Review: Mavic Notch Helmet, Shoes and Apparel

Apparel Helmets Shoes

On Saturday, the much-hyped Enduro World Series kicks off its seven-race slate with round No. 1 in Punta Ala, Italy. There competitors will take on the steep slopes of this famed riding zone, hoping to get a jump on the series that will culminate with the crowning of the first enduro world champion in mid-October. Before it’s all done, the EWS will travel to four countries and two continents, with the finals heading back to Italy and the appropriately named Finale Ligure.

While there are no mandatory gear requirements for these events, it’s safe to say enduro-specific apparel will be the norm. At least that’s what many cycling companies are hoping, including Mavic, which this year launched a range of products aimed directly at the burgeoning all-mountain enduro racing crowd.

Meet Mavic Notch, a product line that resides a step below the company’s top level Stratos range, a step above the lower-tier Redrock offerings, and is branded as a collaborative effort with its top sponsored enduro riders, former downhill world champs Fabien Barel and Anne-Caroline Chausson, and longtime enduro whiz Jerome Clementz (pictured above). All three riders will be racing the EWS and wearing some or all of the new Notch gear. Those enduro uniforms include a helmet, jersey, shorts with removable liner, gloves and shoes.

Back in February, we took delivery of a full Notch kit, and now after two-and-half months riding on the sometimes rugged trails of Colorado, it’s time to report some findings. Here’s a piece by piece breakdown.

Mavic Notch Helmet ($110; three sizes; yellow, black or white)

Clean lines and ample venting are the hallmarks of this 320-gram (size medium) brain protector that straddles the line between full-on enduro helmet and XC racer.

To maximize airflow, the fully-safety-certified helmet utilizes a dozen forward vents plus five more in the back. Fit is manipulated via Mavic’s Ergo Hold Retention System, which provides 6cm of adjustment via a rear dial. You can also adjust the depth setting for further personalization. I personally had no problem getting the helmet to fit snug and stay out of my field of vision, but no two heads are exactly the same, so always try before you buy.

Color choices include the usual Mavic mix: white, black or Mavic yellow. The later will be a tad loud for some. But if you’re a fan of Mavic, then you’ll love it.

Interior padding is anti-microbial, and thus far it’s kept stink at bay despite a few toasty rides on Colorado’s balmy Western Slope. The pads are also comfortable and sweat absorbing, though I’ve yet to find a helmet that will soak up all the perspiration that emits from my drippy forehead.

One definite grip is the visor’s lack of adjustability. Personally I don’t wear goggles when I ride, so this wasn’t a huge issue for me. But some folks like the goggle look, and for them visor adjustability is key to proper fit — and clear visibility. It’s also a feature that is found on the competitor offerings from the likes of Bell and POC, so Mavic takes a hit there. The visor is removable for whatever that’s worth.

Bottom line, this helmet is a solid, functional lid that offers more protection than your average XC helmet without bulking up on weight or causing you to overheat on hot days. It even has reflective highlights if your ride happens to end on a road in the dark.

Head to page 2 for the rest of the review and an expansive gallery.

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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