Mavic doesn't currently offer tubeless-compatible road wheels but the company was once an early pioneer on the topic, in partnership with Michelin, eventually abandoning the concept due to the more difficult field service when and if a rider suffers a puncture. That might soon be changing, though, with Mavic officially announcing a new partnership with Hutchinson.
Mavic today distributed the following press release:
"Mavic and Hutchinson have decided to create a partnership to develop and manufacture a new range of tyres. Both companies are French, globally known and respected, and share the same desire to innovate in order to satisfy the needs of every consumer including the most demanding.
"Combining together their respective know-how will be a significant advantage for the development and distribution of innovative products of performance and quality."
Of course, there's no specific mention of Road Tubeless in that release, but it's certainly a logical progression given that Hutchinson already manufactures Mavic's Charge and Roam enduro tires, plus the public pressure on Mavic to offer tubeless on the road.
Many of the company's rim designs already inherently lend themselves to tubeless compatibility, with their solid outer walls. Hutchinson is without doubt the industry juggernaut when it comes to tubeless road tires.
Moreover, adding tubeless compatibility wouldn't otherwise detract from the performance of Mavic's road wheels. There would be minimal – if any – added weight, there would be no impact on external rim shapes, and users would still be free to use standard tube-type tires at will.
Many of Mavic's rims and wheels would require only minor modifications to make them tubeless compatible
Not surprisingly, Hutchinson would like to see Mavic – still one of the most important wheel companies in the world – finally support the Road Tubeless format.
"For sure I would love to see a Road Tubeless wheel come from them," said Hutchinson's North American PR and marketing liaison Richard Goodwin, who also worked for Mavic for nearly a decade back in the 1980s. "I think it's well past due."
"I expected to see [Mavic] coming second into the game right after Shimano but then you saw Campy, and Easton, and DT Swiss, and Fulcrum, and these other companies, and Mavic's still waiting in the wings," he continued. "I don't know how political that was or if Mavic didn't really believe the tubeless technology. At the end of the day, for sure having the credibility of Mavic rims in a Road Tubeless configuration really gives the technology a lot of potential inertia."
What do you think? Would you like to see Mavic add tubeless compatibility to its road clincher wheels? Feel free to chime in below.