Mavic visits Bicycle Times

We’re getting spoiled here at Bicycle Times Headquarters! Two companies in as many weeks have stopped by to show us their wares. Sorry you couldn’t make it, but we’re going to share what we saw with you.

This time it was Zack from Mavic who stopped by, bringing an assortment of Mavic’s wheels, shoes and clothing for show and tell. If you’ve somehow been living under a rock or on Mars, you should know Mavic has been building wheels and other cycling parts in France for more than 100 years.

But it’s really their wheels that they are known for, and first up they were. We saw some of the mid-range products that have been updated for 2011. The biggest new technology is the Exalith textured aluminum treatment for braking surfaces. It strengthens the material while increasing braking performance when combined with Mavic’s own brake pads. See it here on the Cosmic Carbone SLR wheels.

We also saw the Crosstrail Disc mountain bike wheel, switchable from 9mm QR to 15mm QR. Sorry 29er fans, this one comes in 26-inch only.

Next up was the clothing line, impressively large given Mavic is a relative newcomer to the apparel business.

My favorite piece was the Stratos H20 Jacket, designed for all-day adventures and extreme wet-weather trail riding, built with Gore-Tex Paclite fabric. It has scuff guards on the elbows, a detachable hood, an expandable pack panel for wearing it over a hydration pack and my favorite feature: a clear watch portal.

We also saw the Helium line of jerseys, shorts and outerwear, designed to be as light as possible, and the Vision line, offered in the brightest orange I’ve ever seen. Seriously, these things GLOW.

Another cool feature of many of the jackets and vests was the Clima-vent zipper-within-a-zipper vent system. It allows the main zipper to be completely open, exposing a mesh vent that zippers below it. It’s a great way to get more airflow inside during a long climb without the jacket flopping around behind you unzipped.

There is an impressive lineup of shorts, all of which include a redesigned chamios for 2011. One notable feature is that the short is built around the pad, rather than building a short and then stitching the pad inside of it. This gives the shorts an odd look, almost like they’re inside out, but it makes a lot of sense and is almost certainly more comfortable.

Equally impressive is the lineup of shoes, ranging from entry level to $400 pro-level magic slippers. The Huez ultralight road race shoe weighs in at a shocking 200 grams. It felt astonishing to hold it in your hand.

Back in reality-land we took special liking to the Switchback softshell shoe (below left), that has a waterproof, breathable upper, and the Alpine XL shoe (below right) that offers tons of protection and a hike-worthy sole.

We can’t go into all of the products here, but check out the slideshow below for more photos, and keep your eyes peeled for full reviews of any of the products we can get dirty!

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