Given Switzerland’s small geographic area dominated by urban and wooded terrain, defensive military bicycle units, have been conscripted for more than 100 years. The Swiss military surplus bicycle photographed here is known as MO-05. Amazingly this single speed bicycle remained virtually unchanged from its introduction in 1905 and the design was in service for nearly 85 years. (It was only slightly modified to include a drum brake in models after 1911.) This example was procured in Switzerland and is equipped with dynamo light, leather satchels for storage, and ball hitch trailer for transporting stretchers. It’s owner Carl, uses this hefty bike for cargo applications, and you may see him riding near his home in West Seattle.
For the NW region, Mavic came to Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood to give retailers an in-person look at the new apparel and shoe line. Regional rep Karlee Brandner hosted the event at Brouwer’s Belgian cafe. With plenty of beer and pommes frites on hand, Mavic softgoods marketing director Glen McKibben, on loan back from France, presented the debut apparel line under the prestigious rim and wheel manufacturer’s brand. Bike Hugger had a chance to ask about the new road shoe, Zxellium.
The Zxellium (don’t hurt yourself, just say “zell-ium”) is Big Yellow’s shoe for demanding riders including Pro Tour animal Thor Hushovd. The “Energy” outsole is just 5.5mm thick to bring the ball of the foot very close to the pedal spindle but still provides enough power transfer for the fiercest sprints. The “Energy Lock” is a minimalist heel cup designed to provide lightweight yet effective support at the rear of the shoe.
A new ratchet buckle was designed with pro rider input, stressing toughness and ease of adjustment in tactically precise moments like just before surge for the final sprint. The toe cap is cleverly designed to remove pressure points that some riders, myself included, experience with other shoes. Mavic also uses a 3-layer construction process called “Ergo Lite” for Zxellium’s upper. Using light weight and supple mesh and microfibre materials that are primarily bonded rather than stitched, Mavic produces a comfortable yet supportive unit.
At 275gr per shoe, the Zxellium will retail for $300. Interestingly, there are two shoes in the road line that are even lighter. The Zxellium Ultimate ($450) uses a higher modulus sole that is just 4mm thick to drop 30gr, while the Huez ($400) sacrifices the ratchet to bring the weight down to just 195gr per shoe.
At our next Mobile Social, we’re considering lots of fun bike things to do – [maybe a Bowie v. Prince theme](http://www.momentumplanet.com/blog/glorious/freak-vs-bowie-vs-prince –) or something like riding the craziest bike inventions we can find …
Got a recommended bike for a newbie wanting to make a suburb-to-town commute Haven’t ridden since my mtn bike days 8+ yrs ago
I’d say check your local bike shop and look at Swobo, Redline, Kona, Surly and the usual suspects. There’s much value in commute bikes these days; especially with Novara at REI. A new fav of ours is Soma with their straight-up steel bikes. And much has improved in the last 8 years. Find a bike in budget and get the best parts you can.
The shoes shown here have a Salomon influence with lots of attention to detail. The jackets, jerseys, and shorts all share Arcteryx influences with many nice touches and details – like a jacket sleeve with a watch port.
As we learned at the release party, the clothing isn’t under the Adidas brand and without that umbrella over their head, the design team really did their home work. They produced a very technical, thoughtful, and performance-oriented line. The line offers the lightest shoe on the market and it’s surprisingly light in the hand (like the first time you held a carbon bar). There’s soul in these products and you can tell.
Summary: It’s apparel and shoes to match the most Mac Daddy Mavic wheel.
For those designers into brand, very interesting to see how Mavic positioned a new line with its own mark. At first, when I saw the “techno-M” I thought, “oh no, they rebranded the Mavic oval!,” but later their marketing director set me straight.
Mark is working on HD video and more photos and his reports. As you’ll see the line shares SSC markings and lots of wheel influence and spans high-end road to mountain and urban. They didn’t show the new pedals.