DENVER (VN) — Mavic will likely debut a full 650b wheel lineup in 2013, featuring race-bred Crossmax SLR, trail-oriented Crossmax ST, and budget-friendly Crosstrail versions in the middle wheel size.
The French wheel manufacturer surreptitiously placed a set of as-of-yet unreleased 650b/27.5-inch Crossmax SLR wheels on a Moots YBB at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) on Friday.
Mavic press liaison Zack Vestal would not provide much detail, but made it clear that given the advanced state of the NAHBS prototypes, a launch in 2013 is likely. That launch would “follow the same model as our 29er launch last summer,” and “would probably hit multiple price points,” he said, meaning that it will cross the breadth of the Crossmax line.
Mavic was late to the 29er game by nearly half-a-decade, debuting its Crossmax 29er range only last year. Like many European manufacturers that missed the same boat, the company seems keen to avoid missing this one.
“650b is clearly important to riders right now, and our company is not about to ignore that,” Vestal said.
The Crossmax SLR wheelset on hand at NAHBS looks exactly like the 29er and 26-inch models debuted last summer. Adjusting those designs for the 650b size is a simple matter of changing the rim extrusion and shortening the spokes; however, Mavic is notorious for being meticulous about its wheels’ ride feel, and a simple downsize of the 29er model or upsize of the 26-inch wheels would not likely hit its targets. In its 29er development, Mavic make a few small (and often invisible) changes to both rims and spokes; we can expect the same small tweaks to occur as it tackles 650b.