Tech News August 18, 2006
Edited by John Stevenson & James Huang
Got tech? Send press releases, news, and tech questions to the
Cyclingnews tech desk.
Julien Absalon has already
The new Crossmax ST
Last year's Crossmax XL has
The Crossmax SL disc
Wider spoke flanges across
New revised Isopulse lacing
New harder steel pawls
Mavic updates and expands lineup for 2007
By James Huang
In the face of ever increasing competition in the pre-built wheelset
market, Mavic has revamped its mountain bike wheelsets for 2007 with virtually
zero carryover from the '06 catalog. A number of general improvements
grace the entire line, including key improvements to the freehub internals.
Previous FTS-L freehub bodies were somewhat notorious for seal drag and
requiring frequent maintenance. According to Mavic Marketing Communication
Manager Sean Sullivan, the crux of the issue was not contamination from
outside, but rather buildup of metallic 'dust' from within as the somewhat
soft pawls wore and broke down the lubricating oil. The updated FTS-X
system utilizes new pawls made of harder material which are said to produce
substantially less particulate, and a new freehub body seal cuts down
on friction. Sadly, Mavic continues to use a bushing on the inboard side
of the freehub body (made of fancy-sounding 'Iglidur') instead of a bearing,
but insists its current approach is still the best way to go.
New hub bodies are used across the board with wider spoke flange spacing
that improves lateral rigidity while simultaneously increasing disc brake
caliper clearance. Mavic's 'Isopulse' non-crossed spoke lacing pattern
also receives a minor tweak: the drive side is now perfectly radial without
any offset relative to the hub axle, which Sullivan says offers better
power transmission and spoke longevity due to the more balanced spoke
tension between drive and non-drive sides and the reduction of cyclic
Cross country racing
Last year's Crossmax SL has been eclipsed at the top of Mavic's XC food
chain by a new high-zoot SLR which will be offered in both ceramic-coated
rim brake and disc brake versions (both IS and Centerlock). Relative to
the '06 SL, he SLR rim and disc brake versions shed 50g and 155g, respectively,
for total claimed weights of 1410g and 1520g for the sets. Weight reductions
come courtesy of a narrower UST rim, butted Zicral front spokes, new hub
shells, and titanium axle stubs. Both configurations borrow the red and
black theme of the Ksyrium ES, which also lends its carbon and aluminum
hub shell to the rim brake SLR. Titanium skewers and wheel bags are included
with the MSRP of US$950 or US$999, depending on configuration.
The new Crossmax SL is now only available with disc brake compatibility,
but in both six-bolt and Centerlock versions. Functionally, the SL is
100% identical to its Crossmax SLR sibling with the same narrower UST
rim, butted front spokes, new hub shells, and titanium axle stubs. Swapping
the titanium skewers for steel ones and omitting the wheel bags drops
the suggested retail cost to US$900 for the pair.
The new Crossmax ST is Mavic's interpretation of a true all-mountain
or general purpose MTB wheelset. Mavic claims the new ST weighs the same
as last year's Crossmax SL but is also 20% stronger than the XL. Much
of the increase in strength should be credited to a new rim milling pattern
which retains a central rib for improved rigidity, but the more widely-set
Zicral spokes likely contribute as well. The ST will be offered in ceramic-coated
rim brake and both six-bolt and Centerlock versions with stated MSRPs
of US$700 and US$750, respectively. Claimed weights for the ceramic and
disc models are 1585g and 1660g for the pair, but our IS disc-compatible
test set hit the scales at 1714g without skewers.
A new midrange Crosstrail model has been added to the category, featuring
a milled UST rim and bladed stainless steel spokes. Both rim and disc-compatible
versions will be offered (again, in either IS or Centerlock), but rim
brake editions will forego the ceramic coating for bare machined aluminum.
Claimed weights for the rim and disc pairs are 1700g and 1815g, with quite
reasonable associated retail prices of US$425 and US$475.
A new entry-level Crossride Disc boasts a low US$200 MSRP and features
IS or Centerlock compatibility, bladed straight-pull stainless steel spokes,
and hardened spoke holes in the rim to resist cracking and pullout. Total
weight is listed at 1920g for the pair, but sorry, UST tires won't work
The segment occupied by the '06 Crossmax XL has now been split in two,
with the addition of a burlier Crossmax SX to cater to the more aggressive
crowd. Other than the unchanged Deemax and Deetraks, the SX is the only
20mm thru-axle compatible wheelset available for the uphill crowd, but
like the XL, QR-compatible end caps will be available. A new UST rim is
2mm wider for increased strength and rigidity, and a new spoke head seat
in the hub shell is better able to resist spoke ejection on hard landings.
The new SX carries a MSRP of US$775 and a claimed weight of 1920g for
More info: www.mavic.com
Images by Mavic
Absalon has already been using the new Crossmax SLR on the World
Cup circuit this season, but in the old color scheme so hardly anyone
new Crossmax ST is Mavic's new "all-purpose" mountain bike wheel
with arguably the best balance between light weight and strength in
year's Crossmax XL has morphed into two wheels, and the new Crossmax
SX is the burlier of the two with a wider rim, better spoke triangulation,
and a 20mm thru-axle that can also be converted to 9mm QR use.
Crosstrail is a new mid-level wheel that uses a FORE-drilled UST-compatible
rim and bladed stainless steel spokes.
Crossmax SL disc now uses a slightly narrower UST rim, butted front
Zicral spokes, lighter hub shells, and a titanium axle stub to shed
50-155g (depending on brake configuration) from last year's version.
addition to the red and black color scheme, the new Crossmax SLR
rim brake version also borrows the carbon and aluminum hub shell from
the Ksyrium ES.
much are these again? US$200 buys you a pair of Mavic Crossride
Disc wheels. Sorry, no UST compatibility here, but the spoke holes in
the rim are "hammer hardened" to resist cracking and pullout.
Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews
red. The new Crossmax SLR emulates the red and black color scheme
of the road-going Ksyrium ES.
spoke flanges across the board make for better lateral rigidity.
New spoke head seats also keep spoke heads from inadvertently popping
revised Isopulse lacing pattern on the driveside is essentially
just a straight radial pattern with absolutely zero offset. Mavic claims
that Isopulse results in better power transmission and better spoke
harder steel pawls produce less metal particulate inside the freehub
bodies, which is said to increase service intervals dramatically. A
new freehub body seal also cuts down on drag substantially.
friendly UST valves are new for '07. Removable cores allow for easy
injection of Stan's or other tire sealant solution without having to
unseat the tire. Unique milling on the new Crossmax ST rim leaves a
central rib for increased rim rigidity (and looks an awful lot like
Bontrager's original Race X Lite milled rims...).
IRD announces CrossFire cyclo-cross tyre
Component maker IRD has announced a new 32mm cyclo-cross tyre, the Crossfire,
adding to the line of cyclo-cross components it founded last year with
a cantilever brake.
The Crossfire is made for IRD by Panaracer and is based on the Panaracer
Fire XCPro mountain bike tyre. That tread is available to fit 700C rims,
but only in a 45mm size - a bit big for most cyclocross frames.
IRD suggested to Panaracer that if the tyre maker had no plans to make
a cross-specific version of the Fire, IRD would like to finance the mould
and market the resulting tyre under the IRD name. Agreement was reached
and a tyre was born.
The CrossFire will be available in an all-red silica/rubber version and
a higher rubber content all-black version, and in folding and wire bead
incarnations. The folding version will retail for US$39.00 and will be
available from September 1.
More info: www.interlocracing.com
Zipp launches clothing
Zipp component owners whose dedication to the aero and lightweight specialist
goes beyond merely owning and using its wheels can now telegraph their
devotion with a new range of Zipp clothing. And why not? After all, CSC
rider Jens Voigt has clocked up six wins in the last two weeks on Zipp
wheels, which - 'it's not about the bike' aside - suggests Zipp is doing
Zipp's clothing range consists of jersey, shorts and socks, and it's
the shorts that have had the bulk of the company's attention. "Because
we know what a pain in the posterior a cheap pair of shorts can be, both
Standard and Bib Team shorts are available featuring the top-of-the-line
elastic pad," saus Zipp. "More importantly, the interior padding, uses
2 types of density foam, and 2 types of elastic padding to ensure a great
fit and on going comfort."
The jersey boasts a tapered fit and three-quarter length zip, while the
socks are made by DeFeet.
More info: www.zipp.com
Titus Racer-X Limited
Titus first with 2007 XTR
Arizona bike maker Titus has announced one of the first bikes to be available
with Shimano's 2007 XTR component group: a Limited Edition version of
its highly-rated Racer-X cross-country suspension mountain bike.
Titus says it was able to obtain the new group before much bigger industry
players thanks to its development relationship with Shimano.
With availability scheduled for this month, only 100 of the candy-apple
red special editions will be made. The bikes will feature the new 2007
Fox RP23 rear shock and F100RLC fork.
The 2007 Limited Edition Racer X retails for $5,999 and is available
in seven sizes from XXS (13.25in seat tube) to XL (23.25in).
More info: www.titusti.com