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All systems go: Mavic launches Cosmic CXR80 aero wheels

First ride

We had an opportunity to ride the CXR80s, with the blade strips, for 65 relatively flat kilometers on Sunday. Sadly, winds were light and rains were sometimes heavy, so we ended up both very wet and without a real solid idea as to how the wheels perform in heavy crosswinds. We’ll have a pair soon, though, so keep an eye out for a full ride report with that particular performance metric.

Having ridden the older CC80s a bit over the last few months, the experience is completely different with the CXR80. They feel lighter (and they are), and a bit stiffer as well. The Yksion CXR tire rides better than the previous Yksion tubular, and corners better as well, though I would have preferred about 10psi less once the rain started coming down.

Where the CC80 felt like a time trial wheel, a bit slow to get going but fast in a straight line, the more sprightly feel of the CXR80 puts it more closely in line with the venerable 808 and Stinger 9 — better for flatter crits or road races, and as at home off the TT course as it is on. Mavic has a much better all-around wheel, now.

I did have one issue with the CX1 Blade strip, near the end of the ride. Due to my own inattention I rode through a rather massive puddle, four-to-five inches deep, and the water appeared to blow the right strip straight off the rim. Mavic says that in a year of testing they have never seen this happen and that it was likely caused by the frequent installation and removal of the strips on our test wheels over the last few days, which had stretched them out. They also assured me that had the strip tangled up in anything it would have simply broken rather than sent me face-first into French tarmac. I have to say that the event did certainly seem freakish, and as long as riding through rivers is avoided it wouldn’t weigh heavily on my mind while out on the road.

We’ll hold off final judgment until we have more time on a pair, and perhaps get them in the wind tunnel ourselves. But it is clear that overall, Mavic has developed a solid return to the crowded arena that is the aero wheel market. Price has not yet been set, but availability is slated for later this summer.

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