Gear News

Mavic technician makes disc-equipped road wheel in personal project

Like it or not, the road bike disc brake revolution is underway.

SRAM unveiled the model year 2014 iteration of its flagship Red groupset with hydraulic discs last month, along with an S-Series equivalent for 10-speed set-ups.

French giant, Mavic, one of the industry’s most respected wheelbuilders, has yet to join the fray, but at least one of their technicians is exploring the potential in a personal project with existing Mavic components.

This Volagi Liscio appears to be equipped with prototype disc-equipped iterations of Mavic’s Ksyrium SLR road wheel. Pic: Naythan Bellamy

An eagle-eyed reader sent us these snaps from last weekend’s Etape Caledonia of a Volagi Liscio road bike equipped with what appear to be modified Ksyrium SLR road wheels.

When RCUK asked Mavic’s spokesman if the company was working on a disc-compatible road wheel project with an Exalith-coated Ksyrium SLR rim, Zircal aluminium spokes, and Crossmax SLR mountain bike hub, he appeared to know what we were referring too.

He told us the creations are not a valid prototype, only a personal test from one of their staff.

He described the wheels as an assembly of existing parts that followed no clear specification, and not the sort of engineered creation that results from the systematic approach Mavic adopts for its production wheels.

Describing the project as “nothing serious,” he added that Mavic was tuned to the evolution of the road disc brake market.

The rim looks like that used on Ksyrium SLR wheels – significantly, one with a brake track. If Mavic make a production disc brake compatible wheel, there’ll be no need for this, of course.

The spokes seem to be aluminium, perhaps the aero-bladed Zircal spars with which the Ksyrium SLR is laced.

And the hub? White, disc-equipped, and branded SLR – one from the Crossmax SLR mountain bike wheel? It would have made sense for Mavic’s technician to use the company’s tried, tested, and highly respected disc-equipped hub for this personal project.

The discs are controlled on this machine by SRAM’s S-Series calipers, a hydraulic option for 10-speed set-ups, and so distinct from the units supplied with the latest iteration of the flagship Red groupset.

They’re available in 160mm or 140mm rotors. SRAM recommends 160mm for “pavement” use.


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