Choose your Road Wheels
How to choose your road wheels
Choosing a new set of wheels is like choosing a new bike
You have to make the right choice to be sure you find the right ones. Wheels alone can totally change the behavior of your bike, so much so that it almost seems like the whole bike has changed... So when making this crucial decision, it’s important to ask the right questions: Will they be suited to my riding? Should I opt for deep or shallow rims? Tubeless or clincher? So many questions that we'll answer to help you in your choice...
Which wheels should you use to for climbing?
Whether you plan to ride slopes big or small, mountains or hills, a pair of wheels with shallow profile rims will be the best choice. Indeed, these models have the double advantage of being (generally) lighter, and a lower inertia which favours changes of pace. Ideal when switching between sitting down and dancing on the pedals. These low-profile wheels are also excellent for long-distance riding because of the comfort they offer.
Efficiency on rolling roads
If you’re planning to have fun on the flatlands, then we recommend you opt for a higher profile wheelset (over 60 mm). The NACA-type airfoil shape developed in the wind tunnel reduces aerodynamic drag and compensates for the slight weight increase. It’s a delight to put power down and hear the wheels splitting the air... They are best suited to time trials, triathlons or “race” type rides. In this category we invite you to discover the COSMIC SL65 and COSMIC SLR65 !
Find the right compromise
Where does a multipurpose wheelset come into all this? If you don’t want to go super deep or really shallow, you can choose wheels with an intermediate profile (like the COSMIC SL40, the COSMIC SLR45 or the COSMIC ULTIMATE UST). This type of wheel can be effective on fast-paced courses that don’t require too much effort on the climbs: the right balance!
Tubeless or clincher: make the right choice
Is the tube still the safest bet?
Tyres have been part of the cycling landscape for more than a century, and have continued to evolve in order to be more and more efficient, and keep up with technological advances. Top-of-the-range clincher models are now very efficient and above all, very practical when dealing with a puncture. Nevertheless, they are slightly heavier than tubeless tyres or tubulars as they require the use of an inner tube AND rim tape. Clincher tyres are generally more economical than the other systems mentioned above.
Tubeless tyres, revolution or fad?
Initially used by mountain bikers, tubeless tyres have now appeared on the road and convinced a large number of cyclists. The main reasons: comfort, performance and grip in corners! With tubeless tyres, it's recommended to inflate at a lower pressure than with traditional tyres (or tubulars) (about 1 bar less), which greatly reduces vibrations induced by the roughness of the road. The second advantage of tubeless tyres is that they are more resistant to punctures. If you get a puncture while riding, the tyre sealant that you will have injected between the rim and the tyre will seal the hole to allow you to continue riding. Finally, a Tubeless wheelset allows you to switch back to a tyre/tube combo if necessary (especially in the case of a tear too large in the tyre that the sealant cannot plug). The major inconvenience of Tubeless is when you want to change the tyre, since you have to remove the sealant, you've have to clean the rim and the wheel before you can put the tyre back on... but it's just as well we have prepared a tutorial of the right techniques, simple and efficient, most of our wheels don't have rim tape thanks to Fore technology!
And the tubular, still in the race?
Popular with "old timers" and some professional riders, tubular tyres need to be glued directly to the rim. They are more efficient than classic tyres but they are very expensive and require a new tubular tyre for each puncture as it is almost impossible to repair. Not really ideal when riding far from home!
Aluminium wheels VS carbon wheels: David vs Goliath?
Carbon wheels, is there anything better?
Carbon has several strong arguments when it comes to choosing a wheelset. The material is both lighter and more rigid, which guarantees a better energy transfer. Initially reserved for deep rims, carbon can now be found on all types of performance-focused wheelsets! One important detail, carbon is a material that requires very specific work as we explain in the video), and this has the direct consequence of increasing the cost, even if this is compensated by the lifetime warranty Mavic introduced in 2021.
Aluminium wheels, resistance and reliability
Less fashionable than their carbon cousins, aluminium wheels are still a great option when you want to spend less on your equipment while having a reliable and solid product. Ideal for training, quality aluminium wheels perform well while being comfortable to ride on. As is the case of the iconic Ksyrium SL! They are the pick by many for long distances.
Braking: discs or rim?
Discs, the next logical step?
Totally absent from road bikes a few years ago, discs have almost become the new norm! The main advantages of discs are more powerful braking, but also constant braking whatever the weather conditions. Not to be underestimated when you begin the descent of a mountain pass in the rain... Disc wheels need to be mounted with thru-axles, which are more rigid than the quick release of wheels with rim brakes and therefore offer better braking power. Of course, if you go off the beaten track, like in gravel, for example, discs guarantee that you will be able to slow down whatever conditions you encounter!
Rims brakes are still popular
Despite the growing popularity of discs, rim brakes are still a force to be reckoned with. They are cheaper, lighter and are also easier to change and maintain. Brake pads are available on most aluminium wheels, but they also exist on some high-performance carbon wheels like the Cosmic SL 40 and SLR 40 for example.
What about maintenance?
Once you have found the perfect wheelset, we do our best to make maintenance easy and thus guarantee the longevity of your favourite (new) wheels. Most of your wheel components are easily removable and do not require any special tools.
We have even prepared some tutorials for you to:
Boost Your Bike
In conclusion, there are many factors to take into account, but you have to make your choice depending on where you ride, how you ride, your budget, and above all your tastes! Buying a new wheelset is mainly a question of instinct, so if we have to give you one last piece of advice, it's certainly this one: choose the ones you want and come test them during a Mavic experience.
Finally, know that if anything happens to your Mavic wheelset, we will always find a solution through our Mavic Care program: lifetime warranty for carbon models, 3rd year free warranty for other wheels, crash replacement and a Loyalty Program for everything else.
In short, rather than changing your bike, boost your bike with new wheels!