The XA Elite 27.5+ wheels mark Mavic’s entry into the plus-size scene. They’re only just now landing on U.S. shores, so we don’t yet have specific price and weight numbers to share, but if they’re on par with other of Mavic’s Elite-level offerings, we expect good things.
Each wheel features 24 straight-pull, bladed steel spokes and comes tubeless-ready, but its shape is a departure from Mavic’s traditional UST. Instead, their non-hook-bead profile is similar to the style we’re seeing more and more on today’s tubeless rims. The XA Elite 27.5+ wheels come with perfectly sized tape already installed, so as soon as they are out of the box you can toss a tire on and with a little sealant and a little pumping you’re ready to go.
The XA Elite 27.5+ rim features a dramatic spoke offset. This allows the wheel itself to have nearly zero dish. The even spoke tension and the wide rim mean they’ve got a lot going for their lateral stiffness. And Mavic paid just as much attention to their straight-on suppleness. Let’s not forget, they’re aluminum. And they have a relatively flat profile thanks in part to Mavic’s ISM (inter-spoke milling), which removes weight and helps them feel more supple in the process.
The potentially softer ride is precisely why this particular set of the XA Elite 27.5+ hoops are about to get bolted on one Bike mag editor’s Dream Build. The whole point of plus size is to ride comfortably. But riders who want to run a little extra tire pressure so they can slash should still feel a little give. And those who run lower pressure will have some piece of mind given that any rock strike hard enough to bottom out the tire will be impacting aluminum, not carbon. So they should be more likely to live to ride another day.
The wheels will be available in the U.S. soon. And even sooner, we’ll share the details of who on our staff isn’t afraid to tell the world he loves mid-fat bikes.