by Marc Basiliere
June 19, 2014
Comfort is... forgetting your shoes.
Comfort is… forgetting your shoes.
In service for nearly a year, our bright white Mavic Chasm cross-country shoes have done very little to draw attention to themselves. On rides ranging from ten to ninety miles, the racy shoes have -colour aside- all but disappeared providing plenty of stiffness and comfort on the bike and above average traction while off.
To be frank, it wasn’t expected. A couple of riders saw our shoes and volunteered their experiences with early examples of Mavic’s second model, their shoes falling to pieces in alarmingly short order (and, to Mavic’s credit, being quickly replaced under warranty). So we kept the Chasms on test for months longer than usual, waiting for something to happen.
In the end, nothing did. Aside from some inside heel wear resulting from duck-footed pedaling, the Chasms have held up admirably. The white finish encourages somewhat regular washing, keeping their flash looks intact. Built on a carbon fibre sole plate, the Chasms are plenty stiff for singlespeed riding on small-platform pedals. Contagrip lugs, borrowed from sister company Salomon’s walking and running shoes, provide good grip on wet rocks and logs and forefoot flex is acceptable for short-to-medium hikes.
The string-type forefoot closures may seem like a gimmick, but in practice work just like traditional Velcro straps- without taking a set. This encourages small adjustments to account for thick socks or swelling feet and helps to keep the shoes comfortable on longer days. Mavic’s ratchet is effective, with a choice of two anchor points to for varying foot heights. The long ratchet ladder seems more prone to damage than some, but can be trimmed to better clear rocks and is easily replaced when needed. Finally aluminium lever has done a good job of protecting the mechanism itself from damage.
Thinking about one’s shoes is rarely a good sign- and in a year’s use, the Chasm’s have required virtually zero thought. Airy but durable, the Mavics has proved themselves a welcome riding companions. Now that early-production issues seem to have been resolved, they have become an easy cross-country shoe to recommend.