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2015 Mavic Cosmic Carbone 40 Elite Clincher Wheelset

  • 2015 Mavic Cosmic Carbone 40 Elite Clincher Wheelset
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2015 Mavic Cosmic Carbone 40 Elite Clincher Wheelset

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General Information

Even if trickle-down economics never seemed really to work, trickle-down technology in the cycling industry has helped a lot of us budget-minded cyclists to be able to buy the equipment we’d like at a price we can afford. With the Mavic Cosmic Carbone 40 Elite Wheelset, you will certainly feel that the French company really wants everyone to have access to the best technology they have to offer.

Comparing the Cosmic Carbone 40 Elite to its close relative the 40 C, you’ll realize that the Elite version has all the goodies that come with the 40 C, but just with a very few economies. As with the 40 C’s, Mavic has hit the reset button on carbon clincher production. With this wheelset you can be certain to find all of the benefits of carbon clinchers and none of the drawbacks. The biggest issue has always been safety and efficiency when braking. In the past, carbon clinchers either had a tendency to be seriously heavy or seriously unreliable when braking, and inclined to suffer even catastrophic failures. Previously, Mavic and many of its competitors used alu braking surfaces to mitigate these issues, but everyone saw that this was an inelegant solution at best. Going back to the drawing board, Mavic has introduced a new method of tempering the clincher conundrum by developing what they call Maxtal. What that means is that instead of using aluminum on the braking surface, they have developed an inner alu spine to provide added strength and help dissipate any heat created from braking on the carbon surface. But the method adds considerably less weight than an aluminum braking surface would or indeed than using the enormous amount of heavy multidirectional carbon required for all-carbon clinchers. You’ll also notice that your wheels hold air for a lot longer than you are used to. Mavic even says that the alloy that they use is exclusive to Mavic, and offers a higher strength-to-weight ratio than conventional 6106 alloy.

Adding to just how clever this design is, Mavic makes certain not to drill the spoke holes through the spine, which leaves the whole structure much more rigid and resistant to stress. That means you’ll be getting the sort of snappy acceleration from these wheels that is almost entirely missing from other carbon clinchers. Since the nipples are not hidden, that mean you don't need to remove the tire to adjust the spoke tension, and since the alu spine is not drilled for the spoke holes, you don’t even need rim tape. Not only the aluminum has received special attention, but the carbon layup and in particular the resins used have also benefited from Mavic’s commitment to making the best carbon clincher. To do this they use something they call TgMAX technology, which consists of laying up by hand several types of high technology resins, then fixing them using a proprietary heat treatment process to achieve the highest possible resistance to braking heat. You’ll be able to count on a consistent braking feel no matter the climatic conditions. You won’t feel like your brakes are pulsating under the strain of a long descent or slipping when you have to slam them when confronted by a vehicle unexpectedly turning in front of you. You’ll also get the benefit of a 40mm aerodynamic deep dish wheel profile without heaping on extra weight. Mavic has designed the wheels not to be hollow carbon, but rather has a foam filling in the space between the alu and the carbon layup, which gives the wheels excellent stability in cross winds of varying yaw angles. An added benefit, too, is that the interior foam dampens the humming noise that is so irritatingly common in hollow carbon aero rims.

The one place that you will see a difference between the Cosmic Carbone 40 C wheels and the Cosmic Carbone 40 Elites are the hubs. For the Elites, the hubs have an aluminum axle and aluminum bodies in the front and rear. But the internals of the hubs are exact since here Mavic uses their QRM+ bearing system as well. Super smooth rolling, the cartridge bearings are double sealed and sport a micro-adjustability system without having to remove the wheels from the bike. For the rear hub, Mavic employs what they call their FTS-L system, which is a lightweight method of securing the pawl to the hub body by using two stainless steel inserts. You may not be able to put your finger on it when you are riding, but the level of rolling efficiency this set-up provides will make these wheels glide so smoothly and effortlessly that you’ll feel like you hardly have to pedal.

Never afraid to buck the trend, Mavic has taken the lead in developing complete wheel-tire systems. It makes sense since the tire is the first thing to hit the air and touch the ground; so much of a wheel’s performance comes down to the rubber that wraps your hoops. Mavic has taken the guess-work out of it by shipping the Mavic Cosmic Carbone 40 Elite wheels with their Yksion Pro GripLink for the front wheel and the PowerLink tire for the rear. And yes, they are specific about which tire goes on which wheel. The front GripLink is designed especially to enhance grip and reduce the chances of having a flat. And for rainy weather, its tread is designed to evacuate water to prevent you from wiping out. The rear tire, while also having a high resistance to punctures due to the use of a nylon anti-puncture breaker, has been developed to offer excellent energy transfer, reduced rolling resistance and safe grip because of its tread pattern.

The straight pull, double butted and bladed spokes come in a 16 front and 20 rear count. The front is radial as is the rear non-drive side, while the rear drive side is laced two cross. They are shipped with BBR301 quick release skewers, carbon brake pads and a multifunction adjustment wrench. You won’t be getting wheel bags like you would with the 40Cs, but considering the on-the-bike performance will be identical, we all get the feeling that Mavic is just being really nice to their customers by releasing the Cosmic Carbone 40 Elite wheels in the first place. At 1545 grams without tires, you’ll be riding on the best priced, most reliable carbon clinchers on the market today.

Mavic wheels come with a two-year warranty against defects. Mavic also has their MP3 Program. Short for Mavic Purchase Protection Plan, this is an extended coverage option. It is not required, but it is a cheap and cheerful way to buy some peace of mind—think crash insurance. You’ll need to buy MP3 through Mavic’s website within ten days of purchasing your Mavic Cosmic Carbone 40 Elite Wheelset, so be certain to get onto the Mavic site soon after you place your wheel order to get the details.  More information will be packaged with your wheels.

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