Mavic CXR Ultimate
Lightweight, extensively-tested aero road helmet
by Colin Henrys
Once upon a time, Mavic made wheels. Well, they do still make wheels, and very good wheels too, including the new Ksyrium Elite’s in the RCUK100, but it’s fair to say they've branched out a little since the company’s foundation way back in 1889.
Now, as well as wheels of all varieties – both on and off-road – they have a huge range of apparel, shoes and helmets, including this, the CXR Ultimate.
And if that quantity of kit wasn’t enough to make you realise just how serious the French brand are, the fact they went through 145 different iterations of their latest aero road helmet before they settled upon the final design should do.
This testing included multiple trips to the wind tunnel and culminated in what Mavic call the ‘CX shape’ and an aero road helmet the brand think can compete with the best. In fact, Mavic have described the CXR Ultimate as a ‘daily road helmet’ a rather lovely description which basically means it’s a helmet with aero benefits that you might actually want to ride in day-to-day.
Testing included multiple trips to the wind tunnel and culminated in what Mavic call the ‘CX shape’ and an aero road helmet Mavic think can compete with the best
Perhaps more interestingly, Mavic also conducted cranial mapping tests to ensure the inside shape of the helmet closely matches typical head shapes.
Sure, if you have a strikingly atypical head that might not help much, but it means the Ultimate should prove to be a decent fit for a generous number of riders.
At the back, the CXR Ultimate uses Mavic’s Ergo hold SL retention system, which offers up to six centimetres of adjustment managed by a grippy, rubberised dial. That’s coupled with a specially designed X-Static pad that looks a little bit like a large, yellow spider inside your helmet but provides a lot more padding than that inside a standard helmet.
- Price: £150
- Website: Mavic
The standout features of the new pad are that it claims to be low density and high wicking, so it’ll provide excellent comfort while helping to keep your head cool and dry.
Mavic have also managed to keep the weight down to a claimed 250g for a medium, a solid number for an aero style helmet, especially considering some of Mavic’s older helmets were a little on the heavy side.
One other good feature (or multiple good features, depending on your point of view) are the 28 vents. One thing about aero road helmets – and something that’s even more prevalent with TT-style aero helmets - is they often lack for ventilation as they tend to opt for fewer vents in an attempt to smooth air flow, but that’s not the case here.