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The Cosmic Elite UST Disc wheelset is the entry point into high-level race performance, according to Mavic, but at just over 1,900g they're immediately at a real weight disadvantage compared to much of the opposition. They deliver on ride quality, though, and their durability is to be commended.
The Elites sit at the entry level end of Mavic's 'Fast and Light' line-up, and are available in both rim brake and this disc braked version.
They're based around a 30mm deep aluminium alloy rim which, by modern standards at least, is actually quite narrow at 17mm. Many current road wheels are using rims that are 19mm to 21mm wide internal, but Mavic has stuck with 17mm.
It's not exactly a problem unless you use 28mm or 30mm tyres, when your start getting the 'lightbulb' shape that narrow rims cause instead of a nicely rounded profile.
The 25mm Yksion Pro UST 2 tyres that come as part of the package work absolutely fine, though, in terms of sizing and fit.
Connecting the Mavic hubs to the rim are aero bladed steel spokes and nipples – 24 at either end, in a two-cross pattern. The aluminium hub bodies are fitted with Mavic's 'QRM Auto' self-adjusting sealed cartridge bearings which, I must say, spin very smoothly and took a broad mix of wet and dry roads in their stride.
The freewheel system is called Instant drive 360, and has an engagement of just 9°, so there's no sense of lag with a change of pace or hard acceleration from a standstill.
Mavic design their wheels and tyres to work as a package, so it's no surprise the rims are tubeless ready (ours came fitted with tubeless tape already installed). You get valves and tyre sealant too, giving you everything straight out of the box to ditch the inner tubes.
As I've said, they are on the weighty side and that is noticeable. With the pre-installed tubeless tape they tip the scales at 1,910g; compare that to something like the 26mm-deep Scribe Race-D wheelset at 1,546g and it's disappointing. It blunts acceleration, and on the climbs it feels like you're dragging the wheels up there.
Include the Mavic tyres in your reckoning and the set weighs 2496g.
Everywhere else, though, things are more enjoyable. The Cosmic Elites have quite a stiff build with plenty of tension in the spokes, and they cope well with hard efforts out of the saddle. They're not harsh though, and comfort levels are pretty good even with the tyres pumped up firm.
The tyres themselves are also decent performers. Early versions of the Yksion weren't very well received, at least by me... they felt quite dead, offered unexceptional grip, and weren't the best when it came to puncture protection.
Today's Yksion's are better by a large margin. Grip is good in both the wet and dry, and while they still aren't the most supple tyres out there, they roll well. I didn't have any aggro from the puncture fairy during testing, either.
This whole package will set you back £430. Mavic list the tyres at £54 each, so if we knock them out of the equation, you're paying £322 for the wheels with valves and tape. You're also getting the sealant and saving perhaps another tenner there, so it's not too bad a price.
That Scribe Race-D wheelset is £370 for example, while the Mason X Hunt 4 Season Disc wheelset is £329 with similar depth (but slightly wider) rims, plus a far lower weight of 1,593g. The Halo Devaura Disc RD2 wheels have 31mm deep rims and still manage to be lighter than the Mavics, although at 1,733g with tape, it's not by a huge amount. They are more expensive though at £569.98
If you want durability and a quality ride feel, the Mavic Cosmic Elite USTs are a good choice. They stand up to plenty of abuse and can be used for a range of disciplines. If weight is a major consideration though, there are much lighter hoops out there that still deliver on the reliability front.
Durable and smooth wheelset, but weighty against the opposition
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Mavic Cosmic Elite UST Disc wheelset
Size tested: 700C
Tell us what the wheel is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Mavic says, "The Cosmic Elite is a perfect entry point into high-level race performance. This all-new UST Road Tubeless system delivers a smoother ride and improved puncture resistance while retaining a lightweight feel for climbing and accelerating."
It's a good all-round wheelset, but the weight is a touch too high for 'high-level race performance.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the wheel?
ETRTO size: 622x17TC ROAD
Use with Mavic Tubeless Tape
Internal width: 17 mm
Disc brake specific profile
Height: 30 mm
Valve hole diameter: 6.5 mm
Material: S6000 Aluminum
Tyre: UST Tubeless and tubetype
Front: Quick release and 12x100 through axle compatible
Auto adjust sealed cartridge bearings (QRM Auto), front and rear
Rear: Quick Release, 12x142 and 12x135 compatible
Freewheel: Instant Drive 360
Front and rear bodies: aluminum
Axle material: aluminum
Nipples: steel, ABS
Shape: straight pull, flat
Lacing: front and rear crossed 2
Count: 24 front and rear
Front axle: 12x100 thru axle, easily convertible to quick release with included adapters. Not compatible with 15mm through axles.
Rear axle: 12mm thru axle, convertible to Quick Release with included adapters
Freewheel: Shimano/Sram, convertible to Campagnolo and XD-R with optional driver bodies
Front and Rear Tread: 11 Storm single compound
Yksion Pro UST
UST Tubeless Ready
Dimension: 25-622 (700x25c)
Breaker: Polyamide, from bead to bead
Casing: 127 TPI
Tyre sealant syringe
Rear QR adapters for Instant Drive 360
Mavic tyre sealant (rear wheel)
Tubeless rim tape
Front QR adapters
UST valve and accessories
Did the wheels stay true? Any issues with spoke tension?
The wheels stayed true throughout testing.
How easy did you find it to fit tyres?
Removal and refitting of the Mavic tyres went without issue.
How did the wheel extras (eg skewers and rim tape) perform?
The Cosmic Elites come with comprehensive extras and perform very well indeed. It's great to to have everything needed in the box to run tubeless.
Tell us how the wheel performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A decent all-rounder, if a little on the heavy side.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel
Smooth ride feel and plenty of stiffness.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The price is pretty good when you consider all the extras. Take the tyres and sealant out of the equation and they compete well with the likes of Scribe and Mason's offerings (see review).
Did you enjoy using the wheel? On the flat
Would you consider buying the wheel? No
Would you recommend the wheel to a friend? If reliability was a higher concern than weight, yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
As an overall package the Mavic Cosmic Elites are pretty well priced and deliver a quality ride feel, and if they were lighter they'd be a seven or eight – but the weight is noticeable when you hit the climbs. They're still above average and a six.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!