If you notice a similarity to Time pedals, you are on to something.
In its continuing push to offer a complete suite of top-end cycling gear, Mavic rolled out a new pedal line and a refined pair of race ready road shoes during the Eurobike trade show in Friedrichshafen, Germany.
The road pedals (which are actually re-branded versions from fellow French cycling company Time) utilize i-Clic retention technology that is easy to engage and offers 700mm of surface area. There are four models, ranging from the Zxellium Elite (225 grams, $100) to the super light Zxellium SLR Ti (155 grams, $400). The Zxellium SLR (190 grams, $275) and Zxellium SL (205 grams, $175) round out the line.
Mavic PR man Zack Vestal says that while the pedal technology is not new, its interface with the company's new high-end Zxellium Ultimate shoes provides among the lowest stack height combination on the market at 13.5mm from the center of the pedal axle to the sole of the shoe or 22.7mm to the bottom of the foot. That means less foot rock, lower muscular stabilization requirement, and increased power transfer efficiency, added Vestal.
"That's about as low as you can get unless you are talking about a Speedplay pedal with a dedicated Speedplay shoe," explained Vestal. "But unlike that set-up, these pedals will work with any three-hole system."
The i-Click retention has a rear jaw that cocks like gun hammer when in the open position, so when you step in it snaps into place, making it easy to engage. This is Mavic's latest foray into the pedal game, but Vestal says that while its last attempt was scrapped due to a lack of novel technology, this new line has the necessary advancements and is parallel with Mavic's viewpoint of offering lightweight and progressive functionality.
"They also bring a great weight-to-price ratio to market when you are talking about starting with a 205-gram pedal at a $175 price point," he said.
Lower weight, more comfort and still the same power transfer is what Mavic is selling.
Complementing Mavic's new pedal line is the fully revised Zxellium Ultimate shoe (250 grams per shoe, $475 per pair). "It's really a sole upward revision for 2014," said Vestal of the new race ready kicks. "And these have already been raced at Tour de France this year."
Available in black or Mavic's iconic yellow (pictured above), the carbon-fiber soled Zxellium Ultimate incorporates changes designed to make it more pliable and comfortable while maintaining efficient power transfer. In the past, Vestal admits, this model was very rigid, but not super comfortable for all wearers. "Now it is a more comfortable shoe," said Vestal. "The 3D mesh on upper is more pliable than it used to be. And in places where we used to use thicker synthetic material bonded over mesh we have gone to TPU coating, which is basically a thin liquid plastic coating."
Also gone is the rigid plastic that was used in many areas, replaced by laminated carbon, which is more pliable to the pressure points but has little stretch. That keeps retention secure across the instep without losing rigidity. And it is also very comfortable against the foot.
"The shoe also loses about 25 grams per shoe," added Vestal. "It's a big overall improvement over the previous version that was a little too structured. That was uncomfortable for some people who were looking for a top end racing shoe."
Mavic is growing its line far beyond wheels, but hoops are still the company's bread and butter.
Finally, Mavic also released a consumer version of its 40mm Cosmic Carbone 40 T carbon tubular wheel. It's slotted as a wide, bomber option that can be raced in the classics - or ridden in classics style conditions. "This is the wheel Johan Van Summeren won Paris-Roubaix on in 2012. But it wasn't available for sale until now," explained Vestal, adding that tire bed width is 25mm, weight is 1,435 per pair and it will retail for $2,750 with tires.