Mavic ssc sl

17 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

I'm thinking of buying a set of Mavic ssc sl road wheels. What do those of you who have ridden these wheels think of them? Are they worth the price? Would you buy them again? Are they better thsn Topolinos?

Anonymous's picture
MP (not verified)

"I know this might not answer your question, but you could consider a set of custom wheels. Mike Garcia can build you a set of wheels in two weeks for $350 that rival any ""brand name"" set out there. His website is:

Mike will spend 30+ minutes on the phone with you discussing your current bike, weight, riding style, etc. to build wheels specific to you. I love mine.

I've heard that it can be difficult to get parts for Mavic wheels should something go awry. FWIW I also have a set of Mavic Ksyrium Elites. They seem quite stiff and a bit heavy. After only 500 miles, the front hub needed adjustment.

Just my two cents."

Anonymous's picture
Christian Edstrom (not verified)

I agree with Matt.

A set of custom wheels from Mike Garcia, Peter Jon White, or Joe Young are likely to be stronger and more apt to stay true. And they can be designed for your riding style, and are user serviceable on the road, using common tools (well, common among cyclists).

- Christian

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
custom wheels

Don't forget Dave Thomas -

Anonymous's picture
fixed (not verified)
Mavic SSC SL

I have an older version of the Mavic Ksyriums and I love them. They have only been serviced once, a minor truing of the front wheel after being forced to ride through a drainage grate in the park by a crazed taxi driver. They roll smooth and true still after almost 4 years. I believe they are worth the price and would happily buy them a again. I'm sure others feel differently.

Anonymous's picture
David Regen (not verified)
I love mine

First, I should say that if I could only own one wheelset, it would be something stronger and heavier than the Mavics. That said, I have put about 3,000 miles on a set of Ksyrium SSC SLs and I think they are great. I too have heard that they can be difficult to service, which is one reason to have them as a second set of wheels.

The real reason to get a set of these wheels is how fast they spin up. Acceleration is really improved (compared to some standard 32-spoke wheels). And for what it's worth, these wheels used to be considered expensive, but now they're just average. Go to a race and you'll see people with $2500 wheelsets (I remember, not to long ago, when that was considered a lot for a whole bike).

Anonymous's picture
"Chainwheel" (not verified)
Here we go again

"""The real reason to get a set of these wheels is how fast they spin up. Acceleration is really improved (compared to some standard 32-spoke wheels).""

Please explain how you can differentiate between the acceleration of the wheels and the overall acceleration of you and the bike. You can't have one without the other, and the effort to get the wheels spinning is miniscule compared to the effort to get you and the bike moving. And you're only considering the delta between these wheels and another set of wheels.

And what does spoke count have to do with acceleration?


Anonymous's picture
David Regen (not verified)

The Ksyriums are significantly lighter, so there is less resistance to my efforts to accelerate. Yes, I have to get myself and the bike moving, but rotating weight counts at least three times more than non-rotating weight.

Once you're up to speed, though, wheel weight does NOT slow you down. Zipp has a $1500 disk wheel with a dimpled pattern for time trials that weighs something like 1200 grams, which is nearly a whole lb. over the weight of non-aero, competition wheel like a Ksyrium. If you're time trialing, you get up to speed and stay there, so acceleration is not an issue; if you're in a road race, there will be constant bursts of acceleration required, so every bit helps.

Anonymous's picture
Fixer (not verified)

rotating weight counts at least three times more than non-rotating weight

Doing my best Jobst impersonation: At least three times? Please specify which scientific facts lead you to this conclusion.

Sure, light wheels feel faster, but if you're a follower of The Gospel According To Jobst, weight is weight is weight.

Ah, well, it's winter. Even tedious arguments like this beats riding the indoor trainer!

Anonymous's picture
christian (not verified)

"A set of Ksyriums weighs about 1550 grams. That's about 50g less than a set of 32h Ultegra/Open Pro/14g-15g db wheels, and about 50g _more_ than a set of 32h Dura Ace/Open Pro/14g-15g db wheels.

All that said, you can't win arguments against post-purchase justifiers!

Just repeat after me: ""That bike shop guy told me it was better. Rob Vandermark said it my seatstays have vertical compliance. Aluminum is stiff, steel goes soft. And Ksyriums are stiff yet vertically compliant.""

Buy whatever makes you happy. But don't justify fashion in the name of science!

Christian ""My Pegoretti kicks ass 'cause it's yellow!"" Edstrom"

Anonymous's picture
a former former-editor (not verified)
and it'll kick more a$$

when it gets a set of red cable housing!

Anonymous's picture
fixed (not verified)
Huh? (nm)
Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)
Red vs. yellow

It's a well-documented scientific fact that red bikes are faster. I hope I'm not misinterpreting former former-editor's (former former-former soon?) remark, but I think he's suggesting that red cable housing will make a yellow bike faster. Whether there are any sound studies that show that red cables or other red components add speed, I don't know. ;-)

Anonymous's picture
Christian Edstrom (not verified)

I think former-former is also pointing out that I'm getting my red housing from him, as he's generously offered me a few feet of it. Thanks for the reminder, former-former!

- Christian

Anonymous's picture
Chris T (not verified)
Somebody's Xmas Present

You don't have to race to love evidenced by the number of people in this club who ride a set of Ksyriums.

I have an older set that I purchased from another member who was upgrading to a newer set of SSL's. While he doesn't race, he certainly pushes his equipment to the limits. Still, the used set serve me quite well 2 seasons later. Surely somebody is going get a new wheelset this xmas, and may wish to sell the older pair.
Can't say what would be a fair price, but look at sites where a pair is for sale to give you a ballpark figure

Anonymous's picture
Bertil (not verified)

good wheels but overpriced; the best for the money is any set of wheels by Velomax.

Anonymous's picture
Sonny (not verified)
Vote for Topos

You mentioned the Topos. Never have ridden the Mavics but have put about 1,000 miles on my Topos and have been extremely pleased. They are stiff, light and the hub is incredibly smooth. People are always concerned with having to replace the spokes and sending the wheel back to the company. That being said, do not think that I've met a person with the SSCs that has not sent it back to the company at some point b/c of a cracked rim or hub rebuild.

Anonymous's picture
jk (not verified)

I have had mine for over 4 years. Never had any trouble whatsoever.

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