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.