Fashion Show: Top notch mountain bike apparel — part 3

Cool cycling kit and more from Kitsbow, Mavic, and Gore

Apparel Helmets Shoes

Mavic MTB Apparel

Mavic

Mavic will likely forever be best known for its wheels and yellow neutral service cars. But the French company also consistently makes some of our favorite MTB apparel. This year’s crop of goods is no exception. The only problem is that most of this gear is not yet available on this side of the Atlantic. But word from HQ in Annecy is that it will be here sometime this fall, so we’ll go ahead and tell you about it ahead of time. Note that U.S. pricing on some items has not yet been set.

Mavic Crossride Long Sleeve Hoodie

Tops on the hit list is the good looking and versatile Crossride Long Sleeve Hoodie (see www.mavic.us), which can be worn on and off the bike, and is actually quite functional despite what might look like a simple design. The hood is stretchy enough to pull over a helmet if the weather turns chilly, and the sleeves can easily be pulled up to your elbows when the sun comes back out, which is a lot simpler than mucking around with arm warmers. We’ve typically worn it directly over a base layer on variable weather days. But fit is loose enough that it can go over top of a jersey, too. An articulated cut moves well in the riding position, and while not perfect, Mavic’s trail wick fabric does a reasonable job of keeping sweat off your skin.

Mavic Crossride Jersey

For warmer days, the Crossride Jersey (more info here) is a solid choice. Stretchy, wicking fabric performs well on the bike. Subtle styling means you can keep it on post ride.

Mavic Crossride Short Set

Either top pairs well with the Crossride Short Set (www.mavic.us), which are long enough to wear with kneepads, but not so baggy that they get caught on your saddle when you’re moving around. We love the clean look, soft-but-durable fabric, and adjustable Velcro belt that’s reliably held these shorts in place during a long summer of riding. But the single snap fly is a little risky and we’d like to see at least one zipped pocket. As it is there’s a rear pocket with a flap that’s help in place by a strip of Velcro.

Stretchy fabric avails freedom of movement, and DWR treatment repels water. These shorts also come with a removable liner short, that’s good but not great. Finally, a pair of belt loops are designed to interface with Mavic’s integrated baggy short-hydrabelt hydration system. It’s an interesting concept but one we’ve yet to test.

Mavic Crossmax Pro H2O Jacket

The waterproof Crossmax Pro H2O Jacket continues the design theme, while providing a robust barrier between rider and rain. It’s not as light or packable as either of the Gore jackets, but the heavier weight serves you well when the temperature falls. A pair of zippered frontside vents allow for on-the-fly heat management, while Lycra wrist cuffs keep heat in, cold out. Unlike the Pearl Izumi WRX jacket, the hood does not fit over a helmet, but it does roll up and stow if you want to get it out of the way. The interior collar is very soft on the skin, and the sturdy YKK zipper with fully sealed seams can be operated with one hand. Available in sizes from S to XXL in both the pictured bright color combo and black. More info here.

Mavic Crossmax Pro Helmet

Finally, we tested the Crossmax Pro Helmet and Crossride Elite Shoes. The 331-gram helmet size medium has been our No. 1 lid this summer both for its looks and protection. The visor is adjustable for goggle use, there’s ample rear protective coverage, and the front six vents are covered in mosquito netting to keep the bugs at bay. Fit adjustment is achieved by an easy-to-manipulate rear dial with height adjuster. There’s also a foam insert at the forehead area for improved comfort and added protection in the case of an impact, something we successfully tested on Crested Butte South’s techy Waterfall Trail.

Points are taken off for straps that can get twisted and the white upper shell coloring, which has gotten a little dingy over time. Price is $180. More info at www.mavic.us.

Mavic Crossride Shoes

Meanwhile, the Crossride Shoes are a little on the flashy side and not particularly light (450 grams per shoe, size 44). But comfort, durability, and price are right… sort of. The qualifier is there because we managed to tear a hole in toe area after scraping against a sharp rock on one of our go-to lunch ride trails. Normally we’d blame poor shoe construction. But a few days later the exact same thing happened to another pair of test shoes…on the same rock.

Besides the small tear (which was easily repaired with dab of super glue) these shoes have held up well during a long summer of use. The traction-enhancing sole tread is completely intact, and we’ve yet to see any significant thread fraying. If you’re looking to squeeze every watt out of your pedal strokes, you’ll want something with a stiffer sole. But for long days with the inevitable hike-a-bike sections, these shoes have performed remarkably well given their $100 price tag. And while I’m not a huge fan of the wonky lace-first-then-Velcro-strap closure system, it does allow for a fairly fined tuned fit and has never come loose. Reinforced toe and heel protection is another plus. More info at www.mavic.us.


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 Olympics, Tour de France, MTB world champs, 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 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 kids Cora and Tommy in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.


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