Mavic Cosmic Carbone 80
Mavic is famous (infamous?) for supplying their sponsored professional riders with flash looking prototype wheels that they then never offer to us, the cycling-obsessed public. It's a terrible tease, really and one that would be unforgivable if they didn't also offer us Joe Racers a wide array of race-proven, market-friendly wheels and other items. The Cosmic Carbone 80 is a wheel we've seen under various pro riders for some time now and has finally been offered to the general public. It's an uncompromising race-specific wheel designed for pure speed.
At first glance, it may appear that Mavic is late to the party here. After all, we can count on more than one hand the number of companies who offer deep section, full carbon tubular rimmed wheels. So what's the big deal about the CC80 and why should you care? As with most Mavic products there is much more to this wheelset than meets the eye. The CC80 have all of the usual features you would expect: Aerodynamic superiority, Mavic's highest quality sealed bearing hubs, bladed spokes and above-average durability for a carbon-rimmed wheel as is Mavic's style.
It should come as no surprise then that these wheels are fast and made for race efforts. They're equally at home in races against the clock, road races or crits. One of the most surprising aspect of the CC80 is just how rideable they are. They're an extreme looking wheelset, to be sure, and bred for racing, but they are surprisingly easy to ride and we've found them at home on a wider range of road types and course profiles than their aggressive looks would suggest. Like most deep section wheels these are best at speeds above 20mph where they hold speed and roll smoothly but the CC80 also accelerate more readily than one would expect given their specifications. This combination of fast and steady at high speeds plus rapid acceleration makes the CC80 ideal for sprinters who need a wheel that is capable of holding speed in the fast lead-up to a sprint and then jumping up to to terminal velocity in the dash for the finish line. The fact that they slip through the wind and are remarkably stiff under load doesn't hurt either.
In all, we've been shocked by how rideable these wheels are and we plan to use them as our go-to race wheels in all but the hilliest races in the coming seasons. The Cosmic Carbone 80 comes as a wheel / tire system with Mavic's own Yksion Griplink and Powerlink front and rear specific tubular tires. The set also includes Mavic's quick release skewers, carbon brake pads, padded wheel bags and all the tools required for rim and hub adjustments.