The Mavic Crossmax ST Disc Wheelset sits attractively in the middle of their line-up as the wheelset that seems to be ready for it all. Racing cross-country this weekend, getting rowdy on some technical trails the next? These wheels are reasonably light and ultra-reliable so they can handle either without being a detriment in any way. And it?s their adaptability along with the clean aesthetic that makes them our favorite Mavic MTB wheels. Mavic builds them this year with a new rim extrusion that shaves 35 grams out of the wheelset, though the strength is still exactly the same.The Maxtal rims are part of why the Crossmax ST Wheels are so tough. The proprietary Mavic alloy is 30% stiffer than typical 6106 alloys. And they?re made a bit wider than traditional MTB rims, 19mm on the inside, in order to allow a fuller spread for the tire carcass. This improves trail grip, adds stability to the sidewall for wicked fast cornering, and reduces chances of pinch flats if you?re using tubes. Mavic?s SUP process creates the welded rim joint and machined sidewalls. The next step relieves the rims of excess material between the spoke holes. This is another machine process, known as Inter Spoke Milling (ISM), and it helps shave precious grams from the rims. Finally, the rims are shot-peened to increase surface hardness and strength. One of the key features of the Crossmax line of wheels is that they?re UST certified for tubeless applications, and we?ve found nothing that offers performance as good as true UST rims. Mavic achieves this capability by using their Fore drilling process to eliminate spokes holes in the rim. Only the inside wall of the rim is pierced for the spokes. The outside wall has only the valve stem hole, and it?s sealed to perfection with the included UST valve stems.The Crossmax ST Disc Wheels employ 24 straight-pull Zicral aluminum spokes in the front wheel and 20 in the rear wheel. The front wheel is laced in a standard 2-cross pattern. The rear is a bit more complicated; the Isopulse lacing (2-cross on the left and radial on the right) gives more balanced spoke tension and better durability. The snow white hubs and the axles inside are made of aluminum, and their micro-adjustable design ensures a perfect preload and smooth operation of their QRM+ sealed cartridge bearings. The wheels include the bearing adjustment tool/tire lever. The ITS-4 freehub body is new to the Crossmax ST wheels. It?s compatible with 8-, 9-, and 10-speed MTB cassettes, and it?s more durable than the previous FTS freehub body. It also offers less freeplay (7.5?) between engagement points for quicker and more efficient energy transmission. This wheelset is 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 dat
a Weekend Warrior
from Gilbert, AZ, USA
Date Reviewed: June 11, 2010
Strengths: Strong and light
Weaknesses: some flaking of ceramic coating
This is my first experience with aftermarket wheels. The stock wheelset that came with my Specialized Rockhopper almost deterred me from mountain biking as I couldn’t believe how fast they would go out of true. Thoughts of the cost of constant truing and rim replacements ran through my head. Less tha 200 miles on that wheelset and I was told that the next time they need to be trued that they should be replaced. I purchased this set hoping that they would be stronger and luckily they are... and I mean MUCH stronger! They are also very light. I can really feel the difference when accelerating. The only complaint that I have is with the ceramic coating. It seems to have some very light flaking here and there. I am not too concern about it. The rear rim is a little out of true (<2mm) but it really isn’t that bad. I weigh 190+ and landed at an angle off a two foot drop which caused it. This happened within the first two months of purchase and it has been the same ever since. It is not noticeable while braking. I currently have 400 miles of 100% MTBing on them and they have never been trued. I purchased the MP3 plan so I plan on sending them back just before the two years is up for repair. I wouldn't recommend purchasing the MP3 plan if you are a weekend warrior such as myself due to the initial cost of the plan and the cost to ship them for repair. I recommend this product especially if you can get them for the occasional sale price of $349. For the money these are hard to beat.
Similar Products Used: Specialized/Alex wheelset that came stock on my Rockhopper
Bike Setup: 2009 Rockhopper, RS Sid, Crossmax ST, Panracer Fire XC Pro 2.1" (not tubeless), Avid SL rim brakes, etc.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: August 31, 2009
Strengths: The wheelset does have positive aspects, but these are outweighed by the weaknesses.
Weaknesses: Per Mavic, every 20 hrs of riding (or more often, depending on which source you read) you must disassemble the rear hub to clean out and relube (pawl area, not the wheel bearings). Otherwise you could trash your hub. This is completely unacceptable. Had I known how often this wheel needs preventative maintenance I would not have purchased it at any price. MAVIC PLEASE READ: As long as you have been in business, I can't believe you haven't figured out how to design seals to keep out the dirt. Until you do you should sell only road bike wheels, not mountain bike wheels. You did know mountain bikes are used on dirt, oui?
Don't buy mavic mountain bike wheels unless you really enjoy taking things apart for frequent maintenance.
Similar Products Used: other rear hubs used: Shimano XT & XTR, Bontrager Race, Hugi 240
Bike Setup: Kona Coiler
a Cross Country Rider
from chamonix, Haute Savoie, France
Date Reviewed: May 31, 2008
Strengths: Strong, Light and True
Weaknesses: People want to steal them
Great stiff tires, remain true after repeated pounding in the rough terrain around Chamonix. Great for XC, and Technical Descents.
I would no hesitate in recommending these wheels. They are 700 euros over here, so if you are lucky enough to find them cheaper, Buy them.
Bike Setup: Specialized Stumy Elite, Full XT rapid rise, Crossmax ST, Avid Juicy 7
a Cross Country Rider
from Atlanta, GA, US
Date Reviewed: May 5, 2008
Strengths: definitely light, seem pretty strong, look sweet, work great with UST, MP3 is peace of mind even if you never use it
Weaknesses: ceramic can chip off... these things are not unbreakable even if just using as XC
I bought these because some friends had great success with the XLs, and I liked the weight and strength reported on these. I only ride XC and wanted something that was light yet more than strong enough.
These things are light, look sweet, and have been holding air great on my maxxis ignitors UST 2.10s. No slime/stans/etc, just put the tires on and go. I run around 28-30 psi, and I weight 140lbs. I only have to pump up the tires by about 5 psi once a week or so... probably more a note on the tires than the rims, but they do seem to work well together. I've used these in 2 races so far.
You can see the strengths and weakness listed above. Let me expand on the weaknesses:
I ride XC only, no big jumps/drops/etc. Yet after less than about 10 hrs of riding, I noticed 2 significant chips in the ceramic on the rim of the rear wheel, exactly opposite of the stem hole which i belive is where they join the rim together. It made a slight clicking sound when applying the brakes but not too bad. NEXT I noticed a large flare out of the rim in a different spot on the wheel, obviously from bottoming out. I do ride a lot of granite but my psi is always at least 28 and I'm pretty light, so this was a bit of a surprise. To be honest I have no idea how this happened, but this dent in the rim causes a definite problem with braking... so I'll be sending this back in to get repaired/replace under the MP3 program.
All in all I'm pretty happy with these wheels, and mavic support has been great to work with. Supposedly it's a 2 day turn around on the repair. Get the MP3 protection!
A 4 value cause these things aint cheap, a 4 overall due to some of the problems I've had.