The Mavic R-SYS wheelset has received a lot of media attention since their release. The well received TraComp system delivers weight saving and stiffness thanks to two critical points.
First, the very stiff carbon spokes are under very low tensioned and allow light rims.
Second, the wheels have been designed to hold the ends of the spokes firmly, through a ring in the hub and the thread in the rim. This is what theoretically makes them so stiff. We won't go repeat all the details here, but if you want to know more, you can read all the specifications in this article, we published at the end of June '07, a couple of days after they were announced
So 7,000km later, what do we think about these wheels in terms of reliability and ride quality?
Although we have never really fussed over the products of the big wheel manufacturer (yes, yes we admit it!), we have to acknowledge these are pretty good, though with a few points for improvement. Listen up Mavic R&D!
On the road, observations…First of all, the R-SYS are quite light for a clincher wheelset. Claimed to be 1355g, they are obviously a little heavier at 1390g. We are still in the light weight range and this can be felt on the road, both during accelerations and in uphills. However, our location in North France does not allow easy access to big mountains. We ride mostly on the flat with some steep but short uphills (never more than 1km). You definitely noticed that the R-SYS are the only alloy wheels that entered the first group in our great wheel test (here). This is not trivial and they are quite comfortable with some quite light tires (Michelin Pro 2 Race) and Michelin latex tubes.
In short, having trained hard with these wheels all winter and the end of last year, we noticed the following points:
ConclusionWe've told you everything you need to know about the R-SYS. They still have some teething faults but we enjoyed riding them. Ideally, they are best used for the mountains, when light weight and low inertia count, and when aerodynamic properties of the wheel do not matter so much. But they aren't confined to the most aggressive terrain: they will also do well in races/rides when we expect a lot of kilometers at pace before attacking in the final uphill.
Anyway, do not use them during real high speed rides. You will be slowed down too much!
What would need to be improved ?Basically, the R-SYS would be far better with the following two improvements: