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​You could say that Mavic is a bit like that stubborn, grumpy old grandpa of yours, seemingly lost in the past sometimes - "well back in MY day...", you get the picture. Rims were getting wider, Mavic was in no hurry to join the party. Carbon everything, not for Mavic, who felt their aluminum expertise allowed them to make competitive wheels without resorting to the fantastic plastic or other dark magic. And there's plenty of proof in THAT pudding, with Mavic wheels standing proud atop racing podiums the world over in addition to gracing many a fine bike build. Moreover, if you assume that Mavic was simply stuck in their ways, you'd be selling them well short, as a long list of innovative technologies and literally a century of manufacturing expertise will attest to. Not ones to stand still, they simply believe in a job well done and won't hesitate to take their time refining their product. And so it is that for 2017, the brand new Quest XA Wheel Tire System is here, with carbon rims finally adorning the high level Pro version for the first time in the company's mountain bike history. More details on this exciting new entry into the wheel world below!

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Mavic Quest XA Pro Carbon Highlights

  • Rim material: 100% Unidirectional carbon fiber
  • Drilling: traditional
  • Valve hole diameter: 6.5 mm
  • Tire: UST Tubeless and tubetype
  • Internal width: 26 mm
  • ETRTO size 27.5": 584x26ss
  • ETRTO size 29": 622x26ss
  • Hookless profile
  • Use with Mavic Tubeless Tape
  • Steel, straight pull, bladed, double butted spokes
  • Spoke count: 24 front and rear
  • Lacing: front and rear crossed 2
  • Front and rear aluminum hub bodies
  • Axle material: aluminum
  • Adjustable sealed cartridge bearings
  • Freewheel: ITS-4 alloy
  • Freewheel: Shimano/Sram, convertible to XD with optional driver body
  • Front axle: convertible from 15mm thru axle to Quick Release with included adapters
  • Rear axle: 12mm thru axle, convertible to Quick Release with optional adapters
  • Color: Black only
  • Disc standard : 6 Bolts only
  • Hub width : Boost (front 110, rear 148) or Non- Boost (front 100, rear 135/142)
  • Weight: 1490 grams (27.5), 1535 grams (29)
  • MSRP: $1849.90 USD
  • Availability: September 1, 2016

Mavic Quest Pro Tire Highlights

  • UST Tubeless Ready
  • Front and Rear Tread: Dual Compound
  • Casing: 127 TPI
  • Dimension 27.5": 2.40
  • Dimension 29": 2.35
  • Weight: 780 grams (27.5), 810 grams (29)

Mavic says it went through a number of iterations getting the design of the new carbon rim just right. They settled on an asymmetrical design, which creates a more evenly dished wheel which in turn allows for more even spoke tension - all of which contributes to a stronger wheel. For that reason, Mavic felt they could get away with just 24 spokes per wheel, another factor that helped them achieve the very competitive weight of 1470 grams for the 27.5 version.

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Mavic does classify the XA wheelsets (both carbon and alu) as ASTM CATEGORY 3, "offroad with jumps less than 61cm", and they also recommend that the total rider + bike weight should not exceed 120 kgs, which puts a bit of a damper on our enthusiasm. We're pretty sure you can get away with a lot in real life more however, which we intend to put to the test as soon as we can lay our hands on a pair of these new wheels.

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On the topic of rim design, Mavic decided to go hookless. They say this allowed them to create a stronger rim profile, which also contributes to a "more natural sidewall shape". There is an internal beadlock of sorts, a ridge along the rim bed that helps lock the tire in place. Mavic says this system is actually less prone to burping than a classic, hooked rim. And rather than go all in at the wide rim table, Mavic stayed true to form with a modest increase to 26mm, said to pair up perfectly with the new tire (details below).

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Working with carbon also allowed Mavic to tune the stiffness of the wheel along two different axis. They wanted a wheel that was laterally stiff for precise handling and faster acceleration, yet vertically compliant for better control and traction. Always sceptical of reading too much into numbers, we nevertheless have to say that it looks like Mavic met their goals with the new XA Pro Carbon, at least on paper:

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A word on the hubs: the shells are new for this wheelset, but the rear is based on the current ITS-4 internals, offering 4 pawls and quick 7.5-degree engagement. Recent experience with the ITS-4 points to good reliability which makes this a welcome inclusion on the new wheels.

To complete the new Wheel Tire System, Mavic also introduced a new tire, the Quest Pro. It's a dual compound tire intend to be usable in a variety of conditions. Of course, being from Mavic, the tire is UST compatible and will provide a very easy to use tubeless solution when paired with the new wheels. The wheels are delivered with Mavic Tyre Sealant, UST valve and accessories, as well as tubeless rim tape.

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Mavic Quest XA Elite Highlights

  • Maxtal alloy rims
  • ISM4D weight saving rim milling
  • Width: 25mm (inner) / 28mm (outer)
  • Drilling: traditional
  • Valve hole diameter: 6.5 mm
  • Tire: UST
  • ETRTO size: 584x25SST /622x25SST
  • Steel, straight pull, bladed, double butted
  • Nipples: aluminum, ABS
  • Count: 24 front and rear
  • Lacing: front and rear crossed 2
  • Front and rear aluminum hub bodies
  • Axle material: aluminum
  • Adjustable sealed cartridge bearings
  • Freewheel: ITS4, alloy
  • Freewheel: Shimano/SRAM 10/11S, convertible to XD with optional driver body (Eagle compatible)
  • Front axle: 15x100 or 15x110 (Boost). Torque Caps available separately.
  • Rear axle: 12x142 or 12x148 (Boost), convertible to Quick Release
  • Disc Standard: 6 Bolts only
  • Colors: Yellow on Black, Green on Black, Blue on Black
  • Weight: 1695 grams (27.5’’) / 1770 grams (29’’)
  • MSRP: $749.99 USD
  • Availability: July 1, 2016

The aluminum version of the new wheel gets the classic Mavic InterSpoke Milling treatment, which helps achieve a most competitive weight for an aluminum wheel of this class. The alu wheel gets the same hookless rim design as its carbon bigger brother, with 1mm less internal width. The rest of the wheel is the same, with 24 bladed, straight-pull spokes laced in a 2-cross pattern, and the same hub. To help complement your build, the alloy wheels are available with 3 different colored graphics.

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For more information on the new wheelsets, head on over to www.mavic.com.
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