by Richard Lane
April 18, 2015
Simple top for year-round riding
Mavic has a fine pedigree in enduro-specific product and clothing thanks to a stable of top athletes, including Jérôme Clementz, Fabien Barel and Anne-Caroline Chausson, who the company has sponsored and worked with over the last few years as the category has come to the fore. This period of early adoption and development has resulted in a well thought-out array of products across the Crossmax range, which has also benefited from a sharing of fabrics and technologies with Mavic’s sister company Salomon, which shares its Annecy-based development centre.
Having long been a fan of Mavic’s approach to design, especially the previous range of shorts and its current Alpine XL shoes and Crossmax hydration packs, I’ve been keen to test some of the newer incarnations of its clothing range. I’ve managed to wring over five years of pretty hard use out of a pair of its shorts before – they only gave up the ghost after I forgot to rinse them after swimming in the Med – and I was fairly certain it was an investment that would pay off in the long term, as the longevity of Mavic’s clothing products hasn’t disappointed me previously.
With this in mind, initial impressions of the Crossmax jersey certainly didn’t disappoint as I pulled it out of the bag. The jersey feels and looks well made, with neat features such as the M logo trim to the V-neck of the jersey adding to the sense of a well thought-out and made garment.
The Crossmax is reassuringly minimal. There are no pockets front or rear – a happy move away from road-styled jerseys with rear pockets that mountain bikers rarely use anyway and that mostly sit redundant under a hydration pack. All you get here is a long sleeve jersey with a slightly dropped rear, to accommodate a better fit once you adjust your stance from upright to on-bike. No rear pockets, no cute little key pocket, nothing. Just a jersey and nothing more. That’s not to say it’s a jersey that’s lacking in any way though – in my opinion it’s got everything it needs and no unnecessary bells and whistles.
The Crossmax is constructed from Mavic’s Trailwick fabric, which is soft to the touch and promises moisture-wicking performance on hot rides. I’d really like to be able to tell you how well it performs but given the winter we’re just coming out of the truth is I’ve mainly been wearing the jersey as a mid-layer over a thin merino base. In use on long slogs up climbs, I’ve not had to suffer any sweat issues or a damp back under my pack during rides though, so it looks promising for when the weather bucks up and we get a bit of warmth.
The performance of the Trailwick fabric should hopefully be aided by the mesh panels which extend through the underarm to well down the side of the jersey, allowing a fair amount of air flow. Despite being an open enough mesh to encourage ventilation, it’s dark enough to be as good as unnoticeable to the eye.
The cut of the jersey is a good compromise between being loose enough to allow movement on the bike and wearing over armour, while still not being loose enough to flap annoyingly. Fit and sizing seems pretty accurate, and the arms easily accommodated my high ape-index reach. On the bike it’s a very comfortable jersey, with the soft feel of the fabric and the cut working well to make it more or less unnoticeable. The Crossmax is available in three colourways: a nicely subtle blue/black offering, the black/red I’ve been testing (and prefer), and the ‘enduro standard’ yellow/black you can’t help to have noticed unless you’ve been living under a rock these last two years.
The Crossmax jersey is one that comes with a pretty fast pedigree, having been worn by three of the fastest riders on the enduro world series circuit. It’s not likely to give you that big a speed boost from wearing it, but it’s a nicely designed top that feels like a quality garment and performs like one too. With any luck it’ll last just as well as Mavic’s previous offerings, making it a good investment.