Mavic Aksium Race wheelset First Ride

Fitted to RCUK’s test Verenti Rhigos.03 road bike, Mavic’s 2010 model Aksium wheelset has proven immune to the punishment handed out by 500 miles of a daily commute from west London that has seen the test rider’s usual mount, a hybrid machine with disc brakes and fat tyres, need a mechanic’s attention to both wheels.

But then this should come as no surprise, since the Aksium name is almost synonymous with reliability. Until recently an abundance of weight and wooden ride quality were reliability’s companions, but the latest version is not only reasonably svelte at a claimed 1800g per pair – 140g lighter than previously – but pleasingly resilient.

Spokes are bladed stainless steel straight-pull items with brass nipples all round numbering 20 radial at the front and 20 rear laced radially on the non-drive and two-cross on the drive side. The nipples sit in holes finished using Mavic’s H2 technology, which involves increasing the holes’ resistance to micro-cracking by hammer-hardening an insert, and are prevented from loosening by Self-Lock spoke threads.

Clincher-only rims are 24mm deep with pinned joins and a machined braking surface and are extruded in 6061 aluminium. Hub barrels are aluminium and house sealed cartridge bearings on steel spindles clamped by Mavic’s low-end but still perfectly acceptable skewers. The steel FTS-L type freehub body is compatible with current Campagnolo, SRAM and Shimano cassettes.

Colours are silver or black and a pair of wheels costs around £145.

And, so far, not even the slightest deviation from true for either rim. The front hub has developed a hint of play and, not having Mavic’s higher-end adjustment system requiring a mere tweak to a plastic cap, will have to wait to be nipped up.  More soon on RCUK.

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