[This article was last updated on March 29, 2018]
French brand Mavic makes some of the most popular bike wheels out there. It doesn’t produce anything super-cheap, its road bike options starting at £150 and going right through to over £2,000.
Apart from the cheapest Aksiums, Mavic’s road wheels come equipped with tyres because the brand sees them working together as complete systems.
The range is large and could be somewhat confusing, so we’ll try to break it down as logically as possible. To muddy the waters even more, Mavic has recently introduced Road UST, which is its take on Road Tubeless. There are UST versions of many of Mavic's most popular wheels, and the venerable, much-loved Open Pro rims will also be available in a UST version.
Fact of the day: Mavic is actually an acronym coming from Manufacture d'Articles Vélocipédiques Idoux et Chanel, Charles Idoux and Lucien Chanel having founded the company well over a century ago.
Without further ado, here's the essential data on the full range, plus links to the cheapest sources we've been able to find.
|Model||Claimed weights (grams)||RRP||Price|
|Ksyrium Elite UST||665||855||1,520||£529||£470.00|
|Ksyrium Elite UST Disc||770||900||1,670||£569||£512.10|
|Ksyrium Pro UST||590||820||1,410||£829||£746.10|
|Ksyrium Pro UST Disc||770||880||1,650||£859||£773.10|
|Ksyrium Pro Exalith||630||845||1,475||£999||£793.00|
|Ksyrium Pro Carbon SL||615||775||1,390||£1,600||£999.00|
|Ksyrium Pro Carbon SL Tubular||515||675||1,190||£1,700||£1,445.00|
|Ksyrium Pro Carbon SL Disc||725||795||1,520||£1,700||£1,099.00|
|Ksyrium Pro Carbon SL Tubular Disc||625||695||1,320||£1,759||£1,584.00|
|Allroad Elite UST||685||905||1,590||£615||£549.00|
|Allroad Elite UST Disc||795||925||1,720||£659||£583.23|
|Allroad Pro UST Disc||730||880||1,610||£859||£773.10|
|Cosmic Elite UST||815||955||1,770||£389||£325.00|
|Cosmic Elite UST Disc||855||995||1,850||£419||£377.10|
|Cosmic Pro Carbon||755||925||1,680||£969||£775.00|
|Cosmic Pro Carbon Disc||835||935||1,770||£1,049||£789.00|
|Cosmic Pro Carbon Exalith||755||925||1,680||£1,139||£912.00|
|Cosmic Pro Carbon SL UST||665||825||1,490||£1,579||£1,421.10|
|Cosmic Pro Carbon SL UST Disc||750||820||1,570||£1,669||£1,499.00|
|Cosmic Pro Carbon SL Tubular||620||790||1,410||£1,700||£1,583.10|
|Cosmic Pro Carbon SL Tubular Disc||730||810||1,540||£1,800||£1,299.99|
|Cosmic Ultimate Tubular||555||695||1,250||£2,640||£1,874.99|
|Comete Pro Carbon SL UST||740||895||1,635||£1,579||£1,419.00|
|Comete Pro Carbon SL Tubular||—||—||1,490||£1,669||£1,499.00|
|Comete Pro Carbon SL UST Disc||845||910||1,755||£1,669||£1,421.10|
|Comete Pro Carbon SL Tubular Disc||765||865||1,630||£1,759||£1,502.10|
|Comete Road rear aero disc||—||1,100||1,100||£1,889||£1,699.00|
As you can see from the listing, many of Mavic's clincher rims are now Road UST, and conventional versions are gradually disappearing as shops run out.
You can learn more about Road UST in our news story about the launch of the system: Mavic introduces Road UST tubeless system covering huge section of wheel range.
The executive summary for Road UST is that the combination of rim and tyre bead design makes it easier to get tyres on and off, and to seat them, according to Mavic. A Road UST tyre on a Road UST rim will seat with a standard floor pump with as little as 47psi.
However, only Mavic currently makes compatible wheels and tyres, which are designed together with there’s tight control over production variances. The Road UST standard is being approved by both ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and ETRTO (European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation) working groups, so other manufacturers will be able to make Road UST wheels and tyres when that process is complete.
Aksiums — no, they're not Aksia, Latin pedants — are Mavic’s entry level road wheels, specced as original equipment on countless bikes. They have 21mm high pinned aluminium rims that were widened for the 2016 model to 17mm internal width to better accommodate increasingly popular wide tyres. Mavic reckons Aksiums are best suited to tyres from 25mm to 32mm.
Like the rest of the range, Aksiums are built with straight pull spokes which the brand says are stronger than J-bend options, and they run on the brand’s QRM sealed cartridge bearings. That keeps maintenance down to a minimum. The hub bodies are aluminium while the axles and the freewheel are steel.
Aksiums are reasonably light for the money (a claimed 865g front, 1,015g rear) and we’ve found them to be quick and generally reliable. These are good, solid all-rounders, though they're not yet available in Road UST.
The Aksium Disc uses the same rims and bearings but with either a Center Lock or six bolt disc hub, and more spokes: 24 front and rear as opposed to 20 front and rear. The front hub is convertible from a standard quick release to a 15mm thru-axle design.
Aksium Elites are a bit lighter than standard Aksiums at a claimed 1,735g (800g front, 935g rear) because Mavic joins the two ends of the rim using a sleeve rather than a pinned joint.
Unlike the other Aksiums, the Elites come with Mavic’s own all-season Yksion Elite Guard tyres with a 120TPI (threads per inch) casing and a nylon anti-puncture breaker that runs from one bead to the other.
Buy if: You're looking for reliable training wheels that aren't too expensive.
Mavic’s Ksyrium wheels have gradually evolved since 1999, building up a reputation for combining light weight with loads of strength. You might see the cheaper models as workhorse wheels but the higher up the range you go the higher the performance you get for your money.
The lower priced models are made with box section aluminium rims, in the case of the most basic Ksyrium they’re 25mm high with recommended tyre sizes of 23mm to 25mm. Mavic use the same QRM sealed cartridge bearings as you get with the Aksiums, and Yksion Elite tyres come as part of the package.
The claimed wheelset weight is 1,690g (77g front, 920g rear), which is pretty light for this price, although it’s combining that with a bombproof performance that makes this a popular choice.
The Ksyrium Disc is essentially the same wheel but with disc hubs and four extra spokes per wheel. Neither the rim-brake nor disc versions of the base model Ksyrium are Road UST compatible yet.
Buy if: You're after something that's reasonably light and very sturdy.
Ksyrium Elite UST
The Ksyrium Elite UST is made of a different material from the cheaper wheels in the range: an aluminium alloy that Mavic calls Maxtal. It has a higher strength to weight ratio than the 6106 aluminium alloy commonly used in rim manufacture. Mavic reduces the rim weight further by milling away material between the spokes. It uses this technique, which it calls ISM 4D, on all of its higher end aluminium rims.
The spoke nipples are screwed directly into the rim as the holes are ‘pushed’ through the inside wall rather than drilled, the pushed up material then being threaded to allow the nipple to be secured.
To make the Elites user serviceable, Mavic has installed steel double sealed bearings that are fully adjustable, even chucking in the tool you need to do it.
When we reviewed the original Ksyrium Elites we said, “Great mid-range wheels for the all-rounder, as happy to race as they are to cruise, but the tyres are average.”
With an RRP of £529, these are the cheapest Road UST wheels in the Ksyrium range.
In 2017 Mavic added a disc-compatible version of the Ksyrium Elite; that's now the Ksyrium Elite UST Disc.
The Ksyrium Elite UST Disc uses a similar rim to the regular Ksyrium Elite UST with a disc-compatible hub. There are versions to take six-bolt rotors or those with Shimano's Center Lock mount. They weigh a claimed 770g and 900g for front and rear respectively and come with Mavic's Yksion Pro GripLink and PowerLink tyres.
Buy if: You want solid all-rounders that are light enough to race.
The Ksyrium Pro UST is built with spokes made from Zicral, an aluminium alloy, which Mavic says are stiffer, stronger and lighter than traditional stainless steel spokes.
We’re getting down to some very light weights now; the Ksyrium Pros come in at a claimed 1,410g (590g front, 820g rear).
Buy if: You want a lightweight wheelset that doesn't compromise on durability.
Ksyrium Pro UST Disc
The Ksyrium Pro UST Discs are, you won't be surprised to learn, the disc-compatible version of the Ksyrium Pro USTs. The hubs on the Ksyrium Pro Discs are compatible with the increasing number of axle standards that are available for road disc. Standard quick release is covered, as is QR15 at the front and 142x12 at the back.
Buy if: You're after light disc brake wheels for endurance riding.
Ksyrium Pro Exalith
Exalith is a technology that Mavic has been using on some of its aluminium rims for a few years now. The combination of a chemical treatment and a file-like texture that’s machined into the rim is claimed to reduce braking distances by 20%. You have to use specific pads that are supplied with the wheels.
The other advantage of Exalith is that it reduces rim wear. If you ride in grotty conditions and find road crud rapidly chews through your rims, these wheels are a solid choice. Mavic hasn't yet produced a Road UST version though.
For 2017 the Ksyrium Pro Exalith got a new, wider ISM 4D rim — 17mm across instead of the previous 15mm. Claimed weight is 1,475g/pr which splits out as 630g for the front wheel and 845 g rear.
Buy if: Powerful braking is your first priority.
Ksyrium Pro Carbon SL
These carbon-rimmed wheels are designed for climbing although a lot of effort has been put into making the braking performance as good as possible. What goes up must come down, after all.
When this wheel was first introduced Mavic gave it an alloy insert that formed the bed and the hooks for the tyre bead. This was designed to ensure an even fit for the tyre and to dissipate braking heat through the structure of the wheel. However, this insert disappeared when Mavic developed better carbon curing technology, called TgMax, which could support high temperatures on the braking surface. This surface is also laser finished.
There are four versions, with either clincher or tubular rims and with or without mounts for disc brake rotors. The rim-braked Ksyrium Pro Carbon SLs weigh a claimed 1,390g (front 615g, rear 775g) while the £1,099 disc-compatible version is 130g heavier.
The Pro Carbon SL Tubular is the lightest Ksyrium wheelset at a claimed 1,190g (515g front, 675g rear). The tubular disc version comes in at 1,320g (625g front, 695g rear)
Buy if: You want a superlight wheelset with a good braking performance.
For 2018 Mavic has split out these beefed-up wheels from the main Ksyrium range, although they still have a lot in common with Ksyriums. All three use a new Road UST rim with 22mm internal width. Mavic says they work with 28mm-62mm tyres.
Allroad Elite UST
The rim-braked Allroad Elite UST is the cheapest of the range. It's only available with standard 9mm quick releases, so it's suitable for making older bikes a bit off-road capable if they have the tyre clearance, and they'll make great super-tough commuting wheels.
Claimed weight for the pair is 1,590g, which splits 685g/905g front and rear. That's only a little more than the Ksyrium Elite USTs with which they share features like steel double-butted spokes. They come with 30mm Yksion Elite Allroad tyres.
Buy if: You want light but beefy do-everything wheels
Allroad Elite UST Disc
The Allroad Elite UST Disc wheels sound like they're the disc-braked equivalent of the Allroad Elite UST, but there are lots of differences aside from the disc compatibility. For a start they have 24 spokes in both wheels where the Allroad Elite UST has just 18 in the front wheel.
Like the Ksyrium Pro UST Disc wheels, the Allroad Elite UST Discs are compatible with a wide range of axle and quick release designs, including 12mm through-axles and 15mm front axles. These are wheels designed for versatility.
A pair of Allroad Elite UST Discs weighs 1,720g (F:795g, R:925g). They come with 30mm Yksion Elite Allroad or 40mm Yksion Elite Allroad XL tyres.
Buy if: You want off-road-capable disc-braked wheels
Allroad Pro UST Disc
The top model in the Allroad range, the Allroad Pro UST Disc saves weight with details like a 20-spoke front wheel, carbon fibre front hub body and Zicral spokes. That pushes the price up, but at 1,610g per pair (F:730g, R:880g) they're a respectable weight for wide-rim disc wheels.
Like the Allroad Elite UST Disc wheels, this pair comes with your choice of 30mm Yksion Elite Allroad or 40mm Yksion Elite Allroad XL tyres.
Buy if: You want light wheels for gravel racing and endurance riding
The R-Sys SLR uses hollow carbon-fibre spokes that allow Mavic to build a wheel that’s extremely stiff laterally. Mavic calls this Tracomp technology because the spokes work in both traction and compression to maintain the wheel’s shape whatever forces you throw at it.
The R-Sys SLR also features Mavic’s Exalith technology (see Ksyrium Pro Exalith, above) to improve braking and reduce rim wear.
Available in a clincher version only, the R-Sys SLR wheelset weighs just 1,295g (555g front, 740g rear). They're Mavic's lightest clinchers.
Buy if: You want a light weight combined with an excellent level of stiffness.
Cosmic Elite UST
Cosmic is the name that Mavic gives to its mid-depth wheels that are designed with aerodynamics in mind. The Cosmic Elite UST is the most accessible model, with 30mm-deep aluminium rims, aluminium hub bodies, and bladed steel spokes. In terms of materials, this is essentially an aero version of Mavic’s basic Ksyrium, except that, unlike the Ksyrium it has a Road UST rim, making it Mavic's cheapest tubeless option.
Buy if: You want a tubeless-compatible aero wheelset at a budget price.
Cosmic Elite UST Disc
Mavic has added several disc-compatible models to its 2018 range, including these accessible aero wheels. They're largely the same as the rim-braked version, but with 24 spokes per wheel.
Buy if: You want your value-for-money tubeless aero wheels disc compatible
Cosmic Pro Carbon
Tweaked for 2017, the Cosmic Pro Carbon is an entirely different design with 45mm-deep rims that feature elliptical sidewalls. Those rims are Maxtal aluminium with carbon-fibre flanges bonded on to improve the aerodynamic performance.
The extra material does add to the weight. A pair of Cosmic Pro Carbons comes in at a claimed 1,650g (735g front, 915g rear).
For 2017, Mavic introduced a disc-compatible version of the Cosmic Pro Carbon. The disc mounts unavoidably add weight, bringing the total to 1,770g (835g front, 935g rear)
The Cosmic Pro Carbon Exalith is the same rim-braked wheel except that the rim has been given Mavic’s Exalith 2 treatment (see above) to improve durability and braking performance.
The combination of an aluminium brake track and a carbon fibre fairing isn't the lightest way to build an aero wheel, but it does keep the price under control while delivering almost all of the speed benefits of deep rims.
Buy if: You want aero performance while retaining good braking on an aluminium brake track.
Cosmic Pro Carbon SL
The Cosmic Pro Carbon SL family have 40mm deep full carbon rims and again there are versions for rim and disc brakes and for clincher and tubular tyres. For 2018 the clincher versions have Road UST rims.
We were very impressed by the Cosmic Pro Carbon SL when we reviewed them. They weigh what they supposed to (and for more than most people spend on a complete bike, they'd better), they're fast and Mavic's new brake track treatment means stopping in the wet is almost as good as in the dry, an area that traditionally been a weakness of carbon rims.
As you'd expect, they're light. The rim-braked Cosmic Pro Carbon SL UST weighs 1,490 g/pr (645g front, 805g rear), while the Pro Carbon SL Tubular comes in at just 1,410g (620g front, 790g rear).
The disc-brake versions are a little heavier as you'd expect. The Pro Carbon SL Disc UST pairing weighs 1,570g (750g front, 820g rear) while the Pro Carbon SL Disc tubulars are 1,540g (730g front, 810g rear).
Cosmic Ultimate Tubular
The Cosmic Ultimate Tubular also has a full-carbon 40mm deep rim. The spokes are carbon too, as is the front hub body. This all drops the weight down to a claimed 1,250g for the wheelset (555g front, 695g rear).
The Cosmic Ultimate is the wheel that you’ll see used most frequently by Mavic sponsored pro teams because of its light weight and a depth that’s suitable for a variety of terrains and conditions.
Buy if… You want a professional level wheelset that's light and versatile.
Mavic refers to wheels with rims deeper than the Cosmic's 30mm and 40mm as Hyperaero, and has replaced the old CXR wheels with four new models under the Comète name, formerly reserved for a time trial rear disc.
Comète Pro Carbon SL
These are very much Mavic's most modern aero wheels, with 64mm deep, 26mm wide NACA profile rims. They're reasonably light too: the Comète Pro Carbon SL UST comes in at 1,635g per pair, a few grams less than rivals like DT Swiss PRC 1400 Spline wheels.
Since there still aren't many people using disc brakes in time trials and triathlons, we suspect the most popular wheels from this group are going to be the tubular and UST versions.
At 1,490g a pair the Comète Pro Carbon SL Tubular is the lightest model in the range, which is as you'd expect: with no mounts for a disc rotor or hooks for a tyre bead, a rim-braked tubular is still the lightest way to make a wheel.
Nevertheless, as we mentioned, the Comète Pro Carbon SL UST's 1,635g is pretty impressive for a clincher wheel with a rim this deep. That splits out as 740g for the front wheel and 895g rear.
If you're looking for an extra turn of speed for a [modern endurance bike, then the Comète Pro Carbon SL UST Disc could be for you. A pair weighs 1,755g (F:845g, R:910g).
Finally traditional and modern collide in the Comète Pro Carbon SL Tubular Disc. A pair weighs 1,630 (F:765g, R:865g). Both these wheels and the UST version are compatible with quick-release and through-axle systems.
Buy if: You want Mavic's fastest aero wheels
The Comète time trial/triathlon disc wheel, available only as a tubular, is carbon fibre with an aluminium rim body and a Mavic Exalith brake track for improved braking and durability. The walls are asymmetrical: convex on the driveside and lenticular on the non-driveside.
Buy if: You're after a disc wheel that offers a top-level braking performance.
For more info go to www.mavic.co.uk.
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Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.