Wheel Test: Mavic Ksyrium Elite UST

Bridging the gap to user-friendly tubeless setup

With the growing trend in tubeless wheels for added comfort and traction, Mavic has come to the forefront with a new updated Ksyrium wheelset. The Mavic Ksyrium Elite UST is a staple as an all-around training wheel, which is also used by many professionals as their go-to training wheel. The key difference with the updated Ksyrium is that it’s now tubeless capable. The tubeless addition isn’t the only upgrade, but it is an easy and user-friendly tubeless setup.

THE TECH

As improved as the Ksyrium Elite wheel is, there is nothing about it that jumps out at you in terms of a visual change. While the shallow, 24mm-deep aluminum hoop uses a standard spoke count of 18 (front) and 20 (rear), it’s the tubeless technology where the real advance is made.

Tubeless-compatible wheels are great for enhanced traction and compliance, but unless you have an air compressor (or special high capacity floor pump) at home, you’re going to be making repeated trips down to your local bike shop to have them installed. In addition to that hurdle, mounting and dismounting
tubeless tires is not easy (for some wheels, just short of impossible).

The new Ksyrium, though, gives you none of those sorts of problems, as you can easily put the compatible Yksion Pro UST tires on by hand, and, even better, there’s no more need for an air compressor. Simply grab your home floor pump and start inflating. They can even be pumped up by a hand/frame pump.

The Yksion Pro UST tires that we tested with the wheels are 25mm, but the rims are open to running a tire as large as 32mm in case you’re looking to add a bit of gravel riding into your route. With the tubeless setup, max pressure is said to be 110 psi, but intended riding is recommended at 85 psi. The front and rear hubs are aluminum body with auto-adjust sealed cartridge bearings. Another update to the Ksyriums are the redesigned lighter hub shells. Mavic implemented their fast-engagement Instant Drive 360 hub and new automatic adjustment of the bearing preload for longer smoothness.

The straight-pull bladed spokes are Mavic’s proprietary Zicral spokes, which are stiffer and lighter than traditional stainless steel spokes. They cap off the appearance of the wheels well. The lacing pattern is Isopulse (radial lacing on the drive side), which allows for a more balanced spoke tension that results in a stiffer and stronger wheel.

Thanks to their Fore drilling, unlike many other tubeless wheelsets that create the strongest possible connection between the rim and spokes, with no rim tape needed.

We rode the rim brake version, but Mavic does offer the same wheelset in a disc brake version as well. Mavic states that when paired with their 25mm Yksion Pro UST tubeless tire, you get a 15-percent increase in rolling efficiency at an equal tire pressure.

THE RIDE

Having put in many miles in the past on the previous generation of the Mavic Ksyrium, we know they hold up as a great wheel and can handle quite the load. We rode the wheels at 80 psi, which worked to provide a comfortable ride, though you can run a lower tire pressure as well. The wheels are stiff and don’t offer much flex under load, even while getting out of the saddle to accelerate.

For an aluminum wheelset, they aren’t too heavy at 1420 grams and can be a major upgrade at a cost that won’t hurt your wallet too much. With the lower pressure, we could really feel the grip in the corners, and we felt very confident while leaning the bike over and trusting the tires. It helps having the 25mm tires as well.

THE VERDICT

Overall, if you’re looking for a great go-to wheelset, these may be the hoops for you. The wheels are stiff, responsive and can hold up for many miles of riding and training. For an aluminum wheelset, they’re on the lighter side, which is a plus. The major benefit, though, is the simple way to set them up tubeless—no more needing to go down to your local bike shop or invest in an air compressor at home. These tires can simply be put on by hand and even pumped up using a hand pump. A more comfortable ride and less flats have us sold.

PUNCH LINES

  • Good all-around training wheel
  • Easy tubeless setup by hand
  • Disc and rim brake versions available

STATS

Price: $699.90

Weight: 1420 grams (without tires)

Depth: 24mm

Width: 17mm (internal)

Spoke count: 18 (front), 20 (rear)

www.mavic.com 

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