2012 Mavic Crossmax SX
Creating a wheel that compliments current, multifaceted trail bikes can be a daunting task. Pairing XC weight with downhill durability can be a difficult formula, but the redesigned 2012 Crossmax SX steps to the plate with its trail/enduro specific improvements. Though Mavic rarely introduces extensive changes in their wheels each model year, updates are done strategically with specific improvements. For 2012, the SX sees subtle yet strategic changes throughout the wheel, but together they create a lighter, stronger, and more versatile wheelset.
The SX demonstrates exactly why Mavic has been an important name in wheel development for many years. Each component of a Mavic “wheel system” is as important as the last, synergetic refinements to each element of a wheel, integrate to create improvements for a wheels intended use. Mavics development of these harmonious “wheel systems” has made the 2012 SX an extremely durable and “all-mountain” wheelset with a weight closer to a modest XC setup.
At 1,765g the SX’s are rather light for their robust construction and beefy aesthetics. But weight is only a small piece of the trail wheel formula. For added strength the Crossmax SX utilizes a Maxtal aluminum rim, which Mavic claims is 30% stronger than traditional aluminum. Specially placed rim extrusions provide additional rim strength where needed without extra material. Keeping with the strength trend, Zicral alloy spokes provide strength comparably to many types of steel without the weight.
Internal rim width on the SX is 21mm, which was wide enough to pair nicely with a big 2.35 tire. Setup with a 2.5" tire made some tire roll noticable but still tolerable under the right trail conditions. But if the SX was offered with a little wider rim profile, we would prefer it.
Positioned at the center of the SX, a new ITS-4 hub provides faster engagement and a more reliable freehub. Swappable end caps provide a wide range of adaptability to all of the various axle configurations found on trail bikes. Out of the box the front wheel can be swapped between a 15mm and 20mm thru-axle with an available quick release adaptor available. Out back it comes stock with a QR and includes the 12x142mm adaptor that is easily installed at home.
At $900, the SXs offer a reasonably priced wheel upgrade (in the world of quality bike components) that paired nicely with our stout Santa Cruz Nomad. The upgrade provided a noticeable improvement in stiffness and ride quality over the stock hoops.
Because of Mavics dedication to wheel development, many intriguing philosophies set them apart from other wheel manufacturers.
Overall, the Crossmax SX is a bomber trail wheelset with the capability to conquer a variety of technically demanding terrain and do so in a stylish way. From Bike Park to big mountain trail riding, the SX performed flawlessly day in and day out. Though focused a bit more on the down, the SX is a great choice for trail riders or bigger XC riders looking for a light, nimble wheelset that can take extensive abuse.