At A Glance
Wheels are one of the best upgrades you can do to any bike and Mavic have long been at the forefront of that technology. In recent years we’ve seen more and more carbon in this area, and indeed Mavic have started to explore this route too. However, when you look at the comparable weights, you can’t go too far wrong with the excellent Deemax Pro wheelset.Buy Wheels on
Full alloy construction with the classic beefy straight-pull Zicral spokes that make them stand out so much what they lose in stiffness to a carbon rim they more than make up for when it comes to the price tag. Available in a wealth of fittings with SRAM XD and Shimano freehub options, boost spacing and 27.5 there should be something to suit the most demanding of enduro riders.
The rims can handle 1.75 to 3.0” tyres on the front, and 2.0 to 3.0” tyres on there rear, bringing them up to date but not outlandishly so with a 28mm internal width front rim and 25mm rear. They’re tubeless ready as standard too, the Fore drilling technique meaning there are no through holes, just use the supplied valve and your favourite sealant and your good to go.
The hubs feature double sealed cartridge bearings to keep you rolling while ensuring mud and grime don’t ruin your ride and the ITS-4 freehub features four pawls and engagement at 7.5-degree intervals, in layman’s terms, that’s a lot.
These are the wheels you’ll frequently see on top of the EWS podium, and it’s easy to see why, they’re light, fast and laterally stiff.
On The Trail
Mavic have put a lot of effort into this new wheelset; it’s worth noting there are three versions. The DH version is certified for gravity riding and is a little beefier than the Pro version we have here. It is missing the light, hollow Zicral spokes and both the rims have an internal 28mm width, the focus on that wheelset was strength rather than weight and strength. There is also an E-Deemax Pro which is built to withstand the rigours of e-MTB’s if that floats your boat.
The Deemax Pro is light, and as such it’s worth a nod to the fact the max rider and bike weight is 120kg, and they aren’t rated for drops over 1.2m. If that shies you away get the DH versions and be safe in the knowledge, they are virtually indestructible. That said we’ve done our best to give the Deemax Pro a seriously hard time and they are still running true. We come in quite a bit under the 120kg limit though.
Mavic kept these wheels as Alloy as they wanted them to provide compliance to help deal with trail chatter. Laterally they are exceedingly stiff with optimised rim shaping combining with those oh so stiff Zicral spokes and the way they are laced to create a truly stiff wheelset. Hit square edges though, and they will give a little to create a smoother faster rider.
Hit square edges we did indeed when we first took them out in Les Arcs chasing down some of the uber-technical off-piste trails. We were impressed by not only the ride but the feel of the wheels, easily done when you swap them for some fairly stock offerings, but even so, they added some much-appreciated confidence to our riding.
Another area Mavic spent a lot of time on is the rim width. If you’re a numbers person, you could take one look and write off the 28mm and 25mm as being too thin by today's standards. However Mavic found the thinner rear diameter created less of a tyre patch which improved rolling resistance massively, and that’s to be welcomed when you are powering your bike with your legs.
The hub and engagement is excellent; it’s direct and dynamic and rolls and rolls and rolls. After a few days in the bike park on stock wheels, we found our braking zones had to be adjusted once we fitted the Deemax Pro, the bike was rolling faster into corners and developing more of their own speed. Strava times came down, and it was actually shockingly noticeable. Perhaps that’s more of a comment on the stock OEM hubs that came with the test bike, but they weren’t exactly awful and came from a well-respected brand too.
Line choices are easy when you have confidence in your front end, and the Deemax Pro certainly fill you with that, we were charging through rough off piste rock gardens without a care in the world, and the wheels never deviated from where we intended them to go. Even when we blindly ploughed them into a huge rock on the trail, they came back smelling of roses, which was more than could be said for our wrists.
There is a big push towards carbon rims these days, but as Sam Hill just proved at the EWS Mavic know a thing or two about making great wheels. The weight difference is negligible compared to carbon, and we think these are just about the lightest alloy wheelset available at the moment. Couple that with stiffness in the right places, incredible engagement and ridiculously good rolling abilities and it’s a compelling wheelset.
This review was in Issue 50 of IMB.For more information visit Mavic
By Rou ChaterRou Chater is the Publishing Editor of IMB Magazine; he’s a jack-of-all-trades and master of none, but his passion for bikes knows no bounds. His first mountain bike was a Trek 820, which he bought in 1990. It didn’t take him long to earn himself a trip to the hospital on it, and he’s never looked back since. These days he’s keeping it rubber side down, riding locally and overseas as much as possible.