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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.

14 comments

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njmoffat [29 posts] 2 years ago
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How much?!

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700c [889 posts] 2 years ago
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Nope, still don't understand the point of carbon clinchers.

All that R & D and high end price tag, but still the net result is a heavy a wheel for the price..

The weight benefits of using carbon to create a deep rim are counteracted by the extra material required for clinchers

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fancynancy [78 posts] 2 years ago
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 1 been looking forward to a proper review of these. Can't wait!

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colinth [191 posts] 2 years ago
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Is sub 1600g heavy for a 40mm rim ?

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700c [889 posts] 2 years ago
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colinth wrote:

Is sub 1600g heavy for a 40mm rim ?

At nearly £2k, yes I would say 1600g is heavy..

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step-hent [720 posts] 2 years ago
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Well, these are a lot lighter than 40mm deep alloy wheels would be. They're heavy compared to a low profile rim, but that's not really a fair comparison...

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Simon E [2681 posts] 2 years ago
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step-hent wrote:

Well, these are a lot lighter than 40mm deep alloy wheels would be. They're heavy compared to a low profile rim, but that's not really a fair comparison...

but at £1,800 they're VERY expensive! And I suspect they won't perform much better in the real world than a 30mm alloy rim like the American Classic 430.

Planet-X have a fat 45mm that's a lot cheaper but heavier (not that this makes much odds in the real world, despite what the makers tell you). Dura-Ace C35s, barely over 1600g and with alloy braking surface, seem good value next to these.

But if you are one of those people who must have all the bling stuff...

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Al'76 [110 posts] 2 years ago
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Wouldn't wanna hit a pothole  13

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DeanF316 [135 posts] 2 years ago
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Just bought Mavic Comic SLE'S which are 50mm and have the brilliant exalith braking surface, weigh 1620 grams and only cost me £900. I can't see why anyone would buy the Cosmic 40mm carbon clinchers as you are paying a massive premium to save a handful of grams with draw back of reduced braking performance.

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colinth [191 posts] 2 years ago
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DeanF316 wrote:

Just bought Mavic Comic SLE'S which are 50mm and have the brilliant exalith braking surface, weigh 1620 grams and only cost me £900. I can't see why anyone would buy the Cosmic 40mm carbon clinchers as you are paying a massive premium to save a handful of grams with draw back of reduced braking performance.

I've got the same wheels, fantastic so far. Suprised at how little difference the weight seems to make when climbing, I swapped from Dura Ace C24 which are circa 1400grams and I'm faster on the Cosmics over lumpy routes.

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step-hent [720 posts] 2 years ago
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colinth wrote:
DeanF316 wrote:

Just bought Mavic Comic SLE'S which are 50mm and have the brilliant exalith braking surface, weigh 1620 grams and only cost me £900. I can't see why anyone would buy the Cosmic 40mm carbon clinchers as you are paying a massive premium to save a handful of grams with draw back of reduced braking performance.

I've got the same wheels, fantastic so far. Suprised at how little difference the weight seems to make when climbing, I swapped from Dura Ace C24 which are circa 1400grams and I'm faster on the Cosmics over lumpy routes.

Well, aerodynamics generally beats weight for overall speed, unless you're doing a mountain time trial. But light wheels *feel* fantastic - they make a much bigger difference to how the bike feels than they do to how fast you go overall.

No doubt that these are expensive, but I'd be interested to know how they ride.

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700c [889 posts] 2 years ago
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step-hent wrote:

Well, aerodynamics generally beats weight for overall speed, unless you're doing a mountain time trial. But light wheels *feel* fantastic - they make a much bigger difference to how the bike feels than they do to how fast you go overall.

No doubt that these are expensive, but I'd be interested to know how they ride.

Or.. You could have the best of both worlds, light and aero, and save money, by going tubular! At this level, I really don't think clinchers can compete..

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colinth [191 posts] 2 years ago
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700c wrote:
step-hent wrote:

Well, aerodynamics generally beats weight for overall speed, unless you're doing a mountain time trial. But light wheels *feel* fantastic - they make a much bigger difference to how the bike feels than they do to how fast you go overall.

No doubt that these are expensive, but I'd be interested to know how they ride.

Or.. You could have the best of both worlds, light and aero, and save money, by going tubular! At this level, I really don't think clinchers can compete..

I did consider tubs but just dont think they're worth the hassle

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DeanF316 [135 posts] 2 years ago
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For the money these wheels are not light. Campag Zonda's have 35mm section rims, weigh 1500 grams and can pick them up just over £300. So you have £1500 charge, but obviously not as good for posing at a Sportive.