2017 marks the 115th edition of the Paris Roubaix. This single day road race is a 'monument' in the professional cycling event calendar. It takes riders across iconic cobbled sections (pavé) on its way from Paris through northern France to Roubaix, where it finishes on the Velodrome.
The epic race is also affectionately know as the Hell of The North, or the Sunday in Hell. It's legend grows year by year as it relentlessly punishes riders while equally spoiling its winners. How hard is the Paris Roubaix? Each year cyclists from around the world converged on this cycling mecca to tackle the cobbles themselves only to be sent home broken and battered. Just like their bikes. Maybe that's why unlike no other race, the Paris Roubaix and its tough terrain has led to the development of specialized equipment including wheels, frames, and now even shoes.
The third, and latest in the series of limited edition shoes from Mavic, is the Cosmic Pro LTD (Paris Roubaix). With a new and very distinct design, the third edition shares the same upper and carbon sole as the Paris Nice edition but adorns darker graphics. When I saw the preview images about a month ago, I was excited. But when they finally arrived and I unboxed them, I was in love. The limited release of about 800 pairs worldwide means you're not likely to hear a lot "hey we have the same shoes!" I like that. And if you want them, you better get them fast.
The predominantly black and silver shoe utilizes reflective ink for enhanced visibility. The greys may be a nod to the colour of the granite setts (cobbles) the riders pass over or it may represent the ominous grey skies that bring rain the Paris Roubaix race. Overall the aesthetic of the shoe is a little less in your face than last time but there is still a lot there to appreciate. Look close and you'll see that the flourished design includes lions. An obvious tip of the hat to, Johan Museeuw, the Lion of Flanders who won this monument three times.
The shoes are not without some pop. The heel of the shoe sports a bold Mavic yellow stripe with the red, white, and blue stripes of the French flag up top. Mavic strategically places these small details to honour their French heritage and the French classic. The front of the shoe also flashes yellow with the Mavic brand mark across the forefoot. If anyone does get a look at the bottom of your foot, they'll find the same yellow stripe of the heel extends across the carbon sole.
For all intents and purposes, the Mavic Cosmic Pro LTD (Paris Roubaix) is the same shoe as the previous Paris Nicer version. They share the same Energy Carbon SLR outsole, Ortholite insole w/3D fit, Endofit Tongue, Energy Frame, and Mavic's Ergo Dial QR. They even weigh the same at ~265 grams. In the past 6 weeks I've been riding on the Energy Carbon SLR sole I've found it to be stiff, responsive, and to provide good feedback from the pedals. The shoes are quite comfortable off the bike but the carbon sole is happy to stand up straight when you power down on the pedals.
Another notable technical feature of the Mavic Cosmic Pro LTD are the Ergo Dial QRs. This dual tension system features fine tune adjustments in both directions made in 1mm increments. The forward and backward adjustment allows you to dial in the right tension and adjust easily on the fly without having to completely unwind first. The larger sized dials are also easy to manage without taking your eyes off the road ahead of you. It's also possible to adjust them through overshoes and toe covers.
Since this and the previous version are technically identical, check out the previous post for more info.
The initial fit of the Mavic Cosmic Pro LTD (Paris Roubaix) is as comfortable and confidence inspiring as the previous Paris Nice edition. Again, since the shoes share the same fit, I encourage you to read the previous post. So rather than restate the same info here, I'll focus on the fit as it has or has not changed over time.
Throughout the past 6 weeks, because that's when V2 were launched, the fit has worked in nicely. The synthetic microfiber has softened a bit but at the same time it has done well to resist over stretching. Therefore the fit remains snug and form fitted throughout the foot. I've not experienced any hot spots or rubbing inside the shoe which is great. The relatively flat last of the Mavic Cosmic Pro LTD is very much appreciated by my relatively flat feet. This is always an issue for me with new shoes.
As spring temperatures are setting in now, I'm looking forward to really putting these through the pace lines and seeing how they stack up to the summer heat. Look for a full review later in the season.
Thanks to Mavic for hooking me up!