Don't be fooled into thinking the super lightweight Mavic Crossmax SL is just for racing

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 8

Mavic Crossmax SL



Mavic Crossmax SL review


Price as reviewed:


Even though the Mavic Crossmax SL wheelset is super-lightweight and near the top of the French firm’s range when it comes to price, Mavic isn’t pigeon-holing it as race-only. It’s designed for fast trail riding too.

>>> Best mountain bike wheels: a buyer’s guide

This wheelset is built around Mavic’s new ISM 4D rim. ISM stands for inter-spoke milling, and means redundant material is machined from between the spokes of the extruded rim.

Mavic Crossmax SL end caps

Swapping end-caps could not be easier

The 4D process takes this a step further, with all the hard edges removed and the rim given a more organic profile, which Mavic says improves aerodynamics.

The ISM 4D rim has a 23mm external width, with a 19mm internal width, and is properly UST tubeless, so you don’t need to use tape, or sealant with a UST tyre.

Mavic Crossmaax SL hubs

The hubs will require regular servicing

Mavic still has the best axle system. Swapping end-caps is literally a five-minute job, and there’s a big bag of them included in the box, allowing you to convert the front hub from 9mm QR to 15mm bolt-thru, and the rear hub from 9mm to 12x135mm, or 12x142mm. Standard and XD driver cassette bodies are available, and they’re easy to change too.

Coming off the back of testing a 35mm-wide Rock Guardz Rimz last month, the Crossmax SL wheels felt delicate, and the 2.35in Maxxis tyres I was running would flex slightly more in the corners.

On the flip-side, these wheels accelerate like they have a mini motor inside, and carry speed so well I was having to brake ever so slightly between jumps on one local trail, where I’d normally be pedalling.

Mavic Crossmax SL rims

Rims are just wide enough for 2.4in tyres, no bigger

The cartridge bearings in the hubs are no better-sealed than those on the Crossmax Enduro wheelset I tested a few months back, so you will have to replace or service them regularly, but this wheelset could add a real turn of speed to your bike.

You will struggle to get a bigger 2.4in tyre seated on the rim, and if you’re a harder rider, or of hefty build, I’d recommend going with something sturdier from the Mavic range.

If you’re quick and light, though, the Crossmax SL wheelset is better value than a carbon wheelset and, in most cases, just as light.


Weight:1,520 grams
Sizes:26in, 27.5in and 29in