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Mavic shoes are appearing on more and more professional riders — and for good reason: They’re light, comfortable and stiff.
On the road, Chris Horner, Cyril Dessel and Edvald Boasson Hagen, among others, regularly push their Mavic SSC shoes to the limit. And in the mountain bike world, Luna Chix team members Catharine Pendrel, Georgia Gould and Katerina Nash have rocked the high-end, yellow Fury shoes for the last two seasons.
But you don’t have to be a pro to appreciate the benefits of the Fury mountain bike shoes. I’ve been wearing them for a couple of months now, including in several mountain bike races. I haven’t put mine through the abuse that my colleague Matt Pacocha has (he’s been racing cyclocross in them), but they’ve worked well for me so far. He and I both have issues with the fit, but at least in my case the shoes have broken in to the point that I’m happy to wear them for most of my off-road riding.
The Fury shoes are quite similar to Mavic’s high-end road shoe, the Zxellium. Lennard Zinn wrote about the road shoe in the February 2009 issue of VeloNews.
Both the Zxellium and Fury are built with a number of construction details, each of which is named for their contribution to either power transfer or fit: “Energy Ride” or “Ergo Ride.” The carbon sole, carbon heel lock, and injected TPU plastic frame on the upper are all part of the Energy Ride power transfer structure. The lightweight, bonded (rather than stitched) upper, Velcro straps, and ratchet buckle system are all part of the Ergo Ride fit system.
For the most part, each of these little details actually contribute to the overall function of the shoe. For example, the “Energy Lock Carbon” is a “T” shaped carbon fiber heel counter that pinches just above the calcaneous bone, for secure heel hold and 50-percent less weight than an injected plastic heel counter. The “Ergo Lite Upper” is very soft and pliable, and it actually feels seamless, with no intruding stitching or rigid parts to the upper. The “Ergo Strap” Velcro straps across the midfoot use Kevlar cables running through aluminum eyelets, for more accurate and friction-free adjustment.
But the best part of the Fury might be the outsole. It’s Contagrip, which relies on a proprietary rubber compound, tread geometry and density for optimum grip. Contagrip is a Salomon technology, and as Mavic is owned by Amer Sports, which also owns Salomon, Mavic happily gets to share this high-performance outsole.
After several months, I’ve grown to like the Fury. They’re not perfect, and I wouldn’t recommend them for certain applications. But for what I do, I’ll be happy to wear them for as long as they last.
This is a racing shoe. It’s very light (at 350 grams per shoe, in size 9.5), and I really appreciate the low weight. They feel fast.
The upper feels soft, pliable, seamless and slipper-like. Prior to the Fury shoes, I had been wearing heavier shoes with stouter uppers, and at first the lack of more substantial support was unnerving. But I’ve grown accustomed to the soft feel, and have had no sensation of lost power or lack of control. The soles are plenty stiff, and the Energy Lock Carbon heel hold is quite good. The ratchet buckle strap is easy to adjust and very secure.
However, the fit is narrow, and the toes are too pointy for my feet. Pacocha agrees that there’s a good 10mm of shoe volume at the tip of the toe that goes unused. My smallest toes are scrunched up by the narrow fit. Fortunately, the upper is very forgiving, with no pressure points, and it seems to have stretched just enough that I’ve had no problems with discomfort. But I would much prefer a rounder toe box with more width and volume.
So far, I’ve had no issues with durability, but achieving the Fury’s low weight means that heavier-duty materials aren’t used. If I were going to spend a week on an epic mountain bike trek, I might choose shoes with more substantial construction.
On the upside, the soles are great. The carbon sole is plenty stiff, but not uncomfortable. I would prefer a little more shape to the carbon sole, especially in the instep for arch support. The “Ergo Fit 3D” insole is comfortable but doesn’t provide the arch support I need. Pacocha and I both love the Contagrip lugs, which deliver traction as promised, and so far have remained intact. I would like the lugs to be taller around the cleat recess, because my Shimano SPD cleats protrude beyond the lugs and scrape the ground.
Pacocha broke the buckle on one of his shoes. He’s put them through the wringer this cyclocross season (so have the riders of the Cannondale-cyclocrossworld team, and Luna Chix Alison Dunlap and Georgia Gould). Here are his notes:
After almost a full season of cyclocross, I feel I can speak to the bad, good and durability of the Fury. My biggest complaint is the shape of this shoe’s toe box. It’s quite pointy and I can’t imagine it fits many feet all that well. I also find contention with Mavic’s use of cord and Velcro tabs, versus a plain strap. The cord system is harder to use and adjust; I see no benefit over a conventional strap. On the flip side, I am really happy with Mavic’s carbon sole and rubber tread. The carbon sole provides the perfect ratio of pedaling stiffness to walking, or running, flexibility for cyclocross and mountain bike competition. The rubber tread is one of the best I have used lately. It seems to funnel the cleat directly to the pedal; in all honesty, it’s the reason I keep wearing the shoes. With the Fury, I am able to engage my Crankbrothers Eggbeaters quicker than with any other shoe I’ve used. As for its overall durability, the tread, sole and upper have held up very well, but I must re-mention that I did break one of the ratcheting buckles in standard use, not crashing.
At the end of the day, if you want a lightweight, slipper-like mountain bike shoe that is good for racing, check out the Fury. Steer clear if you have particularly wide feet or spend most of your time on adventurous epic riding where they might see more abuse.