Lets take a closer look at the new Mavic R-SYS SLR wheels

24 Apr


For sometime now, I have been in the market for a decent set of non carbon wheels. To be honest, its not been an easy task. Presently, I have been running full carbon wheels and its always a bit of a worry, especially when navigating along the UK’s finest pot hole roads etc. Also, I required a set of wheels which would suit most conditions. I did for a short while own a set of Campagnolo Shamal Ultra wheels, but aesthetically, they done nothing for me and felt they really didn’t work with my Colnago EPS. Being a fussy kind of a guy, for me the whole package has got to work. I suppose its the whole visual effect, combined with the enjoyment of riding the bike and wheels. I wanted a wheel which would offer superb build quality, design and engineering, ultimate performance and good value for money, not an easy find! After spending weeks researching this subject, I kept coming back to the new Mavic R-SYS SLR wheels. After consulting with a few friends in the trade and reading reviews from all over, I finally pulled the trigger on these French eye catchers!  

Funny, I have never owned a set of Mavic wheels before, or come to think of it, a set of French wheels. So, it was quite a new adventure for me. Hopefully, I had made the right decision! So, it was au revoir to my Sunday best carbon wheels and bonjour to my new Matt black Mavic wheels. Now, just going back to that whole package thing. When my wheels arrived I immediately noticed the attention to detail. Unlike other sets of wheels you may wish to order, these wheels come with a top of the range race slick tyre, inner tubes and Mavic’s new Exalith brake pads which have been uniquely formulated for these wheels and made by Swisstop. Now, just looking at the tyres for a moment. Mavic haven’t just mounted any old tyre on these wheels just to sell them. No, they have also formulated a fantastic set of race spec tyres for these wheels. Now, these guys have put some thought into this! Also, they all come mounted and ready to rock and roll. All you need to do is place some air in the tyres and apply a cassette of your choice and you are ready to hit the road. Also, the wheel bags have been constructed with a filling inside which offers protection to your wheels when in transit and both come with a largish inside pocket for your skewers etc. Its a well thought out package and I for one am very pleased with the presentation. 


Mavic have used an exclusive treatment for aluminium alloy that reinforces the rim while allowing Mavic to make it thinner, thus saving weight on the overall package. These wheels must be used with the new Mavic ‘Exalith brake pads which allow top quality braking. Now, these do take a bit of getting use to and you have to make sure the set up is correct against the wheel. Initially, they do sound a little like a gas turbine when applying the brakes and they will bring you to a halt very quickly if required. They do have a ‘bedding in’ period. Mavic also use Traction Compression. According to Mavic, ‘Tracomp’ carbon fibre spokes works in traction and compression: – under normal loads, wheel deflection is limited by the very high traction resistance of carbon fibres. – under greater loads, where a normal wheel would flex more because of one of its spoke loosening, Tracomp spokes enter into compression and keep supporting the rim, preventing any further wheel deflection.


So, how do they ride? I met up with a few friends recently for the ‘maiden voyage’. Both guys were really struck on the wheel construction and overall finish. I tend to run with quite high pressures in my tyres. The tyres state that they will hold a maximum of 9 bar which is fine for me. Our ride took us through the rolling Kent countryside with a few good hills thrown in for good measure. When initially taking of with these wheels, they felt quite urgent. There was no sluggish feeling about them. Even with quite a high tyre pressure, these wheels were amazingly comfortable. Felt like I was riding on a velvet road. Just really smoothed out the whole ride feel. However, I was still very much connected to the ride feel, but without the harshness. These wheels are amazingly comfortable. Mavic state that these wheels weigh in at 1370 grams, which is quite light. Combined with the tyres, the wheels really pick up speed very quickly and I found it quite easy to maintain a good pace. Also, they felt rock solid and even under pressure of a steep hill climb, they did not flex or quiver. A Very confident set of wheels indeed and a complete joy to ride. So, combined with excellent performance and all round style, these wheels are a winner. With Mavic’s excellent customer care policy on these wheels, the owner can ride with confidence!    

Big thanks to my neighbour for allowing me to use his new Caterham 7 sports car for the back drop!



3 Responses to “Lets take a closer look at the new Mavic R-SYS SLR wheels”

  1. girodilento April 25, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    Having just had a go on your EPS with these wheels – I have to agree, they ride really well and are very comfortable – Great wheels indeed and really match the ride of your EPS well.

  2. Colnago Con Brio April 25, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    Thanks Scott – it was great to ride your Neilpryde Diablo today. A very very fast bike! 🙂

  3. Jon Moss May 18, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    Nice write up and a bit spooky, as I’ve just bought the very same wheels for the C59!So, these for climbing and Cosmic SLRs for everything else. I rode the Ksyrium SLRs in Majorca and they were superb, and with an upcoming trips to the Alps (again with GPM10 who are brilliant), I thought I needed some light, responsive climbing wheels.I too love the looks and quality :-)Cheers,Jon

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