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Mavic Ksyriums Good or Bad?(11 posts)

Mavic Ksyriums Good or Bad?joeg26er
Feb 27, 2002 6:22 AM
I was looking through the Bicycling buyers guide and saw that many road bikes are coming with Mavic Ksyrium wheelsets.

What are the pros/cons of this wheelset?
Would I be better off with a custom wheelset if I decide to build up from a frameset?

How much does a ksyrium wheelset cost and what kind of custom wheelset could I get for the same $?

Thanks
re: Mavic Ksyriums Good or Bad?netso
Feb 27, 2002 7:20 AM
Both my bikes came with Kysyriums. I have not had one bit of problem with them in approximately 1 year. They are absolutely great. I weigh 200#, never had to have them trued. However, they are expensive to buy. I understand they are on sale in many places.
re: Mavic Ksyriums Good or Bad?look271
Feb 27, 2002 8:10 AM
I'll second the 1st poster. They are great. I also am heavier (185LBS) and have had no problems.They are reasonably light, semi aero, and they look good, too:-) Igot mine @ http://www.totalcycling.com for less than $500 2 yrs ago. You might be able to get better deals now here in the states, too.
re: Mavic Ksyriums Good or Bad?mixinbeatz
Feb 27, 2002 8:47 AM
I have these wheels, and I like them a lot. That being said, they are not aero, not that lite, and not that easy to fix if a spoke breaks. They are also, way, way overpriced. They get a little hairy in really heavy crosswinds as well. The good part is that they are a really strong, low maint wheel. Get some open pro's with nice hubs built by a good builder and you will not notice the difference. I personally think that the only reason that these wheels are so popular is because mavic spends so much money on paying pros to ride them. Why else would anyone spend $800 on a non aero, not extremely light wheelset.
I agree ...Crash
Feb 27, 2002 10:42 AM
As much as I think they look cool, and they are a very tough wheel (I'm around 210 and have had them for 2000 miles and they are still as true as new), they're not that light or aero. I recently picked up a Open Pro / Dura Ace wheelset and after several hundred miles back and forth I really can't tell much difference. The 'K' wheels might be a tad lighter and a smidge stiffer, but it doesn't translate to any real world advantage, at least not for me ...
I disagree ...I disagree
Feb 27, 2002 6:22 PM
It is true they are not the most aero rim in the world but Mavic has never advertised this as a pure aero wheel. They are semi aero and in fact they are definitely more aero than an Open Pro built wheel. They are not super light, but the 2002 SL's come right in at 1,530 grams and remember they don't require any rim tape so in reality when compared with your typical Open Pro wheel they really weigh effectively about 1,490-1500 grams which for a clincher is pretty darn light. Yes, you can get a Zipp clincher and save another 100 grams, but that wheel will also cost you $1,100 dollars and dealers will not mark that wheel down. You can buy SL's for about $600, the retail is $800 but nobody pays that price.

In addition to being pretty darn light for a clincher they are stiff for power transfer and as durable as rocks. Why do you think so many 200+ lb guys love these wheels.

For the combination of semi aero (yes you'll notice this difference over a long race), nice light weight for a clincher, stiffness and durability I think this wheelset is every bit worth the $600 and change they cost. You don't see many other wheels which provide a combination of semi aero, stiffness, lightness and durability. This is a legit racing wheel which you can actually train on everyday and not have to worry about it falling apart. That's pretty unusual in my view.
I agree ...Jekyll
Feb 27, 2002 10:20 PM
Have more than 3k on mine (180lbs or so) and have touched up the rear once. Great all around wheels and you can get a deal on them if you look around.
I agree ...KsyriumFan
Feb 28, 2002 5:33 AM
I'm not sure where some guys in here are getting their info or their weights, but there is no way anyone can build a comparable weight, comparable stiffness Open Pro/Dura Ace laced hub wheelset with the same stiffness and weight as a Ksyrium SL.

The new Ksyrium SL's weigh a total of 1,530 grams with no rim tape required.

Dura Ace front hub weighs 176g, rear hub 378g, Open Pro Rims weigh 425g each (2), rim tape would be about another 40g for the wheelset, alloy nipples will add another 25g. Add in another 250-300g for your DT Rev 14/17/14g spokes in a 28F, 32R lacing and you are looking at a wheelset that weighs about 1700-1750 grams.

Now it's true you could choose to lace your Open Pro's with fewer spokes to save some weight, you could even try to do something as silly as 18F, 24R if the D/A hubs even allow that. But such a wheelset will not be anywhere near as stiff or durable as a Ksyrium SL. To build to a Ksyriums stiffness you would probably at a minimum have to go 28F, 32R and you might even have to go 32F, 36R depending on the spokes you choose and that wheelset will close to a half pound more than the Ksyrium SL's. That may not sound like a lot, but to anybody who races that's a big defference especially when you consider the wheel with Open Pro's is also less aero.

The Open Pro's build to a real nice wheelset, but from a performance standpoint it's not in the Ksyrium SL's league.
200 grams of savings for only $500 dollars... order a set today!mixinbeatz
Feb 28, 2002 8:29 AM
Even with 200 grams of weight savings, you are still paying $500 more for these wheels. I just don't think it is worth it. 200 grams ain't a whole lot of weight, especailly for people over 200 pounds. You can save 200 grams on a bike for a lot less than $500 bucks. I would also like to see any tests that show that there is any aerodynamic advantage of the ksyriums compared to standard laced wheels. I will say again that I have these wheels and I really like them, but the price is a joke. These wheels are not going to make any sort of difference in performance for 99.9 percent of the people who read this list. 200 grams gone from the belly and a set of open pros will save you a lot more money.
Yep ...Crash
Feb 28, 2002 9:06 AM
Don't get me wrong, I really like the 'K' wheels. They are a nice balance of looks, aero, weight and durablility. Like I said before I have around 2000 miles on a pair of the 2001 models. Nice wheels, but for a semi in-shape, 200 pound, forty something guy like me they just don't have much of a real world advantage. I know it's not real scientific, but I have spent a couple hundred miles swapping the wheels back and forth (with the same tires and tubes) over the main rides I go on (anywhere from 15 - 50 miles) and based upon my bikes computer I just don't go any faster with the 'K' wheels.
Yep ...Get Dura Ace
Feb 28, 2002 2:42 PM
That's true on a pure cost benefit basis the Ksyriums may not be as good a value as say a custom built set of Open Pro's. I say may, because cost benefit is very subjective to everyone, there is no right or wrong. What you may think is excessive in cost, another biker may actually think is a great deal especially when compared to other wheelsets out on the market. There are lots of guys out there who won't think twice about blowing $130 on carbon handlebars. Personally I think if your on a limited budget a custom built set of wheels with Open Pros is the best economical way to go. But I'm not cinvinced the Ksyrium SL's at $600 are that bad of a deal when you consider how many things they do well and cost/benefit is subjective to each rider.