Mavic Crossmax XL
A few questions:
-Has anyone tried out the Crossmax XL and, if so, how do you like them?
-Is it possible to get just the rims? I was hoping to get just the 26" rim and build it around my DT Swiss hubs. Is the rim designed to require you to use their spokes/hubs?
-I was surprised to see that the rims are only 23mm ID. Given that the standard nowadays seems to be 25mm and getting wider, any idea why Mavic didn't go to 25mm+? Do they not see a benefit, or is there some design restriction?
-I have not ridden the Crossmax XL's, actually haven't seen a pair out in the wild, and only see them (or their close cousins the Enduros) in photos of Mavic sponsored Enduro World Series riders like Jerome Clementz, Anne-Caroline Chausson, and Fabian Barel. They don't seem to be holding these riders back though I presume they can get a new wheelset whenever they want.
-Mavic only sells their yellow rims in complete wheelsets with proprietary zircal spokes and hubs. You're stuck with the EN and EX series rims if you want to use your own spokes/hubs. In my experience proprietary spokes and hub parts are hard to source and often quite expensive. I always seem to come across somebody in Moab trying to find a proprietary Mavic part on their riding vacation.
-The reason I passed on Mavic's wheelsets along with all of my riding buddies was that 23mm width and the aforementioned proprietary part issue. Mavic is notoriously conservative and slow to react to market forces. In some cases that's a good thing as they pass on gimmicks, in some cases it's not so good. That's for you to decide. Mavic's official response to rim width questions is "wider rims are heavier" as well as a few discussions regarding yaw angles. There is no design restriction.
See if you can track down a pair of narrower rims to try and then a wider set from buddies. Only you can tell what you need given your riding style, terrain, weight, and setup. The fact that Mavic is specifically designing their own tires to with these wheelsets may mean they play nice together and perform well.
My suggestion would be to take internet wisdom with a truck load of salt and see what a hot lap on your favorite trail says.
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