Product Test: Mavic Crossmax Pedals
Mavic wheels have long been the standard by which other bicycle wheels, both road and mountain, are measured. The French company has been building components for bicycles longer than just about anyone out there, but until recently, they had yet to enter the pedal market. Rather than start from ground zero, they chose to partner with another group of “Frenchies” who have over 25 years of experience building clipless pedals, the Time group. We set out to test them on the trails to see if Mavic could bring their design expertise and proven track record with wheels over to their high-end $400 Crossmax Pedal.
Tech Features: The Crossmax pedals feature a lightweight carbon body, titanium axles, a compact design and a single-spring construction. The pedals use Time’s Auto Tension Adjustment Concept (ATAC) technology retention system. The pedals have both angular and lateral float with 5-degrees of freedom and a release angle that can be adjusted between 13- and 17-degrees, depending on the mounting of the cleats. The “snugness” of the pedals can also be adjusted with three settings. Our test pedals tipped the scales at 8.7 ounces, including cleats.
Field Test Results: The Crossmax pedals are designed as a top shelf, super-lightweight option for the cross-country race crowd, although the pedal could be pushed into trail, all-mountain or even enduro style riding. We mounted these pedals to a trail bike for the duration of the test to really put them through the wringer. We first mounted the cleats to our Shimano test shoes and noticed the cleat is slightly smaller than the SPD cleat it replaces. This made it very easy to install without any kind of shoe modification.
The cleat-to-pedal engagement is snappy, easy to find quickly and very intuitive. With the standard cleat setup, with the cleat marked L mounted to the left shoe, the pedal delivers 13 degrees of movement before the pedal releases. By swapping the cleats to the opposite shoe, the amount of rotation to release goes to 17 degrees. We started with the 13-degree setting and found that this offered plenty of movement to accommodate our preferred feel. In fact, the pedals were much more difficult to release in the 17-degree mode, since our shoe tended to contact the crankarm when rotated that much. Most riders will be perfectly happy sticking to the stock 13-degree setup.
The tension adjustment is controlled via four flathead bolts on the outside of the pedals, one for each side of the double-sided pedals. While the adjustment range of the pedals is adequate for most riders, it won’t generate a super-light or super-tight feeling. Riders looking for a super-snug or very loose feeling engagement should look elsewhere, but the vast majority of riders will find a setting they like.
Releasing your foot from the pedals feels slightly “softer” than with other pedals. When releasing, it feels as if you must first build spring pressure as you rotate the shoe outward until it finally releases.
These ultra-lightweight pedals stood up to almost two months of abuse on trails much more aggressive than a typical cross-country course with no mechanical issues. The engagement is just as snappy and crisp as it was on ride one. Although the feel is very different than that of other pedals out there, we found it easy to adjust to them quickly.
At $400, the Crossmax SL hits the wallet pretty hard. Fortunately, Mavic also makes versions of these pedals at price points down to $165 with the same ATAC engagement technology, albeit without the weight savings of the titanium axle or carbon body construction. For riders looking for an alternative to the standard fare of clipless pedals out there, the Crossmax pedals are a nice choice.
THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS TO GET MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION:
Mountain Bike Action is a monthly magazine devoted to all things mountain biking (yes, that’s 12 times a year because we never take a month off of mountain biking). It has been around since 1986 and we’re still having fun. You can start a subscription by clicking here or calling (800) 767-0345. Also available from the Apple Newsstand for reading on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.
Contact us via email at [email protected]