By Paul Norman
Mavic has extended its gravel wheel-tyre systems to include four new wheelsets. It prefers to call its range “Allroad” rather than gravel, as it aims to provide good performance on tarmac and other surfaces, not just on gravel.
Allroad Pro UST
Top of the tree is the new Allroad Pro UST wheelset, which replaces the older Ksyrium Pro Allroad launched in 2015. The new wheelset has a 22mm internal width rim with a hookless bead, for easier sealing of tubeless tyres. Mavic says that the set weighs 1610g.
Mavic has ploughed all its alloy wheel tech into the Allroad Pro UST, including its Fore rim drilling. The rim has threaded spoke holes, into which Mavic screws its lightest Zicral spokes. The construction means that the rim bed is unpierced, so there’s no taping needed to seal tubeless tyres. It also leads to a very robust rim. Mavic uses 4D ISM to reduce material between spoke holes and so weight; it says that this is a key factor in achieving a responsive ride feel.
Mavic has also worked on its hubs. They are straight-pull with carbon fibre shells and designed to work with all axle standards: 12mm and 15mm thru-axles as well as quick releases. The freewheel uses the Instant Drive 360 ratchet system with 9 degree engagement. The cassette body can be easily removed without tools to swap between Shimano/SRAM 11-speed and SRAM XD. Mavic has switched to Centerlock only for the rotors on the new wheels. Price is £859 per pair, including tyres.
New Allroad tyres
Mavic supplies its wheels with its own Yksion Allroad UST tyres in 30mm, 35mm or 40mm “XL” width. The 40mm XL has a tread pattern with deep side grooves but a smoother crown, designed to roll well on road as well as deal with non-bonded and wet surfaces. It can be bought separately for £52 a tyre. Weight is 450g.
The 30mm and 35mm tyres are lighter and designed to be faster, with a less aggressive tread. You can get tan sidewalls with the 35mm version if they catch your fancy. the 30mm tyre weighs 330g and the 35mm 395g. Price is also £52 each.
With tyre pressure being a key determinant of off-road performance, Mavic has the MyMavic app, which allows you to dial in your tyre characteristics and the conditions where you are riding, to get a recommendation of how much air to pump into your tyres.
Allroad Elite UST wheelset
Next down is the Allroad Elite UST. This uses the same rim as the Allroad Pro with an alloy hub rather than part-carbon and swaps out the Zicral spokes for steel. Price is £659 a pair, with Mavic quoting a weight of 1720g. If you like the sound of brake blocks grinding your rims, there’s a rim brake option priced at £615 and weighing 1590g, sold alongside the disc brake wheels.
Both the Allroad Pro and Allroad Elite wheelsets are immediately available.
Allroad Elite Road+ 650B wheelset
Shipping in July, the Allroad Elite Road+ is Mavic’s first 650B road wheelset. It comes with steel spokes and a 25mm internal rim width. Unlike the wheels above, it doesn’t use Fore drilling, but has a conventional pierced and taped rim and uses steel spokes. Mavic says that this construction results in a more compliant ride, which helps keep the smaller diameter wheels comfortable. Mavic sells the wheels unshod, so you can choose your preferred 650B tyres. Weight is 1740g and price £629.
Finally, there’s the entry-level Allroad UST. Mavic uses a sleeve jointed rim, unlike the other wheelsets’ welded rims. The Allroad UST wheelset uses round steel spokes, weighs 1890g and will sell for £225 without tyres.
Riding the Allroad Pro UST wheels
Cycling Weekly was at the Allroad launch event in Southern France, when we rolled out on the new wheels. Mavic has certainly put its considerable expertise behind its Allroad wheels and its new clothing range.
Over two days, we covered over 90 miles on a mix of surfaces including gravel roads, singletrack and some tarmac. We headed out from Perpignan into the Pyrenean foothills, spending the night at a refuge at the foot of Mont Canigou, before returning to the city.
The first day was warm and the trails were mostly dry. The 40mm Allroad XL tyres were really good for the conditions, providing plenty of grip and shock adsorption on the gritty off road surfaces. They also rolled fast on tarmac, without the hum which off-road tyres often produce. Mavic’s Allroad Pro UST wheelset felt lively too, with good power transfer and acceleration and plenty of grunt when climbing.
Here's a video (with some French commentary) following the launch route
Overnight it rained. And rained. On the return trip, there were some very muddy sections on the trails. The Allroad XL tyres didn’t fare so well on these, tending to clog and lose traction. In these conditions, more like UK winter off-road, a tyre with a more aggressive tread would definitely be an asset. The tyres cleared reasonably quickly once on firmer terrain though, and they were fine on wet gravel.
Despite some very rough terrain, a group of around 20 riders only suffered one puncture during the trip which needed an inner tube to be swapped in, indicating the effectiveness of Mavic’s UST tubeless technology.
We really liked the Allroad Pro UST wheelset. But no tyre will perform well in all conditions, and it would be sensible to budget for tyres to deal with muddier conditions if you’re riding in the UK.
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