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All-new Mavic XA Pro Carbon mountain bike wheels bring full composite rims to the trail

2017 Mavic XA Elite alloy trail mountain bike wheelset wheel and tire system
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2017 Mavic XA Pro Carbon trail mountain bike wheelset wheel and tire system

We caught wind of Mavic’s full carbon intentions for their mountain bike wheels early this year as part of their off-road neutral support program planned for the Leadville 100 race. Now, and much earlier than anticipated, they’ve formally announced them as part of a new Quest adventure mountain bike wheel lineup.

The Mavic XA Pro Carbon is now their top of the line trail mountain bike wheelset. It gets a full carbon fiber rim that addresses all of a rider’s primary needs – lateral stiffness, vertical compliance, impact resistance, light weight, and tubeless reliability. And it does all that as part of a complete wheel/tire system that builds upon the “Carbon Clincher 2.0” design concept introduced with the Pro Carbon SL Cosmic and Ksyrium road bike wheels in March. That meant a new layup and a new way of thinking about how rims should perform as part of a complete wheel…

2017 Mavic XA Pro Carbon trail mountain bike wheelset wheel and tire system

Positioned for “Trail” bikes and sold as a wheel-tire system, they come with a 2.4″ wide Pro version of the Quest tires we’ve ridden in the past, which means upgraded X-Mix dual compound rubber and +Guard sidewall protection.

Mavic-Quest-XA-Pro-MTB-carbon-fiber-rim-stiffness

The wheels are laced 2x front and rear, with spoke tension more closely balanced from side to side (50/80 compared to 30/100) thanks to the rim’s asymmetric profile. Besides making the wheel a little stronger, it also works in tangent with the fiber layup to improve vertical compliance, which basically means the wheel is absorbing some of the bumps rather than transmitting all of it into the frame and fork. The result is more comfort and better traction, which is shown as a lower Frontal Stiffness number in the chart above even though their lateral stiffness is much higher.

Mavic-Quest-XA-Pro-MTB-carbon-fiber-rim-profile

In April, Mavic introduced updated (and wider) versions of the alloy Crossmax Pro/Elite wheels that switched to a hookless profile, and that’s used here, too. As is the UST standard (which they helped develop). That means precise internal shapes for easier tire mounting and to keep the tire on board even with very low pressures. Sidebar: The reason UST is so important to Mavic is because it allows them to use an open, tested and widely published rim-and-tire interface that guarantees things work together. And not just their rims and tires, but anyone else’s that stick to the standards. The design calls for  deeper center channel to make tire installation easier, and the hookless design allows for a more natural tire, rounder shape since it’s not bending around a rim hook first.

Note the weights, which are very competitive even among XC tires, and these are intended for more aggressive trails than what cross country typically offers. So, perhaps that full carbon Crossmax Pro is yet to come…

Mavic-Quest-XA-Pro-MTB-carbon-fiber-wheel-specs

Perhaps the only downside to a full UST system is the tire weight since they’re designed to be completely airtight without sealant. While we’ve been generally pleased with Mavic’s tires, saving a few hundred grams per tire by switching to a tubeless ready option is hard to ignore. Hub options include standard and boost spacing with all relevant axle standards accommodated. Retail for the 27.5 and 29er wheelsets is $1,849 (€1,700 / £1,300), available on September 1.

2017 Mavic XA Elite alloy trail mountain bike wheelset wheel and tire system

Carbon isn’t the only new thing for the Quest lineup. There’s also the new Mavic XA Elite, which uses Maxtal alloy ISM4D machined rims to offer a less expensive option without adding much weight. And, in a first for Mavic, it offers colors other than yellow. Black, blue and green are all on tap, with the hues covering the hub flanges and rim decals.

2017 Mavic XA Elite alloy trail mountain bike wheelset wheel and tire system

Mavic-Quest-XA-Elite-alloy-mtb-wheel-specs

The Elite’s are 1mm narrower on the inside and use much thinner sidewalls, but keep the UST and Hookless design. Both the carbon and the alloy rims rely on tubeless tape to keep the air in.

Retail for the Mavic XA Elite trail mountain bike wheel-tire system is $749 (€600 / £450), available July 1st. Both come with the new Mavic Care Plus warranty, which includes a crash replacement program, three year warranty and, starting in August, the ability to have damaged wheels picked up and replaced where ever you want – home, work or local bike shop.

Mavic.com

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Brett
Brett
7 years ago

hot.

JNH
JNH
7 years ago

The biggest thing I take from that is that Mavic are abandoning their unreliable and expensive alloy spokes in favour of normal SP steel ones. That should make an army of exasperated shop mechanic’s lives a whole lot easier when someone walks in with a blown spoke on their Crossmaxes, assuming it spreads across the whole line.

the biz
the biz
7 years ago

26mm inner. bout time. not so excited about a 24 spoke trail wheel though.

nightfend
nightfend
7 years ago

Looks like an Enve rim design.

CXisFun
CXisFun
7 years ago
Reply to  nightfend

No it doesn’t, unless by “like” you mean “round”.

myke2241
7 years ago
Reply to  nightfend

I don’t a Enve design could be pulled into production that quickly. But that doesn’t mean Mavic didn’t just have someone else make the rims for them.

Pricing isn’t exactly the direction Mavic needs to go at the point. Too many other proven wheel sets to compete with for less.

Bikewithnoname
Bikewithnoname
7 years ago

Finally Mavic produce some wheels I might actually buy the XA pro carbons look pretty good!

adps
adps
7 years ago

looks pretty nice.
26mm is a good balance (24 to 26mm inner are good for most regular wheels of trail bikes IMO), weight is alright, and if their stiffness numbers are true its quite nice. the price isnt even completely horrible, though its still high

Mortimer E G
Mortimer E G
7 years ago

Their next revolution needs to be “reliability” . As JNH pointed out “spokes”! I’ve had trouble with Crossmax spokes, Crossroc (straight pull spoke seats braking on hub) and carbon spokes on road wheels.

matthew moseley
matthew moseley
7 years ago

i wonder how optimistic those claimed rim weights are

Dsand
Dsand
7 years ago

Hoop only option?

myke2241
7 years ago

Why? Just buy derby, Nox or Noble…

Bikewithnoname
Bikewithnoname
7 years ago
Reply to  myke2241

Probably because they are lighter than all of those, not everyone thinks 35mm plus id suits their riding style and the Mavics, depending where you live, are cheaper… More choice is never a bad thing

Tom
Tom
7 years ago
Reply to  Bikewithnoname

Right, except the Nox Teocali is lighter and the same width and from some good old boys in Tennessee!

Cheese
Cheese
7 years ago
Reply to  Tom

Nox rims are made in Asia, not by some good old boys.

myke2241
7 years ago
Reply to  Bikewithnoname

That just not true, Nox weight for their XC specific rim is 340g. Go check out the Nox site, you’ll be proven wrong quickly. Also if you plan hardcore XC racing you can build to reflect that. Also those stiffness numbers are whack! How did they come up with those and who are they comparing to?

If your in North America these won’t be the best option. Mavic has never offered a carbon rim only option. You will pay retail or maybe they will come your bike. Regardless a number of top hub makes are us based, Nox and derby (Enve too) are all us based. Rims and hub related parts won’t be as easy to get from Mavic. Just go back and look at when Mavic had issues with their R-sys wheels. It wasn’t a good customer relations event.

BonoVox
7 years ago

not that it matters a d*mn, but seldom I say or think ‘I’m going to get those’ but the alloy version really peaks my interest, I’ve had 819s forever, these probably will be the replacement! yikes! I can’t fault the reliability I’ve had with Mavic wheels over all else – might be luck!

Amnon Israeli
Amnon Israeli
7 years ago

Also note that despite mentioning the UST compatibility few times, they actually decided to abandon it. I don’t see any UST overhear

NeatoSkeato
NeatoSkeato
7 years ago
Reply to  Amnon Israeli

The last few lines mentions hookless UST. Something else I read elsewhere stated the UST patent does not require a bead hook to be compliant. So these hookless rims are still UST. I think it has to do with the tire and rim construction and how those two things maintain an airtight seal with each other at the bead seat.

TandellBikes
7 years ago

yeah,MAVIC make asymmetric profile MTB carbon rims too,and what is the asymmetric offset?

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