Mavic claimed its R-SYS wheels represented the next generation for wheel technology. We were the first to ride the R-SYS last summer, scoring them 10/10. Following a winter of riding do we still rate them?
To recap, R-SYS use tubular carbon spokes, resisting both tension and compression forces, theoretically giving the wheel superior lateral rigidity. In reality the wheels are impressively stiff for the 1,355g weight, only matched by more expensive deep-section wheels.
Up front a small amount of lateral flex is attributed to the tiny front axle and gives rise to an occasional creak when heavily loaded. That said, they have stayed the course so far and are still smooth-running. The rear wheel continues to use aluminium spoking on the drive side, helping longevity in the event of chain or mech damage, but it means the gains in stiffness are smaller.
Mavic claims improved rider comfort with the R-SYS design too, but we think this is not the case; the R-SYS were as harsh, if not harsher, than the Ksyrium ES. Our concerns over the carbon spokes? fragility are forgotten, though. We have not experienced any problems with wear or damage, and have suffered no failures or even needed to true them. Ride feel and logic suggests the spokes aren?t as aero as narrow gauge versions but Mavic disputes this.
Sitting at a difficult price point, they are not significantly superior to the ES to make them our first choice for everyday wheels, nor are they special enough just to be kept for best.