Is my Mavic rim dead?

Short answer: Yes.

Hello Lee!
I have a very important question to You:) I have Mavic mx 321 on Shimano Saint’s hub(rear wheel). Yesterday I saw that on connecting of rim, there is a gap;/ it is possible that my rim is wrecked? I didn’t hit any bail or something, I ussual ride smooth and quite carefull. Beside it’s strong wheel..I don’t know what to do? I was talking with my friend, he told me that it’s normal, and I can fix it by straining spokes. Can I ??
Please take a look at the photo.

Thanks !!! And sorry for my english;)

Hello my friend,

That rim is dead.

Mavic makes excellent rims, but some of them tend to crack at the seam. I’m told Mavics are very stiff, and they are more likely to crack than bend. The crack will get bigger, and your rim will get weaker. Also, you won’t be able to run a tubeless tire.

Last year my rear DeeMax did the same thing in a race run — no crash, no huge impact. I lost the air from my UST tire, and it cost me several hundred dollars in prize money, not to mention a fun run.

I got no love from the Mavic support truck. They said they couldn’t help, that I should send the wheel to Mavic through my dealer. By the time I paid for (and waited two months for) the replacement, I was extremely annoyed.

So, yeah, your rim is dead.

— Lee

16 replies
  1. Dan says:

    So what is your recommendation for DH wheels, and All-Mountain wheels? Can you give us a range from good and cheap to awesome and expensive. Thanks.

  2. Mr. P says:

    I think that is a Mavic XM 321 and it looks like the seam is separating (the rims are not welded). The rims are sleeved and pinned. I dunno if it is still rideable (I had Mavic rims with micro-cracks around the nipples – rideable for years) But I would guess the days are numbered on that rim.


  3. leelikesbikes says:


    That’s a whole can of worms!

    I’ve not ridden every wheel, but here are some successes I’ve had:

    – I’m currently running Suns. Chargers for all-mountain/trail, and STR8 Tracks for DH. They are light, strong and well priced.

    – My Cane Creek Duros have been going perfect for two seasons on my Cane Creek stopped making these wheels.

    – WTB wheelsets are great value.

    – Mavic 823s/Hadleys — built by Lars at Trail Head Cyclery — cost a lot but have been rolling strong for a couple years.

    – I have an old set of Mavic 521s/Hadleys. They are still perfect after five seasons on a Tazer and two SXes …

  4. Zack says:

    so lee, are you no longer a mavic fan? sounds like your tone at the end of the response was somewhat irritated. i’m struggling with what rims i want to get next, but it’ll probably be syncros again. they’re sleeved and pinned, but they stay straight as an arrow and i haven’t had any problems with mine at all. i’m thinking the ds28s will be a good choice for a lighter dh wheel. i know mavic makes good stuff, but between the price and stories of weak customer service, i might steer clear.

  5. leelikesbikes says:


    Dude, I wasn’t trying to be funny. It was the final run at last year’s Keystone G3, and the flat knocked me from 2nd overall to 4th overall.

    Yes: Vet Pros get $$$ at G3s.

  6. leelikesbikes says:

    Mavic makes great rims.

    I was extremely bummed that a high-end product like the DeeMax would fail (I paid a premium to prevent such calamity), and that the customer service was so off the back.

    I’ve had one problem with all of my Mavics, and, over 20 years of riding, that’s a lot of rims. Too bad the problem was catastrophic, that it was a product defect, and it happened when money and glory were on the line.

    I just got back from ripping my Stumpy with Sun Chargers, and the whole package was awesome.

  7. Estes says:

    Lee- I got one to toss into the hat- The only US owned tire company Arrow Racing, makes a bomber of a DH Rim for racing. The #1 reason why I roll them, they are built for DH/FR use……The tires also lock onto the rim so you can still get your 2nd overall by not stopping. Check them out if your serious about DH racing. Paired up with their tubes- you will not have any problem. I don’t. Ramped Bites combined with Arrow DH rims and Tubes- you can just worry about your line now.

    Mavic+Frogs=Crappola! (not to mention it reflects their customer service bigtime)

  8. Daniel says:

    Lately Mavic’s customer service has really gone down the tubes along with rim availability. It seems like complete wheels are the only thing anyone wants to sell anymore. I am a pro mechanic and I build all of my own wheels and I think that the Mavic 521 is/was the greatest dh rim ever made. Super strong and light. It is welded and pinned. Mavic calls the rim the ex 721 now and it is still welded. As far as hubs…Hadleys are great. Kings are great too. Get any front hub you want because they always seem to work no matter how cheap. Then put your money into a good rear hub.

  9. Trevor says:

    mavic make great rims, but the 325 or any rim with a 3 at the front is now welded but pinned, so if hit in the right place will split, but your spokes are holding it togeather so make just make sure all you spokes are nice and tight and it will last for a long long time!!

    i ran a 325 for 2 months in whistler with a 5mm gap at the join, before i gave up and brought a new rim, as long as u keep on top of ur spoke tension it should be fine

    as for the best rim, dt swiss 5.1 or 6.1 depending in ur tyre width and how much u pedal, just make sure u get the made in switzerland ones, not the made in the usa!! huge difference in the quality of the aluminum used!!! or the mavic 721, (521 or 121 same rim)

  10. chris says:

    I agree Mavic makes some great wheels. I have a set of Crossmax XL and they are a nice strong wheel. But, I hit a root that jumped out of no where and somehow completely destroyed my front wheel. I sent the wheel back to Mavic, but they didn’t want to hear anything about it. Mavic’s customer service is completely down the craper. But hey, they’re French, would you expect anything else?

  11. greg says:

    Hi to everyone!

    I`m riding Syncros DS28 rims for about 10 months now. I ride 4x and all moutain. Those rims are excelent! They are really light, strong and stiff. I recomend them to you guys!

  12. Nick says:

    Daniel is on the money, if you have the skills lace up your own wheel of have a mechanic friend do it for you. That way you pick the best hub and rim for your wallet and personal riding style. DMR revolvers are light, bomber, and very economicly priced for such a quality hub. Lace them up to Sun Singletracks and you have a wheelset that you can ride to the top and huck road gaps on.

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