The French company catch up with their rivals with a carbon rim - and it's pretty wide too

Mavic have finally made a carbon wheelset and they’ve upped the width too.

Mavic were once the de-facto choice for mountain bikers. Everyone had Mavic rims. But in recent years their dominance has been challenged and Mavic have been seen as being somewhat off the pace.

A bit of width at last

Mavic have been a bit slow to introduce wider rims. It’s been this narrowness that has seen progressive trail riders looking to other brands’ wheelsets.

The lack of a carbon fibre top-end wheelset has also been somewhat glaring in Mavic’s otherwise huge range of wheel offerings.


26mm internal width

The new Quest XA wheelsets re-address those two shortcomings. The new Quest XA Pro is the French company’s new carbon wheelset. It has an internal width of 26mm – which is still not huge when 30mm internal widths are a common sight but it’s a significant change for Mavic.

There is also a more affordable alloy Quest XA Elite which comes with a 25mm internal rim width.

Mavic is pitching these wheels in a new ‘cross adventure’ category, hence the XA. By that we think it means trail riding.

>>> Mavic Charge tyre review


Hookless rim design

Although still not mega-wide by modern standards, Mavic have moved to a hookless rim design which does ‘pinch in’ the tyre carcass much less and will give the shape and support of a wider rim that has a internal bead/hook.

The hub internals haven’t changed so let’s focus on the rim tech for now.

Mavic make big play of coming up with a specific carbon layup for the Quest XA Pro. Using terms like “vertical compliance” and “lateral stiffness” that we’re often more used to seeing when describing bike frames.

>>> Mavic Crossmax SL review


What about the spokes?

The spoke lacing is also significant here regarding vertical compliance. Mavic have gone for a 2-cross design (rather than the standard 3-cross) which will offer a bit more give.

Speaking of spokes, gone are the ‘drinking straw’ oversize alloy hollow spokes of previous Mavic wheels. Instead there are steel, bladed, straight pull spokes.

>>> How to true your mountain bike wheel

xScreen Shot 2016-05-23 at 10.48.00

Essentially Mavic claim to have the carbon Quest XA Pro being very stiff side-to-side but still allow for a bit of give up-and-down. They clearly have an unnamed-but-easy-to-guess competitor in their sights when they’re releasing a stiffness chart like the one above.

Asymmetrical rim

The improve lateral stiffness the rims feature offset spoke locations. The spokes are offset by 2mm so that the tensioning is much more equal. There are 24 spokes in each wheel by the way.

xScreen Shot 2016-05-23 at 10.47.05

The carbon Quest XA Pro wheels have a specially shaped central channel internally for improved tubeless setup sealing. The carbon rims and the alloy XA Elite rims have spoke holes internally and so use tape for running tubeless.

Mavic are also offering a Mavic Care Package – register the wheels online to unlock a 3 year extended warranty and to qualify for a reduced price replacement should you damage wheels in a crash.

The Mavic Care Package replaces the old MP3 programme. The crash replacement price is 30-40%.

Anything else you need to know?

The rim is 26mm internal width, 32mm external width and 28mm deep – they’ll come with longer tubeless valves for this taller rim. The rim-ony weights are 380g for 27.5 and 390g for the 29er.

The wheelset will come standard with a 2.4in Mavic Quest Pro tyre with a X-Mix dual compound rubber.

>>> Complete guide to wheelsizes: 26in, 650b, 650b+, 29in, 29in+

Mavic Quest XA Pro spec

  • Unidirectional carbon fibre
  • UST tubeless (uses Mavic tubeless tape, supplied)
  • 26mm internal width
  • Hookless profile
  • 24 spoke front and rear, 2-cross
  • Adjustable sealed cartridge bearing hubs
  • Black only
  • Boost and Standard options
  • Boost 148, Standard 135mm or 142mm rear axle options
  • Torque caps and Lefty options also available
  • Standard freewheel (SRAM XD driver available)
  • QR adapters available
  • Mavic tyre sealant supplied
  • Weight: 1,470g (27.5), 1,600g (29″)
  • £1,300 SRP

(Video: Mavic athlete Tomas Tomasi riding Quest XA Pro wheels in Nepal)


Mavic Quest XA Elite

The alloy rim Quest XA Elite (above pic) has a similar spec albeit with 25mm internal width and a weight of 1,490g (27.5) and 1,535g (29″). The price is £450 SRP.