weight of the previous versions.
The updated models also feature bold new looks with sharper graphics, which certainly add to the bling factor.The Crosstrails hubs feature alloy bodies with double sealed cartridge bearings and the FTS-X (Force Transfer System-X) freewheel system, which has improved seals, tougher pawls and reduced friction from previous versions.
Quick-releases come as standard, with 15mm through-axle adapters for the front wheel and if that’s not enough, Mavic have included six bolt adapters for the splined hub. The spokes are steel and bladed to cut through the air and are held in by lightweight alloy nipples. The gloss black rims complete with large, alloy brushed silver logos really look the business too.
The Crosstrails also feature Mavic’s ISM (Inter Spoke Milling) technology, which adds to their unique look, while keeping them light and stiff. Like many other of the Mavic rims, the Crosstrail utilises UST technology; the tubeless tyre and rim system is by far the easiest to use. The high quality, smooth finished rims allow for tyres to be seated easily whether tubeless or not.
The combined weight for the wheels is 1,685g. When out on the trails, these wheels just rip along. Freewheeling is excellent and bearing seal drag doesn’t even seem to exist. Power uptake is rapid through the freehub, and we noticed little flex while sprinting out the saddle. During harder riding sessions, rapid changes in direction are dealt with positively and there was no give while hitting berms and banked turns with aggression.
These rims are tough and after extensive testing hammering through rock gardens, no dents have appeared, despite several metallic dings, proving Mavic’s Maxtal alloy is stiff and strong. We’ve also been running a tubeless set-up for the entire test period without any pinch flats whatsoever. There have been a couple of clunks from the freehub which does cause a little concern, but these are yet to amount to anything, which is good.