Review: Mavic Notch Helmet, Shoes and Apparel

Apparel Helmets Shoes

Mavic Notch Graphic Long Sleeve Jersey ($70; six sizes; yellow, black or white)

Full disclosure, this jersey is a little more “enduro” than I will ever be. That’s not to say I require tight fitting Lycra on every ride. But when I do forsake the traditional cycling jersey (which happens often), it’s typically for something with short- or three-quarter sleeves that doesn’t fit like a hockey jersey. But hey, I’m 42 years old and don’t drink Red Bull, so maybe this jersey’s appeal is simply lost on me.

Whatever the case, I can say the Graphic Long Sleeve is made of soft, lightweight mesh fabric, has a v-neck cut, and cuffed sleeves that keep the sleeves in place whether fully extended or pulled up to the elbows. When purchasing, pay close attention to the sizing. Our size medium was more like a US large, if not an extra large.

Mavic Notch Short Set ($120; five sizes; white or yellow)

Removable chamois liner: check. Zippered pockets front and rear: yessir. Ample clearance for kneepad use: you betcha. Beefed up material in the rear to withstand abrasion and stains from mud and dirt: check, again (and we’ve ridden in the mud a few times this spring).

The only major downfall with the Mavic Short Set is its lack of an adjustable waistband, meaning if you get the fit wrong you’ll have to wear a belt to keep then from falling down. Mine fit fine so that’s not an issue, but again, try before you buy, especially with Mavic gear, which seems to be a little schizophrenic when it comes to consistency in sizing.

Mavic Singletrack Glove ($45; five sizes; yellow, white or black)

Fit, more than anything else, is job one of a good mountain bike glove. If they are loose and bunch up, grip can be compromised and you may end up with a few unwanted blisters. If they’re too small, they wont be very comfortable.

All that said, I love these gloves. I love the ultra grippy leather palm. I love the knuckle with vented padding. I love the beefy strap that never comes loose. I love the fact that they are bright yellow. (But hey, that’s me.) And I love the fact that the size Large fits my hands perfectly. One gripe: while great for grip and comfort, the leather palm is not very good at soaking up sweat.

Alpine XL Shoes ($130, standard sizing options)

While not new, the medium-stiffness Alpine XL shoe has undergone a host of refinements that include a new insole, a longer lasting outsole, and a beefier side panel to protect against crank rub or whatever else the trail throws at you.

Past iterations of the shoe were falling short in part because the soft rubber sole was wearing out too quickly. That led to a materials change; the shoes now utilize what Mavic calls a Trail Grip outsole, which basically means the sole will last longer and provides a solid foundation for walking, too.

Mavic says fit was improved thanks to the a dual-density orthopedic liner. They also have a neoprene ankle cuff to keep rocks from getting inside your shoes (great feature). Retention is achieved via a Velcro strap and flap that lay on top of a Quick Lace system (easy to use).

Bottom line, the Alpine XL is what it is: a comfortable but not overly stiff shoe that’s a great choice if comfort, walkability and enduro fashion are more important that maximum pedaling efficiency. I love having these shoes in the closet for days when I know I wont be hammering uphill (and may have to walk around a trail feature or two as was the case on a recent trip to the occasionally burly Lunch Loops system near Grand Junction). And if you have to drive to the trailhead, no need to switch shoes. The Alpine XL does just fine working the brake and gas pedals.

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About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympics, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the Mtbr staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying life with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.

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