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Mavic Speedcity Disc Wheel Set
I just have a couple of questions for my 29'er friends regarding this wheelset:
1) Is this a good set to buy used? What price?
2) What width do they need to be for off-road use?
That's all! Thanks...
1) Like brand new sets go for about $200 shipped on eBay.
2) The rims are 15mm inside. This is a bit on the narrow side but the wheels can be used for 29" tires. They can be flexy for larger riders, but I myself have used them a good deal at 200# and not had a problem with them.
A bike by any other name is still a bike.
My question for a while has been why anyone uses this wheelset. The rim is narrow, it's heavy, and it's relatively expensive. Nashbar has some T519s laced to Deore hubs for $100 and some other no name touring rims laced to no name hubs for under $50. It seems like $200 for a flexy (you say you don't feel any, but I can flex the Crossmaxes to they hit the brake pads and I'm sure the Speedcities are worse) and heavy (what are they 900/1100?) is a waste, but each to his own.
Originally Posted by Bigwheel
Whoops, I'm not going to delete what I just said, because I still believe it hols true except I just remembered the Speedcities are disc only and you probably couldn't get a 29" disc specific wheelset for cheaper.
I am about to throw a set of practically new on EBAY, if you're thinking about picking up a set... (anyone)...
thought I'd ask before I threw them up...
I never even took them off road, so I couldn't tell you how they held up. But, I have seen a few people with them...
Submit to your ride!
So far only one good post from Bigwheel on the usefullness of these wheels. Anyone else want to weigh in?
[QUOTE=dcm311It seems like $200 for a flexy (you say you don't feel any,
I said I had not had any problems with the wheels at my weight. Yeah, I have felt the flex but was it a problem for me? No. Are they heavy? If you say so, I haven't noticed I guess. Are they disc specific? No, they will act quite well with rim brakes. Have they even come the least little bit out of true? Not yet. I am sure there are cheaper wheelsets you can run disc on out there.
A bike by any other name is still a bike.
On the old forum boards, the Speed City wheelsets had been mentioned and discussed at various times with a variety of people weighing in. Sorry, I don't have the link to those discussions.
Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSlave
I own a set of the Mavic Speed City's and bought them about a year ago as a quick swap for my 26" Trek 8000 bike which I had outfitted with Avid disc brakes. I liked the function of the wheelset and at the time I lived in a section of Europe where just about everything is Mavic or DT/Hügi based. At the time, I bought a few sets of tires ranging from 23mm to the fattest thing I could fit on there and still get the wheel in the fork. It wasn't a full 29" experience, but it gave me enough of an idea what it was like off road (and on road) with the bigger wheels.
When I built up my Karate Monkey to partake of the 29" experience - I simply used the Speed City's because I owned them. Yes, they do flex, but that has not bothered me (I weigh in a tad over 200 pounds). Cosmetics of the wheelset remains attractive to me and even with me using them for nearly a year now, they have held their true and performed well.
As BigWheel mentioned in this thread as well as previous threads on the old forum boards - if you can land a set on eBay or somewhere for half the retail price $200 instead of $400 - the price/performance point of this wheelset is greatly elevated and hard to pass up if you are looking for a disc set of wheels.
Things to consider include the flex, price at full retail, Mavic hub maintenance, narrow rim due to the design of it being road tire specific and I guess the weight.
All of that being said, I am enjoying my Speed City's and "weighed in" because you asked for others to "weigh in". My Karate Monkey is and will continue to be used both off road and on road. So I run the Bontrager 2.2's, the Big Apple's and some narrower touring tires from Specialized as well as some cross tires and I will probably get some racing road tires this spring/summer for some long distance training rides. The Speed City's work well for my varied needs.
However, everyone has different needs - so consider all options of wheelsets and then make a choice. If you were on the fence and did spot a set of the Speed City's at half retail, I don't think you could go wrong on such a discount.
Follow up report on these wheels....
Long response to an email I just received which I thought I may as well and post here as well since it fits this thread....
There seems to be continued questions every now and then about using the Mavic SpeedCity wheelset offroad on our rigs. I just got an email today from a poster (who weighs around 200 pounds) asking about an economical set of wheels. He said he was considering a used set of the SpeedCity wheels which he found he could pick up for not too much money (sub $200) after he saw a picture of my Karate Monkey in the picture thread. So I thought I would dig up one of the older threads pointing out some of the discussions and reports from riders using them. My report on the wheels is already in this thread and many others, but I can follow up with a few more observations and specifics about rider and wheel usage of the Mavic set that I have experienced since my previous posts.
I think it is important to continue to review the product and hear from others who are using various products with our 29" bikes. Our safety is at stake - and I personally have had and still have worries about the stability of the Mavic SpeedCity's. I had worries from the get go. I don't want to consider myself a champion of this wheelset at all, but rather trying to add to the discussion of whether or not the product is suitable for certain riders and their riding styles on the regular types of trails they encounter.
If anyone has had a SpeedCity wheel collapse, taco or fail on them - please do report it here and describe the situation, rider weight and give details to help others consider safety and stability issues. Was it bunny hopping off of picnic tables, crossing a boulder field, going over a log at full speed, during a race, on the road or general recreational trail riding, etc....? And it is important to point out that although there are riders using this wheelset for mountain biking - Mavic does not support that (at least I haven't heard of them supporting it). Same thing could be said about Avid and their disc brakes for use on a tandem, yet you can get tandems from various makers and companies with the Avid disc brakes (even though Avid is not supporting this type of use). So, caveat emptor...
As mentioned above, I bought my SpeedCity's at an LBS in Austria over a year ago to use with my Trek 8000 with the original intent of doing lots of road training (which I did) and doing some lighter trekking on fireroads and easier level singletrack (which I did). I paid the full garbanzo bean sack full price in Austria for these wheels at the time.
Why do I use them now on my Karate Monkey? Because I already owned the wheelset and it made economic sense for me to continue to use them provided they would work for the intended use I needed - even with all of the questions I had about them. Believe me, I thought about it and rode with some trepidation the first few months. In addition, I own and use Mavic 317's (32 hole mounted on my Trek 8000), Mavic 221's (36 hole mounted on my wife's Trek) and Mavic 517's (32 hole mounted on my commute bike at the moment). All were purchased while living overseas in Austria because Mavic products are so common place there (as are DT/Swiss) that it is hard to find anything else. (I've got my eye on those trekking DT Swiss 7.1's when they come out later this summer for a Sugar 293 build I'm doing - if I can last that long).
Do they really work offroad?
Yes, for me they have been working for the type of riding that I do.
I currently weigh 208 pounds (about 8 pounds over where I usually like to be and by end of summer I should be back to normal). Regardless, that weight puts me in the Clydesdale category. Somebody on another thread (I believe it was SoloWithOthers) had posted something about Mavic themselves having rated the SpeedCity's being able to handle up to a rider weight of 280. Don't know if that is fact or not and I cannot seem to find that thread at the moment.
Anyway, I have been using them for general XC riding since I built up my Karate Monkey last fall. Prior to that, as mentioned above, the wheelset saw some time on and off the road with narrower tires on my Trek 8000. I am not a racer, so when I say general XC use - it is usually just me with one of my dogs out for a recreational XC ride or my wife and I doing the same sort of ride. Although, most of the time I cannot seem to keep up with the 9 month old Labrador. I also am riding the KM rigid and for the most part ride in a technical fashion that is somewhat gentle on my equipment as well as my back. I read an article about some guy in Colorado who is in the Clydesdale class which touted the fact that in all the years of his riding and in spite of his size (230+) - he had never ridden in a manner that caused any equipment failure. That's not to say he is a conservative rider, but one who combines proper technique with good mental choices to enjoy his sport and take care of his equipment. If one rides with that type of skill and wisdom, I think that equipment should survive and serve one for many years. In addition to my more gentle on equipment riding, I seem to spend a heck of a lot of time riding in very muddy conditions. I couldn't get away from mud in Austria due to the amount of annual rainfall and I have not had one dry ride this entire year here in Iowa.
On a side note with regard to tires - these Bontrager 2.2 ACX's are acting like real champs in the mud. My wife has an old set of the 26" version of this tire (knobs spaced closer together) and rides in the same slop I do. Her wheels/rim brakes/frame are always jamming up with mud and mine are not due to the knobs not being so closely spaced together and of course using disc brakes.
In spite of my normal "gentle on the equipment" riding, in the past 2 weeks I have actually "tried" to test or rather destruct these wheels by riding with much more aggression making sure I don't miss a root or rock or trench or log or an interesting nook and cranny at full speed in my way just to see what kind of abuse these wheels can take. I've been cornering hard at much higher speeds than normal for me and exploring some limits with my equipment. I don't have the benefit of long and steep descents (such as I had in Austria), so somebody else will have to report on testing the limits of the SpeedCity at higher speeds than I am able to accomplish in the "mountains" of Iowa with the fatter tires. ;-) I did some high speed fireroad and pavement descents in Austria with this wheelset using Specialized 35mm width trekking tires and had no problems at all. Regardless, safety is of a major concern in this sport - even if it is a recreational or casual ride for the majority of us. I used to reach speeds in Austria on long fire roads or straighter sections of singletrack descents on a regular basis that certainly would have been life ending had I lost control or had equipment failure.
I had been having difficulties with thorns where I ride using the Bontrager 2.2 ACX's and the big WTB tube that is specific for our big wheeled bikes. Lots of patching and lots of searching for these iddy-biddy little thorns in the tire casing. It was driving me nuts (and now the plants with the really big thorns are out - the plants are currently about one to two feet tall next to the trails and each plant is sporting a handful of monster thorns). I recently bumped up my tire pressure from in the 30's to 40 psi + and have been having better luck with the smaller thorns (no flats yet, but watch me get one today after I make this post). Maybe it is just psychological, but the SpeedCity's seem less "flexy" with the higher psi as well. After failing to trash the wheels - I put them on a truing stand on Memorial Day and they are not a hair out of true. Not bad considering my 26" Mavic rims need occasional truing.
As far as I know and from reading their posts, Bigwheel (weighs 200), SoloWithOthers (weighs 225), 2mellow (weighs 160) and myself (weigh 208) have all spent at least some time on the Mavic SpeedCity's riding off road on various types of terrain and conditions. We all have various reports with regard to the SpeedCity wheelset, but in general I believe the comment from all of is that they do indeed work - within the boundaries of each individual rider. One of the arguments has been about the price being MSRP of around $400. Many have said that paying that much seems to not be the best fiscal choice considering other options available for wheels, but finding a pair in the $180 - $250 price range (in the classifieds or on eBay) probably is a more "responsible" purchase. (I didn't have that option where I lived when I bought the wheelset.) There may be other riders on this forum that can add their personal experience with the wheelset as well. Somebody mentioned that Airborne B-29's come direct from their website building option with SpeedCity's as the only wheelset option. Not that that is an endorsement, but since it was mentioned I thought I would repeat it. Does anybody no more about this? Is that the only wheelset they offer?
I don't know enough about hubs to compare the Mavis SpeedCity hubs with other choices. It seems that if one wanted a similar disc specific 700c wheelset at the economical price point of around $200 - one could have a set of Alex TD17 disc specific hubs built on XT disc hubs for a reasonable price as well. I believe those rims are around $30 - 33 each and XT disc hubs are around $80 - $100. Add in spokes, nipples, rim tape and the build at Speedgoat comes out to around $200. That set would weigh more than 1/2 pound more than the SpeedCity's, but it is a similar price point to picking up a set of the Mavic's on eBay or in the classifieds. I don't know enough about wheels to discuss how much benefit one would have in the 32 hole or 36 hole version of the Alex rim and how that would contribute to overall stiffness of the wheelset compared to the SpeedCity's. I also don't recall hearing any reports of how the Alex TD17 700c disc rim performs. Does anyone recall that?
In addition, Bontrager makes a Superstock 29" disc specific wheelset that is probably in the same quality category (weighs 2218 grams and uses 28 spokes), but I have no idea how much they cost, where to get them or what the reviews are on this wheelset:
As far as spoke count with the SpeedCity's (24), rim strength pros and cons of having fewer holes, rim width concerns, weight (1960 grams for the set), hubs and servicing - it leaves lots of room for discussion and consideration. The wheelset just happens to be one of the options available when considering a wheelset for your build and hopefully this summarizes the questions that I was asked in the email this morning. A good builder would be able to put together a nice set of wheels for you at various price points. Consulting with them on your weight, riding style and history of how you treat your equipment will yield some answers to what you may or may not have to spend. In other words, saving money just for the purpose of saving money for a component that is so closely tied to safety may not be the best choice if you have other options. But for the price you mentioned to me for getting a set of these wheels used - I don't think it is a bad decision as long as you know everything you can about the wheelset, what it was intended to be used for and a little history from those of us who are or have used them on our rigs.
Nice info, I don't have any personal experience with them, but as a side note I've noticed that Airborne uses them if you choose to buy something more than a frameset from them.
Not a regular
I rode SpeedCities for a while and they worked fine for me at 175 lbs. With the low price these seem to be selling at (guess M a v i c underestimated the Asphalt demand a bit), they are a very good deal. Stiffness issues aside, they only drawback is the narrowness - really designed for 28c type tyres. I ran them with 2.1 Nanos with nary a problem. I wouldn't choose them for the upcoming W T B tire though. In fact when I bought them, I talked to M a v i c and they hadn't thought of the possibility of using them with big tires.
Stiffness issue. This is something that has bothered me about M a v i c for a couple of years. They don't cross their spokes. If you look at the spoke pattern of the Cosmos wheel and SpeedCities, you'll notice that the spokes do not pass over/under the crossed spoke. I think that contributes to the flexy feel. With the advances in wheel technology, low spoke counts are very proven, but for an application like Speed Cities on a true 29 off road rig, crossed (especially for disc brakes) spokes are key.
Last edited by ssmike; 06-02-2004 at 08:43 PM.
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