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French company’s first carbon clincher wheels arrive for testing

Mavic describe their new £1,800 Cosmic Carbon 40 clincher wheelset as the “first reliable carbon clincher.” We’ve just got a pair into the road.cc office to test that claim.

Mavic launched these wheels earlier this year, they represent the company’s first ever carbon clincher wheelset. The carbon clincher market has been growing rapidly in recent years with more demand than ever, and it was only a matter of time before one of the oldest wheel manufacturers in the game launched a carbon clincher.

Unlike most other carbon clincher wheels with an all-carbon construction, these wheels feature a 40mm rim made by bonding a carbon shell to an internal alloy extrusion. The inside is filled with foam. Mavic’s reasoning for this design is to counteract the heat problem that afflicts other carbon clinchers: the alloy extrusion basically acts as a heat sink and draws heat away from the carbon braking surface.

For the braking surface Mavic have used the new TgMAX Technology. This involves combining two types of resin in the braking surface with a proprietary heat treatment process, which they claim improves the rims ability to deal with high temperatures generated during heavy braking.

Mavic claim their testing shows that they've been able to reduce the braking distance compared to other carbon clincher wheels in the wet too, which will be interesting to test in typical UK conditions. They also claim, because of the aluminium and carbon construction, that the wheels are much stiffer than other aftermarket wheels, reducing rim deflection between the brake pad by 50%.

The spokes are attached to the rims using threaded inserts, which avoids drilling holes in the rim bed. They aren’t tubeless compatible though, which does seem a missed opportunity, especially with the established UST tubeless technology on their mountain bike wheels.

Spokes are bladed and there’s 20 in each wheel, radially laced in the front wheel and non-driveside on the rear wheel, with a 2-cross pattern on the driveside. The hubs feature alloy flanges and a carbon shell, the same as used on other wheels in the Mavic range. The Mavic freehub body is compatible with 11-speed cassettes.

The wheels weigh 1,596g the pair (front: 687g, rear: 882g) on the road.cc scales of truth, which is only a smidgen more than their claimed weight of 1,549g, and within tolerances. There are lighter wheels in this category, such as the 1,475g Zipp 303 Firecrest.

A pair of Yksion Pro Griplink (front) and Powerlink (rear) 190g tyres are supplied along with inner tubes, so they are ready to ride from the box, save for installing a cassette. The wheels cost £1,800 and are available now. More info at www.mavic.com

Watch out for a review soon as we get some miles in on them.

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.