Mavic introduced their first full carbon mountain bike rims as part of the 2016 XA Pro Carbon wheelset. It took two years to see an update to those, with the XA35 going a lot wider to handle the “plus” mountain bike tire craze. Somewhere along the way, they released the Crossmax Carbon Pro wheelset and never bothered to tell anyone about it. Now, they have two new carbon mountain bike wheels at the Elite level to bring the price down a little and offer new widths.
The Crossmax Elite Carbon gets a 26mm internal width, which is 3mm wider than the Pro version, but shares the same low profile design and specific layup to add vertical compliance without sacrificing lateral stiffness. It’s meant for XC riding, and up to about a 2.4” tire. Like the Pro model, it uses 2-cross 24-count spokes front and rear. Claimed weight for the 29er set is 1,600g/pair, which is about 90g more than the Pro hoops. Also available in 27.5″ sizes.
XA Elite Carbon is 30mm wide inside, which sits below the XA35 in width, aimed more at the growing lightweight trail bike market. They come in at 1715g for 29er (also available in 27.5″ sizes) and use the same low profile rim design and 2×24 spoke lacing as the Crossmax wheels. Both get Mavic’s 3+1 warranty (3 years standard, bonus year when you register your wheelset).
All wheels use their new ID360 hub system, which handles way more torque than the prior hubs. Inside, there are two toothed rings that engage to drive the wheel forward. For the mountain bike version of the hubs, they have stronger spring force pushing those rings together.
Another feature of these hubs is that they come apart without tools, allowing for easy maintenance, and they use a wave washer under the C-clip on the non-drive side to keep constant and appropriate pressure on the bearings without any room for user error in putting too much or too little preload. Meaning, there’s no preload adjustment, it just automatically adjusts for you.
MicroSpline freehub bodies coming by early May and use “larger bearings than the competition”, putting the largest diameter bearings inside they could. Pricing is TBD, but it works on their ID360 drive system, so you can add it to their existing wheels with those hubs. Curious about those hubs and how they’ve improved over prior options from Mavic? Check out our AASQ with them here and here.
Before we switch to downhill and enduro, here’s a look at how the two XC/trail carbon rims compare…Crossmax Elite Carbon on the left, XA30 Elite Carbon on the right.
2019 Mavic Deemax & eMTB wheels
The Deemax Pro (carries over unchanged for 2019) is 28mm wide inside, which allows them to make it lighter and more rigid for the pro-level use, and matches up with the tire widths that the pros are racing on. But the Deemax Elite (shown above, on left) is a new, more affordable and more approachable version of their tough, gravity oriented wheelset. It pushes the width to 30mm also, helping it fit modern 2.5-2.7″ tires.
They say if you go too wide, not only are the rims heavier, but you can start to lose handling precision. Really wide rims create challenges in keeping the rim’s profile in shape under hard cornering and loads.
The new E-XA30 Elite for eMTB gets a stronger rim and overall wheel build, but still uses their machined ISM 4D design to reduce weight where they can, saying it saves about 15% more rotating mass. What’s unique about these is the added material around the lip, called PFP (pinch flat protection). It’s a reinforcement at the edge of the rim to provide a rounder, broader profile to help the tire wrap around it rather than smash on it.
They have a 150kg (330lb) rider+bike weight limit and use 28 spokes (up from 24) and a steel freehub body (up from alloy) to handle the stresses of the extra weight and torque.
All of the the wheels are made in Europe – Rims are made in France, and hubs are assembled and wheels are built in their own factory in Romania. And they’re all hand built.