The Mavic Crossmax ST wheel set is a popular choice for high end wheelset for our Mountain Bike. After more than 3 saisons with them, this is a quick long term review.
I ride with this wheelset mainly in the Var region, in Provence, France. My type of riding is more Enduro but without long downhill run in the mountains and almost never mud or wet conditions.
Weight: no doubt, it’s light: less than 1700g for the wheelset.
Rim strenght: Not too bad overall in light Enduro use. I didn’t have any trouble with the rims.
Spokes: In average I broke 2 spokes a year minimum at the rear. Nor complicate or expensive to change but quite annoying.
Hubs: The rear hub is the main problem on the wheelset. I had a lot of trouble through 3 years with the rear hub like:
Overall, Mavic sell it’s wheelset for an expensive price and honnestly I never had so many problems with my wheelset before. On Hope hubs, the maintenance is reduce to bearing change sometimes and that’s pretty it. I never experienced so many problems with the freewheel and I never cracked in two a hub.
Even if a Hope wheelset is a little bit heavier than the mavic, it’s cheaper and stronger: a better deal overall without questions.
It’s too bad because Mavic is doing quite good rims. But now the Mavic marketing is all about wheelset: it’s nearly impossible to find any rim alone in 27.5 diametre for example.
After 5 month of riding in the Provence Enduro backyard in the south east of france, I’m writting a long term review of the Onza IBEX DH FRC RC2 55a tire.In my first review, this tire convinced me a lot. 5 months later and 1000 Kms later, this first impression is confirmed. This tire was good all winter long. Of course it’s not a mud tire per say, but for the typical south of France winter condition, the tire is quite good. The mud doesn’t pack too much between the knobs and the tire is just perfect for an Enduro use in the rocky Var area.
The puncture resistance of this tire is quite excellent (the tire weight 820g in 26 inches and 2.4). I didn’t experience any snake bites during the 5 month period depiste the fact that it’s full of sharp rocks around here. I run the tire in tubeless with 1.7 bars at the rear. I just had two small puncture with spikes but everytime the sealant did the job and I never had to put a tube in the tire.
The traction and the grip in the corner is very good and doesn’t fade away too much with time.
The tire doesn’t wear out very quickly but the bst thing is the worn out is very uniform. I didn’t rip any side know and the only sign of wearing out is the size of the knob reducing. After more than 1000 Kms of rocky trails and a lot of vertical, the durability is good for the traction and grop the tire gives.
Overall this tire convinced me a lot, I ordered another one for replacement online during a special sale on Cycles Direct Tires.
The only problem with this point is the avaibility in stores. It can be quite hard to find it in the right size, the right casing and the right rubber, especially in 650B.
Trailforks just added a new feature to their webste: the route planner. It’s now possible create a route in two ways. Manually by selecting all the trail or segment you want to use of by uploading a GPS file to publish a route for others users.
Check it out here http://www.trailforks.com/contribute/route
March 8th 2015 the meeting point was set on the Malmont Hill in Draguignan, Var, France for an enduro ride with the VTT Dracenie group and some other riders from other parts of the Var department.
On the agenda today, first we started with “les epingles” a switchback paradise, then training on rolling rocking steps on the “Marcassin” trail, work on your acceleration capabilities on the “Tunis express”, train on the technical rock section in the “T-Rex” trail, enjoy the nice berms on the Bip-Bip and re train again on the technical rock section and mini drops on the “Black River” trail.
Despite a fex crash for some riders (without any injuries), everybody enjoy the day of riding under the spring sunshine.
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For the Trail of day on Provence Enduro is a brand new trail create by Serge last december and still in process of improvement, the T-Rex.
The trail start almost at the end of the Upper Taique trail and arrive on the Vallon de Cassade access road. 600m long for 70m of descent. The first start of the trail is climbing a littble bit before accessing to the fun part of the trail.
The trail is very technical and low speed. It’s a succession of rocks, rock face, off camber section and tight switchbacks. On the last part of the trail, it’s a little bit more faster with some technical rock face and steps to ride. Right now the trail is still on a working progress with some modification scheduled on the top section to add more flow.
In some way, this kind of technical terrain reminds me some technical and low speed trail on the North Shore in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
On wet conditions, the trail is a lot more challenging with all the off camber slippery rocks. Despite that, the trail is never dangerous and it’s a very good trail to increase your speed on technical rocky sections and tight switchbacks.