Mavic Ksyrium Pro Carbon SL C Disc WCS wheelset review£1,700.00

Light and lively conventional wheel that loves hilly terrain

BikeRadar score3.5/5

Mavic’s Ksyrium Pro Carbon disc wheels are super responsive without being punishing — but they’re not tubeless compatible or wide tyre friendly.

Mavic might have started the whole ready-built wheel revolution and been one of the first brands to develop and support tubeless-tyre technology in the MTB market, but it seems a conservative company these days.

Or you could see it as a truly independent innovator with masses more rim- and wheel-building experience than most. Plus it has an exacting testing regime that’s based entirely on function rather than fashion.

Whichever way you take it, the curled sidewall lip of these wheels means an actual rim opening of 16mm, which is decidedly narrow by the latest standards. While Mavic lists 25–32mm tyre compatibility, my testing has shown they’re more comfortable at the narrower end of that range, with wider tyres looking and feeling pinched at the base.

They’re not tubeless compatible or (officially) convertible either, although Mavic is promising UST (Universal System Tubeless) carbon-disc wheels by the end of the year.

If you’re happier with narrow tyres and inner tubes on narrower rims — and prefer a sporting course to a flat-out speed situation — then it’s worth looking at.

You could see Mavic as a truly independent innovator with masses more rim- and wheel-building experience than most

While overall weight is decent rather than dazzling, the 25mm-deep rims are only 405g according to Mavic (its complete wheelset weights are bang on so I'm inclined to believe Mavic). That means there’s little inertia to overcome when snapping them up to speed.

The Instant Drive 360 freehub is quick to engage and the 24 steel-bladed spokes carry that power to the rim and onto the road with minimum wastage. The result is an obvious acceleration and summit-hunting boost to most bikes — they track accurately too.

Even with smaller volume tyres they’re not too stiff in terms of road feel. The supple, sticky single compound Yksion Pro Griplink (front) and PowerLink (rear) 25mm tyres they’re supplied with let you push the advantages of disc-brake control down every descent and through every corner too.

The complete wheel pack isn’t punishing over longer distances or rougher roads either, although it can’t compete with wider, tubeless wheelsets.

Sticky tyres and shallow rims mean they’re not the fastest wheels on the flat, but the 40mm deep Cosmic offers more aero gain for only 50g more at the same price, if you want a less forgiving but faster/further Mavic option.

Either way they support a quick-release or 12mm axle, free hub and six-bolt or Centerlock rotor mounts with quick release/12mm adaptors included as standard.

Mavic Ksyrium Pro Carbon SL C Disc WCS

  • Weight: 690g + 820g = 1,510g
  • Width: 16/24mm
  • Engagement: 9 degrees
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

Related Articles

Back to top