We were recently invited to Perpignan in the south of France to enjoy a couple of days riding Mavic’s new ‘Allroad’ collection, which includes all new wheels and a complete range of technical clothing for the growing niche of gravel riding.
Behind the Allroad clothing collection is product designer Sylvain Richard who informs us the range is motivated by the same technical function as any other garment in their range but with a more relaxed silhouette; in our experience, that holds true.
Firstly, and most excitingly, is Mavic’s new gravel-specific shoe, the Allroad Pro: it utilises patented Matryx technology to weave a one-piece upper, a mixture of polyamide and kevlar, that weighs just 16 grams. The upper is incredibly thin and breathable, almost mesh like, and is treated with a durable water repellent coating before manufacture, so the coating is present throughout the entirety of the material.
The kevlar fibres are included only at the sides of the shoe, where strictly necessary and where foot retention is most important; kevlar is renowned for its massive tensile strength.
Talking to the man behind the shoe, Richard informed us the upper is five times more resistant to abrasion than a standard synthetic upper and ten times more so than other knitted shoes they’ve seen. So, perfect for a gravel shoe in the roughest of terrain.
When asked if the shoe were to develop a cut would the whole thing unravel, Richard explains that thanks to it’s incredibly tight and complex weave it would be practically impossible for that to happen.
While we didn’t get a chance to ride these - they’re still in late stages of testing - we did get a chance to slip our foot into one. The thin fabric is noticeable immediately, particularly at the ankle where the shoe finishes. It just seems to conform well to the strange shapes of one’s foot, and the weight is also surprising at 280g per shoe (EU43) - it’s feathery light for a shoe that takes two-bolt cleats.
"Richard informed us the upper is five times more resistant to abrasion than a standard synthetic upper and ten times more so than other knitted shoes they’ve seen"
The Allroad Pro shoe will be offered with two different density options for the rubberized sole in lace-up closure only, and is scheduled to launch in September of this year.
Further to the shoes is the extensive Allroad clothing line, each part of which delivers on the technical yet relaxed criteria of the designers.
Our favourite piece has been the insulated reversible gilet, offering both a bright orange exterior for safety in low light conditions and a more relaxed grey exterior for when days may be spent on and off the bike.
The gilet fits well, with stretch panels at the sides and features a pocket the entire garment packs into - great for transport. While the insulation is a little thicker than other insulated gilets on the market we’ve actually found it to be ideal, especially for UK conditions.
Next up are the two options for jerseys. The Allroad short-sleeve jersey features a woven fabric upper atop a merino torso and offers great breathability thanks to it’s relaxed fit raglan sleeves and adjustable collar.
The collar itself is more akin to a polo shirt than a cycling jersey but remains classy thanks to the grey or blue finish. It’s different, and we like it.
The long sleeve thermal Allroad jersey features a thicker merino fabric that’s brushed on the inside; the fabric is luxuriously soft and features subtle reflective details - an ideal garment for those long-distance changeable-weather rides.
The Allroad Fitted Baggy shorts sound a little oxymoronic, but they are exactly as described - a baggy short with a more refined silhouette than that of a standard mountain bike short. There are four pockets with which to carry all the accessories one may want, including two regular pockets at the sides, one at the rear, and a water resistant bonded pocket half way down the front of the right leg. We found this especially useful for carrying our empty food wrappers in, although a smartphone could fit quite comfortably away from the potential moisture damage zone of the lower back.
We were impressed with the DWR coating on the shorts as, despite no claimed water resistance, we rode in some pretty wet conditions and remained vastly dry, with the exception of the obvious when riding without a mudguard. The shorts are both stretchy and comfortable and come unpadded so are best suited paired with a set of bibs.
The Mavic Allroad clothing collection is available now.