Pinkbike Product PicksMavic Crossmax XL Pedal
Mavic announced that it will be developing a range of pedals in partnership with Time. The names and price points of the new pedals mirror Mavic's wheel monikers: Crossmax, Crossroc, and Crossride, and the first round of products are simply re-branded Time ATAC
items. Mavic's interest in the Time pedal comes at the right moment, because Mavic's successes in enduro racing have provided the need for one, and perhaps more importantly, because in the technical realm of the sport, there are only two standout pedals for riders who clip in: The extremely reliable Shimano XTR/XT Trail, and the very popular Crankbrothers Mallet which, to be kind, has a rather spotty history for reliability. Time's ATAC system uses a simple, spring-loaded, non-adjustable mechanism, similar to the Mallet, that excels in muddy conditions and has proven to be eminently reliable. The possibility of a third player in the all-mountain/gravity pedal game, powered by a strong development team like Mavic's is a brilliant one, so we got our hands on a pair of Crossmax XL pedals for an introductory review. Mavic
Mavic Crossmax XL pedals
Mavic's cleat is designed to sit between two powerful springs, so the contact points naturally displace mud and grime. Ramps molded in the pedal platforms effortlessly guide the cleats and shoe into position.
use a carbon reinforced nylon body, molded into a rectangular platform that is streamlined vertically to evacuate mud. The stainless steel engagement mechanism is basically a pair of stiff wire springs. Ramps and guides are molded into the pedal body that usher the cleat into the pedal, while encouraging mud and dirt to escape as the cleat enters the trap. The springs are not adjustable, but the cleat is profiled so that reversing it to the opposing shoe will increase the amount of angular play and noticeably reduce the force required to release the shoe from the pedal. The steel cleat adapts to any SPD-type shoe and it allows the shoe to move 2.5 millimeters left or right, and also offers five degrees of angular freedom. Friction between the shoe and the pedal platform mask the pedal's free play, so the shoe can find its sweet spot without giving the rider a sense that his or her foot is floundering on the pedal. Depending upon the right/left orientation of the cleat, the Crossmax pedal mech will release at 13 or 17 degrees of foot rotation. The springs build tension as the foot releases, giving the rider a clear indication of the release point, while also allowing the foot to swing wide without accidentally releasing - a major plus when jumping, or pulling off an athletic move, like launching up a rock step or jerking the bike around a tight switchback turn. Our test pedal, the Crossmax XL, has a chromoly steel shaft that rolls on sealed ball bearings. The pair weighed 380 grams on the scale and the MSRP is $249 USD. Mavic offers a titanium-shaft version for $399 that weighs a reported 340 grams, and lower-spec models are available for as little as $99.95.
The longevity of the Crossmax XL's fiber-reinforced plastic body was in question. We did not break them although the cages show evidence that we tried to. Experience with its Time predecessor demonstrated that, even if one does manage to bash off a corner of the pedal, the mechanism can still function well. Perhaps Mavic will offer spare parts.
|Mavic's Crossmax is a great start to a competitive pedal development program - and those who are familiar with its sister, the Time ATAC pedal, will no-doubt agree that the engagement and release feel of the mechanism may be the best made. While there is a guided path for the cleat to slide forward into the mech, the cleat can also engage simply by placing it on the pedal and pressing downwards - something that gravity riders will no-doubt appreciate. There is plenty of warning before the shoe releases, and the entrance and exit is accompanied by a smooth, decisive action, along with a reassuring sound. Built-in lateral and angular float makes setting up the cleat to match the rider's pedaling action much easier, as a small angular error will not force the foot out of position and risk messing up a knee while test-riding your setup. If a second adjustment is required, there is also less anxiety about getting it wrong and falling back to square one - an issue that Shimano SPD users deal with sometimes. We had a chance to use the Mavic Crossmax XL pedals in a range of conditions, including sticky clay mud and a lot of boulder hopping - the latter of which, created much concern for the lifespan of their molded-plastic pedal platforms. Muddy conditions afforded no issues with engagement or disengagement, and we are happy (perhaps, "lucky" may be a better word) to report that the pedal's carbon-reinforced nylon platforms survived repeated bashing without a crack or complaint. We are not naive to the fact that it is possible to break the plastic platform cage, as we have done so riding its Time counterpart, but we also must add that the pedal is far tougher in that respect than its appearance may lead one to assume. We can hardly wait to see what the collaboration between Mavic and Time will produce as Mavic moved forward with its pedal program. In the meantime, the Crossmax XL is my new go-to all-mountain pedal. - RC|