Tour de France Tech: New lightweight Mavic road shoes spotted

Shoes Tour de France

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It’s sheer speculation at this point, but it sure looks like Mavic has a new pair of ultra-light road shoes in the pipeline. Spotted this past week at the Tour de France, these slick-looking black and yellow numbers on the feet of Ag2r-La Mondiale star Christophe Riblon. We snapped these photos the day before the race kicked off, back on July 4 in Yorkshire, England. Since then the Frenchman and a few others in the Tour peloton have been spotted racing in the new kicks.

We reached out to Mavic in search of more details, but the French wheel and apparel maker isn’t ready to tell the whole story just yet. “It’s always the case that Mavic relies heavily on professional athletes for testing and validation of new products,” said communication manager Zack Vestal. “Any new footwear you see would be designed in close collaboration with our pro riders to meet their needs during demanding events like the Tour. So it’s safe to consider that we’re always working with riders to try new things and improve existing products.”

It seems pretty clear, though, that these are not one-off prototypes. In fact, we’d be really surprised if they weren’t ready for primetime unveiling at next month’s Eurobike cycling industry trade show in Germany.

New-Mavics

Riblon was still dialing in cleat placement when we happened upon what looks like a new top-tier shoe offering from Mavic.

The most obvious difference between these shoes and Mavic’s current top-tier offering, the Zxellium Ultimate, is the closure mechanism. While that $450 offering utilizes a ratchet paired with two Velcro straps, these shoes have what appears to be a two-way Boa-like (but not Boa-branded) dial, plus two straps. That would imply a lighter weight than the already-wispy 250-gram claimed weight of the Zxellium Ultimates. Perhaps Mavic is looking to compete with the new Giro Empire SLX, which were launched just before the start of the Tour and have a claimed weight of 175 grams.

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The other eye-catcher is the frame material around the heel and over the top of the foot. At first blush it looks a lot like carbon fiber, which would certainly add to a potential lightweight story. The Zxellium Ultimates have a similar looking material (labeled Energy Frame Carbon), but it’s used much more sparsely. The idea with the material would likely be to lighten the shoe by reducing the number of needed reinforcements, while retaining stiffness and foot support. We also get a pretty clear clue of the name, as the word “Cosmic” is striped across the heel.

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Heel security looks to come from reinforcing material at the back of the shoe (Energy Lock Carbon Comp), which would be one step ahead of the Zxellium Ultimates, which have a Energy Lock Carbon 3D heel counter. The outsole is the same as the Zxellium Ultimates, full composite labeled, “Energy Full Carbon SLR.” That’s about all we know for now, but expect more details to come out during trade show season in August and September.

heels pair

MAVIC ROAD SHOES 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 Tour de France, the Olympic Games, 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 RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com 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 time with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora.


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