Mavic's latest Aksium Clincher Wheelset features a wider rim to accommodate the trend towards wider tires and combines Mavic's renowned value, reliability, and obsessively developed French engineering into a wallet friendly package for those of us on a budget. While it doesn't go toe to toe with the top end wheels found in the peloton and on local start lines, it makes for a solid set of training hoops for those of us wanting to save the pricier wheels for race day or a notable upgrade over most stock wheels for cyclists whose ambitions don't extend beyond sportives and charity centuries. The Aksiums are notably less expensive than Mavic's Ksyrium wheel offerings, which is the result of a series of minor omissions. For example, rather than having FORE drilled rims and thread in spoke grommets, the rim is a more traditional single eyelet style, with the spoke holes penetrating the outer wall of the rim. These are definitely not race rims, but they're absolutely fearless in the face of training miles over chip seal asphalt and shoulders littered with spring run off. The Aksium's rims are constructed from S6000 aluminum, and Mavic uses its UB Control technology to mill the braking surfaces of the rim for improved brake friction and smoother, more controlled stopping in almost any weather conditions. Both wheels feature 20 bladed, straight pull, steel spokes with brass nipples. Each spoke is equipped with Mavic's Self Lock technology, which uses a special shape on the spoke end to make it impossible to loosen when it's on the thread. The design eliminates tension loss, and the wheels stay truer, longer. The Aksium Elite wheels aren't as light as some costlier, heavily milled counterparts, but aside from their outstanding durability, Mavic's dedication to aerodynamic details helps to compensate for the extra grams. The 21mm rim profile, low spoke count, and use of bladed stainless steel spokes manage to mitigate much of their beefiness. And while the Aksium uses th...