First the good. The front wheel has been outstanding. 3k + miles and still spins true. Light and tough. Also the rim and spokes for the rear wheel have been good. Same as the front that it still spins true after all the miles.
Now the bad. The design of the FTS-X rear freehub system is terrible. The nylon bushing in the freehub needs monthly maintenance and will eventually wear the hub body down to the point where the hub body needs to be replaced. But.. Mavic doesn't sell that as a part. Go ahead and order replacement spokes as soon as you purchase the wheels as Mavic probably won't have them in stock when you need them. Be prepared for pawls to break apart and gouge the hub body due to the design of the freehub.
I love the toughness and durability of the front wheel and rear rim but would never purchase another Mavic product with this freehub design. The newest line has an updated design that should be much better but unless you enjoy working on your rear wheel alot stay away from these.
Strengths: Lightweight, looks good, sounds good, kinda blingy (if that is important) and they are stiff/strong rims.
Weaknesses: Broke more spokes then normal with these wheels (though the rims always stayed true). Spokes are proprietary and your lbs must by 12 at a time (or so they told me that is how mavic sells them).
I bought these used from a friend who had them as his back up wheelset. They were solid though I did break spokes on ~ 3 occasions over 4 months. These use proprietary hollow aluminum spokes (cool looking) rather than typical steel J bend spokes, so most LBS's will need to order them. Buy an extra few to have with you on trips in case you need a replacement. Overall the wheelset was solid. I did service the rear hub (info can be found online). Easy to service them as they require mineral oil on the pawls...I eventually sold them to get a set of Stans Arch wheels, not because I did not like these, but because I reeeally wanted white rims, so there ya go.
Similar Products Used: Vuelta, Stans, Mavic 819 and 717...
Bike Setup: Light!
Date Reviewed: November 30, 2012
Strengths: Rolls great...love the way they look. I have really enjoyed them and no regrets.
Weaknesses: Think my rear hub is toast with low milage and less than a year of use. Lots of hits online stating this is a huge issue. I am 6ft, 175lbs and only ride in dry conditions. Hope Mavic and LBS do the right thing! Trek 29er hardtail
I think the wheels are awesome based on short term review.....jury is out on rear hub issue.
Strengths: Strong hoops and spokes, mounts up tubeless like magic.
Weaknesses: I toasted the rear hub within 200 miles, Mavic did warranty and gave me a complete new wheelset. Proprietary spokes can be a pita if you break them. No shop carries them, and your lucky if Mavic even has them in stock. Damn french
I would like to start out by saying that I started riding these at 308lbs, so I am prob far out of the range of riders that would best be suited by this wheelset.
I purchased these as my first nice wheelset for my mtnbike. I instantly felt how much lighter they were than my stock wheelset. They seemed to roll smooth, and fast.
They did flex a fair amount, proven by tire rub in the rear when I ran my winter meats. I did only have to have them adjusted once in 200 miles. One of the things I didn't think about when purchasing these wheels is the special spokes they are laced with. Break one and you are gonna be down for a week min. to wait for a replacement, and that is if Mavic even has them in stock. Inventory sounds like a major issue with Mavic in the USA.
After approx. 200ish miles my rear hub had a failure. My lbs sent pics of the issue, and Mavic said it was in fact a warranty issue, but that they would charge my lbs $200 to fix the hub??, which meant it had to be sent in to Mavic. It was something neither the lbs or myself understood, but we sent the wheel in. A month went by with NO WORD from Mavic, so the lbs gave them a jingle.
"Oh, we are out of hubs for that wheel, and don't know when stock will be back in", direct quote from Mavic. But they did respond quite nicely by offering a complete new wheelset. WOW!! Both the lbs and I were shocked.
Well, instead of chancing another broken hub ( like I said, I don't think Mavic (aka the french) have any riders over 180lbs in mind when building products. So I was able to trade those wheels, ( which as of two months after the phone call have yet to show up to the lbs) for some Chris Kings/Stans Flow EX wheels. I would def go with the CK/Flow wheelset any time over Mavic. Much more stiff, and robust wheelset.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: May 25, 2012
Strengths: Light weight, strong and reasonably quiet. No rim tape required
Weaknesses: Proprietary spokes are expensive
These wheels are excellent. I used them to replace the stock rims on my Anthem X 29er and they well worth the expense. After 1 year of riding I have no problems or complaints.
Setting these wheels up with tubeless tires is very easy. It makes me wonder why hardly any other manufacturers offer wheels that don't require rim strips.
I am a big boy that enjoy cycling. I ride a full Carbon bike and rode with a set of Roval rims. endless prolems braking spokes. after replacing them with the Crossmax29 I had no issues for 5 months with lots of miles on different trails. I am interested in seeing what the future holds
Favorite Trail: China Camp, Marin County, and the Sandia Foothills Trails, NM
Duration Product Used: 1 Year
Purchased At: Cambria
Similar Products Used: Bontragers - awful (see other review of Bontrager wheels).
Bike Setup: 2008 Fisher HiFi Pro 29 mostly stock with these wheels replacing the Bontragers. Just purchased a Santa Cruz Tallboy with the 2011 version of these wheels
a Cross Country Rider
from Wiesbaden, Hessen, Germany
Date Reviewed: October 21, 2010
Strengths: Looks, true tubeless design of the rims and strength.
Weaknesses: None to date.
Superb wheelset which I drove cross country now for about 1,000 miles without issues. They are still true and spin up fast and enabled me to knock off 1.2 lbs off the stock wheelset. Total weight of the wheelset (excluding skewers) is 1,755 grams and IMO it will be tough to find a better wheelset for the price balancing weight, stiffness and ease of running the wheelset tubeless with TLR tires.
I have used these wheels for two years, they have NEVER given me any problems. The only that sucks about the wheels is that the freehub needs to be replaced to frequently, in my opinion. Other than that never had to do anything to them except mount tires and ride. The wheels have all kinds of battle wounds from rocks, sticks, etc. from racing/riding for 2 years in the Wors series and a lot of trail riding.
As usual Mavic has a fantastic product. The Bontrager Rhythms are junk wheels, they are now my back up of which they haven't been touched in two years.
Randall in NC
a Cross Country Rider
from Conover, NC
Date Reviewed: July 13, 2010
Strengths: A durable, somewhat light weight, tubless wheeset.
Weaknesses: The wheels could be lighter if the durability is maintained.
I am 179lbs and have been riding this wheelset cross country for the past year on trails with large roots, baby head sized rocks, and a few small drops (20") with no issues. These wheels have not even required truing. If you are shopping for a durable somewhat light 29" wheelset then take a close look at these.
Similar Products Used: 26" Mavic Crossmax, Specialized Roval 26", 29" Industry 9 + Bontrager Duster Rims
Bike Setup: 2010 Specialized Stumpjumper Carbon Expert 29er HT, Fox fork, X9 drivetrain
a Cross Country Rider
from White City, OR, USA
Date Reviewed: June 9, 2010
Strengths: Good looks and fairly lite.
Weaknesses: If you brake or bend a spoke you better have more in hand
Better have spare spokes in hand. Bent a spoke, went to my local BS, said it would be three weeks before Mavic could send them out. You see, they said they were out. Called my local BS after three weeks, still no spokes, said it would be another three weeks. So my wheel is going to be down for six weeks in the beginning of race season. Did they run out of Zicral? Did Mavic dropped the ball? Did they forget to make spare spokes? Who knows. On top of all this you can't get one spoke, you have to buy $40.00 worth of spokes for one spoke. I am grateful for one thing though. I do have a spare set of American classics with standard J bends that you can get anywhere. I would give this wheel set one flammin chili, but if you can't use them I think they shouldn't get any. American Classics all the way and there liter and faster. Cheers. Well it looks like I have to at least give them one chili.
a Cross Country Rider
from Tulsa, OK
Date Reviewed: May 9, 2010
Strengths: Aesthetics, stiff enough for technical riding. Power Transfer, Tubeless
Weaknesses: Rear hub, durability, serviceability
I used Mavic 26" crossmax sl's faithfully for 6 years. Other than replacing freehub bodies, I had no problems. HOWEVEAR, DON'T BUY THESE POS's. I got my first pair Dec 2008. I rode them alot, but ran into a problem last July (2009). On a bike trip to Colorado, one of the pawls exploded in the hub. The schrapnel damaged the actual body of the hub that the freehub attached to. The dealer said it was toast. I could send it to Mavic but it probably wasn't a warranty and would probably be $200 with shipping. Instead I ponied up $450 for a new rear wheel. Fast forward to April 2010. Same thing happened. Took the freehub body off and blammo. The pawl is exploded and took out a chunk of the hub. I'm done with these.
Similar Products Used: Crossmax SL 26", American Classic 29er Tubeless
Bike Setup: Titus racer-x 29er. XT rings and cassette, elixir brakes, sram x0 shifting and der.
a Cross Country Rider
from Laguna, Calif.
Date Reviewed: March 10, 2010
Strengths: Lightweight, good looks, tubeless ready, accelerates faster, previous great experiences with many Mavic products
Weaknesses: Skewers are not as secure and have plastic lever parts. Front wheel is making a strange noise as though the spokes are going to rip out under hard braking or under load. Front wheel does not not track as accurate as the DT Swiss(heavier) I replaced.
I was a diehard Mavic fan, never even had to true thier wheels after a season or two of riding. Considered buying
Stan's Arch 29er wheelset and Roval 29er set, all in the 1750 gram weight range.This bike is my first experience with a 29er. My weight is about 175lbs., I ride mostly cross country trail riding and do some amature racing.