Mavic SLR and R-SYS wheel failure

seanwilliams158
seanwilliams158 Posts: 8
edited September 2014 in Workshop
During this year's Marmotte my new Mavic SLR rear wheel had two spoke failures. Both on the block side, metal spokes just breaking. ( the left hand spokes are made of carbon ) I am 88kgs and it happened both times whilst climbing. I managed to limp to the Mavic support vehicles and they fixed the spokes, but the second time i had to decend Galibier all the way to Bourg D'oisans with no back brake, and severe buckle.... can anyone shed any light on this ??
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Comments

  • I thought they had a rider weight limit of 13 stone
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    The light is that Zicral spokes are a piece of crap... everyone knows that no aluminium alloy should be used for spokes, except the so called "engineers" at Mavic.
    The carbon ones are not much better and if you can find a way to flog the wheels, take the opportunity
    left the forum March 2023
  • The Mavic mechanic at the mechanic station during the race said the limit was 90kgs,,, i am 88kgs so its pretty close. Mavic themselves say its 100kgs.... but it seems like its less !
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    The Mavic mechanic at the mechanic station during the race said the limit was 90kgs,,, i am 88kgs so its pretty close. Mavic themselves say its 100kgs.... but it seems like its less !

    No, I have seen endless spokes popping on these... even on light riders... it's not the weight, it's the wrong type of spoke for the job... SLR and R-SYS are terrible wheels in my books
    left the forum March 2023
  • I don't wish to sound smug, and I completely sympathise with the OP, but I'm so glad I went the hand-built route. Especially considering the only other wheelset I'd shortlisted were the R-Sys SLR.

    Do Mavic ever take these incidents seriously because there seem to be a lot of them, all spoke related across a number of wheels in their mid to high end range. It's bloody dangerous!
  • smoggysteve
    smoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    The Mavic mechanic at the mechanic station during the race said the limit was 90kgs,,, i am 88kgs so its pretty close. Mavic themselves say its 100kgs.... but it seems like its less !

    Did you factor in the weight of the bike, water, clothing and any other stuff stuck to your bike? Saying that, even if you were just over I would expect a wobble not a catastrophic failure.
  • inseine
    inseine Posts: 5,788
    There was a very long queue at the Mavic repair tent at L'etape. A mate had all the rear spokes replaced on his r-sys wheels. He was happy but it seems like a poor enditement of their quality to me. On the other hand I did two seasons on SLRs , no problem and I've now got Ultimates which are fine two. Not exactly a scientific answer.
  • robbo2011
    robbo2011 Posts: 1,017
    If we take a look at the Ksyrium SL which uses Zicral spokes, this wheelset has built a reputation for high reliability and long lifetime over its 10year+ production span. If the Zicral spokes were 'crap' then this wouldn't be the case, surely?

    I took a look at the physical properties of Zicral aluminium alloy. It seems as if it has a higher tensile strength than steel (depending on the tempering) and also high fatigue resistance. Therefore perhaps the Mavic engineers were not so dumb after all.

    Coming back to the SLR wheels, it may well be that they are less reliable, but perhaps that shouldn't be laid at the door of the Zicral spokes, perhaps it is more the way the wheels are designed.
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    I have 1500 miles on a set of SLR's and I bunny hop on mine pretty often. No broken spokes. My friend has over 5000 miles on his and no broken spokes either!

    But of course! Bear in mind though that, for example, a failure rate of five percent would be utterly dismal for a product from a big company like Mavic. So we need at least 20 good news stories like yours for every one failure to even reach the heady heights of dismal! I know nothing of these wheels but for what must be a relatively niche product (expensive wheelset after all) there do seem to be an alarming number of problems.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • philwint
    philwint Posts: 763
    Personally I'm a Mavic fan. I have been ever since 2 mavic guys rebuilt my completely tacoed wheel at 3am on a 24 hour mountain bike race (hope hubs.WTB rim). They did this in time for my next lap and charged me £15 for the new rim only. I made a pledge to myself that night to only ever buy Mavic wheels in the future.

    The wheel is still going strong nearly 10 years later** :D

    But that doesn't mean I'm a fanboi, I love my Ksyrium Elites on the road bike. But have read enough about SLR failures to suspect that Ugo is correct and that there is something flawed in their design. In fact I'm fairly sure that I'd need a fair bit on convincing that they had re-designed them before buying any.

    ** I did have to replace the bearings in the Hope hub yesterday, but I don't think we can blame the mavic guys for that
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    robbo2011 wrote:

    I took a look at the physical properties of Zicral aluminium alloy. It seems as if it has a higher tensile strength than steel (depending on the tempering) and also high fatigue resistance. Therefore perhaps the Mavic engineers were not so dumb after all.

    Forget about tensile strength, that is not relevant and I am sure it has higher tensile strength than mild steel, as for stainless used in spokes, I don't think so.
    Fatigue resistance: do you have any number for Zicral? We are looking at any comparative measurement done at low frequency, around 10 Hz or so (although spokes typically work at even lower frequency... 36 Kmh = 10 mt/s = ca. 5 Hz for a wheel)
    left the forum March 2023
  • I gave my opinion on those wheels, based on the few that I have had to look at and based on some rasther common knowledge about metal fatigue. My opinions are supported by quite a long list of customers reporting broken spokes, often in a rather dramatic fashion.

    And your point being what exactly? I have broken DT Swiss spokes, I have had 2 failed Sapim CXRays recently too. Does that entitle me to therefore say those spokes are made of crap material and nobody should be using them? You made a sweeping statement that was totally unjustified and on a specific wheelset you have no direct experience with. Did you read about it on the internet and form your opinion that way?

    Which shop is it you work for again? Or are you self employed?
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    I gave my opinion on those wheels, based on the few that I have had to look at and based on some rasther common knowledge about metal fatigue. My opinions are supported by quite a long list of customers reporting broken spokes, often in a rather dramatic fashion.

    And your point being what exactly? I have broken DT Swiss spokes, I have had 2 failed Sapim CXRays recently too. Does that entitle me to therefore say those spokes are made of crap material and nobody should be using them? You made a sweeping statement that was totally unjustified and on a specific wheelset you have no direct experience with. Did you read about it on the internet and form your opinion that way?

    Which shop is it you work for again? Or are you self employed?

    I am not sure why I am supposed to give you information about myself to back my statements... reminds me of Italy, where you always have to carry peronal identification, in case you get stopped by police... of course these laws were introduced by Mussolini in the 1920s... :wink:

    Really, stop having a go at me, I dislike the SLR and R-SYS and I can say it with or without showing my credentials, get over it... if you want to criticise CX Ray, please do so... even Dt Swiss spokes, go ahead... there is nothing on this forum to stop you doing so.

    I also remind you about rule 17...

    17) Do not post other people's personal information on here, without their express permission (posted by them on the forum). This includes, but is not limited to, e-mail addresses, phone numbers and postal addresses.

    Enough said between me and you. I suggest we stop it here... I certainly will...
    left the forum March 2023
  • mamba80
    mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    Ugo is right here, 5k s worth of miles is nothing, pot hole or wear out a rim or crash and break a few spokes and then see if the rebuild costs change your mind ? and ime, if you own Fulcrum or Shimano then you may as well put the wheel in a skip.
    If you want factory, then Mavic is as good as any due to that they keep spares or can get them.
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    mamba80 wrote:
    Ugo is right here, 5k s worth of miles is nothing, pot hole or wear out a rim or crash and break a few spokes and then see if the rebuild costs change your mind ? and ime, if you own Fulcrum or Shimano then you may as well put the wheel in a skip.
    If you want factory, then Mavic is as good as any due to that they keep spares or can get them.

    I wasn't even going there... mine was not a "slash the factory wheel" crusade. I really have a particular hate for these specific wheels. Spares and cost aside, I have nothing against the Elite and even the Cosmic Carbone (basic ones)... they are pretty high mileage wheels, considering the 20/16 design and the cost is competitive
    left the forum March 2023
  • doug5_10
    doug5_10 Posts: 465
    giant man wrote:
    lol this thread is getting amusing ...

    +1 I think its about 5-1 to Ugo :lol:
    Edinburgh Revolution Curve
    http://app.strava.com/athletes/1920048
  • Bozman
    Bozman Posts: 2,518
    I've got 5/6 years and thousands of miles on my Mavic Ksyrium SLs and I've never had and issue, these wheels are only used during the summer months but it's on country roads and lanes, they've took hits on potholes etc and they've never had to be trued.
    Obviously their time is short and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another pair, but I do quite fancy a pair of hand built wheels similar in quality to the SLs but I really wouldn't have a clue where to start, maybe I'm being lazy but It's a hell of a lot easier to just purchase a pair of Mavics off the net rather than worrying whether you've got the right wheel builder, plus the right hub, spokes and rim on a set of hand built wheels.

    I expect catastrophic failure of my SLs tomorrow morning after singing their praise.
  • boblo
    boblo Posts: 360
    Hmmm interesting, handbags at dawn... :-) I don't think he came back on rule 2 though. Rather chose to ignore it...
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    boblo wrote:
    I don't think he came back on rule 2 though. Rather chose to ignore it...

    Yes, I was fed up, as pointed up in the previous post.
    I don't think I do. I give a lot of advice (good or bad) and I have people contacting me privately... sometimes as a result of a discussion on a topic, other times completely unrelated. I think I have mentioned Harry Rowland more than I have mentioned myself. If someone in London was looking for a builder, I might have advised him to give me a shout... it is a bit different from advertising a business on a forum.
    We have had Mr. Planet X, Derek from Wheelsmith, Mr Strada, The Cycleclinic is a regular, there is a regular topic about Torm and he chips in regularly... Condor... I think these contributions enrich the forum, but you could also see them as advertising, it is borderline, I agree and if someone feels it is beyond the rules, then he should report... it seems to me all these contributions, including mine, serve a purpose in the forum and are not blatant advertising, but then again, someone might see things differently.
    As for rule 9: I am bit fed up of people who think they can verbally abuse on the web... it is lack of basic manners and as moderators we are trying to clamp down on abusive behaviour... I have to say this one of the most strict forums, in other places one is allowed all sorts of abuse... I think the vast majority of users are happy to keep it this way. Discussing yes, abusing no...
    left the forum March 2023
  • dnwhite88
    dnwhite88 Posts: 285
    I don't see what the argument is here-a wheel builder has expressed his view on a specific wheel based on his experience with them. If somebody's experience with them is different then great, but don't try and correct his opinion.
    "It never gets easier, you just go faster"
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    dnwhite88 wrote:
    I don't see what the argument is here-a wheel builder has expressed his view on a specific wheel based on his experience with them. If somebody's experience with them is different then great, but don't try and correct his opinion.

    It is a general problem in society... lots of people struggle with the concept that there are opinions and can be equally valid and none of them is necessarily cast in stone.
    I, for instance, never comment on how well a wheel ride as I normally never ride the wheels in question... as correctly pointed out... but having seen them and maybe fixed them, I tend to comment on how sensible the construction is. For what I know, the SLR/R-SYS might be the best wheel ever invented since the day the wheel was invented, but its construction tends to let down a lot of people, which is a fact and my hypothesis is that the spokes are not up to the job. The similarly constructed Elite is a lot more robust and far fewer people complain about spokes breaking, but it has stainless steel spokes.
    If this was a track wheel, I would say who cares... but people buy these as their best wheels to ride the Etape and the Marmotte and if they have to walk part of it because the wheels are not up to the job, then I see this as a problem. Maybe the problem is not the zicral spokes, but if they do break more often than others, I would be inclined to think they are the problem...
    left the forum March 2023
  • NewTTer
    NewTTer Posts: 463
    dnwhite88 wrote:
    I don't see what the argument is here-a wheel builder has expressed his view on a specific wheel based on his experience with them. If somebody's experience with them is different then great, but don't try and correct his opinion.

    It is a general problem in society... lots of people struggle with the concept that there are opinions and can be equally valid and none of them is necessarily cast in stone.
    I, for instance, never comment on how well a wheel ride as I normally never ride the wheels in question... as correctly pointed out... but having seen them and maybe fixed them, I tend to comment on how sensible the construction is. For what I know, the SLR/R-SYS might be the best wheel ever invented since the day the wheel was invented, but its construction tends to let down a lot of people, which is a fact and my hypothesis is that the spokes are not up to the job. The similarly constructed Elite is a lot more robust and far fewer people complain about spokes breaking, but it has stainless steel spokes.
    If this was a track wheel, I would say who cares... but people buy these as their best wheels to ride the Etape and the Marmotte and if they have to walk part of it because the wheels are not up to the job, then I see this as a problem. Maybe the problem is not the zicral spokes, but if they do break more often than others, I would be inclined to think they are the problem...
    That's all very fine and good Ugo, how many units have Mavic sold thus far? What is the total percentage of failures? None of this you know either so your comments are full of conjecture and guess work too!
    I can understand some of the sentiment raised on this thread (although I don't condone the personal attacks) however you do pop up and start banging the Handbuilt drum with annoying regularity, and there is no denying you have a personal agenda to do so

    Ever stopped to think that maybe the wheels you deride are in fact so popular ergo you see quite a lot for repair, but this still represents a miniscule percentage of failure. I have had a bad experience with Handbuilts which I have now consigned to hanging in the garage for emergency use only, does this mean all handbuilts are rubbish?
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    edited August 2013
    philwint wrote:
    ** I did have to replace the bearings in the Hope hub yesterday, but I don't think we can blame the mavic guys for that[/i]

    The bearings on my pro2s lasted 1 season's riding, but the replacements (from Hope) are going strong after another 3 years. Its an easy enough hub to service though even without the specialist tools. The flows they are attached to have lasted nearly 4 years and I've only tweaked them once. £300 get you a decent set of wheels in the MTB world.
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    NewTTer wrote:
    dnwhite88 wrote:
    I don't see what the argument is here-a wheel builder has expressed his view on a specific wheel based on his experience with them. If somebody's experience with them is different then great, but don't try and correct his opinion.

    It is a general problem in society... lots of people struggle with the concept that there are opinions and can be equally valid and none of them is necessarily cast in stone.
    I, for instance, never comment on how well a wheel ride as I normally never ride the wheels in question... as correctly pointed out... but having seen them and maybe fixed them, I tend to comment on how sensible the construction is. For what I know, the SLR/R-SYS might be the best wheel ever invented since the day the wheel was invented, but its construction tends to let down a lot of people, which is a fact and my hypothesis is that the spokes are not up to the job. The similarly constructed Elite is a lot more robust and far fewer people complain about spokes breaking, but it has stainless steel spokes.
    If this was a track wheel, I would say who cares... but people buy these as their best wheels to ride the Etape and the Marmotte and if they have to walk part of it because the wheels are not up to the job, then I see this as a problem. Maybe the problem is not the zicral spokes, but if they do break more often than others, I would be inclined to think they are the problem...
    That's all very fine and good Ugo, how many units have Mavic sold thus far? What is the total percentage of failures? None of this you know either so your comments are full of conjecture and guess work too!
    I can understand some of the sentiment raised on this thread (although I don't condone the personal attacks) however you do pop up and start banging the Handbuilt drum with annoying regularity.

    Ever stopped to think that maybe the wheels you deride are in fact so popular ergo you see quite a lot for repair, but this still represents a miniscule percentage of failure. I have had a bad experience with Handbuilts which I have now consigned to hanging in the garage for emergency use only, does this mean all handbuilts are rubbish?

    At which point in this topic have I mentioned hand builts? I am banging the drum of wheels that can be fixed...
    very recent
    http://paolocoppo.drupalgardens.com/con ... ild-part-1

    I don't know what is the % of failures... among those I know is 100%, but being the number limited to 3, it is not exactly statistics... you have to admit they seem to give a few troubles more than the Elites and I am pretty sure the Elites are way more common.
    Annoying regularity? Yes, I do... that's forums... the same topics keep popping up with annoying regularity and the same people keep saying the same things... we could all stop giving advice or decide to give the advice we don't really believe in, as a bit of a joke...
    As for your handbuilts... of course not, in fact I am not condemning all wheels from Mavic, I have restricted the ranting to one-two specific models... given they pride themselves of their quality control... I assume all the SLR/R-SYS are pretty much the same (good or bad)
    left the forum March 2023
  • philwint
    philwint Posts: 763
    diy wrote:
    Its an easy enough hub to service though even without the specialist tools.

    Very true - mine ar Hope XCs and i used two big hammers, a block of wood, and a spark-plug spanner (to drift the new bearings deep into the hub body). All very cave man :D (did the suspension pivot bearings at the same time, so a whole day of beating the crap out of bits of bike lol)
  • Are there any manufacturers who make a 20 spoke rear wheel suitable for someone of 88kgs?
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    Are there any manufacturers who make a 20 spoke rear wheel suitable for someone of 88kgs?

    According to what they claim, pretty much all of them have weight limit of 100, occasionally 90. Suitable is a different story though...
    left the forum March 2023
  • MattC59
    MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    edited August 2013
    Are there any manufacturers who make a 20 spoke rear wheel suitable for someone of 88kgs?

    My Aeolus 5.0ACC have 16 front and rear. They've been great wheels, they've smashed through a number of potholes and are still straight and tight. I'm about 85kg, but i don't think that they had a weight limit. 1600g for the pair, can't fault them really, especially as I picked them up for the bargain price of £450 !! I'm not sure whether Bontrager make them anymore, but I think the new one is the Aura 5, it gets good reviews in C+ this month.
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    MattC59 wrote:
    Are there any manufacturers who make a 20 spoke rear wheel suitable for someone of 88kgs?

    My Aeolus 5.0ACC have 16 front and rear. They've been great wheels, they've smashed through a number of potholes and are still straight and tight. 1600g for the pair, can't fault them really, especially as I picked them up for the bargain price of £450 !!

    Rolf makes wheels with 14/16 spokes that nobody on this forum seems to talk about. I have a friend who has a set and much to my disappointment he has not yet broken them... before every ride I point at them with a "today is the day they go in the skip... " :mrgreen:
    He doesn't use them a lot though... he doesn't trust them much himself
    left the forum March 2023
  • DavidJB
    DavidJB Posts: 2,019
    mamba80 wrote:
    if you own Fulcrum or Shimano then you may as well put the wheel in a skip.

    From this statement you clearly have absolutely no idea what you're going on about. Fulcrum wheels are bomb proof. I'd also ignore all the factory wheel naysayers they have their own agendas.