For 2009, Mavic introduces a wheel halfway in between their high-zoot, tubular only Cosmic Carbone Ultimate and the Cosmic Carbone SL. Like the SL, the new Cosmic Carbone SLR uses a similar aluminium rim (though revised and 20grs lighter than 2008) with the same carbon fairing for a 52mm profile. But the trick is the new carbon spokes and special hub that more closely resembles the Cosmic Carbone Ultimate.
Both wheels appear to be 20-spoke, cross x1 structures with wide bladed carbon spokes. Ah, but looks are deceiving. That’s because each spoke connects with a nipple at the rim, runs through the hub flange, and continues on to the opposite side of the rim. A plastic disc covers the outboard flange of the hub, hiding the central anchor point from the wind. But the uni-directional carbon fibres run all the way through. The wheel is true-able and the spokes seem to be replaceable. Mavic reasons that the continuous spoke reduces the number of composite spoke ends, which are potential weak areas.
So, the amusing part is that each wheel is actually 10 spokes with 20 nipples, laced cross x4.
But seriously, the bladed carbon spokes are said to be more aerodynamic than the previous steel spokes from the Carbone SL, and the SLR will weigh 270 gr less than the 2008 SL (245gr less than the 2009). But like the SL, the SLR’s tough carbon/aluminium-bonded rim is both more impact-resistant and more predictable during braking than full carbon rims such as the Carbon Ultimate. Additionally, the SLR is clincher compatible.
Internally, the hub uses the same FTS-L cassette body and QRM+ bearing system common to Mavic other high-end road wheels. It’s the only hub design that I actually smile while working on…ah, so simply, yet elegant.
Pricing is to be announced soon.