With their innovative design, the Mavic CXR Ultimates certainly attract plenty of attention, but are the aeroynamic benefits really worth it...
Mavic’s CXR Ultimate road shoe is a unique piece of kit among the competition — a road shoe with an integrated aerodynamic flap. The cover combines a tough but smooth bonded upper with a thinner fabric, which should allow some heat to escape. However, this got dirty and the fabric got pulled, all within the first test ride, so keeping the shoes at their best long-term could be a worry.
This leads nicely to an obvious question. If a pair of £300 shoes is being covered to keep them safe and clean, do they need to be aerodynamic in the first place? The Mavic CXR Ultimate cycling shoes are certainly a fast-looking shoe, but I was not convinced I experienced any real aerodynamic benefit while using them that couldn’t be achieved with a pair of £10 oversocks.
For those unconcerned with trivial matters like cleanliness, the carbon sole provides an exceptionally stiff platform, and with a very supportive heel I felt confident about power transfer. The double Boa system makes a good fit easily attainable, but you’ll have to get it right first time, because they’re difficult to adjust mid-ride. Despite that, the CXRs are a great race shoe if you can get your head around the aero-flap paradox.
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Stiff, supportive, and with plenty of adjustments, the Mavic CXR Ultimate shoes perform well, but are slightly impractical and difficult to live with.