I have a set of both and as far as I know the difference is in the color and graphics. The SLR's also include ti skewers over the steel of the SL's. I've had zero problems with either set and would recommend them to anyone looking for a light, tubeless wheelset. No experience with the Crank Bros, but Mavic's been doing wheels for a long time. Enjoy!
There's a slight difference in weight b/w the SL's and the SLR's. Aside from that and the graphics they are the same. As far as the Cobalt's are concerned I would stay away from them. I've heard all kinds of horror stories about seals wearing out and recalls on the rims. They lookm great but are absolute crap.
I have been running Mavics since the origonal versions came out years and years ago. I have never had to true a wheelset period. I have also had great success with them regarding weight and tire options. I have had Stans and had problems with them holding air as well. Don't know much about crank bros. My only suggestion is light weight is only as good as getting you home. I have found that Mavics are light enough and if the slight weight gain over lighter wheels cost me races then I simply need to train harder!!
I've used Mavics for years as well (the old silver SLs and the new SLR). I've weighed as much as 190 pounds and used these on a fully rigid singlespeed at one point. I never had a problem. These are pretty strong, light, fast wheels with a true UST rim that makes running tubeless as pain free as possible. They are a great option in my opinion.
I would hold off on the Crank bros until more real world experience comes in from the early adopters. They don't have remotely the level of expertise as Mavic in building wheels, so they may have some kinks to work out.
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