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i really want a pair of mavic crossmax's but they are so damn expensive! i saw on ebay a bunch of used ones for around 400 which is about half the price. how much of a gamble is that?

also is there a cheaper tire set that will take just as much beating?
 

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As long as the seller has near 100% positive ratings (read them), has sold more than about 50 items, and attests that the wheels are in excellent or better condition I'd say it could be worth the gamble.
 

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SpencerMS said:
i really want a pair of mavic crossmax's but they are so damn expensive! i saw on ebay a bunch of used ones for around 400 which is about half the price. how much of a gamble is that?

also is there a cheaper tire set that will take just as much beating?
I'm not sure that anyone can really answer this question but you. For $400 you are getting a set of wheels that you know little about - have they been abused, how many miles, etc.... The real question is, if something goes wrong, will you be able to fix it? Mavic uses proprietary spokes and hubs - can you fix it yourself, or does your LBS have the capability to fix them? If so, then maybe it is worthwhile.

Personally, I'd look at getting a set of wheels built up. Understand that I am biased against the factory-built wheels with proprietary components. If you have a local shop that you trust, talk to them. Or, look on-line at a site like Colorado Cyclist or Universal Cycles - for example, you can get an XTR/Mavic 717 wheelset for less than $400. They might not be as sexy, but its easy to get a broken spoke fixed if they break, and the hubs will be under warranty when you get the wheels.
 
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