|Yes, I lifted this photo|
from Mavic's website!
Truth be told, these wheels have always had a particular aesthetic appeal that can't be denied. However, from a pure performance/pragmatic standpoint, the wheelset does have its limitations. Without getting into all sorts of technical specs and jargon here, let's just say that while the Heliums have a decent strength-to-weight ratio and excel as a "climbing wheel," they are perhaps SO light, that they tend not to hold their spinning inertia/momentum as well as a more portly or deep-section rimmed wheel might. The bling-inspired red anodized surfaces sure do look cool though.
Before becoming too emotionally attached to my new lighter-than-air acquisition, it suddenly dawned on me that I could actually try and make a few dollars by running my wheelset over to our shop's sales tent and "flipping" it for around $250. Genius! Surely, some casual cyclist would be only too enthusiastic about dropping some cash on a wheelset that appeared on the scene more than a decade and a half ago..
As it turned out, if such a casual cyclist shopper was out and about this weekend, he/she was not present at this swap meet. So, I am subsequently the proud owner of yet another piece of slightly antiquated bicycle technology. While I have yet to see any reference to the Mavic Heliums as "vintage" anywhere on the interwebs, they are certainly approaching the age whereby overly-sentimental bike blokes like myself start to experience such artifacts as reminiscence catalysts toward what was perhaps, a more glorious, if slightly-more-"epic" era (when WE of course, very much at the height of our powers!).
In the meantime, if anyone's interested, I *might* consider $225 for the wheels... Or not.