• 07-18-2012
    lonefrontranger
    Mavic Crossmax SLR 29 vs. Crank Bros Cobalt 29 3
    hi and hope this is the correct forum. Looking for opinions on the various pros and cons of these 2 wheelsets (insights on 2013 tech would be particularly helpful)

    Mavic Crossmax SLR 29 vs. Crank Brothers Cobalt 29 3

    Application is for XC and light enduro racing in Colorado/New Mexico region; ~140 pound rider. Thanks, and I appreciate your help!
  • 07-18-2012
    mtnbiker72
    Both use a slew of proprietary rims, spokes, and nipples...break something and it might take a while to find a replacement.

    In that price range you could built a pretty bad a$$ hand built wheelset. Consider WTB i19 TCS rims with a sweet hubset like King, DT, Hadley along with light and strong Sapim CX Ray spokes.

    Now CX-Rays are not a common spoke but a standard spoke could be used in a pinch if you break a spoke. And they still use standard 12mm nipples.
  • 07-18-2012
    lonefrontranger
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mtnbiker72 View Post
    Both use a slew of proprietary rims, spokes, and nipples...break something and it might take a while to find a replacement.

    In that price range you could built a pretty bad a$$ hand built wheelset. Consider WTB i19 TCS rims with a sweet hubset like King, DT, Hadley along with light and strong Sapim CX Ray spokes.

    Now CX-Rays are not a common spoke but a standard spoke could be used in a pinch if you break a spoke. And they still use standard 12mm nipples.

    we have had 26er versions of both the Mavic and Crank Bros wheels for 3 years with no issues and no problem getting replacement parts. IMO the proprietary thing hasn't been the boon doggle it's reported to be; living in Boulder may offer somewhat of a distinct advantage as I'm acquainted with / ride and race with the product reps.

    Was asking for 2 reasons. First is that team support means getting the kit wheels at price point such that there's little value in considering other pathways. Second is that in our experience, handbuilt wheels haven't lived up to expectation in weight, stiffness, reliability. It depends on the builder but there again we're operating against diminishing returns.

    Thanks for your input, but I'd prefer to compare the merits of the 2 listed sets in a 1:1 comparison to help facilitate an either/or decision - I am sorry I did not make this clearer in the OP as I was trying to be concise.

    I have no experience with 29" versions of this (or any) technology, and was wondering if comparable quality had been maintained. I had heard rumors of concerns with flex in the Mavic prototypes when adapting to the larger form factor but don't know if they've solved it. Was hoping maybe others on the board had direct experience with either model as reviews for either are sparse to non existent.

    Cheers, lfr.
  • 07-19-2012
    spookyload
    I have Cobalts on a FS bike, and Crossmax ST on my hard tail. Both wheels are rock solid under my 195# body. Haven't trued either wheel set. It never takes long for someone to toss the custom is better because it can be fixed argument. It actually happened faster than it does on Roadbikereview.com and that is shocking. The benefit I see from the Crossmax are they are UST. The Cobalts have never let me down, but Mavic is Mavic. Customer support is much better from Crank Brothers if that is a discriminator.
  • 07-20-2012
    lonefrontranger
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by spookyload View Post
    I have Cobalts on a FS bike, and Crossmax ST on my hard tail. Both wheels are rock solid under my 195# body. Haven't trued either wheel set. It never takes long for someone to toss the custom is better because it can be fixed argument. It actually happened faster than it does on Roadbikereview.com and that is shocking. The benefit I see from the Crossmax are they are UST. The Cobalts have never let me down, but Mavic is Mavic. Customer support is much better from Crank Brothers if that is a discriminator.

    Thanks spooky, I appreciate the info. Our past experience with Crank Bros (pedals) has also been excellent, so I think all other things being relatively similar that will be the driver for going with Cobalts.

    Roger on the RBR comparison. I've lurked around here for over a decade and I've always noticed that regardless how carefully you try to frame a discussion it's a much more hostile community compared to RBR. I'm not sure what makes it so, but it seems culturally engrained. It's all good tho, I've nothing invested here either way. Next time I see ya in the Lownge I'll toss some beets and/or a corgi your way :)
  • 07-20-2012
    mtnbiker72
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lonefrontranger View Post
    Roger on the RBR comparison. I've lurked around here for over a decade and I've always noticed that regardless how carefully you try to frame a discussion it's a much more hostile community compared to RBR. I'm not sure what makes it so, but it seems culturally engrained. It's all good tho, I've nothing invested here either way. Next time I see ya in the Lownge I'll toss some beets and/or a corgi your way :)

    So making an alternative suggestion was hostile...:skep:
  • 07-20-2012
    lonefrontranger
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mtnbiker72 View Post
    So making an alternative suggestion was hostile...:skep:

    no, anon neg repping my post and calling it a bunch of ********e in the tagline was hostile. Not saying that was you, mind.
  • 09-20-2012
    rideronthestorm
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lonefrontranger View Post
    no, anon neg repping my post and calling it a bunch of ********e in the tagline was hostile. Not saying that was you, mind.

    Just wondering what set you went with. I'm in the same boat as you now. Thanks.
  • 09-22-2012
    kevinrod1983
    i recently bought the crossmax slr wheels and i must say that they are the sweetest wheels i've ridden. they are super stiff and lightweight. i giant change from my dt swiss wheelset that came on my 12' scott scale 29 pro. i'm loving them and have no complains. unless u want a smooth ride... these are racing wheels, if you want comfy then buy the st model. well worth the grand sticker price.
  • 09-22-2012
    Jaymorr
    I would not hesitate to buy the 2013 Mavics now that they have adopted their its-4 hub. The knock on the older SLR &ST wheelsets was the nylon bushing and 2 pawl system which has ben upgraded to the new hub. Mavic's rims and spokes are nails. The crossmax rim is the only rim I've never dented. Good luck. J
  • 09-26-2012
    twenty6black
    The MAVIC crossmaxx 29er - in development for 3 years, 3rd place at the Olympics...They are strong, and hopefully improved the rear hub. UST, use them tubeless. Big bearings for super smooth rolling - especially when Zero ceramic bearings are installed.

    I will be getting a set this fall....for sure.
  • 10-18-2012
    rideronthestorm
    Hi, just picked up a set of Crossmax SLR 29 wheels. They look great but the rear hub when spun really makes a loud clicking noise, like it hasn't been lubed. I would have a expected the noise from a hub that has hundreds of miles on it but not one that's new out of the box. Before I take a part the freehub to check that the pawls have been lubed, can anyone tell me who owns this wheelset if this is what you experienced when they first received them? It's been while since my last set of Mavic wheels and I can't remember how loud they sounded.
  • 10-18-2012
    scalpel226
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rideronthestorm View Post
    Hi, just picked up a set of Crossmax SLR 29 wheels. They look great but the rear hub when spun really makes a loud clicking noise, like it hasn't been lubed. I would have a expected the noise from a hub that has hundreds of miles on it but not one that's new out of the box. Before I take a part the freehub to check that the pawls have been lubed, can anyone tell me who owns this wheelset if this is what you experienced when they first received them? It's been while since my last set of Mavic wheels and I can't remember how loud they sounded.

    The new ITS-4 hub has 4 pawls design and working 2 by 2, that's why they are much louder than the old SLR. However, the new rear hub design has side to side play on 26 SLR, does it happen on the 29 model?
  • 10-18-2012
    One Pivot
    Maybe a different argument than the usual.. but I dont know about you guys, but I like new wheels. I like new wheels maybe every year.

    100-150 bucks gets me a new set of hoops and spokes, and im off rolling again on something different. Good old 32 spoke standard hubs lets this happen. Sometimes ill trash a rim, and ~50 bucks and a weekend gets me back riding. Ive tried narrow, wide, stiff, not so stiff... ive had all kinds of wheels and rims and ive loved it. I do the same on my road bike, something gets new wheels every year.

    The idea of being trapped into a super expensive, proprietary wheelset that I cant change turns me off. Im not about to buy a 800 dollar set of wheels to get bored with and sell for a massive loss. Im also not likely to ride those 800 dollar wheels until they break.

    I dont think this is too unusual of a position. A LOT of people change up gear frequently. Its more fun when its affordable and something new is a minor hit on the wallet. A good hub will last you years, it gives some flexibility too.
  • 10-19-2012
    jadis3
    I have seen that Mavic race rims were very narrow inside.. are they still?
  • 10-19-2012
    rideronthestorm
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by scalpel226 View Post
    The new ITS-4 hub has 4 pawls design and working 2 by 2, that's why they are much louder than the old SLR. However, the new rear hub design has side to side play on 26 SLR, does it happen on the 29 model?

    That would explain it. The noise is fine with me, I just wanted to make sure that it was normal. Out of the box my rear wheel (29'er) doesn't have any play in it. I'm finishing up my build tonight and should be ready to roll this weekend. I'll let you know what play does develop.
  • 10-19-2012
    rideronthestorm
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jadis3 View Post
    I have seen that Mavic race rims were very narrow inside.. are they still?

    Not sure about other wheelsets, but the SLR rims are now wider at 19mm. I believe it was 17mm in previous models.
  • 10-21-2012
    scalpel226
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rideronthestorm View Post
    That would explain it. The noise is fine with me, I just wanted to make sure that it was normal. Out of the box my rear wheel (29'er) doesn't have any play in it. I'm finishing up my build tonight and should be ready to roll this weekend. I'll let you know what play does develop.

    Yeah! Thanks mate!:thumbsup:
  • 01-15-2013
    danmack1
    Crossmax SLR 29
    The rim on the Crossmax SLR 29 is still too tall & narrow along with the fact that tires do not stay mounted on these rims. I'm fairly light (175) run tubeless ready Schwalbe tires (and Yes I know these rims are UST) 25lb of pressure and the tires continually burp. Never had this problem with Stan's Rims
  • 01-16-2013
    rideronthestorm
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by scalpel226 View Post
    Yeah! Thanks mate!:thumbsup:

    I've riding these wheels for the last 3 months on the weekends. There is a little play in the hubs but nothing that concerns me or harms my riding. Wheels are light and fast. Engagement is quick. I'm running Specialized S-Works Ground Control tires and they've been great. They fit nicely on the rim. I added some Stan's and there's been no burping or signs of it coming unseated. They can hold air for quite a while. Nice set of wheels and the fact they come with hub adaptors for various hub configurations is a big bonus.
  • 01-16-2013
    Stumpjumpy
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by danmack1 View Post
    The rim on the Crossmax SLR 29 is still too tall & narrow along with the fact that tires do not stay mounted on these rims. I'm fairly light (175) run tubeless ready Schwalbe tires (and Yes I know these rims are UST) 25lb of pressure and the tires continually burp. Never had this problem with Stan's Rims

    Over the course of a year, I have never had a problem with 25 psi Schwalbe TL-ready tires (rons, ralphs and nics) burping on my 26" SLR's. I weigh 215. Maybe you have a defective tire?
  • 01-18-2013
    MarkMass
    My opinions on the Mavic Crossmax. I have/had 2 sets of Crossmax UST (disc & ceramic rim) and another set of the SLRs. All were 26".

    - Mavic wheels are strong and spin fast. I've only had to true my rear once after a few days at Moab. Maintenance is easy, so long as you can get spare parts.

    - I dented a rear rim at Butcher on Downieville. It was easy enough to straighten out with an adjustable wrench and it was fine after that. I swapped rear tubless tires and it held air.

    - I'm about 170lbs and I've had two crashes after my front (UST disc, SLR) burped after landing from a jump. Both times were on Conti Vertical Pro UST tires.

    - Mavic doesn't give a **** about their customers. I tried getting new replacement pawls for my Crossmax and wound up waiting over 1 month because Mavic couldn't be bothered to return calls from my LBS. I went to another bike shop and practically cleaned them out of Mavic spare parts because I didn't want to get stuck again. I won't be buying anything from Mavic ever again. FYI -- Over the past two years I bought Shimano XTR Race and Reynolds Carbon AM wheelsets. I'm currently I'm looking for another set of wheels and it won't be anything with Mavic (not even their rims).
  • 01-18-2013
    2fargon
    Running the Cobalt 3's and love em. Not sure if it's still going on but crankbros was recently running a deal where you send them any wheelset and get a set of Cobalt 3's for $600. Crankbros customer service is second to none
  • 03-04-2013
    SprSonik
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lonefrontranger View Post
    hi and hope this is the correct forum. Looking for opinions on the various pros and cons of these 2 wheelsets (insights on 2013 tech would be particularly helpful)

    Mavic Crossmax SLR 29 vs. Crank Brothers Cobalt 29 3

    Application is for XC and light enduro racing in Colorado/New Mexico region; ~140 pound rider. Thanks, and I appreciate your help!

    200lbs+ in gear, and I have ZERO issues with my 29 SLRs. Taken them down some nasty terrain on my Superfly HT and they held up AWESOME! They roll fast, track well, and do everything I would ask out of a $1000 wheelset (though I didn't pay anywhere near that). I like them so much that I will likely put the 26SLRs on my Fuel.
  • 06-12-2013
    daviiaco
    I have owned Cobalt 3 29ers for more than 2 years on a Pivot Mach 429, I've bern riding them hard, bent the front wheel on a crash entering the curve and my first experience with their customer service was awsome, sent them the wheel they replaced the rim for a really small cost and sent it back to me. After 2 years I sent the rear wheel for hub service which they did free of charge. I broke a spoke recently and call them and they instructed me how to buy a spoke kit from their website requesting the right color. Their customer service is the best out there, hands down. Yes I have had down time every time I do this (about a week, living on the east coast) but they don't charge you shipping when they return your wheels and having the confidence of Crankbrothers backing up their products, is worth the price.