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Mavic Cosmic Carbone SL V's HED Jet 50's


Maximum Pace
Sep 24, 2007
Mavic Cosmic Carbone SL vs HED Jet 50's

After doing some research on the web yesterday I found there wasn't a good comparison review on these two wheelsets so I thought I might have a go at doing exactly that. Before I get into it though I think it's necessary to let you know that while yours truly has ridden over 5000km on the Hed's I've only ridden 200km on the Mavic's. So read at your own peril;) Anyway I hope this helps someone out there. These are both clincher aero wheelsets.


Cosmic Carbone SL


* Warranty: 2 years
* Weight: front 780g, rear 960g, pair 1740g
* Material: Maxtal and 12K carbon fiber
* Height: 52 mm
* stainless steel Spokes
* Count: front 16, rear 20
* Front and rear axle: aluminum
* Bearing: QRM+

HED Jet 50's (Now know as Jet 4's)


* Warranty: 2 years
* Weight: front 754g, rear 916, pair 1670g
* Height: 45mm
* C2 platform rims
* Black bladed stainless steel spokes
* Count: front 18, rear 24
* Sonic hubs


The HED's:

In a word, beautifully. These babies are very responsive and sound great when applying the gas. Fellow TCC clubmates will agree here, and I've noticed them tremble when they hear that wooosh wooosh sound of me accelerating;) The Sonic hubs sound great also when free wheeling. They motor along and cut through the air with ease, give a nice soft ride and take bumps and even potholes very well.

They climb modestly for a wheelset weighing 1670g, but nothing to boast about. If climbing is your thing and you want to go uphills seriously fast then the Jets are not for you.

They are resonably stiff which helps high speed cornering but I've noticed flex when opening up the taps (accelerating). The occasional touch of rim and brake pad gives this away, but nothing that causes any real trouble or effects performance.

I also have to write that I've had some trouble with these wheels. First the front bearings needed replacing, which HED did at no cost to me. And the latest problem was discovered by my LBS. The rear wheel has a cracked rim and is now unrideable. They are still under warranty so I'll let you know how it all goes. According to the guy from HED it's the first time to happen, so maybe I just got unlucky?

Ok, so moving on these wheels look great and come in different colours to suit any bike, although at $50 extra cost I'm led to believe.

- fast and seem to cut through the air like a knife through margarine (butter is bloody hard, isn't it:confused:)
- dampens hard hits nicely
- look gorgeous
- sound great and will scare the crap out of competition when accelerating

- not that strong
- bearings on front wheel not the best
- not great climbers
- not fantastic in crosswinds

The Mavic's:

OK, so I have to admit that after only 200km on them I'm very impressed with these wheels. They are very stiff and when accelerating I felt no flex at all! That stifness makes for fantastic high speed cornering, and great descending. These things go like missiles.

However due to the stiffness the ride is a little bumpy, and I have to say they sound tinny to my ears. This worried me at first, as I thought they might be prone to breakage. However according to almost every review I read they are almost bombproof. I hope that's true after the trouble I've had with the HED's.

On my ride yesterday is was very windy, and in crosswinds the Mavic's handled admirably for an aero wheel. Perhaps that extra 70g makes then more stable.

They climb fine, again like the HED's nothing to write home about. The Mavic hubs roll well and are suprisingly quiet. Yesterday was the first time in a while I could hear the birds singing on a descent.

Finally, they don't look that great, but that just seems to be me. It's the 12K carbon weave that I don't like, but hey everyone else seems to love their beasty looks. The eye of the beholder and all that I suppose.

- very fast
- stiff and strong
- corner well
- descend like a dream
- seem to handle crosswinds a little better

- a little jarring over bumps
- not pretty
- sound tinny
- 70g heavier than the Jet's
- not great climbers

So which wheelset suits you?

Well, this is a toughie but if you're like me, that is a bit of a pretty boy (yes, I'm not afraid to admit it) the Hed Jet's are for you hands down. They look great, the carbon weave is gorgeous, and the sticker can come in different colours to suit any bike. They also sound great when accelerating and have a throatier woosh woosh. They dampen the bumps better and oh yeah, they are 70g lighter than the Mavic's.

On the other hand if you want a very strong aero wheelset that handle really well, are stiff and corner better than the Jets's then these babies are for you.

One important thing, my bike is a she, not a he. If your bike is a male, then go with the Mavic's I reckon. They look hard core and will make you look like a real man too. The Mavic's when on my bike kind of make it look like a shemale, whereas the Jet's compliment her good looks.

So after reading this you might think I'm crazy considering the trouble I've had with the Hed's, but what can I say? I love em. What about you guys? Any opinions?
Andy, your input would be appreciated here:D What do you make of the Mavic's after riding them?
I think you are referring to another Andy! But as I ride a pair of Carbones, I'll answer your question!

I've ridden them purely for racing and really enjoyed them. They give you a considerable advantage. I reckon you can add 10% to your speed.

They are tough wheels and I've used them for the 300km Tokyo~Itoigawa for a years now and they stand up to the test. I've used them in hillclimbs too when the gradient is not too steep.

Minor grumbles:

If you ride in the rain, they fill with water. There is a little hole in the rim for draining it out.

Also if you use an extendion valve to your tubular tyre, you may find it bumps around in the rim hole (you need to use some tape if this happens, which looks shabby).

I've broken spokes a few times and am having the bearings in the rear wheel replaced as we speak but maybe that's just wear and tear over time.

Anyway, I'd recommend them if you are into road racing and want something to give you a little advantage.

Garmin's Tyler Farrar won Wednesday's Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen in Belgium on Carbones. Here's his setup for the 204km race.

I had one big crash on my Mavics with the bike bouncing off the wheels and flying 5m or so. The rear tube exploded 2 minutes later with a loud BANG!

The wheels however show no signs of wear. Not a wabble. Not even a nano wobble.
I don't know what I'd do without these wheels in a sprint race finish!
Not sure how I can afford to buy new ones within the next 2 years or so.

The HEDS look nicve though, and I'd like to give them a try one day....

Have considered the HED/Bontrager wheels as well on my wish list.
Mavic Cosmic Cabones

Hi, I also ride the Mavics. Not sure about the HED's but the Cosmic Carbones are actually a Mavic alloy rim with thin carbon farings. This may be why they seem tinny. I love mine. I wasn't shopping for the lightest wheels out there but they are certainly strong and I just love how they look and sound!!


PS - Mine are tubulars
Hi Mike,

I can't comment or make a comparison between Mavics and Heds, or any other aero wheels as this is my first pair of aero wheels (and nice road bike for that matter)

On the first test down the road, the front wheel developed a clicking sound when breaking, most worrying. But it just required taking the wheel off, tightening the bearings with that special Mavic bearing tool.
Since then, absolutely no problems.

For climbing, I can't comment, I don't notice the wheels but for sure I notice the frame weight/stiffness and groupset, also 175mm cranks make a difference here.

I do feel the difference going into a headwind, it feels like Im slicing through the air, but the most noticeable aerodynamics were in the crazy 150km crit I did the other week. It had a 54m ascent gain on each lap, so x50 laps it was a mammoth crit. But that meant we got to descend for 54m as well!
On these descents, I was simply getting in a tuck position and overtaking many Japanese riders who were either pedalling fiercely or hanging over the front bar trying to rub their nose on their front wheel. My extra weight would have helped, but not sooo much, so I put this down to the great mavic wheels.

So I can say that the Cosmic Carbone are great wheels, but I cannot compare them to any other wheels.
Just an update, but my HED warranty came through and a new wheel is on it's way. If anyone is interested in buying an almost new set of Mavic Carbone Clinchers pictured above please PM me. They are 4 weeks old but will sell for a good price....
I have a quick question - During the 1986 season, I rode a 10 mile time trial in 21:17, a 25 mile time trial in 53:12, a top ten place in the National 25 champs, and won 4 first category road races in the UK... my full bike cost about 400 quid (about \60,000)... toe clips and straps, Mavic GP4's with tubs, Peugeot Pro frameset... 53/42 Suntour Pro chainset, with a 12-18 block

So, the question... how many seconds would these wheels have saved me, and how many more RR wins would I have got?

Without knowing your weight, height, hydration levels, CdA data, lactic threshold, maximum wattage and sustained wattage along with weather conditions, road conditions and course data for the days and courses you rode its going to be very hard to give you the answer you want.

Also just to put it into focus a £400 bike back then would be a the same as getting a £1000 bike now, although thats a rough calculation, Which could actually buy you a replica of the new 1986 Concorde Team DPM bike with full 105! and still leave you change in you pocket for pedals and shoes!


The reason I chose that bike is because it's what I was racing on back in the day, only with full campy.....my dad now rides it ;)
I guess my point was one of ROI, and being able to justify.
On thing I have noticed as a clear difference sometimes in Japan is that a lot have the best, in terms of equipment, but their performances are, well..... you know what I mean!
I was out on Saturday, and I caught this guy in 20s/30s.... Colnago CLX, Super Rec throughtout, ... and, well, my point exactly

Surely their is a balance between having a nice bike, and just being emabarrassing! Maybe he needed the advantage, but it just didn7t feel right, and he kept apologizing to me for being slow.. ehhh
Yeah, I kind of used to think like that too. But if you've got the cash and you enjoy something, especially a healthy sport like cycling, then why not have great gear? Having a new bike I absolutely love, and I mean that in every sense of the word (we've been known to watch movies together and yesterday we showered together;)) has really motivated me to get out there and ride. That guy probably rides every spare minute he can find now.
Yeah, I remember I was out playing in the traffic this time last year in Shibuya.

I was on my mama-chari, blasting around with my mate, and generally having a laugh.

Got talking to this old-ish Japanese guy on an amazing BME. It was sooo nice.

He told me, for some reason, that his bike was very expensive, and I agreed, saying it looked ace. I then pointed out that I liked his Ultegra shifters, at which point he said, "Ah, you know about these bikes. So you must know I was lying about it being so expensive, if you know what Ultegra is".


I am embarrassed to ride my Cannondale, if I am honest. Only when I am able to hammer that baby, will I really deserve it!
Yeah, I remember I was out playing in the traffic this time last year in Shibuya.

I was on my mama-chari, blasting around with my mate, and generally having a laugh.

Got talking to this old-ish Japanese guy on an amazing BME. It was sooo nice.

He told me, for some reason, that his bike was very expensive, and I agreed, saying it looked ace. I then pointed out that I liked his Ultegra shifters, at which point he said, "Ah, you know about these bikes. So you must know I was lying about it being so expensive, if you know what Ultegra is".


I am embarrassed to ride my Cannondale, if I am honest. Only when I am able to hammer that baby, will I really deserve it!

I went into a hotel last year and asked if I could put my very expensive bike in the room with me. The guy asked what I had... (I was riding my old Fondriest with 105 components). He said, he'd look after it for me in the back room... He then told me about his 'NEW' Time bike.... :eek:
As I said in a previous post, I reckon those mavics will give you an extra 10%. So if you ride 30 kmph on the flat, you can ride 33 kmph.

As for everyone wanting the best bikes, I find it's actually a benefit. A few years ago when 10 speed Dura Ace came out, I picked up two sets of 9 speed for practically nothing. I guess now is a good time to move up to 10 speed as others upgrade to 11 speed....

This is the famous aero comparison chart from the article rommelgc linked to.

The watts are per wheel, but the effect is less for the rear wheel so the numbers shouldn't be doubled (maybe 1.5x?)

Would have been more interesting to run the tests at 40km/hr, which is closer to where most wheel purchasers not called Boardman or Cancellera time trial at, but the differences wouldn't have been anywhere near so big or dramatic.

At 40km/hr, it would be hard to realize a 10% gain in watts, and even if you could, a 10% difference in power does not equate to a 10% increase in speed...
I don't care about 'how many seconds these wheels could save me' or whatever % gain in power would give me to time savings (Although Andy's argument is sound here)

1. They look freaking awesome
2. They sound freaking awesome
3. Because of 1 and 2 above my bike is freaking awesome and that makes ME feel fast:p
Sorry, Mike, your first post led me to believe that performance was one of the criteria you were interested in... My mistake! :p
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