Race Wheels. To Roll, or not to Roll

Mavic Cosmic Carbon Pro UST Wheelset Review by John Churchill

I have been riding the same frame since the fall of 2016 and the bike was starting to really feel old and tired. This spring I decided that I would refresh it with a nice carbon wheel set from Mavic. Wheels make the biggest difference to the way a bike rides, and this upgrade was no exception. The first ride out on the new wheels I headed out on a usual loop that I will ride and the wheels felt smooth and comfortable on the road and I could feel them holding their speed much better then the stock wheels on my bike. The next ride I did was a 130 km ride I usually do every year and I compared my time to previous years to see that my power was lower over the ride and I spent about 30 min less time out there. Part of that time difference is also all the work I have done on my position over the winter, but the wheels definitely helped.

I went with the Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon UST. They are a 40mm deep rim with a slightly wider rim width then a traditional rim. I am running the 25mm tires tubeless with the Mavic supplied sealant in them. Tires come mounted and seated into the rim so it was just a matter of adding the sealant though the valve stem and pumping the tires up with a regular floor pump. I was never a fan of the Mavic hubs in the past but they have since changed to the new instant drive 360 free hub which is much more solid with quick engagement and I feel much more confident in the system.

Two things made a big difference with these wheels; first is the tubeless tire system. Coming from mountain bikes I am very comfortable working with tubeless. On the road side of things it is a little messier to change the tires due to the smaller volume in the tire so the sealant will spill out a little easier when dismounting the tire from the rim. However, the benefits of both increased comfort and increased grip by running a lower pressure is amazing. I can run about 80psi in both tires without the chance of flatting, I haven’t pushed the pressure down lower yet but that is something I am going to try in the next few weeks.

The second difference is the aerodynamics of the wheels. It’s been known for a long time that the deeper dish wheels are faster, but they use to be a little harder to handle in cross winds. Mavic has solved that problem with these wheels and the shape of the rim. Cross winds don’t affect the bike but all the aero benefits are there.

Now my bike is fresh and new and I look forward to riding it out on the road every chance I get again.