The French Brands always reinvents itself. The Manufacture d’Articles Vélocipédiques Idoux et Chanel, a.k.a. Mavic, has evolved with its own time, always coming up with breakthrough technologies and category-defining products. We had a talk about their grasp on newly developed materials, and where Mavic stands in the cycling world.
Kring : Mavic has been one of the standards for cycling material over the years. If you have to name one innovation that you feel Mavic is the most proud of, what would it be?
Mavic: For alloy wheels, ISM and its latest evolution ISM4D is a very unique rim innovation: by removing excess material in-between each spoke hole and keeping thick rim wall around the spoke hole, the rim is made superlight with no sacrifice on durability. This protected by multiple patents.
For carbon wheels, our iTgMAX innovation makes our carbon clincher light, super strong and with the best braking efficiency.
Kring : You’ve also always had a lot of sponsorship with professional athletes, such as Greg LeMond. What is the importance of such partnerships?
Mavic: Pro athletes helps to validate our newest technologies and innovations. They push us to excellence because their requirements are way above anything else.
And of course, it’s a nice window to showcase our products.
On the 2017 Tour De France, AG2R Team from Romain Bardet and Cannondale Drapac from Rigoberto Uran are using our wheels (Comete, Cosmic and Ksyrium). Dan Martin is using our Comete Ultimate shoes and 4 other athletes are on our Cosmic Ultimate shoes.
Kring: The Ksyrium and Cosmic lines of wheels have been very central in their product category for many years now. How could you explain their success?
Mavic: Those wheels have defined their categories in the very early days of wheel-system (light low profile for Ksyrium and aero but light for the Cosmic).
Over the years, we managed to improve them again and again to keep them on the leading edge of wheel design, thanks to technologies such as ISM4, Exalith, iTgMax, ID360…
Although some cyclists don’t always perceive them as the most advanced, light, “sexy”…, their proven reliability and the service our brand is offering is a reassuring factor for demanding riders.
Kring: What is your view on disc brakes on road bikes? Do you think that could be the future of road racing? Is Mavic making efforts in this sense?
Mavic: We believe disc brakes have a lot of benefits in some conditions (extra modulation, weather proof, allowing the use of larger tyres…).
But we also understand their limitation in other conditions (quick wheel change in races, pad clearance vs rub…).
So, we are not trying to decide for the rider.
Our Road Wheel-Tyre System is fully ready: each rim brake model now has a disc brake equivalent (except R-Sys SLR and Aksium Elite).
Kring: How does Mavic place itself on the urban riding market, with fixed gear bikes and so on? What innovations are you guys trying to bring on this market?
Mavic: We design products primarily for cycling sports performance, with a priority for Track, Road & Triathlon, Allroad / Gravel and every discipline of MTB.
We know our track wheels, especially our Ellipse, is popular on urban fixed gear bikes. And indeed, they serve the purpose very well.
Also, many items within our clothing line (apparel, helmet, footwear), which are primarily designed for sports, can easily find their place in the city too, allowing for efficient bike commute and elegant coffee stops.
Kring: Let’s talk about you technical clothes lines. What innovations have been made in the last few years to make these more suited to the riders’ needs?
Mavic: Clothing is about efficiency, fit, comfort and style. Our apparel, helmet and footwear lines are designed around those 4 benefits.
In our bib short, we’ve made lots of research around vibration and shock absorption and we’ve designed pads with Ortholite inserts to improve comfort.
Our helmets now feature a flexible and very light band of breathable memory foam that instantly adapts to your head for a perfect personal fit, thus unrivaled comfort. We call it Live Fit SL.
And with our latest Comete Ultimate shoe, we’ve reinvented the cycling shoe: The Energy Shell Carbon offers full power transfer and transmits all the energy delivered by the racer to the bike – a game changer in cycling shoe construction.
Kring: What does the future look like for Mavic? What would be your main goals?
Mavic: Our mission is to improve riders experiences, whatever they are willing to achieve with their bikes: race fast, ride further, discover more…
We relentlessly invest in R&D and cyclist understanding to always bring additional benefits and enhance experiences.