Having finally been guided into Annecy by a pair of space cadets who had mistaken ‘Nancy’ for our real lakeside destination and the subsequent two hour addition to the journey time, it was a bleary bunch of blokes who woke to the warm industrious breeze, road noise, coffee and mountain surroundings…
From Dirt Issue 114 – August 2011
Words by Steve Jones. Photos by Victor Lucas.
What are the fastest wheels is always a big question, Mavic have always been on the list so it was a no brainer that we called in to see the guys at Mavic HQ with their new updated Crossmax range for 2012. Adaptability now sits close to speed with today’s ridiculous range of hub and fork axle variations. Dirt readers will be pleased to know that the two stronger wheels, the ST and SX, now come in all three front wheel options: 9mm, 15mm and 20mm, whilst the rear comes with 9x135mm, 12x135mm and 12x142mm availability.
Six bolt and Centre Lock disc options, the hubs are now lighter and stronger, feature four pawls engaging two by two – the pick up is now insanely quick, Mavic say the pick up is 60% faster than before.
What our bleary rabble picked up on most whilst treated to a personal press camp deep in the heart of the Annecy HQ was their approach to the wheel as a ‘system’ and not just a collection of parts. A change to one component nearly always necessitates a need for some kind of alteration to another. Surprisingly the ST now has 24 spokes up front and 20 on the rear, whilst SX keeps the 24/24 set–up. Weights 1590g (ST) and 1755g (SX) with bladed, double butted spokes and revised UST rim which features non–symmetrical profile.
Are they any better? Our host Michel Lethenet and Product Manager Manuel Berschandy had arranged to take the ‘team’ up for a descent off Semnoz, an hour of relentless rock, root, speed and turns. With the ST’s bolted to the Zesty I can say there certainly is a difference in strength over the older models, obviously the ‘system’ changes have worked out very well. And the SX? Well Michel let us run off to Les Gets for a week of racing and bashing – we returned them to the Mavic truck unscathed and pretty much top of our wheel wish list.SEMNOZ
Ten and a half miles, 1230 metres of vertical drop, taking on average one hour and twenty minutes from top to bottom. It’s a run that Mavic frequently use for testing. Rock, root, off–camber turns, high speed fire roads and breath–taking scenery combined to make for a thrilling afternoon of riding and smiles all round. With a €5 bus shuttle service running this route during the summer months and the ability to do up to four runs over the course of a day…all finishing in town, this is an option that should not be overlooked as part of an alpine trip.