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High quality, low cost.
Mavic's latest Aksium Clincher Wheelset features a wider rim to accommodate the trend towards wider tires and combines Mavic's renowned value, reliability, and obsessively developed French engineering into a wallet friendly package for those of us on a budget. While it doesn't go toe-to-toe with the top-end wheels found in the peloton and on local start lines, it makes for a solid set of training hoops for those of us wanting to save the pricier wheels for race day or a notable upgrade over most stock wheels for cyclists whose ambitions don't extend beyond sportives and charity centuries.
The Aksiums are notably less expensive than Mavic's Ksyrium wheel offerings, which is the result of a series of minor omissions. For example, rather than having FORE drilled rims and thread-in spoke grommets, the rim is a more traditional single-eyelet-style, with the spoke holes penetrating the outer wall of the rim. These are definitely not race rims, but they're absolutely fearless in the face of training miles over chip seal asphalt and shoulders littered with spring run-off.
The Aksium's rims are constructed from S6000 aluminum, and Mavic uses its UB Control technology to mill the braking surfaces of the rim for improved brake friction and smoother, more controlled stopping in almost any weather conditions. Both wheels feature 20 bladed, straight-pull, steel spokes with brass nipples. Each spoke is equipped with Mavic's Self Lock technology, which uses a special shape on the spoke end to make it impossible to loosen when it's on the thread. The design eliminates tension loss, and the wheels stay truer, longer.
The Aksium Elite wheels aren't as light as some costlier, heavily milled counterparts, but aside from their outstanding durability, Mavic's dedication to aerodynamic details helps to compensate for the extra grams. The 21mm rim profile, low spoke count, and use of bladed stainless steel spokes manage to mitigate much of their beefiness. And while the Aksium uses the identical lightweight FTS-L steel freehub body as the Ksyrium Elite and SL wheels, its sealed bearing hubs lack on-bike adjustability — though they are fully serviceable and adjustable otherwise.
- Item #MAV00AI
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Compared to 50mm carbon rims, the Aksiums are pretty flexy. they're also pretty heavy. But I use them for training miles only, so I don't mind about the weight, and the added cushion of a radially flexy wheelset is nice for long, seated base miles on less than ideal surfaces.
Opting for a set of these instead of more expensive alloy clinchers lets you spend more on race wheels and entry fees while protecting your pristine carbon and custom fluo decals from the abuse of base miles.
is there a weight limit on these?
Mavic recommends a limit of 265lb (120kg) for all of its road wheels. I've ridden the Aksiums at 200lb with no issues, and I'm pretty sure that the weight limit is more about the risk of wheel flex than the wheels actually failing. Of course, the wheels do have a failure point, but riders in the mid-200s probably have nothing to fear but a little more flex during hard efforts.