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Thread: Mavic or Alex

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    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    Mavic or Alex

    Ok, I'll keep this short and sweet.

    Building a bike, and I'm trying to decide between a Mavic CXP 22 wheelset, and an Alex R500 wheelset. I cannot find reviews or good info on wheels anywhere, and I've done numerous searches.

    I defer to the Forums.
    Good night...and good luck

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    Based on my personal experience with an exploding Mavic, I'd say go Alex. Others swear by Mavic - I swear at them.

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    Senior Member Surferbruce's Avatar
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    go ask over in the road cycling forum. mavic rims are highly regarded, i cannot say the same for alex. i know if it was my money it would be the mavics without 2nd thought.
    as for an exploding rim...i'd lay down money that any rim would've failed under whatever circumstance the mavic did.

  4. #4
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    I thought about asking in the road forum...but I wanted a wide variety of opinion, not just the weight weenie version.

    Yes, they are for 700c "road" tires. However, this is informing two decisions. The outcome will determine a set of wheels for my existing commuter, and wheels for the bike I'm building for the father in law, which will be a relaxed/touring type frame for very casual and recreational riding.

    Neither is for racing. My riding is a bit faster and rougher in my commute. His will be more casual.

    I was shopping wheels for the build and came upon the Mavics for $220 with 105 hubs. And I thought to myself: "self, why not give your current R500 Alex rims to the father in law (who won't abuse them as much) and put the Mavics on your bike?"

    So, that's where I'm at. I'm just wondering if this is a parallel trade, or an upgrade for me. I've heard better things about the Mavics...but both of these wheels are "entry level" if you will.
    Good night...and good luck

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    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    As an aside, the Alex website has no technical data, weight, or MSRP on this rim (and even comes with a typo!). The Mavic website is not much better, listing only weight and minimal data (but no typos!).
    Good night...and good luck

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    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    Alex's can be great rims (they make all of Salsa's rims, which are among the best I've ever built up) but they also can be really crappy--especially their prebuilt wheelset. Mavic is a pretty safe bet, generally speaking, especially if you are looking at prebuilt or a wheelsystem.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

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    According to my experiences my alex wheelset for my last bike was junk and my current mavic wheelset is almost bomb proof. I ran it into a curb going 20mph and it was only very slightly out of true. The alex rims would go out of true naturally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DataJunkie
    ...The alex rims would go out of true naturally.
    My experiences with Alex wheels (I've owned two sets, now) have been just the opposite. My Alex wheels (hubs AND rims in pre-built sets) have remained true despite the fact that I weighed 20 pounds more then than now. My Alex wheels also never needed truing, never went out of round (despite riding over curbs), and never needed any maintenance at all other than an occasional wipe-down.

    If I wanted reliable, but inexpensive wheels, Alex would be my first choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Surferbruce
    ...as for an exploding rim...i'd lay down money that any rim would've failed under whatever circumstance the mavic did.
    And I think I'd have your money.

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    All can say is that I heard from other posts over the years that there seemed to be quite a bit more probs with Alex then Mavic rims; which is would make the Alex rim seem far more problematic to me considering there are far more Mavic rims then Alex rims on bikes.

  11. #11
    Senior Member geeklpc1985's Avatar
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    Alex they are ok, I have bent a set on my commuter bike so bad they had to be replaced. My new Mavic set are great (disk-brake). I have bent the front rim but it was fixable. I have done stupid stuff with both sets and only the Mavic have made it out alive. If your going to have a lot of weight on it and beat on them, I would go for the Mavic it is worth the extra money. On the other hand, if there is not a lot of weight, or your not going to beat on the rims too much there Alex is a great deal.
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    Cornucopia of Awesomeness baxtefer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banzai_f16
    I was shopping wheels for the build and came upon the Mavics for $220 with 105 hubs. And I thought to myself: "self, why not give your current R500 Alex rims to the father in law (who won't abuse them as much) and put the Mavics on your bike?"
    for that kind of money you could get a open pro/ultegra wheelset, which is a better choice than either of your 2 options.
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    Senior Member EGreen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baxtefer
    for that kind of money you could get a open pro/ultegra wheelset, which is a better choice than either of your 2 options.
    An enthusiastic +1

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    Career Cyclist threadend's Avatar
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    Personal experience says go Mavic, but not 22's. Go CXP 33 or better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by froze
    All can say is that I heard from other posts over the years that there seemed to be quite a bit more probs with Alex then Mavic rims...
    Historically, you are completely correct. Mavic rims have been the "gold standard" for many years, and with good reason. Mavic rims have been bulletproof, well designed, long-wearing, and reasonably priced (for the high quality you get).

    Unfortunately, I have heard from multiple shops in multiple states that Mavic's quality control has slipped significantly as of late. These QC problem rumors are persistent and widespread. My LBS has stopped carrying new Mavic product for this reason. I have heard of other shops doing the same.

    In addition to the (alleged) issues with Mavic QC, Mavic's attitude toward failures of their rims has been of concern. Mavic takes the position that any Mavic rim failure is caused by the build or by abuse. Because any failures are due to other factors, Mavic is not interested in investigating failed rims. I consider this attitude to be myopic in the extreme. If Mavic isn't able to admit that they have a possible QC problem, then Mavic certainly won't be solving that problem any time soon.

    Overall, I'd say that if you have an older Mavic rim, hang onto it. If you're buying new rims for a build, avoid Mavic. Some believe that Mavic is still, as they ever were, the premium rim on the market. I believe that such an attitude ignores reality.

    My experience with a new, premium Mavic CXP-33:

    catastrophic wheel failure - why?

  16. #16
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    'multiple' shops in 'multiple' states that mavic QC has dropped significantly and some bike shops have stopped carrying them?

    sound pretty extreme, and what a foolish decision on the part of the bike shops.

    well, anyways, regarding the question, alex or mavic? there is debatable wisdom regarding mavics being a 'gold standard' for rims....some feel anodizing is debilitating on the matrix.....also, the new Mavic Maxtal rim alloy seem to be not as duro as different alloys like old E6061 or whatever was being extruded back in the day, but this is speculation on my part.....

    although there are plenty of differences between a Ksyrium ES, an Aksium, and Crossmax enduro wheelsets (wheels BUILT by Mavic,)
    a Mavic Open Pro rim built up into a wheel inexpertly by some yahoo,
    and an Alex wheelset,

    alex wheelsets are cheap crab, compared to wheels produced by Mavic. hands down, across the price points.

    besides, a CXP22 'wheelset' is NOT in the current Mavic lineup......if that is 2006 product, that is a CXP rim, built into a wheel by a third party.......
    Last edited by Bekologist; 07-20-06 at 09:09 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    ...sound pretty extreme, and what a foolish decision on the part of the bike shops...
    Your life, your choice.

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    Senior Member Ray Dockrey's Avatar
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    Here is my take on all this. I would not buy another Alex wheelset. The set that came on my bike lasted eight months and then I started breaking spokes. They never would stay in true. Specialized wouldn't honor the warranty saying that this is common wear and tear. If you read other posts from other Specialized owners with the same wheelset this is a very common problem. I just bought a set of Mavic Aksium's that I now have over two hundred miles on. They are darn near perfect in true and have been incredible. Farhorizon, I read your posts and I am sorry that you experienced what you did. But I think there was something very wrong going on with your bike for that kind of wheel failure. There are a lot of Mavic owners out there and I have never seen a failure like yours. Yes I have heard of cracking around the eyelets, but according to Mavic that has been taken care of with the newer Ksyrium's.

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    GATC
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    Quote Originally Posted by DataJunkie
    According to my experiences my alex wheelset for my last bike was junk and my current mavic wheelset is almost bomb proof. I ran it into a curb going 20mph and it was only very slightly out of true. The alex rims would go out of true naturally.
    Exact same experience.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Dockrey
    Here is my take on all this. I would not buy another Alex wheelset...
    I'm not saying all Alex wheels are great. I'm only saying I've been lucky with mine. I'm also not saying all Mavic wheelsets are bad. I'm only saying that I've been unlucky with mine.

    Ignoring my personal experience, there is widespread scuttle in the bike world that the new Mavic product has quality control problems. If you want to risk your life on such a product (especially when the manufacturer ignores and denies problems), go for it.

    It's kind of like saying that since Chrysler once made the best cars in the world, you're going to buy their current product expecting similar quality & reliability. Consumer products (and both bicycle rims and Chryslers are such) go through quality ups and downs over the years. I (and many others) contend that current Mavic product is not what it used to be. If you disagree, fine. You vote with your pocketbook, I'll vote with mine.

  21. #21
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Another vote for the Mavic OP/Ultegra set.

    These always seem to be on sale by one of the online vendors or another. If you get those, I would take them to the LBS and have them retensioned, though. At least I had to do this with mine. Or you could just have a set hand-built. You'll pay more but you'll have years and years of reliable use.
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    Senior Member larue's Avatar
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    I've posted about my problems with Alex rims before. I had two sets explode on me. Ever look into Cane Creeks?
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    Quote Originally Posted by larue
    I've posted about my problems with Alex rims before. I had two sets explode on me. Ever look into Cane Creeks?
    I've never met a Cane Creek product that I disliked! +1 for Cane Creek.

  24. #24
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    I ride Mavics and have built up a number of wheels with them. Never had a problem.
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    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    The now discontinued MA3 was pretty notorious for cracks around the spoke holes and, yes, it just happened to me too.

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