Comfort, durability and performance, three attributes I look for when I test cycle clothing. Mavic are relative newbies to the clothing market, having built up a good reputation as a wheel builder. Their wheels have graced tens of thousands of amateurs and pros bikes over the years and are held in high regard for their strength and reliability. As a popular brand, I was keen to see how Mavic's new high-performance bib short, the Cosmic Pro would perform.
Designed for long days in the saddle. I readied myself for a big week on the bike.
As bib shorts go, Mavic have pulled out all the stops when it comes to technology with the Cosmic Pro. To start with, the cut and fit are designed with aerodynamics and speed in mind, with, as they describe it, a ‘Skin’ fit.
Being 172 centimetres, around 65 kilograms in weight and of a slight build I opted for the small size. If you are a small in Sportful or Castelli clothing I would recommend the same in Mavic. If you prefer a slightly more relaxed fit, going up a size could be a good idea.
For me, the most important part of any short is the pad and Mavic’s offering is definitely a different take on the traditional pad. The Ergo 3D Pad insert is made up of two sections, one on the exterior of the short and one on the inside. Mavic have used three levels of cushioning to both add comfort and support.
Initially the pad on the exterior took a bit of getting used to, but after a few kilometres in the saddle I could barely notice it. What I did notice as the week went on was how supportive and airy the pad felt. On rough roads it seemed to cushion the bumps and even after a couple of four-hour rides, I had no issues with saddle sores.
The inclusion of an Ergo Grip SL material around the thighs offers both support and keeps the shorts in place. I found this especially important when climbing out of the saddle when kit can feel restrictive.
A couple of mild, hilly rides can really get the sweat on, so I was pleased to find the French company has used a 37.5 knit material. In layman’s terms, this is Mavic’s moisture management technology, which is designed to rapidly wick away sweat to keep you warm and dry. I found this to be the case, with the material feeling comfortable against my skin.
What you really notice when wearing the bib shorts is their lightweight credentials, thanks in part to the bonded low profile bib. This is most definitely one of the most refined pair of shorts I have used.
Lightweight but also feature packed, Mavic have used compressive Skin Power technology to stabilise your muscles during the ride and reduce fatigue. After over 450 kilometres of riding during the week, I am pleased to report my legs felt noticeably fresher than normal come Sunday.
For those looking for a high-performance bib short, whether that be for racing or riding a long sportive, the Mavic Cosmic Pro is well worth considering, with subtle styling, the short looks the part worn with the Mavic Cosmic Pro Short Sleeve Jersey but would also would not look out of place with a range of other jerseys. Comfort has definitely been catered for, as has support, with Mavic’s insert being one of the best on the market.
My only slight issue with the short is the slightly unconventional look of the exterior pad. Yes, you might get the odd person telling you you’re wearing your shorts inside out, but after 4 hours plus in the saddle, you are sure to have the last laugh when it comes to comfort.
- Compression material works to reduce fatigue
- High quality and durable
- Lightweight and breathable
- Comfortable and supportive seat pad
- External padding may not appeal to traditionalists