Mavic's new CXR Ultimate Powerlink Clincher Tire is the rear specific member of a pair of tires designed to fit exclusively on the new CXR wheel system. 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. 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 Powerlink, 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. The tire's shoulders aren't as supple as the front specific Griplinks', but they do feature a lower durometer than the hard center strip, inspiring confident aggression while holding speed and counter steering on a corner approach. Being a rear specific model, the Powerlink's main purpose is to transform watts into velocity as efficiently as possible, but as cyclists like Sagan and Nibali have so often proven confident handling can be as important to winning a race as pure, brute power. Mavic's use of nylon instead of Kevlar for the protective breaker indicates 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.