If three decades of unchanged use at the top levels of sport tells you something, its that a product works. And the only reason to mess with success is if you know you can make it better. And that’s what Mavic’s doing with their Comete and iO track wheels.

The full disc Comete was originally built in 1986 and raced in the ’88 Seoul Olympics (pics of those wheels below). Track bikes at the time used very narrow tires, and continued to do so for most of the intervening years. Now, as virtually every cycling discipline is finding gains with wider tires, Mavic’s reworked it to fit modern track racers’ preferences…a whopping 21-22mm width. That means taking the rim’s brake track width from ~19mm out to 21.5mm for the new Rio edition. And that change led to reworking the overall disc slightly, but the strength and stiffness remain unchanged, but the weight dropped a little.


The original Comete from 1986 shown next to the custom graphic’d one for Seoul 1998.


The five-spoke iO was introduced for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and gets the same rim width increase, growing from about 18mm to 22mm plus a new NACA profile on the rim section. The spoke width also changes – the original tapered from 70mm at the rim to 80mm deep at the hub. The Rio edition is thinner, tapering from 50mm to 60mm, and they also get a new truncated NACA profile. The result is an average 20 watts savings.

Most of the USA squad will be on them during this year’s Olympics. And after the global sporting spectacle? Maybe, just maybe, they’ll make their way down to the consumer level.


  1. They’ve changed over the years. The most visible difference is they ditched the removable weights. Those round spots you see around the rim on the old models were so you could actually ADD weights to the wheels. The idea was that adding weights in the right place could result in a flywheel effect. Yes, this concept was completely mental but they did it anyway. The other big change on the road model was the switch to a cassette hub body from a freewheel body.

      • The science proves it out. Steve Hed was literally years ahead of his time. I took Mavic’s buyout of ENVE (and, yes, market pressure) before Mavic would even consider they could have been wrong all along.

        Like I said, dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

      • To be fair, many frame and wheel manufacturers and others in the industry were under those same delusions, never willing to question the conventional wisdom.

        Science, FTW.

  2. These wheels are amazing but hopefully they fixed the iO and its horrible ability to go out of true as temperatures changed.

  3. most of the team will be on them…except the Womens Teams Pursuit, USA’s only track medal hope. They will ride HED wheels made in the USA.

  4. Mavic was a bicycle icon, but the brand is dead since they sold they soul to the shareholders and the profit only spirit.
    Proprietary systems and marketing b****t…..

    • They stopped doing anything special before their buyout. Their electronic group was their last cool and innovative product, despite the glitches

  5. You can blame Mavic for many things. On the track, wide or not, garbage or not, they still rule: in London, Mavic won 27 medals out of 30…

  6. I am shopping for track wheels at the moment and I am consistently told by britains best riders of all ages that ‘ mavic’ are best x

COMMENT HERE: (For best results, log in through Wordpress or your social media account. Anonymous/fake email comments may be unapproved or deleted. ALL first-time commenter's posts are held for moderation. Check our Comment Policy for full details.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.