Mavic Tempo shoes £135
Ever since Mavic arrived on the scene with their loud shouty yellow mountain bike shoes a couple of years ago, the French brand has become an increasingly popular choice.
Offering much of the same race styling and features is the third from the top Tempo, which strikes a good balance of price, £135, against features and weight, at 390g. And in this silver they’re a little less shouty, but not quiet by any stretch of the imagination.
The upper is made from a light ynthetic material with a large mesh toe panel and vented tongue. A large strap spreads the pressure across the top of the foot nicely, and is held in place with a low profile ratchet that allows for easy and precise adjustment. Two Ergo Straps, similar to those found on the top-end offering from Mavic (so good trickle down evidence), use non-stretch Kevlar cables. They allow you to get a good fit and pull the uppers taut across the foot.
In use fit is good, with the sizing proving to be very similar to the Specialized shoes used before the Mavic's arrived for test. A more secure heel cup would be welcome – we experienced a small degree of heel lift when hauling up on the pedals that was a little unsettling in a shoe with such race-ready credentials. Resorting to increased tension with the straps/ratchet is the solution but has obvious side effects, leading to decreased comfort across the top of the foot.
Power transfer through the composite carbon sole is excellent; the feeling through the pedals if very direct and instantaneous. Privateer racers will love them. There’s a smidgen of flex when you need to engaged the aggressive Contragrip for hike-a-bike moment, with optional stud mounts at the front, though you really don't want to make a habit of walking too far at all.
Despite being a light race shoe, they’re sturdy for aggressive riding, including a toe bumper when it gets sketchy, fending off roots and rocks. They saved my toes on a number of occasions. We've been smashing them through the mixed weather of the past few months and they're showing impressive durability.
Weight and stiffness are important in a race shoe, but comfort is essential. The Tempo nearly ticks all the boxes but the heel lift just lets them down.
Like: Race looks, decent performance, still sole
Dislike: Heel lift, still pricey