Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking - Can I race my new, free Mavic Heliums.
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Yay, free wheels!
I was just given a free set of Mavic Heliums. I don't know much about them other than they're red, nine speed, super-light, and free. The super-light part is especially enticing since my cyclocross bike is rather to the heavier side. Does anybody know anything about these wheels, and if so, can I race on them (as in, can they take a true CX race bashing and beating, or are they just pretty and dainty road wheels)?
01-06-09, 06:45 AM
I would say depending on how much you weigh would be a factor. My brother raced his heliums on his cross bike for a couple years with no problems, and he weighs right around 155. I am looking for a set as well if I can find the tubular version for a good price. And they were free, so even if you have to have them trued every couple raced no biggie.
01-07-09, 07:51 PM
I have two sets of the heliums and have raced them both. In fact, one was my main wheelset for all of last season (around 11-12 races and some training rides) and never had a problem. They were relegated to pit wheels this year only because I built up a set of Velocity Escape tubulars. Rider weight could be an issue I guess. I weight 150. Are they tubular or clincher?
01-08-09, 11:49 AM
you can use a 10 speed on them. I have a set of tubulars I race on. I've heard that half of the people that have used them hate them because they have to true the rear wheel every time you use them, which has been my experience. And half the people say they never have had to touch them. I've talked to a trusted mechanic who has had a great deal of experience with these wheels and he has said that if you do have one of the troubled sets of heliums, you can swap the rear rim for a new one. Mavic supposedly has lots of them still in stock and are fairly inexepensive. Then if you rebuild the rear wheel it is a fairly tricky rebuild due to the straight, no-shoulder spokes, and spoke pattern. When you do rebuild them use, purple or blue locktite, instead of spoke prep, which would normally be exessive but in this case apparently will get you a very strong, reasonably light alloy wheel. I plan on doing this as a winter project. If you are not a experienced wheel builder, don't have the time to invest, it may not be worth paying a shop to do this for you, or you could also say 150ish is not much to spend on a light, strong, alloy wheel set when considering the alternitives, especially if they are tubulars. All this said, your wheels may be one of the sets that are bullet proof, the only way to find out is to race them.
I'm about 150 lbs, and the wheels are clincher. I'm gonna toss a cassette onto them and some 'cross tires, and give 'em a spin. Thanks to everybody for the feedback. Can't wait to see red wheels on my blue and silver Cannondale.
01-08-09, 06:21 PM
I raced on mine for 2-3 years and I still sometimes put them in the neutral wheel car. I weight 190lbs and I do have a difficult time keeping them in true. But they've never felt unsafe. (edit, dooh this is the 'cross forum :fred: . Yeah you'll be fine doing cross with them too)
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