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Mavic's new CXR Ultimate Griplink Clincher Tire was built for very specific applications. Namely, it's front-specific and it's the only tire designed to work with the CXR clincher rim system. That second item is important, so we'll stress it: if you're aiming to take advantage of the French firm's new CXR wheels and CX01 aerodynamic strips, then this is the only tire built to work with them.
Mavic's use of nylon instead of Kevlar for the protective breaker indicates an additional specification: the tire's intended use. It's a low-weight, supple race model. It may not hold out against the chip seal and road debris of early spring, but it does offer a claimed weight that's a handful of grams lower than the German and (other) French clinchers that tend to dominate the local circuits.
Just off the top of our heads, we worried that the inclusion of a non-rubber ring extending even partway up the tire's sidewall might interfere with cornering, but with the Griplink, the opposite is true. The CX01 ring doesn't sit high enough to catch the road — even in corners where body English is the only thing keeping the bike upright — and the tire's hard center strip yields to a soft, high-grip shoulder, inspiring confident aggression while holding speed and counter-steering on a corner approach. It's this kind of smart, purpose-specific tire construction that helps cyclists dive off the front to gain a few meters in the final corner of a crit. Not everyone has that kind of predatory instinct or the skills necessary to pull it off, but if you do, then we say "be that cyclist."
- Item #MAV00B2