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Mavic Aksium wheelset



Resonable weight and generally good durability make these decent all-rounders

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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We’ve always got on really well with Mavic’s entry-level Aksium road wheels in the past but the front one of this set went way out of true on our fourth or fifth ride, leaving us scrabbling about on the roadside with a spoke key.

The 6106 aluminium rims are 24mm deep and they’ve been pinned and machined so you get good, smooth braking surfaces, and the spoke holes have eyelet reinforcement. The aluminium hub bodies house steel axles and smooth cartridge bearings – so there’s no bearing adjustment to worry about, you just replace them when they wear out. The sealing is okay – not amazing but pretty good – so they don’t start creaking after your first wet ride. You get 20 flat spokes front and rear, laced radially except on the driveside at the back where they’re two-cross.

Weighing in at 900g front and 1064g rear (plus 124g for the skewers), the Aksiums are a reasonable weight rather than incredibly light, but they’re pretty quick to pick up speed and climb and they don’t flex about too much at all when you get out of the saddle. We got a tiny amount of brake rub with these, but only when we set the blocks crazy-close to the rim and really chucked the bike about. It’s really not much of an issue.

With all the pairs of Aksiums we’ve ever ridden, the spoke tension out of the box has been spot on, and it generally stays reasonably consistent with just occasional tweaking. That’s why we were so surprised to see the front wheel of this set start swinging so wildly off kilter. We have to review what is in front of us though so that tensioning problem does knock our mark build quality mark - on what in every other respect are well built wheels. Ah well, these things happen, we suppose. It’s a 5min job if you know how to fix it and have the right tool in your pocket – a long walk home if you don’t.

Anyway, it’s been fine ever since and the back one has been perfectly well behaved, so we’re not going to be too hard on them. The Aksiums are still good all-rounders in a well-proven design, and very good value for money.


Solid all-rounders – a reasonable weight, generally good durability and decent bearings make these a sound buy test report

Make and model: Mavic Aksium wheelset

Size tested: n/a

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
Rate the product for value:

Did you enjoy using the product? This set: not as much as other Aksiums I've ridden

Would you consider buying the product? Maybe

Would you recommend the product to a friend? We've ridden so many sets that have been great, we'd say yes

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 36  Height: 184cm  Weight: 74kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. 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 winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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BigDonn | 11 years ago

I had the Askium wheels reviewed here on my Boardman Road Team. The front wheel was a nightmare - constantly going out of true.
On one 40 mile route immediately after I'd had it professionally trued, it went so out of true that I had to stop and fix it again. The rear was pretty good until last week when a piece of metal on the driveside hub flange that holds in the spoke sheered away! Bike was completely unrideable and the wheels are now being replaced as a warranty job - I'd only had them for 6 months and about 2500 miles.
Not impressed with my first experience of Mavic wheels! The R500s on my previous bike were completely bomb proof and even survived a head on collision with a car. I've been assured that the 2013 version is far stronger but we'll have to wait and see.

TheBigMong | 11 years ago

I have two sets of Aksiums. The first set are the 2008 model (the ones shown with the wear indicator groove in the brake surface) and they have been flawless for a few thousand miles. The second set are the newest "2010" model (the top picture--no wear indicator groove) and they have been reliable except that as soon as I took them out on the road a few times, I had the same need for initial re-truing as others have mentioned.

They are still rock-solid wheels as far as I can tell, but yes, it's true Mavic isn't putting the same attention into proper tensioning/truing that they used to. If you're handy with the spoke wrench then it's not a big deal--tune them up and they are good to go for a long time.

alg | 13 years ago

Thought a long term test appropriate. I bought mine this time last year so I expect they will be the older ones but they look like the pic so maybe not - not that I care much. They are the only proper upgrade I have made to my modest 13 year old Dawes Giro and they have transformed it. I wouldn't spend any more on it but with these wheels it might go for another 13 years - they seem pretty sound to me, run true and I have never had to threaten them with more than a sponge. Top marks from me.

sponging-machine | 14 years ago

Came with my new Jake. Front wheel went wildly out of true after 2 hours.

handlebarcam | 14 years ago

I too have found the latest (3rd generation?) Aksiums less bomb-proof than the 1st generation ones. I've had a couple of sets of the latter for years, and never had to touch them with a spoke key. The new ones needed re-tensioning (some spokes more than others) after a few hundred miles. I guess that is the price you pay for the 100g+ difference in weight.

John_the_Monkey | 14 years ago

I really like the Aksium too - they feel faster than they probably are, and can usually be had for a fair bit less than the RRP. A good first upgrade to a starter bike, or (as for me) for impecunious cyclists...

The only thing I don't like is the proprietary spokes - s'why my commuting wheels are modestly specced handbuilts.

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