Mavic R-Sys SLR Wheels - Clincher
Mavic had nothing to prove when they introduced their R-Sys SLR Wheels, but that didn't matter, they still came out swinging. Mavic has always been willing to take chances when it comes innovative technology, often leading to success, but not without a few flops along the way. But that is the beauty of the French company, without taking chances we likely would still be riding shallow, heavy, box-section aluminum wheels.
This brings us to the Mavic R-Sys SLR Wheels. Featuring much of the same technology as the rest of high-end Mavic wheels, the R-Sys SLR takes sex appeal one step further with the murdered-out Exalith finish. Exalith is similar to anodization in that the rims are submerged in a solution and treated chemically. This is what gives the SLR rims that sinister charcoal black color. However, the penetration depth into the base metal is far greater than traditional ano, to the extent that the Exalith treatment actually increases the surface hardness and toughness of the rim. Exalith treatment also allows Mavic to leave an aggressively machined braking surface to drastically improve braking performance, especially in wet weather. A tangential effect is that the rim is less prone to wear, which allows Mavic to make the rim sidewalls thinner, saving weight. With regards to toughness, the Exalith treatment enables the SLR rim to survive twice as long on Mavic's torture testing machine as a standard anodized Ksyrium rim before breakage occurs at the spoke nipple seats.
Mavic also outfitted the R-Sys SLR Wheels with their tubular carbon fiber Tracomp spokes. The design is notable in that they have a sufficiently large diameter to work both in tension and compression, enabling them to have unmatched lateral stability. Outside the lab, this translates into added confidence when descending at speed. The front wheel uses 16 of these carbon spokes while the rear has 10 on the non-drive side. They're too large to be used on the rear drive side; 10 bladed Zicral aluminum spokes are used instead. Using so few spokes means a very light wheel. Lighter, in fact, than many carbon-fiber wheels designed for sew-ups. The Tracomp spokes enable this light weight without sacrificing the stability of the wheel under load.
The R-Sys SLR hubs are machined from a single piece of aluminum and feature slightly oversized aluminum axles for increased lateral stiffness. While everyone and their dog is increasing lateral stiffness in one way or another, this is noticeable ten minutes into your first ride. The hubs also use double-sealed cartridge bearings and feature a micro-adjustability system that allows the rider to quickly adjust wheels according to performance goals or weather conditions.
The R-Sys SLR Maxtal rims are wrapped with Vittoria-built, Mavic-branded PowerLink and GripLink tires. The Powerlink rear tire uses a dual-density rubber compound for the express purpose of reducing the rolling resistance and increasing energy transfer while still maintaining superior cornering traction. The center strip of the tread uses harder 70a rubber. This gives the Powerlink the hard wearing and fast rolling characteristics that Mavic intended. However, since safety and great performance depends on a good cornering grip, the rubber on the shoulders is a softer, far grippier 60a durometer.
The front wheel of the R-Sys SLR comes equipped with the GripLink tire. The GripLink tire is for the express purpose of keeping your front wheel glued to the tarmac when you lay your bike into a sweeping high-speed corner. The smooth black sidewall is more than just window dressing. The tread rubber is thickest in the center where it experiences the most wear and thins progressively towards the bead. The result is a sidewall that hinders cuts and tears on debris-strewn roads, and looks great when paired with the black Exalith rims.
The Mavic R-Sys SLR Wheels are built to handle the toughest training rides you can muster, yet is still light and responsive enough to impress you on race day. The R-Sys SLR Wheels includes a Zicral spoke-specific wheel magnet, a truing wrench, and bearing adjustment tool. They're available with either a Campagnolo or Shimano/SRAM freehub body. The front wheel without the included tire weighs 606g, and the rear 765. The total wheelset weight with the included tires is 1960g.
The R-Sys SLR wheels are a part of Mavic's MP3 extended warranty program. The acronym stands for Mavic Product Protection Plan, and it provides you with two years of almost unlimited no-fault protection from Mavic. More details can be found on the MP3 website. Please note that MP3 coverage must be purchased within 5 days of the date that you receive your wheels. You'll get an email from us the day after your online wheel purchase, containing the retailer and product codes that you'll need to register your wheels on the Mavic MP3 site. You'll also need the serial numbers that you'll find on your wheels. The cost for this coverage is approximately 8% of the retail cost of the wheels.
Price: $599.99 (43% Off!)
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