First Impressions: Mavic’s Razor MTB Shoe and Galibier Road Shoe
Mavic sent over their Galibier road shoes and Razor mountain bike shoes for us to test out, and they are very, very nice.
Marc tested his out during a 24 hour race, and I’ve raced a six-hour in mine. The Galibiers have seen their share of road miles, too, since we received them a couple months ago. Both models are in the upper-midrange of Mavic’s lineup, but they give top-end shoes from other brands a run for their money in both features and weight.
Jump past the break for our first impressions, details and weights…
WEIGHTS & BITS:
The Galibier weighs in at 350g each (size 47). Compare that to a 2-year old Specialized S-Works shoe at 355 and you see just how much trickle down tech has lightened mid-level shoes. (NOTE: The Specialized shoe has a Sole insole in it, not the stock one, so it may have come in a few grams lighter with stock. Both are size 47 euro)
The Razor checks only 17g heavier than a similarly aged S-Works mountain bike shoe. Both size 47 euro, weights are 439g versus 422.
It’s worth mentioning that Specialized’s and Mavic’s top end shoes now drop down near 200g, these comparisons are just to show that if you’re looking to replace your old high-end shoes, you may want to save “slum it” and save some coin.
The two shoes are very similar in the uppers. Same basic design, same buckle/velcro closure system and very similar rear ends.
Both get Mavic’s ErgoFit 2D insole, which has a slightly firmer section in the rear to create a bit of a heel cup. The Razor has an EVA molded tongue for a bit more padding, the Galibier has their Clima Vent SL tongue for better breathability.
The Razor comes with short cleats pre-installed and taller ones to replace them with (one of each shown here). They also include metal spacers to go under the cleats, shown new at left, but I used the Crank Brothers ones I already had.
Sadly for weight weenies like me, removing the small cleats leaves a hole that water, dust and such could use to get in the shoe. The tread blocks are solid but grippy. The Razor has Mavic’s Energy Grip Outsole, which is a glass fiber enhanced nylon with the Contagrip rubber tread. It’s plenty stiff for riding hard, but easy to walk in and comfortable enough for all day epics.
The Galibier has their Energy AluTex Outsole, which, despite looking like carbon, is actually a dual-density glass fiber nylon enhanced with aluminum.
The ErgoLite Ratchet is pretty good, but not great. It’s best used by pulling just one or two clicks at a time, otherwise it tends to just pull past its teeth and not do anything. The release buckle works really well, you just have to get used to lifting it to release versus pushing down like a lot of other designs out there. There are two mounting positions to customize the fit.
The first time I put these shoes on, they were instantly some of the most comfortable shoes I had ever worn…and I’m talking any kind of shoe, not just cycling shoes. On the bike, they’re easily the most comfortable cycling shoe I’ve ever used. Off the bike, I’ve been trying to go barefoot or wear Keens, which have a very wide toe box. While the Mavic’s look as narrow as any other performance cycling shoe, they don’t squeeze my toes or foot at all. My longest ride thus far has been about 4.5 hours (yep, I ended my 6-hour quest a bit early at Angler’s Ridge. I have plenty of excuses, but the shoes had nothing to do with it).
On both Eggbeaters and Candy pedals, I had a bit of trouble getting clipped in, so I cut out a bit of the tread around the cleat, which has eliminated the issue. If you choose to do this, cut a little at a time and test it, and be careful…I’ve cut myself with a knife before doing exactly this.
With the Galibier, my foot shuffling seems to have ended. With a lot of other shoes, I tend to pull my foot forward or backward frequently, searching for a different position. So, either I magically got the cleat position perfect this time, or the shoes are totally awesome. Perhaps both. Either way, I’m extremely comfortable in them and can just focus on the ride (or whatever other parts and things I happen to be reviewing).
The low ankle cut is very comfortable, but they hold the heel in really well. Marc may disagree, but I think they’re plenty breathable.
Lastly, both shoes are smooth on the inside, which is important if you have carbon cranks. Any rough stitching or buckle strap mount, etc., can rub and wear into carbon crank arms in a hurry.
Right out of the box, the Razors look like a much more expensive shoe than $130 should buy. Part of this is, no doubt, the very racy white finish (they’re also available in black, as Tyler tested). Beyond the color, the details are well thought out. The ratchet is shared with higher-end Mavic shoes and works well (though it’s a bit fiddlier than some to release). The two Velcro straps (which are a flashy red on the underside- nice touch) are well placed, the sole is pleasingly grippy, and the shoe is well padded, making it instantly comfortable. The shoes are notched well below the ankle bone, keeping things from rubbing and the tongue is teathered to the middle strap.
The Razors fit my low-volume foot well. When walking, the sole is noticeably softer than most ahead of the cleat- but the rest of the sole feels just as rigid under my 140lb of pure power as more expensive shoes. Though they’re still relatively new I really don’t even notice them on 3-4 hour rides- and that’s really all that I can ask for. The only weakness so far has been the lack of protective material at the outside of the ball of my foot. As you can see in the pictures, a chunk of granite left quite a mark on what were otherwise box-fresh kicks.
Because of their flexible forefoot and grippy tread, I chose to run the Le Mans start of a recent race in the Razors, and at a trot they didn’t let me (or my weak ankles) down. They may be a good choice for the occasional ‘cross racer- the option to run toe studs is there and they’re reasonably priced enough for riders who spend most of their time on the road. Though they’re not the most ventilated shoes I’ve seen, the Razors are looking like a heck of a mid-range shoe. It’s late for ‘cross, but I’ll no doubt be subjecting the Mavics to some hike-a-bikes this summer. Stay tuned- we’ll let you know by this fall just how they’ve held up.