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.


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