So you spent a lot of money on a set of Mavic Ksyrium or Crossmax wheels that are by the way, arguably the best bang for the buck wheels currently available that you can both train AND race on, and in a season or so of riding, you start experiencing some shifting issues that are not the easiest to diagnose. These issues can range from noise to skipping, but usually both. Well, what's up?!?! If you're lucky you or an astute mechanic realizes that the freehub body is exhibiting a significant amount of side play. Again, you ask yourself,
"Why is this happening with my relatively "new" wheels?"
OK...here's the scoop.
Exhibit 1: This is a photo of two Mavic freehub bodies. The one on the left has been used for only one season of riding and a few races. The one on the right is new. It's hard to visually see any differences besides scratches, discoloration and the like, but where the difference is is in the thickness of the whitish nylon bushing... The used freehub body is is really bad shape. I know, that it's hard to tell without accurately measuring it, but the first indication of it's condition was the side play that it had with the cassette still installed on it. The reason for this wear is the degradation or wearing down of the nylon. This happens from normal riding but is accelerated by contaminants such as road grit, salt, and also by some types of greases or lubricants. Mineral oil is the only lubricant that should be used. The Mavic tech department uses Pedro's Road Rage which is essentially mineral oil. All of this being said, the easiest way to determine if your Mavic freehub body is shot is to grab hold of the largest cog on your cassette and try to move it inboard and outboard. There shouldn't be any noticeable play. The more there is, the more it's worn.
Finally, this leads to the question which I know most of you want to ask... "Why did this thing wear out so quickly?!?!"
Here's the bottom line...these are pro-level wheels that, like others in this price range,are not designed to last forever. There's a cost for this level of quality. You can spend a lot less on another set of wheels that won't have this issue, but they're going to be a downgrade of quality and you won't be thrilled with the performance and the additional grams... That's all that I have to say about this. I have to get back to work. Thanks for reading! -John