Mavic has been pushing into the world of soft goods with a passion - and with materials and manufacturing methods that, up to present, seem to have been out of reach of cycling designers. Most Pinkbike members know Mavic from its championship-winning Deemax wheelset and of course there were a host of offerings in its round and fast department. What caught our eye when we entered the Mavic display at Eurobike, however, was Mavic's extensive shoe collection.
Yes, Mavic makes the lightest road racing shoe, Yes, Mavic makes XC mountain bike shoes with all of the wind-up laces, carbon this and that, and lyrical lorica doodads. What Pinkbike has been searching for are Enduro Shoes - the simple kind of shoe with a technical sole and SPD potential, that we can ride into the mountains with, that is flexible and tough enough so we can grab a chainsaw or a Pulaski, bust out some trail work and then carry our bikes up a granite dome for some high-def freeride action on the way home. I know that was a long sentence, but Mavic makes 'em.Alpine Trail Shoe
Alpine shoes are the most trail friendly of Mavic's true cycling shoes. The sole has the efficient S-bend so critical for efficient pedaling, but the toe-box has enough flexibility to make walking possible without bothersome heel lift. The toe box is armored and the outer is built tough and secured with a combination of lacing and a strap closure keep the Alpines snugly in place. An SPD cleat path is surrounded by aggressive traction lugs on the soles for secure log and rock hopping. Sizes from 5.5 to 13 in halves. The 8.5 sizes weigh 440 grams and colors are gray with red or green accents. Alpine XL Enduro/Trail Shoe
This is the one that caught our attention. The Alpine XL has a half-high outer with a stretch neoprene ankle cuff to keep out the mud, crud and itchies that sneak into racing-type or flat-sole shoes when forced off the bike. The upper has mesh ventilation and a reinforced heel and toe for bash protection. The tongue is vented to ward off hot spots and the laces are protected by a flap. Closure is by a hook-and-loop top strap and conventional lacing, so any bloke can achieve a custom fit without reading a tech manual. The Alpine XL shares the Trail Grip outsole and SPD compatibility of the Alpine. Sizes from 5.5 to 13 in halves and colors are black and white with yellow trim. Weight is 410 grams a pair in size 8.5. Switchback Trail Shoe
You are not a lumberjack? How about a durable trail shoe with the softest outer you have ever worn. Mavic debuts its 'Softshell' construction with the Switchback mid-high trail shoe. The SPD-compatible Terragrip outsole has excellent traction lugs for difficult portages and recon walks on slippery stunts. Mavic added its Quicklace closure to keep the shoe as lightweight as possible and the outsole is moisture repellent. The tongue is also constructed from Softshell material for comfort. Sizes from 5.5 to 13 and weights are in the 415 gram range. Crossmax SX All-mountain wheelset
We had to throw in a wheelset from Mavic, partly because it wouldn't be Mavic without wheels, but mostly because we are testing a set of Crossmax SX hoops and are quite happy with the performance. At 1775 grams a pair, the SX wheels are smack in the middle between the lightest and porkiest wheels in the enduro/AM/aggressive trail category. With a 21-millimeter wide profile, the Maxtal alloy rim can support large-volume tubeless conversion without burping air, and riders can take advantage of high-volume tires and run lower pressures without wobbly sidewalls in the corners. The rim extrusion is lighter and more responsive, as is the instant engagement freehub ratchet. Add Mavic's race-proven direct-pull hubs and Zicral aluminum spokes, and you get one great wheel. Available in 15 or 20-millimeter front axles and in 9 or 12-millimeter rear axles. White only.Catch Mavic if you can and take a look at its entire soft goods lineup - especially their lightweight windbreakers and rain shells. Anyone who has experienced Mavic Soft goods should weigh in - we'd like to know.