Mavic Ksyrium Elite WTS Wheelset - Clincher

The gold standard, improved.

The Mavic Ksyrium line has one of the most stellar reputations in the wheel industry for producing bombproof and multi-faceted wheelsets that can tackle almost any road riding or racing situation. The Mavic Ksyrium Elite WTS Clincher Wheelset has improved on this legacy with a redesign to better accommodate the shifting trend towards wider road tires while still maintaining its legendary versatility and durability.

The big news for this Ksyrium is a widened internal rim width, up to 17mm from the 15mm of previous Ksyriums — which may sound tiny, but it's a huge difference when you move from a 23mm to a 25mm tire. For both 23mm and 25mm tires, the wider rim makes for less of a bulging "light bulb effect" than a narrower rim with the same size tire, because the tire beads are able to sit at a wider stance on the rim. Combining less sidewall bulge with more air volume due to that wider stance translates to more stability when cornering and a reduced chance of pinch flats getting in the way of your ride time than wheels with narrower rims.

While the trend towards using 25mm tires opens up doors for all sorts of math puns related to composite rims and numbers, it also serves a real purpose to positively impact ride quality. The wider tire reduces rolling resistance by as much as 13% when compared to a 23mm tire at the same tire pressure — so more power gets allocated to forward speed instead of fighting friction with the pavement. Wider tires also give riders a comfier ride by running a lower tire pressure. At 20psi lower, a 25mm tire will have the same rolling resistance and a much more forgiving road feel than a 23mm tire. With this in mind, Mavic pairs 25mm tires with each Ksyrium Elite wheelset.

Along with the wider rim, Mavic utilizes its Inter Spoke Milling 4 Dimensions (ISM 4D) process to create the classic Ksyrium rim shape, which is milled between each spoke. This process serves to reduce rim weight and lower the rotating mass of the wheel for better responsiveness and acceleration than non-milled rims — all without sacrificing any wheel strength. So whether you're battling cars off the line at a stoplight or going for the holeshot in a local criterium, these wheels are designed to jump up to speed fast.

The Ksyrium Elite redesign also brings updates to the aesthetics of the wheelset. For 2015, Mavic uses a combination of glossy and matte finishes for contrast and gives riders new options to add some flair to their ride. In addition to standard all-black, riders can choose black with blue hubs and spoke nipples or black with red hubs and spoke nipples. The general consensus around the Competitive office is that these colors are a subtle nod to Mavic's groundbreaking Helium wheelset from the mid-'90s, which took the cycling world by storm with its distinctive red hubs and rims. The ultralight Helium was the precursor to the original Ksyrium and set the tone for future Mavic wheels by excelling in everything from long climbs to technical downtown criteriums.

To round out the wheelset, Mavic includes 25mm Yksion Pro tires, billed as Mavic's solution for optimizing the interface between wheel, tire, and road. The Yksion Pro Griplink on the front wheel utilizes a soft, sticky compound, a tread pattern designed to cut through water, and Kevlar reinforcement for a solid, grippy road feel with extra flat protection. For the rear wheel, the Yksion Pro Powerlink utilizes nylon reinforced casing and a slightly harder compound than the Pro Griplink. The rear tire's tread pattern is designed to increase rolling efficiency while still maintaining a supple road feel. Paired together, the Mavic Ksyrium Elite WTS Wheelset and Yksion Pro tires will tear through almost any type of road ride with ease.

  • Reviews
  • Q & A

Smooth as butter

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

First off, Backcountry is my go-to site for pretty much all my gear (on and off the bike), and I received these wheels super quickly. They were packaged extremely well and were razor straight out of the box.

I needed to upgrade to a new wheelset due to the fact my 'old' set kept going out of true. I'd been waiting for the Ksyrium Elites to go on sale and was able to snag these beauties for a great price. Once I threw some new tires on (Michelin Power Competition) and mounted them to my Cannondale SuperSix, I was ready to hit the roads. As a footnote, I inflated my tires to about 105 psi, as I like the firmness of the ride (Mavic says you can go well below that, but is a matter of preference).

The wheels noticeably spun up much faster than my previous Shimano wheels and were smooth as could be, both on the flats and the hills. Climbing was a breeze and when cranking the watts on the flats, these guys held their own and kept me moving effortlessly. Not only do they look (and quite honestly, sound great!), they fit my Cannondale frame super well, despite being a wider wheel. I've done a few races on them recently and I haven't experienced anything better in the many years of my riding.

if you're looking for a killer, reliable, and fast wheelset that'll give your bike that bad ass feel and sound, get them. I love them!

Beautiful quality

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

After ordering these wheels from Back Country, they arrived a few days later, I was extremely impressed with the packaging and the quality of these wheels. I have a two tone Cannondale CAAD 10 with Orange trim, so I got the white hubs on these mavics. Was I ever impressed wth how they really accented the bike. The most noticeable thing, other than the cosmetics, is the size of the hubs, compared to a pair of Aksiums these are replacing, the hubs are big. I also love the interlacing of the rear wheel on the nonfreewheel side, giving this structure a lot of support and strength! The spoke nipples are also big, really cool, and require a mavic proprietary tool, included, combination spoke wrench, tire iron, hub adjuster tool. After putting my Shimano Cassette on the rear wheels, and inflating it and the accompanying front wheel, I installed the high quality quick releases. I went out on a 27 mile hilly ride, right off, I noticed that these wheel accelerate smoothly and a little faster than the Aksiums. The included mavic tires, roll quite fast and grip extremely well. The 25mm width, really dampens the bumps and the tires, at 100 psi, barely squish under my 180 lbs. The other cool feature of these wheels, is the braking surface, there's a bit more of it than was on my Aksiums, so stops were smooth and quick. The wheels have a slight scalloped appearance, really cool, at each spoke, but I think this also aids in aerodynamics which I've observed and read about on high end wheels. Overall, my initial experience, the ride quality, durability over bumps, and I hit a few, appearance, and qeneral quality, I am very happy I purchased these on sale. A great deal at almost half the price!! By the way, there was just a little play in the wheels, so I used the supplied mavic tools, which-again are a combination tire iron, spoke wrench, and hub adjustment tool. The 2 tools have 4 pins at the ends, while the wheel is on the bike, per the included instructions, you just align the pins with the hub/cap, and tighten gradually until play disappears, that's it! These tools fit easily in my small saddle bag, Mavic thought of everything!!!

Great wheels

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is my second pair of ksyrium elite wheels and I have to say the new improvements have the wheels performing better than the first pair I had. For reference, I put 14,000 miles on the last pair (5,000 even after a screw punctured through the rim) and they were great, never once went out of true. I only upgraded to new ones since I had about 6 bent spokes that needed changing and I decided to just use the old pair for my trainer.

When I read the description of the new rims, CC claimed that the larger inner milling allows for the wider tires to not bulge out like a light bulb. Boy they weren't kidding. The wider tires and wider inner rim do make a smoother rolling and more comfortable tire, even in hard turns. I was skeptical about the larger tire fad being lower in rolling resistance, but I can say that the 25 cc's roll just as fast as 23 cc albeit with more comfort and control. Tree roots and other bumps don't jarr your privates as hard which is a definite plus. I recommend these wheels for good day to day commutes for anybody looking into a reliable, low maintenance and relatively fast set of wheels.

is the 2300g weight WITH tubes and tires?

Your are correct, that weight is with the tires and tubes installed.



If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to me.

Unanswered Question

Are these tubeless compatible?

Unanswered Question

Can I install an XD driver onto this?

Reliable Workhorse

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These wheels have held up very well after the thousands of miles I've put on them. Never needed truing, and still feel plenty stiff when i stand up and stomp on the pedals. Some people have reported some issues with cracked rims, but I can't say I've experienced any of that.

Bombproof

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I bought a set of these in 2006 and have 20,000+ miles on them, including lots of riding on rough roads. They have never needed truing. There are lighter wheels and there are faster wheels, but these are light enough and plenty responsive. Few bike things are a better investment.

Don't know how to star

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Bought mine in 2013. Never trued. Always felt great. The rear finally cracked in April/17. This happened in two spots close to the spokes, both being about an inch long. Bike shop says they're out of warranty (via Mavic) but they will rebuild it at a reasonable price. I'm 185 lbs when heavy and put somewhere between 15000 and 20000 kms on them. Rate them a 5 before this, now........ My friend also had this happen at about 10000 km. How long should a wheel set last?

Same thing happened to me. Bought in 2015 and just heard and saw there was a crack in same p;lace as you described. I had the SLS wheels, rear cracked.

Beware of Mavic

    I bought two sets in August 2013 for each of my Cervelo bikes. Two years later in July 2015, both rear wheels had serious cracks in the rim. Mavic took a few months but did refurbish, under warranty, the wheels with new rims. Fast forward to January 2017, refurbished wheels again have crack in rim and a nipple broke off the rim. I am saving my money and avoiding postage again to send them back. Mavic has a design issue, a manufacturing problem, or both. I have invested in an American design/manufacturer for the replacement wheels. Good news is that CC helped with the Mavic warranty.

    Richard, was your issue with this specific model?

    "Beware of Mavic"? Seriously? Like most, I've had no negative experiences with Mavic wheels. This will be set six. Never a crack or any major issue. True once per year, at most.

    Same thing happened to me. Bought in 2015 and just heard and saw there was a crack in same p;lace as you described. I had the SLS wheels, rear cracked.

    Dope Hoops

      These were a great upgrade over the stock wheels that came with my bike. Solid, light, and the pawls even sound classy. The included tires stop quickly and stand up to the usual debris one finds on the side of the road.

      Inside Man

        Any questions at all on these don’t hesitate to reach out to me personally – happy to help out. This wheelset can handle anything you thrown at it. Coming in at around 1500g, you can't beat this wheel for a upgrade. Compatible for 10 and 11 speed.

        Bill Sherman
        Customer Account Manager-Bike
        Office: 801-736-6396 ext. 4737
        bsherman@backcountry.com

        I'm running a 10 speed drivetrain. Will I need a cassette spacer? Thanks.

        Tough Rims

        • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

        I have been riding my set of Mavic Ksyrium Elites for 4 years over not so good Texas roads...pot holes, cracks, heat. Not one problem. I am 6 1" and my weight goes from 190 in the winter to 185 in the summer so I am not a little guy.

        How come you only give them three stars?

        Not sure why my review only shows 3 stars...not my choice. The wheels are great.

        What is the difference between the Kysirium Elite and the Elite S?

        Ksyrium Elite is the current model, Elite S is older ~2013 and discontinued. However they have very similar specs.

        Unanswered Question

        What about the Hubs? What are they like/about, especially compared to lower made rims like Aksiums. Is that another reason to upgrade to this wheelset? Thanks!

        What year model is this wheelset?
        And will it work with SRAM Apex 10 speed?

        Hey Steve G,



        Our newest shipment of these wheels are the 2016 model year. These will work with a Sram Apex 10 speed cassette. If you have any other questions about these wheels, or would like help with an order shoot me an email at dbennett@backcountry.com

        Can these be run tubeless?

        YOu can but it will void the warranty, so I don't recommend it.

        Fat Americans Need Not Apply

        • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

        Probably a great wheelset for the right body-types. If you are heavier than the average cat 2 racer and/or ride on anything other than glassy smooth tarmac, don't bother with these wheels. I rode a set of Equipes for a while and had pretty good luck with them so I decided to try the Elites. The rim on the rear cracked after 4 rides. Incredibly, I was still able to get home even with a fairly substantial wobble. See how they have machined away material in the rims? Well, sure that lightens them up but it also makes them more prone to breakage. My guess is that the cracking happened when I hit a divot in the tarmac on a downhill at about 30mph. I was riding out of the sun and into the shade so I didn't see the divot. Regardless, it' s the same kind of thing I've done, without issue, many times on the Equipes and on hand-built Open Pros-- i.e., it is not what I would call "unusual". I go about 195 lb so I sort of knew going in that these might not be the best wheels for me. Now, I know this with certainty. So, if you are larger and like pre-built alloy Mavics, stick with the Aksiums or the Equipes. They are heavier...but so are you. Otherwise, just get a set of properly constructed handbuilts with box section rims and at least 32 spokes.

        Well, I'm a "Fat American" (210 lb. before my morning dump) and have ridden the snot out of these wheels, including running them through dozens of "divots" in the road. No cracks, still true, and still going strong. Aksiums, Equipes, Elites...all nice alloy clinchers. Just pick your price point and weight. Hand-builts can be something of a crap shoot anymore due to variances in wheelbuilder skill (or lack thereof). The quality of factory-built wheels from a reputable company like Mavic is simply going to more more consistent. I'm sure anecdotes abound of riders destroying low-spoke count wheels and then returning to traditional box-section 36H 3x handbuilts. They're the same ones who are still running square-taper BBs, threaded headsets and lugged steel frames. Mavic pre-built alloy clinchers are good...even for Fat Americans.

        "More consistent" trash is still trash. Hand-builts are only a "crap shoot" if you are too lazy to find a quality wheel builder. Find one, pick smart quality components for the recipe, and ride trouble-free for tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of miles. These low-spoke, super-high tension wheels are a ride-ender if you break a spoke. Maybe not a big deal if you are on an organized ride with good SAG service but a potential disaster if you are 80 miles from home in a place with spotty cell coverage.

        Are you sure your review is for the new 2016 redesigned Elites?
        I had the previous model. I am heavy. I have cracked 3 of them.
        This brand new for 2016 redesign is supposed to address that. I haven't had issues so far, but it's too early to tell.

        I wouldn't put much stock in this review. I'm also 210 pounds. 6'3" and a pretty powerful rider. A decent sprinter. I rode these wheels for years...my daily 13 mile each way commute in Portland over the west hills with a backpack full of my work clothes, laptop, shoes, etc. I raced on them, trained on them, through rain and grit. At one point, with 20k miles on the wheels, the freehub spawls did seize up and I had, essentially, a fixed gear until I got home and could service the hub. But come on, 20k hard miles? I can't complain about that. I never had to true the wheels, though I did have the spoke tension dialed in periodically to retain lateral stiffness.