The pro-issue yellow Mavic Zxellium Ultimate Shoe is one you can't help but notice. It stands out even in a field of shiny 'look at me' pro-level footwear. And the updated version will get you to look twice. Not only is it a screaming shiny yellow that stretches even less than the older micro fiber, but it also wraps a flexible carbon-fiber frame around your foot for better fit and strength. The Energy Frame Carbon is a new feature and one that was created to better hold in place the feet of riders who push down and pull up with all their might for hours at a time. It is carbon-fiber cloth finished with a flexible polymer so that it can comfortably wrap around any foot, conforming without stretching and anchoring said foot to the sole. It starts at the sole by the arch and wraps around to the ratchet buckle. The ratchet buckle and strap have been upgraded as well. Mavic made the buckle larger, so it's easier to get large or gloved fingers underneath and grasp. The strap has deeper valleys between the teeth for better, more confident grip. And the Ergo Strap Carbon runs through integrated, two-position nylon lace guides for both better fit and smoother action. The Energy Lock Carbon heel remains the same, as does the integrated, wrap-around Ergo Tongue. They've also upgraded the insole. They call it Ergo Fit 3D. It means two things. One is that the insole is three-dimensional, rather than two, and there are three different density materials giving some cushion on the top layer, a crushable bottom layer, and shaping from the heel cup through the arch. The bottom of the shoe has been tweaked a bit. The sole is still 5.5mm thick above the three-hole cleat mounting area and under the ball of the foot, but there is a big cut-out in front of the cleat area to better ventilate the shoe and ridges have been built up running from behind the cleat area to the back of the shoe to add stiffness. The result is a sole that is as stiff as before, but when you add in the titanium cleat mounting nuts, 5-10g lighter per shoe as compared to last year's version. Mavic made some nice finishing touches on the sole as well. The cleat nuts have 6mm of fore-aft play so you have an even greater range of adjustment than you do with just the cleats alone. The mounting area is also finished slightly abrasive to better hold the cleats in place. The Mavic Zxellium Ultimate Shoes come in Black and Mavic Yellow. The shoes come in both whole and half sizes from 5.5 to 13 UK. Claimed weight is 270g for an 8.5 UK shoe.
Strengths: Lightweight, no excess grams on these.......
Comfortable to all but the very widest of feet. The moulded insoles are excellent.
The triple bolt holes have a lot of adjustment range.
The shoes are well constructed with useful 'real world' fitment / ratchet tensioning straps and a truly stiff carbon sole.
These shoes hold the yellow colour well and are easily and quickly returned to as new bright yellow colouration with an occasional high pressure car wash hose.
Weaknesses: Some might balk at the price but I feel like I have got very good value from these shoes.
I wish they had the same wide open weave ventilation as the Mavic Fury MTB shoes. The mesh vent weave on these is a closer waeve and does not breath as much as I'd like being a mostly mild to hot weather rider.
This is a review of 2009 Mavic Zxelium Ultimate road shoes in the Yellow colour.
These shoes are very light weight and feature an extremely stiff carbon sole. The Zxelium Ultimates are not a particularly wide cut shoe compared to higher end Shimano shoes but I hardly consider my feet narrow by any stretch and I have no complaints about the fit.
After useage of 2 to 3 rides per week these shoes have no stitching come adrift and with only occasional high pressure hosing (car wash) still look close to new condition.
Bike Setup: Colnago C50 with Campagnolo Record 11 speed, Campagnolo Eurus wheel set and Schwalbe Ultemo R.1 tyres. Oval Concepts R910 bars and R900 stem - Selle SMP glider saddle.
a Road Racer
Date Reviewed: August 26, 2011
Strengths: Stiff bottoms but feel springy in a good way.
Lots of Adjustability - bolt holes not fixed.
Light weight - 584 gms with custom insoles and SPD-SL cleats per pair. Sh-r300s are 717 gms with the same setup.
Weaknesses: Nowhere near as comfortable as the custom molded SH-R300.
My Shimano R300s never really wowed me as far as power transfer - fit like a glove but power transmission was lacking. The problem was that the q factor was simply to narrow caused my hips to rotate and I couldn't generate any sprinting power. Enter the Mavic shoes which had been on the shelf for a year. Larger q factor and instant 8 mph faster top end because I could extend my legs properly and use all of my quad.