HOW ARE OUR WHEELS TESTED?
THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR LAB TESTS
Reliability is a core value at Mavic. Performance will never be achieved at the expense of the robustness of our components. Riding with Mavic means being able to concentrate on your ride without worrying about your wheel.
As early as 1993, we decided to reinforce our static measurement laboratory with dynamic measurement machines.
Today, going through the laboratory is the main condition before the field tests and the marketing of our wheels. Thanks to our various "lab tests", we check the precision and resistance of each pair.
The objective is simple: to offer cyclists and mountain bikers reliable, durable and proven models.
Resistance tests, shock tests, endurance tests... Everything is checked, dissected and pushed to the limit. It is during this period that any defects or anomalies can be detected and corrected by our teams.
WHERE DO WE CARRY OUT OUR TESTS?
Located in Annecy, in the heart of the French Alps, our Mavic Competence Centre houses all the facilities where our products are designed and developed.
Our various evaluation laboratories are located on the same site. In total, more than 130m2 are dedicated to our static tests and 260m2 to dynamic tests.
WHAT TESTS ARE CARRIED OUT?
The concentration of these specific resources and testing tools is unique in the bicycle industry.
MTB, e-MTB, ALLROAD, ROAD... every model is scrutinised. In total, we have nearly 47 tests, simulating every stress that a wheel could undergo once mounted on the bike.
7000 km at more than 70 km/h, temperature from -10°C to +70°C, resistance to loads of 300kg...
Each prototype is subjected to a set of specifications and meets a list of predefined standards imposed beforehand.
Finally, after passing the "laboratory tests" stage, the wheel is validated in the field to confirm the sensations.
Each sample is therefore tried and tested by our teams and athletes, taking advantage of the idyllic and demanding setting offered by our summits.
All selected bearings follow strict specifications. We test and measure their dimensions and evaluate their quality continuously.
We have developed a test bench to measure the sealing quality of the cartridge bearings we use: we run the balls for 24 hours non-stop by continuously injecting water. Of course, this is just one of the many tests we carry out on our bearings!
The braking bench allows us to test the resistance of our wheels, from the spoke hangers to the highly stressed bearings, under high stresses by reproducing real practice conditions a hundredfold (e.g. down a mountain pass on a bike).
Whether it is with skates or discs, braking on a bicycle or mountain bike generates very high stresses, not to mention the levels of heating and heat from the very high friction caused by braking.
The measurement tool allows 750 consecutive brake applications, alternating between 0 and 70km/h non-stop.
A wheel is subject to deformation in the event of a major impact (hole in the road, kerb, roots, rocks, etc.). To guarantee the safety and strength of a wheel, its deformations must be measured before this happens.
They must not break, dislocate or deform, and they must absorb the impact to ensure that the rider maintains control and can avoid a fall as much as possible. These tests are standardized according to UCI rules but Mavic pushes the measurement to 150% to consider the worst situation as well.
All our carbon wheels are treated as if they were made for the aerospace industry. Our rims and wheels are, among other tests, enclosed in a climatic chamber. This is a combination of high heat (+70°c) and intense cold (-10°c) cycles, coupled with a humidity level between 0 and 100% for several days in a row.
The aim is to accelerate the ageing of the carbon fibre, to measure variations in tension and so on, and to "prepare" the wheel or rim to undergo further tests and measurements as if it had already been in existence for several months or years.
HUB TORQUE TEST
The torsion test bench is used to check the resistance of our hubs and our spoke and disc hangers over time. The torsional moments that are applied to the heart of a wheel are enormous.
The hubs must withstand the lightning accelerations of the best athletes as well as emergency braking in the worst conditions to avoid a fall. To achieve this, we apply high forces for 100,000 cycles to ensure that Mavic hubs are as durable as possible.
Here again, we have designed a specific machine to simulate the crash of a wheel in perfect safety conditions.
The aim is to control the parameters and to be able to compare the different results while always having the same basis of adjustment: weight, speed, angle, etc. We can thus guarantee a high level of resistance of our wheels because the impact and deformation are extreme.
This allows us to design and integrate wheels that will withstand the worst treatment under normal use, while also integrating all the other parameters such as lightness, repairability, rigidity, wheel dynamism...
DANCER ENDURANCE TEST
The fatigue bench simulates 500 km of non-stop climbing in a dancer similar to climbing a mountain pass. It is based on field measurements like all our lab tests.
Lateral stresses on the wheel and torsional stresses on the rear hub are added together.
This allows us to check the ageing of the wheel components over a period of time and to modify its parameters and construction if necessary.
FRONTAL ENDURANCE TEST
The measurement here focuses on the wheel's resistance over time. We save time during the development of a wheel by carrying out this test on a laboratory bench, which is then completed by long-term field tests in real conditions (5000 km for a mountain bike wheel / 10,000 km for a road wheel).
On this test bench, the wheel performs a total of 7,000 km at 70 km/h in a few days with a constant load, precise tyre pressure and a stable environment.
Generally, design weaknesses appear quickly with the breakage of either spokes, rim or spoke attachment to the hub.
LATERAL ENDURANCE TEST
In this test, a 25kg ballast is applied to the rim with the wheel mounted horizontally. The wheel is constantly turning at about 50 km/h.
The first 300 km are critical, but we push the test to 1000 km in this configuration, which is hard on the hub, spokes and rim.