Mavic launch Ksyrium 125 Wheelset + tyre system

French wheel manufacturer celebrates 125 years on the road by making some special wheels… and tyres

by Dave Atkinson   April 30, 2014  

As part of their celebrations of their 125th anniversary Mavic have released a new version of their Ksyrium wheelset, and with it a new tyre system that features front and rear specific treads and technology. Only 6,000 sets of the Ksyrium 125 wheel/tyre system will be produced. There will also be some limited edition anniversary clothing; more on that later.

For the new wheel Mavic have completely re-tooled their inter-spoke milling technology (ISM) that they use to reduce the weight of the rim. Each individual rim is measured before milling to ensure that the correct amount of material is taken from the rim to save weight without compromising strength. In previous incarnations of the wheel this milling has been quite angular, but the ISM 4D process produces a much more rounded profile because it can remove the alloy with a greater degree of freedom then before. There’s multiple benefits to this: the rim looks a good deal nicer, for a start, and more material can be removed for a lighter wheel. On top of that, the rounded profile is more aerodynamic than the previous version.

Mavic have stuck with their Fore spoke attachment system for the Ksyrium 125. Instead of drilling the rim, the inner surface is pushed into the rim cavity and the spare alloy is threaded to accept a screw-in nipple. Mavic claim that this makes the rim four times more resistant to fatigue stress, and the fact that the rim bed isn’t drilled makes for a more rigid rim too.

The Ksyrium 125 uses a mixture of Zircal alloy spokes (on the front wheel and drive side of the rear) and Tracomp carbon spokes (on the rear non-drive side), the same as the current Ksyrium SLR; the hubs are unchanged too. The rims are deep-anodised using Mavic’s Exalith 2 technology and they have the same ribbed braking surface as the current rim.

Mavic are all about wheel-tyre systems these days and they’ve developed a new Yksion Pro tyre to go with the Ksyrium 125. I say “tyre” but in fact there are two: a GripLink for the front and a PowerLink for the rear. They’re similar beasts, but with a few subtle differences. The tread on the two tyres is different, with the front using a more closely packed diagonal pattern which is reversed and more widely spaced on the rear. The puncture protection is also tailored to the wheel. At the front, where a puncturing at speed can be hazardous, Mavic use a Kevlar breaker. At the back, where it’s less of a safety issue, there’s a nylon breaker to minimise rolling resistance. Mavic have chosen a 25mm width for the Yksion Pro, and Mavic claim a weight of 210g per wheel.

Mavic claim a wheel weight of 1,370g for a pair of the Ksyrium 125s, and 1,920g for the complete wheel/tyre system. The wheels will retail for £1,100 a set with the Yksion tyres coming in at £39 each.

I got the opportunity to have a first ride on the Kysrium 125 at Mavic’s 125th anniversary celebrations, with a 75km ride through the Beaujolias vineyards to Mavic’s rim facility in Saint Trivier.

On unfamiliar roads, on an unfamiliar bike, in good conditions, it’s not really possible to draw any detailed conclusions about the ride characteristics, but the tyres roll well and the wheels are very stiff under power, as you’d expect from a wheel that’s the descendant of the super-stiff Ksyrium SLR. The grooved Exalith braking surface demands a bit of bedding in and complains noisily until it’s happy, so the descents in a group of about 30, all on new wheels and new brake blocks, were ear-splitting at times. My wheels calmed down after about 50km, others weren’t so lucky. I can also confirm that the tyres are very comfy at the 50psi I rode them at for the first 5km until I managed to flag down the yellow car and get them filled up proper. Serves me right for not checking. Still, if you’re going to have wheel or tyre problems, a fully-supported Mavic ride with neutral service is the ride to choose.

The new Ksyrium 125 wheels will be sold as a pair and cost £1,100 while the Yksion Pro 125 Griplink and Pro 125 Powerlink tyres will cost £39 each, both tyres and wheelset are scheduled for UK release between mid-May and early June.

www.mavic.com

17 user comments

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yellow hub/spokeage = vile.

posted by andyp [860 posts]
30th April 2014 - 14:59

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only 1200!! I might get 2 sets,bargin

posted by seanboy [23 posts]
30th April 2014 - 16:11

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Dave

Mavic seem to be sticking with a 19mm wide rim, rather than moving to a wider (21/23mm rim) a la HED, etc. Did they express any views on trend toward wider rims and why they aren't jumping on that particular bandwagon?

Also, Ksyriums used to be excellent value for money but that no longer seems to be true. How would you compare the Ksyrium 125 (or even the Ksyrium SLR - is the 125 just an SLR with a different set of decals?) to the Shimano DA C24 (assuming you've ridden the C24), which has an RRP£799 and can be had for £599 from certain on-line purveyors of cycling kit. Even with tyres thrown in not sure Ksyrium worth the difference?

(Personally, if I was going to spend £1200 on a pair of clinchers .... actually, I wouldn't spend that kind of money on clinchers.)

posted by surly_by_name [142 posts]
30th April 2014 - 17:27

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The Ksyrium 125 certainly isn't just a rebadged SLR, the rim is a different design. the two wheels share construction and other components though, so they're not chalk and cheese, but the 125 is new.

Dura Ace C24s are great wheels, no doubt about it. The top end Ksyriums are a fair bit lighter (over 100g lighter on claimed weight) and they've historically been stiffer too, this one is likely to be no exception as it shares similar construction methods. whether that's worth the extra spend is up to you, i guess.

As to whether Ksyriums represent good value these days, the Ksyrium Elite S can be had for well under £500 and that's not much heavier than a C24 (~40g), so it's not all about the top-end ones.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7312 posts]
30th April 2014 - 18:21

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Dave Atkinson wrote:
The Ksyrium 125 certainly isn't just a rebadged SLR, the rim is a different design. the two wheels share construction and other components though, so they're not chalk and cheese, but the 125 is new.

Dura Ace C24s are great wheels, no doubt about it. The top end Ksyriums are a fair bit lighter (over 100g lighter on claimed weight) and they've historically been stiffer too, this one is likely to be no exception as it shares similar construction methods. whether that's worth the extra spend is up to you, i guess.

As to whether Ksyriums represent good value these days, the Ksyrium Elite S can be had for well under £500 and that's not much heavier than a C24 (~40g), so it's not all about the top-end ones.

Thanks.

posted by surly_by_name [142 posts]
30th April 2014 - 19:26

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More of the same, a marketing blitz to extract some extra margin out of gullible riders. With such exiting innovations in wheel design on the doorstep, Mavic celebrates the fact that it is a déjà-vu company.
I will stick to my excellent Ksyrium Elite S wheels until disk brakes have fully matured and then switch to some thru-axle, disk brake, wide rim, tubeless (?) aero wheels at half the price. When? From the moment the pro peloton adopts disk brakes, give it 2-3 seasons.

The entropy of the universe increases constantly. Carpe diem.

posted by noether [50 posts]
30th April 2014 - 19:50

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Good for you.

I'll be buying up the nicely price reduced traditional wheelsets while folk like you pay hand over fist to jump onto the disc-train Smile

posted by Nick T [790 posts]
30th April 2014 - 21:16

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Let's not also forget that Mavic were *very* early adopters of road discs. Speed Citys, anyone? When did they come out, 2004? They were too early in fact, which is probably why they're being a bit more reticent about it this time around Thinking

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7312 posts]
30th April 2014 - 21:24

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I have the SLR's @ 12 months old. The tyres are an absolute bitch to get off whenever u get a puncture! Also I think they wear fairly quick and get rips/tears fairly easily too. Disappointed with the tyres tbh and will change to Contis probably. Great looking wheel and braking is superb, and the 'jet' sound of the brakes is class especially when in a group! Finally, I haven't got to the bottom of this yet so may be wrong, but there seems to be a lot of flex in the front wheel as every time I stand up the front wheel rubs the brakes somehow and I have to open the block and even then there is still a slight rub!

PauricG

posted by Hoof Hearted [1 posts]
1st May 2014 - 7:48

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Nice... Did you all get blingy matching kit too? Must get myself on a product launch one day!!

posted by surfer35 [21 posts]
1st May 2014 - 8:37

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Nick T wrote:
Good for you.

I'll be buying up the nicely price reduced traditional wheelsets while folk like you pay hand over fist to jump onto the disc-train Smile

Super, grab us a cottered crank and a quill stem while you're at it will you?

If there is a widespread adoption of disc brakes on the road then you probably will see prices drop on rim brake wheels, that's true. But it's not going to happen overnight and the assumption that a disc wheel is going to cost more than a non-disc wheel is false, they are no more mechanically complicated. If you compare a mtb wheel (almost exclusively disc) to a similar quality road wheel then they are the same price.

As for these wheels, they look like they'd be a nightmare to repair but that's not really the primary concern.

joemmo's picture

posted by joemmo [791 posts]
1st May 2014 - 9:38

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Agree with Joemmo. Making a disc wheel doesn't involve any new technology for wheel manufacturers, who all make disc hubs/wheels anyway. So there isn't any reason why a disc road wheel would cost more than its non-disc equivalent. Expect that at least initially there might be surplus high end non-disc wheels and therefore bargains to snap up, but in the mid to long term manufacturers will stop making high end rim brake wheels. You will still be able to buy a Mavic Equipe wheelset for rim brakes (just like you can still buy mountain bike wheels for rim brakes) but all of the mid to high end wheels (like the SLR) will be disc only. (With through axles. If you want to know what the future of road bikes will look like, the Giant TCX Advanced is a good place to start.)

The more interesting development will probably only come with what I'd call "second generation" disc wheels. Not simply mating an SLR rim with the hub from a Crossmax SLR (for example), but instead using a rim without a (now redundant) braking surface.

Disc brakes will allow manufacturers to do to rims what they have done to frames, ie "carbon-ise" the market. The economics of carbon - unit price goes down as volume goes up - mean that once you've bought a mould you may as well pump out as much volume as you can. Carbon rims will become ubiquitous on high end bikes and on most mid end bikes (down to the magic cycle to work scheme £1,000 threshold). Right now they can't do this - not because carbon is expensive (it isn't when done in volume) but because it's a miserable material to make a braking surface from.

If you've ever tried to buy a lightweight alloy rim for tubulars, you'll know that there's not a lot of choice out there. That's what trying to buy high end rim brake wheelsets will be like in a decade if not sooner.

posted by surly_by_name [142 posts]
1st May 2014 - 12:34

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Great attention to detail by Mavic on the product launch,
- 50psi in the tyre!
- brake surfaced not bedded in!

How are you supposed to say anything positive about the wheel?

Oh yeah that's right, you were on an all expenses paid trip no doubt!

posted by zedbedboy [17 posts]
1st May 2014 - 13:15

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Hoof Hearted wrote:
I have the SLR's @ 12 months old. The tyres are an absolute bitch to get off whenever u get a puncture! Also I think they wear fairly quick and get rips/tears fairly easily too. Disappointed with the tyres tbh and will change to Contis probably. Great looking wheel and braking is superb, and the 'jet' sound of the brakes is class especially when in a group! Finally, I haven't got to the bottom of this yet so may be wrong, but there seems to be a lot of flex in the front wheel as every time I stand up the front wheel rubs the brakes somehow and I have to open the block and even then there is still a slight rub!

I am not a huge fan of the magic tyres on my SLR's either, although one complaint isn't getting them on and off. I had a front puncture last week and got the tyre back on by hand, no levers required. They seem to be wearing 'ok' (race tyre at the end of the day), but they do not feel as quick or supple as my favourite Ultremos.

posted by sorebones [109 posts]
1st May 2014 - 13:32

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I'm in! Love them. I bought the last LE Ksyriums with the ti axle 15 years ago and they were great.

posted by Karbon Kev [670 posts]
2nd May 2014 - 19:36

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sorebones wrote:
Hoof Hearted wrote:
I have the SLR's @ 12 months old. The tyres are an absolute bitch to get off whenever u get a puncture! Also I think they wear fairly quick and get rips/tears fairly easily too. Disappointed with the tyres tbh and will change to Contis probably. Great looking wheel and braking is superb, and the 'jet' sound of the brakes is class especially when in a group! Finally, I haven't got to the bottom of this yet so may be wrong, but there seems to be a lot of flex in the front wheel as every time I stand up the front wheel rubs the brakes somehow and I have to open the block and even then there is still a slight rub!

I am not a huge fan of the magic tyres on my SLR's either, although one complaint isn't getting them on and off. I had a front puncture last week and got the tyre back on by hand, no levers required. They seem to be wearing 'ok' (race tyre at the end of the day), but they do not feel as quick or supple as my favourite Ultremos.

I on the other hand am dead chuffed with my Yksion tyres, find them very easy to put on and get good wear from them. I've just moved on to my second pair, after over 2000 miles without a puncture. Current pair are on 1500 miles, still without a puncture. So in fairness, I can't comment on the fit because it's only happened once for each pair.
My previous tyres (Conti GatorSkins) were half the price but covered half the distance before replacing, and I got a couple of punctures from daily London commuting. They came with a range of fits...

posted by CharlesMagne [23 posts]
3rd May 2014 - 9:37

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I've had 3,000 miles from the Yksions that came with my Ksyrium wheels and they still look good for a few more miles. One puncture in each in all that time. I agree with Charles, they are a doddle to get on, without tools.

posted by enigmaman [13 posts]
5th May 2014 - 17:58

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