French Fries and French Shoes: Mavic softgoods debut

IMG_5416.jpg 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.

IMG_5414.jpg 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.


More Mavic Coverage

Crazy Bike Inventions

At our next Mobile Social, we’re considering lots of fun bike things to do – [maybe a Bowie v. Prince theme]( –) or something like riding the craziest bike inventions we can find …

That’s super crazy, but I think this butt-to-butt tandem is even crazier than the face-to-face tandem. The best idea though is possibly this breast-power one, modified to power your bike lights. And there’s always the lawnmower bikes.

What’s the craziest bike invention you’ve ever seen?

Don’t give away your secret plans to rule bike culture, but maybe you’ve even got a great/crazy idea? And by coincidence, Wired just ran a similar post. Oddly claiming that a CVT was “wacky.”

Recommend a Commuter Bike

A Twitter follower asked

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.

Also check the Commute by Bike blog for more reviews.

Readers what would you recommend?

Shoes for the Mavic Mac Daddy

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.

More Mavic Softgoods Coverage

Uploaded by Hugger Industries | more from the Bike Hugger Photostream.

Dragon Bike

I would so ride this dragon bike, in downtown commuter traffic, with a big smile on my face, and waving at all the people sitting in their cars … .

Uploaded by stevil_knevil | more from the Bike Hugger Photostream.

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