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A Season with the Mavic Fury


Honestly, I don’t know what my problem is but I like shoes. OK, love shoes…and bike shoes to be completely accurate. I like my feet to feel right, comfortable and of course style is always up there as well. Maybe I have an Imelda Marcos-esque addiction to fine footwear. Or maybe I’ve been on this constant search for the perfect ‘cross shoe and have been trying tons of different options to eek out whatever performance I can in various conditions.Whatever the case, this season I landed on what I think is a pretty significant breakthrough in my ‘quest’ to find the perfect cross shoe.

The Mavic Fury. The very yellow Mavic Fury that is. While there need to be improvements as I’ll talk about below, I think it is extremely close to perfection for our sport (‘cross, of course) for a variety of reasons. I have now had a complete season on the 2011 Fury model and raced one race (the US National Championships in Madison, WI) in the 2012 version. I’ll talk about my experience in the product and draw some comparisons to the recently released 2012 model in this bliggity blog post.


But first some history…


Yup. That is…er, ‘was’…my Sidi collection. The White Sex. And oh how I loved them. The Dragon in particular through the 2005,6,7 was what I considered (and still very much do) as a perfect cross shoe. But something happened. By 2008 and 9, changes to the product had me question things. The replaceable soles (while ingenious) kept falling out mid ride. The carbon sole was way too stiff to run in and most importantly I immediately had difficulties with pedal engagement with their latest iterations (I am a lifetime user of Tim ATAC pedals incidentally). Oh, and then there’s the price. Some $400. I couldn't stand to remount one more time and have the extremely hard plastic soles and narrower pedal ‘well’ of the latest edition of the Dragon slip right over the pedal’s cleat and have me lose time in the barrier sections. Extremely frustrating.

As it comes to pass, the Sidi Dragon is probably the world’s best World Cup-level MTB shoe. Stiff for maximum pedaling efficiency and a super comfy fit. But I needed to move on. After some discussions with friends and some trial and error with some other brands, I got the beta on Mavic shoes being supple, light and having one of the best soles ever.

The buy…

So, I surfed over to which was the only place I could find these puppies on line and in my size. My sponsor shop (Boulder Cycle Sport) doesn’t carry them and bought a pair for myself to try. $299 sight unseen. I had some help in advance from friends sponsored by Mavic to get the sizing dialed in and I (thankfully) correctly nailed the right size…a 46 and 2/3rds. Go figure. Compare that to a 46.5 in Sidi.

First experiences…

My 2011 Mavic Fury’s were delivered and out of the box were…yellow. Very yellow. Mavic yellow. Tour de France yellow…


My initial observations were that the fit was perfect. The Velcro straps and ratchet enclosures cinched down my foot fine and super securely. The shape of the shoe is narrow. I am not sure I’d say ‘very’ narrow but maybe ‘pointy’ is a better term. I have fairly normal feet…if maybe more leaning on the narrower side. But the toe-box is fairly pointy and will typically leave a small gap of empty space where your toes end. Wide feet folks should be advised and should absolutely try these shoes on in advance.

The sole…

The pièce de résistance of the Mavic Fury is its sole. Seen below is the 2011 product’s sole. The material is a softer rubber compound (don't mis-construe that it wears fast…it didn’t). You can feel its benefits the moment you get off the bike and run. The combination of the slightly flexier (in comparison with the Sidi Dragon) carbon re-enforced sole and the rubber compound used for the tread and I was immediately happier. One HUGE point about the softer rubber for crossers is the radically better security I feel when being forced to run on wet concrete. No slippages when I had to do so whereas I was skating in other shoes given the harer plastic of their soles.


The 2011 Fury as you see above also provides a set of additional cleats (not installed), a cleat tool and brass sole protectors of two thicknesses (seen installed under the time cleat). Below in contrast is the 2012 model sole. Note it ships with two pairs of cleats (a softer compound installed and a metal-tipped pair separately). It also ships with a cleat tool and steel sole protectors (not installed in the picture below…and will get into that in detail a but further on).

The 2012 sole compound is very much the same, and while it appears that carbon is no longer used in the sole, not true. It is carbon fiber…it just utilizes a different non-fabric appearance than what you see above.


As for cyclocross…where’s why I love this shoe: It feels like I could jump on the bike no-handed and my feet would lock in to my pedals first shot. The well where your cleat is installed is wide enough that is seems to be very ‘guiding’ to the pedal. I would love to fix my GoPro under the frame and point it at the bottom of my shoes to witness how this works. But it does work…very well.


That is good…and bad. Great for warm-weather cross and MTB-ing…but potentially bad for foul/wet/cold weather cross. I used my Mavic Fury’s in all kinds of conditions…including a day in sub 20 degree temps. That day, I had a wool base layer sock, a waterproof shell sock over that and a thin sock over that. All in the Mavic Fury. This felt fine for me…even given the toe-box issues stated above but you should seriously try them on and factor this in for cross when buying the right size. Mavic should possibly and sincerely consider reducing the amount of ventilation (side panels, tongue, etc) and  while it would modestly increase weight, it would make the cold weather experience infinitely better for cross.



The two Velcro straps on the 2011 Fury offer an ability to modify tension. Admittedly it was a pain in the ass to pick out the string and re-lasso to a tighter or looser position…



The 2012 model on the other hand has been upgraded and made way easier. No tools needed…


You’ll note above that the 2012 model utilizes a slightly shinier material versus its 2011 counterpart. Both are sort of ‘rubbery’ in texture but the 2012’s shiner texture does make it a bit easier to clean.


Straps on the 2011 version above were solid and I assume infinitesimally heavier while the 2012 straps below got the ‘drill out’ treatment to lighten up where they can. 


The heel cups on both 2011 and 2012 shoes felt very similar. Both seemed to be secure and demonstrated no notable heel-slip when the ratchet strap was properly and tightly secured. The 2011 shoe on the right will demonstrate to you what a complete season of wear looks like albeit from only one spot. The shoes held up really well. 


The 2011 ratchet and cam did their part well. No slippage and all cinched down very tightly.


The 2012 edition again got the ‘drill out’ treatment. All feeling and performance of the cam was similar, but…


…the 2012 model implemented one major change related to instep stability and security. Note below to the right of the ‘ERGORIDE 'M’ logo the continuous plastic stretching form bottom to top of the shoe. This is what Mavic calls their ‘Energy Frame +’. I will say that it really pulls the shoe tighter to the foot in this year’s model versus the 2011’s when you wail down the straps and ratchet buckle.


Weight, performance and wear…

The shoe is light. really light. My size 46 2/3rds (~11.5 in US) were about 355 grams with the cleats. That’s pretty frigging light. The performance was also excellent. I had zero issues with what some claimed was way too much flexibility in the material given it’s lightweight. I did not experience this. It felt great when I had all the straps and buckle ratcheted properly. Running and anything off the bike felt markedly more natural versus stiffer shoes like the 2009 and 10 Dragon SRS.

As for wear, it all seemed predictable. There were no noticeable stitching failures or buckle issues and below you can see one complete season on the sole. Typical wear…all even…with tons of tread left.


One aspect you will see below however was problematic. That is how the brass cleat shields which shipped with the shoes literally bent and wrapped themselves around the front of the cleat. I initially chalked this up as a Mavic ‘fail’ to use brass for this application. So, I purchased Crank Brother’s steel shoe shields but yet again, they did EXACTLY the same thing. I've used the Crank Brothers shields on other shoes with zero issues like you see below. Same pedals and cleats as well. So, I am opting out of using them all together at the risk of faster wear to the carbon under the cleat. I have not tried the steel plates which shipped with the 2012 product however. I am trying to work out what causes this specifically first. It’d be interesting to know if any others have this issue.

photo (16)

The final word…

I’m in these Mavic’s for next season for sure. I’m loving their feel and performance so thus do not want to change a good thing. As for price, the MSRP for the 2012 Fury gets bumped up to about $325 (Updated 1/20/2012 per Mavic) versus the $299 I paid for last year’s model. Lighter weight and more toe spike options it ships with this year are the main reasons why. The way I look at it, to buy a set of Sidi Dragons ($450), single set of toe spikes ($15) and shoe shields ($10) and I’m already broke just with the shoes. The $350 for the Fury feels like an acceptable price point for a performance-oriented race shoe.

Did I mention they're yellow?

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