Collectively, we can't remember a wheelset that more of us have ridden and loved then the Mavic Ksyrium Elite Clincher Wheelset. We've followed it from generation to generation for one reason -- Mavic always manages make it better. This year, we find that the Ksyrium Elite has gone on a diet and stolen some of its siblings' technologies. Lighter, faster, and smoother than ever, the new age of the Ksyrium has arrived.
For this iteration of the Ksyrium Elite, Mavic made strives to balance opposites -- it's trickier than it sounds. The objective was to increase stiffness, while also increasing compliance, and somehow at the same time, decrease weight. Needless to say, that to achieve this, Mavic loaded the Ksyrium Elites with proprietary, patented technology. Starting with the rims, Mavic again went with the venerable Maxtal aluminum alloy. Exclusive to Mavic, Maxtal was developed in order to crush the conventional 6061 alloy. In comparison, Maxtal provides a higher strength to weight ratio and is around 30% more resistant to stress. This strength is further expanded upon by Mavic's Soude Usine Process or SUP. When the rim is being shaped and welded, this process is responsible for arc welding the rim joint into a seam that's then given a smooth finish. It might sound fairly boilerplate, but this exclusive process improves wheel balance, eliminates brake shudder, and increases the overall strength of the rim.
Now that we've covered the process of shaping the rim, it's time to bring spokes into the picture. Once again, Mavic utilized multiple production technologies to bolster the Elite's output and aesthetics. Where the spoke meets the rim, Mavic uses its Fore technology to eliminate drilling through the rim bed. The process involves pushing down on the lower of the two rim bridges, and then threading the alloy to allow the nipple to thread directly into it. This leaves the the upper bridge untouched, and accordingly, it increases the wheel's rigidity by 20% and makes it four times more resistant to fatigue. And while rigidity is a must to get up to speed quickly, maintaining that speed on an upward gradient requires a minimization of inertia. Need a refresher in physics? Inertia is the resistance of an object to change its state of motion or rest. Through its patented Inter Spoke Milling (think of those little ridges along the rim from spoke to spoke), Mavic was able to reduce rotational weight and balance the rigidity. This liberates the Elites from high points of inertia, and thus opens the wheels up for quick bursts of acceleration on climbs and through sprints.
Following the spokes down to the hubs, this year, Mavic used its Isopulse lacing pattern and flange design. Increasing the dish amounts to a superior balance and spoke tension. So, to do this, Isopulse requires radial driveside lacing and a two-cross non-driveside lacing. Basic, yes, but when you look at the flanges of the rear hub, you'll notice that the driveside is oversized and circular in comparison to the non-drive's five-point flange. Not only does this system raise rigidity, but it also creates a heightened stability. And once the wheels get turning, you'll notice the fluidity in which they operate. The Elites spin on Mavic's fully-adjustable QRM+ bearings, and the free hub uses a 100% aluminum design that's been complimented by stainless steel inserts between the pawl and hub body.
This year, the Ksyrium Elites have been designed for usage with Mavic's GripLink and PowerLink tires. Featuring a low rolling resistance, durable compound, high TPI, and front/rear specificity the new Mavic tires unleash the speed of the Elites and tow the line through corners in any weather condition. Also for this year, the wheels are laced with 18/20 bladed spokes. And for an extra aerodynamic benefit, the wheels have varied rim depths at 22mm up front and 25mm at the rear. This design plan is typically exclusive to far more expensive wheelsets, as it significantly reduces drag by increasing laminar airflow.
The Mavic Ksyrium Elite Clincher Wheelset is available in the color Black and in both Campagnolo and Shimano/SRAM freehub compatibilities.