French brand Mavic have made moves to cater for an ever growing gravel market in the past year, with a full ‘Allroad’ clothing range and ‘Allroad’ wheel options for avid cycle explorers. The wheel experts have now announced the Allroad Elite Road+, a 650b adventure wheelset to add to their existing range; for those that want to take the full advantage of larger volume tyres while maintaining similar external circumference to a 700c wheel.
During testing, Mavic found a 650b wheelset, with a 47c tyre, consistently performed better in compliance, lateral stiffness, wet traction and handling over all of their current Allroad offerings.
The compliance and wet traction capabilities come down to the increased tyre volume and ability to run lower pressure, meaning the tyre can conform more easily to the profile of the road; it absorbs many of the small bumps but maybe more importantly keeps more rubber in contact with the ground at any one time.
The lateral stiffness is increased thanks to the shorter spoke length used in 650b wheels, meaning they are likely to be a little more robust when taking things off road.