Carbon done right.
The XA Pro 29 Carbon Boost Wheel from Mavic might not be the first ones that come to mind when building up or upgrading your trail whip's hoops, which is a shame and we're here to tell you not to overlook them. While the firm's DH-oriented Deemax and XC-going Crossmax are both icons in their respected fields, Mavic's trail offerings have been somewhat lackluster in the past and the firm is notorious for being conservative, which doesn't necessarily cut it in the ever-changing equipment landscape of modern trail riding. That all changes with its Cross Adventure (XA) wheels, adding a healthy dose of carbon fiber to your trail bike's diet and providing a stiff, lightweight set of hoops without the typical harshness associated with some carbon wheelsets.
Balance is what Mavic sought to achieve with the XA's, blending just the right amount of lateral stiffness without impacting the radial compliance that's welcome in a wheelset's design. You see, lateral stiffness is desired as it makes the bike more responsive and tracks better under hard cornering and braking. However, if that increase in stiffness bleeds over and starts affecting the vertical give, unnecessary trail chatter is transmitted to the rider causing undue fatigue and it makes the bike deflect and pinball off of rock gardens versus slightly absorbing the hits and taking it all in stride. Mavic's mastery of carbon fiber construction, amassed from building top-end road wheels, allows it to build a wheelset that will handle ascents and descents alike with nimbleness and agility while offering some tuned flex on the vertical side of things that contribute to a smoother ride with more traction in the corners.
Mavic uses a hookless bead profile on the XA lineup which is pretty much mainstream among tubeless mountain rims. Hookless bead profiles benefit carbon construction by keeping the fibers aligned in a straight line instead of making a 90-degree bend used to create a traditional bead hook. This increases the impact strength of the rim as well as eliminating extra material and thus grams. Additionally, the design creates a better rim and tire interface contributing to less burping and a better tire profile further afforded by the generous 26mm internal width.
At the center of it all, Mavic's ITS-4 alloy hub engages reliably with two pairs of synced pawls delivering quick engagement so you can quickly get on the gas through technical sections and climbs. Twenty-four steel, straight-pull spokes laced two-cross on the front and rear further aids the optimized carbon layup to absorb trail imperfections while the hub's Boost spacing provides appropriate amounts of stiffness. The wheels come set up for thru-axle use and ships with tubeless tape and an adjustment wrench.
- Carbon trail wheels for all-day epics
- Unidirectional carbon fiber yields a responsive ride
- Lateral stiffness provides quick accelerations
- Vertical compliance tracks better and improves comfort
- Hookless bead profile reduces tire burping
- ITS-4 hubs engage quickly with two sets of phased two pawls