Mavic Cosmic Carbon Pro Exalith review£1,080.00

Mavic’s long awaited update

BikeRadar score4/5

Until a few years ago, the Cosmic was the go-to aero wheel for all-round riding. However, as the aerodynamic stability of its rivals improved, plus the switch to wider rims and better shape tyres, the previous generation Cosmic fell out of favour with its sharp, narrow rim shape becoming a handful in crosswinds.

The new Cosmic addresses these issues with a 25mm-wide, blunted profile rim and 17mm internal width, which when mounted with the included 25mm tyres creates a smooth transition between tyre and rim.

Mavic combines the new rim with bladed spokes and its own straight-pull-specific hubs for an all-in weight of 1,650g a pair. The complete package — the wheels are supplied with Mavic’s Yksion Pro Griplink and Powerlink tyres and tubes — comes in at 1,143g (f), 1,319g (r), plus 124g for the clever cam-lock skewers.

They ride and feel like lighter wheels and are good climbing companions. The flex-free construction and impressive braking are welcome when the road turns downward too.

Mavic’s Exalith brake track is impressive

The new Cosmics are so much better in the wind; gone are the sudden jerks from the front wheel of old. Crosswinds can be countered through the bar or by simply shifting your body weight.

The build does mean a stiffer ride feel through the bar, but Mavic’s improved tyres are supple and sticky in the dry and slip- and slide-free in the wet. Mavic backs up its construction with a two-year warranty once you’ve registered the wheels at mavic.com, plus a low-cost crash replacement option.

Mavic’s Exalith brake track is impressive. With its dedicated pads and textured braking surface it helps make these one of the best stopping wheelsets around.

The increased braking control does come at a price; the pads need to be set up carefully, with much less toe-in, and braking is met with a buzzing noise every time, but that’s actually quite pleasing. In emergency situations that buzz can increase to a high-pitched screech that’s pretty anti-social.

Yes, over a grand is a lot to pay for wheels, but when you factor in the inclusion of quality tyres and tubes, plus the back up of a decent warranty, the Cosmics make more sense. 

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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