Mavic Open Pro Check In

As stated yesterday, I haven't exactly been a mileage queen on our shop-demo-tester Open Pro build. Life, weather, still having lots of wheels to build this late in the season (thankfully), and a crushing house renovation get in the way. But there are enough miles rolled on them to get a good impression thus far.

A brief premise to the review (such as it will be). We spend as much time as not explaining to people how subtle the differences are from one good set of wheels to the next. Sure, crap wheels feel and ride like crap, but good wheels kind of ride like good wheels. We're fully willing to admit that there may be confirmation bias based on what we know or whatever, but to us it really seems that good wheels with really good tires (and tubes, or not tubes) on them are going to all feel fairly similar. We've also previously explained how our pricing works such that we aren't motivated to sell one high margin set versus another lower margin set. When we do these, we're trying to help you pick your best match among near equals. We aren't trying to steer you to wheels that pay us through some affiliate site or some other shady scheme (like one review site that makes me sick every time I see it does). 

These wheels are built with Dura Ace hubs, laced 24/28, with CX Rays and brass nipples. They're 1475g off the stand. First few rides I used Vittoria Corsa G+ tires in 23mm with latex tubes, which has been my standard get all year with the Al33 build I've used. Lately have switched to a Conti 4 season front with a Specialized S-Works rear (which were bought to see how wide things inflated on Al33s and we're too cheap not to use good stuff, and I used them a lot last winter so I'm calibrated to them).

As stated above, differences among wheels don't really jump out, so we're looking for subtleties. Within that context, these wheels feel really smooth. They aren't the "make the motorcycle noise and smash it" feeling of the Al33s, and they're not the super nimble Easton/HED feeling. They just feel smooth. Haven't had a chance to try and set a down the mountain switchbacks record on them, nor have I crit raced on them, so their ultimate handling is a bit of a question mark.

The braking is unbelievably good. With such light rims, you'd question whether it would be as firm as you'd want it, but yes it absolutely is. Really good braking.

Tire fit is a bit snug. If you just can't be bothered with needing to pay attention and use good technique in installing tires, walk on. Inflated tire sizes are in keeping with other rims of this general width. Tubeless set up is quite easy, but I have gotten some more deflation than with other setups. Going against Mavic's instructions, I used regular valve stems during the tubeless setup testing, which may be the culprit. 

It's the time of the year when I'm a bit hairy legged, fat, weak, and slow (all compared to the regular rather high par levels of each) and there's really no getting around that. Given those parameters and the rides that are appropriate for said times, these are quite lovely wheels. They're very enjoyable. 

In summary, if I was racing and doing group rides all the time and I was tan and fit, I'd choose Al33s over these. I really really like Al33-based wheels. But for long miles and sort of just go out and ride your bike and have fun and ride quite nice wheels, these are great. The smoothness is nice. If your other set of wheels is some harsh riding deep wheels that you like to overinflate for the race day chattery feeling, then training on these will feel like you're on clouds. 

Sorry to not have some high definition laser focused hard line impressions, but again the major premise is that good wheels is good wheels. The overwhelming character point of these is "smooth."


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  • Brad King on

    I still have the original Open Pro wheels on my ’99 Litespeed Tuscany. Ultegra 6500 hubs and Wheelsmith spokes. Still going strong.


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