| June has been a busy month for news so far. It looks like the biggest players in the industry all unveiled their plans within a couple of days! |
Shimano, Time, Scott, Campagnolo, today Mavic, and in a few days Lew and Zipp!
Cosmic Carbone SLR
Still looking for lightness and stiffness, the French manufacturer pushes the technologies introduced last year a little further. The breakthroughs developed for the high end wheels are trickling down the range. The Cosmic Carbone SLR is brand new for 2009, featuring full carbon "rim to rim" spoking. Mavic names this technology R2R for "rim to rim". Its advantage is to lighten the spoking and the hub since the strains are very low, but it also brings a dramatic gain in lateral stiffness. Indeed, the unidirectionnal carbon fibres are extremely stiff when under tension, as with the Cosmic Carbone Ultimate, winning every lateral stiffness contest.
Regarding the aerodynamics, the flat spokes and the fluid junction with the hubs, associated with a 52mm deep rim should make for one of the fastest wheels.
To get into the details, the R2R spokes are almost radial since they only pass onto the hub, unlike Lightweights or the Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate where they are laced around it. This should also give a lighter structure since the spokes are shorter.
Although the Cosmic Carbone SLR visually have the same rims as the normal version, the Cosmic Carbone SL, they are lightened by 20g thanks to extra milling of the aluminium rim, underneath the carbon fairing, between the spokes drillings (picture on the left). Indeed, this part of the rim is not stressed a lot so deserved an extra attention. An old generation Cosmic Carbone rim was about 660g.
The strong point of these wheels is the spoking, making it lighter and stiffer. It is perfectly replaceable in case of crash, while removing it from the hub. Indeed, as the Cosmic Carbone Ultimate, the spokes' tip are threaded then tight through a standard nipple.
The Cosmic Carbone SLR wheels are claimed to be 1595g with 20 front and rear full carbon spokes, aluminium hubs, rims 20g lighter than the current version, and equipped with the fairing that made the SL famous.
These famous wheels are getting their first update but it's only cosmetic. The standard R-SYS are quite a weird color combination and Mavic is making them look more classy and easier to match the bikes' colors.
The rim and the hubs receives black paint, the spokes nipples and tips are silver. Definitely a very good thing.
Aside from the differents colors, they do not receive any technical update.
As a reminder, the R-SYS wheels feature the TraComp system, for "Traction Compression". The very stiff tubular carbon spokes are low tensioned, allowing very light rims and high lateral stiffness since they contribute to the stiffness both when gaining tension, as a standard spoke, but as well when entering in compression because their two tips are fixed and they are stiff.
In short, it's a well thought out system which deserves a significant update for the 2010 range. That's our hope. Carbon hubs, carbon TraComp ring, beside the front aero spokes would be perfect before an ultimate update with carbon rims for 2011!
Learn more about TraComp.
The R-SYS Premium have some small different details from the standard version: the rear hub is delivered with titanium screws, and the hubs caps are in carbon.
Like all Mavic's 'Premium' versions, the wheels come with titanium quick releases instead of steel, beside the usual wheelbags, wrenches and magnet.
Cosmic Carbone SL 2009
The Cosmic Carbone SL is now more than 10 years old and Mavic is focusing on more competitive pricing for its oldest wheelset: they are about 30% cheaper than the 2008 version. They receive a final update with the ISM technology for Inter Spoke Milling, making the rims 20g lighter like the SLR version presented above. Thus they are claimed to be 1740g.
Ksyrium Elite 2009
The Ksyrium Elite receive several updates. The rim is milled between the spokes holes, reducing the rim inertia by 30%, the hubs are redesigned to save weight, the rear rim is asymetric. About the spoking, the rear wheel keeps the IsoPulse concept introduced on the Ksyrium a few years ago: the rear rim has radial, and thus shorter and stiffer spokes on the drive side, and crossed spokes on the opposite side to transfer the torque. This system helps to balance the stiffness on both sides of the wheel unlike traditional spoking where the spokes are crossed on both sides.
In short, the Ksyrium Elite 2009 are claimed to be 1550g, with good technical features, which is pretty good for their position in the range and price.
Finally, the time trial wheel, the Comete is 13% lighter thanks to new HM carbon flanges. The wheel is 1150g.
There more news to come about Mavic's 2009 wheel range, however we can't really tell you more right now. We just can tell you that some wheels are equipped with Powertap... wait and see!