By Paul Norman
Mavic first launched its Cosmic Ultimate wheelset in 2006. It’s had a few upgrades and racked up a string of pro victories since then, including a Giro overall win with Ryder Hesjedal in 2012.
Rim depth is 40mm and external rim width 26mm, internal 19mm, with a NACA aero rim profile. Mavic quotes a wheelset weight of 1310 grams.
The new design includes 20 moulded-in flat profile carbon spokes front and rear. They’re made in one piece across the width of the wheel, with each spoke connecting to the rim on either side of the hub. Mavic says that they’re twice as stiff and 35 per cent lighter than its previous design.
A clincher tyre exerts a significant inward pressure on the rim, reducing the spoke tension once the tyre is inflated. Mavic’s tests show that this effect is amplified with a tubeless tyre. So to compensate, it has developed a new spoke tensioning process to increased the spoke tension by around 10%.
Mavic has updated its rim profile, bead hook shape and internal rim cross-section to match tubeless-ready UST tyres. With the new bonded-on spokes, the rim bed is also void of spoke holes, so there’s no chance of leaks. The rear rim is asymmetric for more balanced spoke tension between the drive side and non-drive side.
Mavic has carried forward its iTgMAX braking tech from its Cosmic Pro Carbon UST wheels. This uses a laser to ablate the resin from the brake track to increase braking effectiveness. When we tested the Cosmic Pro Carbon UST wheelset, we reckoned it offered the best braking we’ve seen with carbon wheels.
Mavic has also made improvements to the Cosmic Ultimate’s hubs, with more compact front hub flanges and a carbon rear hub shell. It’s implemented its ID360 freehub for faster, 9o engagement and higher torsional stiffness and uses an extra-lightweight freehub body. There are Shimano/SRAM, Campagnolo and XD-R options.
As well as making the Cosmic Ultimate UST tubeless compatible, Mavic says that the new design is lighter, stiffer, more aero and more durable than its predecessor. Its aero testing indicates significant benefits against leading competitors, particularly at higher yaw angles.
New tyres and new brake pads
Mavic supplies the Cosmic Ultimate UST wheelset with its own Yksion Pro UST tyres in either 25mm or 28mm width. Weighing 260g for the 25mm and 290g for 28mm, Mavic says that they can be run with just 30g of sealant in each tyre. They use the 11Storm rubber compound also seen in Hutchinson’s latest tyres and retail for £52 apiece.
Mavic has also updated its brake pads, replacing its older yellow version with new grey ones. It claims improved wet and dry stopping distances – and no more yellow marks on the brake tracks. The pads have also been tested to make sure that they are kind to the brake tracks on your new wheels.
As you’d expect, all this tech doesn’t come cheap, with the Cosmic Ultimate wheels retailing at €3500 or $4250 a pair, including sealant, brake pads, wheel bags and titanium quick release skewers (UK prices TBC).
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