South of that critical 1,500-gram
threshold is where the more expensive
Ksyrium’s fall in line.
During long miles on the road, the
Ksyrium Elite’s familial lines are
just as evident. They have the same
firm ride we associate with a
Ksyrium, and for the most part,
the same wicked acceleration.
The wheels are extremely
stiff, both laterally and
vertically, making them
ideal for a training ride that
gets a bit competitive.
The performance gap
to its more expensive
brethren is extremely
narrow, mainly because
the wheel gets the same
rim material and much
of the same inter spoke
milling to keep spinning
weight down. The weight
addition comes at the hub,
where it is not very evident during
acceleration or climbing.
With the big price jump to higher-level Ksyriums, the Elite makes a
compelling case to be your go-to
trainer. Other than a light rider,
looking for a Ksyrium to race and
train, the other wheels offer small
improvements. With its slew of
Ksyrium technology, and incredible
price tag, the Elite may just be the
ultimate training wheel. Don’t forget,
this is a wheel you can abuse season
after season and it will come back
wagging its tail and begging for more.
The 40-mm deep rim is an interesting
compromise between aerodynamics
and weight. Where Mavic has
typically chosen one or the other
with a wheel, the Cosmic Carbone
Ultimate is their first true all-rounder.
At 1,185 grams they are more than
capable of ascending the toughest
climbs in the world, and if you get a
gap, the aero profile will help you keep
it on the run into the line.
The rims, and even the front hub,
utilize 12k carbon weave which is a bit
of an anomaly in the unidirectional
world of high-end carbon product
these days. When Mavic designed
the wheels, 12k was common. Due
to the integrated nature of the
wheels’ construction, a move to
unidirectional carbon would require
a total redesign. The wheels actual
performance—as far as stiffness,
durability and lightweight go—would
be unimproved. Rather than redesign
a wheel that doesn’t need it, Mavic has
continued with the 12k weave.
some other deep carbon rims have,
Mavic included, namely, that water
can get into the rim when riding in
rain. A benefit to this is the wheels
come out of the mold tensioned,
creating a singular unit that is
incredibly robust and unlikely to
ever need truing. The front wheel
has 20 carbon spokes that run
uninterrupted from rim to rim, and
are molded into the hub. Unlike
a R-Sys, these carbon spokes do
not work in compression, making
them unlikely to suffer breakage.
Mavic Cosmic Carbone
“Carbon, carbon, carbon …” is how
Mavic responded when questioned
about the incredible light weight
of the Cosmic Carbone Ultimate.
From hub to rim, and just about
everything in between, Mavic utilized
carbon. That carbon has won world
championships, Tour stages, classics,
and polka-dot jerseys. This wheel is
Mavic’s ultimate racer.
On the rear wheel, the carbon spokes
are molded into the wheel in the same
fashion, except for the non-drive
side. With the different tensions and
increased torque, Mavic felt it was
necessary to allow the rear to be trued.
The non-drive spokes are radial laced
with nipples at the rear’s aluminum
hub, so fine-tuning of the wheel’s
tension is possible.
The aero carbon spokes are molded
into the rim, which removes a flaw
Chances are any fine-tuning will be
unnecessary. Ksyrium wheels are
known for legendary durability. Other
than new tires and the occasional