Mavic Ksyrium SL Review

I have been using a pair of Mavic Ksyrium SL wheels for 3-4 years. They are a very good road clincher wheelset. Light, stiff and look very good on the bike.


The first thing about the wheels is that they look pretty impressive with shiny silver and flat spokes. A rarity amongst wheels, they will actually encourage you to clean them. Recent models come in black and silver, but they look just as good, if not better.

I have no problem with the wheels staying true. The wheels have stayed true despite having ridden over some rough surfaces. It is very strong.

For one season, I used these wheels in hill climb races. Going up hill they are pretty strong and rigid. For hill climbs, I later replaced by some even lighter weight tubular wheels and tubs. But, I used these Mavic Ksyrium’s as a backup because there performance is pretty good going up hills.

For the price, £700, they are not cheap, and you have quite a few alternatives (such as Campagnolo Bullet 50 carbon, Easton Carbon Clincher and Shimano Dura Ace models). But, I think these are a good upgrade for any keen road bike rider. They would make a good choice for long distance sportives. The combination of light weight for hills and strength will be good over longer distance.

The good news is these are relatively light weight wheels, but I know they support the weight of ‘heavier built riders’ I know a 95Kg rider who has had no problems riding the wheels over rough terain.

Why is it good to upgrade wheels.

Saving Weight on wheels is the best place of the bike to reduce weight. See: Importance of reducing weight on a bike


Unfortunately, after two years, I had problem with the bearings in the front wheel. I took it to be repaired two times, but the bike shops were unable to solve the problem. In the end I discarded the front wheel, which is not great when you consider the cost.  The rear wheel has done over 7,000 miles without problems. This winter it was on one of my winter training bike (I don’t advise using a Mavic Ksyrium SL for this purpose), but it came through the wet and salty conditions unscathed.

The problem with front wheel bearings would put me off re-buying the wheels, though I can’t find evidence this problem is endemic. Also, the front wheel had done a lot of miles before problem occurred.

A note on flat spoked wheels. They are possibly more aerodynamic, they look good. You might have to get special magnet fitter and replacements can be more difficult. Depending on how much money you want to spend, you can save more weight by getting the Mavic Ksyrium SLR or Cosmic Elite

Technical Specs of Mavic Ksyrium:

Mavic Ksyrium SL

  • Weight (pair of wheels): 1485 grams  – front wheel: 645 grams
  • Rims Material: Maxtal
  • Color: Double anodization, black rim, silver ISM
  • Height of rims: front 22 mm, rear 25 mm asymmetrical
  1. Spoke material: Zicra
  2. Shape: straight pull, bladed
  3. Color: black + 1 red
  4. Count: front 18, rear 20


  • Front: Carbon Fibre with aluminium flanges
  • Rear: Aluminium

Mavic Ksyrium SLR


Lighter weight, achieved with carbon fiber spokes on the non-drive side of wheel

  • Weight pair of wheels: 1400 grams. front wheel: 635 grams
  • (pair of wheels with tyre – WTS): 1990 grams
  • Rim Material: Maxtal
  • Rim Color: Exalith
  • Height: front 22 mm, rear 25 mm asymmetrical


  • Material: front and rear drive side Zicral, Rear non drive side carbon fiber
  • Shape: front straight pull bladed, rear drive side Tracomp, rear non drive side straight pull bladed
  • Color: nude carbon with black nipples and heads (rear non drive side) and black (front and rear drive side)
  • Nipples: integrated M7 aluminum with brake rings
  • Count: front 18, rear 20


  • Front: Carbon fibre with aluminium flange
  • Rear: Aluminium

 Ksyrium Elite


A cheaper version of the Ksyrium wheels with spokes of stainless steel rather than Zicral of the SL

  • Material: Maxtal
  • Color: Double anodization, black rim, silver ISM
  • Height: front 22 mm, rear 25 mm asymmetrical


  • Material: stainless steel
  • Shape: straight pull, bladed
  • Color: black
  • Nipples: integrated M7 aluminum with dry thread lock
  • Count: front 18, rear 20
  • Aluminium Hub
Weight (pair of wheels): 1550 grams
front wheel: 690 grams