Mavic Ksyrium SLS Wheelset Review - Long Term

I've been riding Mavics for many years now, and Mavic Ksyriums are well know to be the wheelset that sets the standard for race/training wheels. I had an old set of Ksyrium Elites that I used to train on, and then I would race on a set of American Classic 420s. In a crash at the 2013 Crit State Championships in Macon the American Classics front rim was damaged beyond repair, so I purchased these Ksyrium SLSs.

SPECS - 1395g / $1,149 / Price Includes Tires / Aluminum Clincher

Rear hub - looks cool.

Rear hub - looks cool.

WHAT YOU GET - I love the look of the rear hub - a solid block of aluminum, painted white. The single white spoke is a great graphic design touch. I think these wheels look great, and the black/white color scheme would work on most bikes. When you pick them up, you can also feel how light they are. They come with tires, which helps make the cost more bearable.

Front hub - carbon body.

Front hub - carbon body.

PERFORMANCE - Strangely enough, these didn't feel as stiff as the older, heavier Elites I had. I think it may be due to the new spokes they use, made of an aluminum alloy Zicral. Overall they felt good, but they didn't give me quite the zippy kick that I usually get from aluminum wheels. I wonder if that has to do with the amount of aluminum that has been shaved off everywhere in order to get the weight way down, but may make them less stiff overall. 

This wheels are super light. No complaints there. Heading uphill I'm happy on them.

They aren't supposed to be aero, and they're not. 

Cornering is fine, but because the rims are pretty thin they're not over the top or anything. Again, the main advantage on these is the low weight, and I think that was engineered above all other concerns.

THE TIRES - I personally didn't like the Mavic tires that much, and thought the wheels rode much better with a set of race-specific MAXXIS Columbieres. 

SKEWERS - These are fine, nothing to say good or bad.

SOUND - I was a bit disappointed when I first rode on these, because they were pretty quiet. I like LOUD wheels. After a while they got louder, and they have a satisfying mechanical clicking quality.

UPKEEP - There's not much I've had to do on these wheels, and I've really ridden them a lot, through the rain, through winter base miles, winter commuting - just about everything. Here are the things I've had to do over the past year and a half:

HUBNUT "THING" - I had to replace this. I'm not positive what it's called. I noticed one day it was cracked, and got a replacement for like $5 from the shop.

SQUEALING SOUND - While freewheeling, the hub was making a terrible squealing/screeching sound. I had to take the free hub body off, clean everything and then relube the brushing (the rubber thing) and the pawls and springs. Took about 30mins all in all. I did it twice, and it's worked fine for about 6 months since.

LOOSE FRONT HUB - I have a little tool that tightens the front hub (the shop gave it to me). I just do it from time-to-time. Kinda a hassle, but not that big of a deal. Takes about 20-30 to do seconds all in all.


PROS - Light, look great, good value.

CONS - Not quite stiff enough, thin rims bad for cornering.

RECOMMEND? - Yes, I'd recommend them, but it really depends on what you're looking for. I do believe it's a good value, and a good way to get the weight down on your bike, and to have a do-it-all race/training wheelset. I have no plans to buy any other wheels anytime soon!