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Mavic Notch Apparel

mavic notch mountain bike clothing review
Find out what I think of my new Mavic Notch Enduro Mountain Bike Clothing and Helmet.

Mavic Notch Mountain Bike Clothing and Helmet Review

Top notch? A notch above the rest? Notch on your bedpost? Crank it up another notch? Take them down a notch? Whatever the etymology it is clear that Mavic has aimed the Notch mountain bike range squarely at the Enduro market. That is great for most of us because Enduro, as I understand the term, is really just what most of us ride. There are those that say I´m wrong and that Enduro is a race format which we can’t understand because we don’t race; I don’t buy that. When I ride I pop on a set of knee pads, or maybe knee/shin guards and an open face helmet, I use uplift where I can but always pedal as well, aiming to get to the top quickly but definitely without racing and then, on the way back down, it´s technical singletrack as fast as possible. That is what I do with my friends and that is the format that I have based our mountain bike holidays around. You might be asking yourself just now why we need different clothing for this, well of course we don’t need it, however many times we have to choose between more XC based clothing or DH gear. The problem with DH gear is that it tends to be heavy and warm and, on the other side, the XC clothing doesn’t work well with leg protection and is easily damaged. And so we return to the Mavic Notch range of clothes, aimed firmly at Enduro / AM / Over-Mountain / Normal mountain bikers. Last month a large Mavic box arrived at my house with a selection of the Notch range to test, read on to see how I am getting on with it

Mavic Notch Shorts and Undershorts

The first thing that Amaia said when she saw the Mavic Notch shorts was, “those are too good for the bike”! And in a way she was right, the shorts are really cool looking and you could easily wear them around town or even (as I have) out to a smart restaurant without people raising an eyebrow. The Notch short is loose fitting but not baggy and around knee-length, so perfect to cover your knee pads and never leave a strip of flesh above the top of the pad, something which is never cool! Speaking of pads, the Notch shorts are cut so they don´t bunch up around the knee pads, something which is also helped by the use of a material that doesn’t catch on Velcro, a nice touch. The shorts use two materials, a more breathable front panel and a tougher rear, designed to be tough enough to withstand the falls and abrasions that come with riding your bikes over dirty mountains. I have had a few falls recently and landed pretty hard a couple of times, but the Mavic Notch shorts are totally unmarked, something that can’t be said of my body. Something that I like in my shorts is pockets, I always carry my phone, a little tool and some money in my short pockets so it’s pretty important for me. The Notch shorts have two zippered pockets, one front and one back, along with another pocket which closes with poppers, giving ample storage for my needs. One thing that is worth mentioning is that there is no adjustment on the waist of the Notch shorts, something that means it is important to get the sizing right, although there are belt loops so if they are a little baggy you can use a belt. My European L size fit me perfectly though and I have no need for a belt.

Mavic supplies the shorts with a removable liner which Ed Oxley assures me is developed from “woman’s underwear technology“. The first thing I noticed about the Notch undershorts is that they are a lot shorter than other undershorts I use, this works really well, meaning they don’t interfere with your pads. The elasticated leg cuff isn’t as tight as other brands but it definitely stops the legs bunching up and is very comfortable. The “2D” bum-pad-thing is comfortable and has stayed that way after several washes. The inners don’t clip into the outers, not something that is an issue and I’ve never had any problems with them slipping down. All the other click-in inners I have used have been a pain to use and I’ve never bothered so I was pretty happy to see Mavic stay clear.

I really like the Mavic Notch shorts and undershorts, they are one of the stand out bits of the Notch range for me. They look cool enough for me to ride into the centre of San Sebastian and not feel out of place drinking in the fashionable bars, however they are really comfortable on the bike and are showing themselves to be tough enough to take the knocks.

Mavic Notch Jerseys

The first thing I noticed about the Mavic Notch Jerseys is that they are BRIGHT, with big, bold, primary colours. I take a lot of photos and these bold colours look fantastic in the photos. I received a red, blue and green top with minimal Mavic Logos, as well as the white and yellow Notch Graphic jerseys which features a large Mavic logo and look very “team”! These jerseys are all short sleeves, although you can also buy the Notch jerseys in a long sleeve version. The Notch tops are cut baggy, however not overly so and are definitely less baggy than most DH tops I have tried. The tops are cut quite long, with mine hanging down a fair way past my waist, something that works really well when you are out on the bike. I am wearing a European Large, (also called a USA medium which I found hilarious!) and this is a perfect fit for me. I could probably fit into a Medium, honestly I could, but the Large definitely fits me well. There are two materials used in the jersey, a tougher material in the main parts and a more breathable, perforated material around the sides and underarms. The top is really breathable and I have just ridden 14 days back to back through a heat wave, with plenty of days above 30degC and I reached for the Mavic tops as often as I could and have found them comfortable to wear when the mercury soars. It’s worth mentioning here that I also received a Mavic Echelon base layer, a really gimp-looking, tight, white, string vest that looks more Rab C than Enduro, which is meant to keep you cooler. You could never let yourself be seen wearing just the base layer in public but it’s meant to be worn under a normal top and it really does work to keep you cooler. It seems to wick the sweat away even better than a normal top.

What really surprised me was how tough the Notch jerseys were when I had quite a large crash. You can see in the photos that I had crashed hard enough to mark my body quite badly however the Notch jersey was hardly marked at all.

The Notch Graphic jersey has a far more “Team” design which you are either going to love or not but it has the same construction as the other jerseys so you can choose what you like. Personally I love the big, bright colours of the Notch jerseys and they have proven themselves to be comfortable in all sorts of temperatures. Well, actually I have only tested them in temperatures above 20degC but for warm days these tops have proven themselves to be the most comfortable in my wardrobe.

Mavic Notch Helmet

I am built much like an orange on a toothpick. My head is ginormous, it’s a virtual planetoid. So, it was with a sigh of disappointment that I unloaded the beautiful, team yellow, Mavic Notch helmet. As soon as I saw it I wanted it, it’s just a lovely looking lid, however I knew that, cranially-challenged as I am, it was never going to fit. Steadying myself for disappointment I offered the Notch lid to my noggin and to my utter amazement it fitted me perfectly. There was even room to spare! This is down to the adjustability of the helmet with it’s lightweight retention system which made it really easy to get a comfortable fit. Despite the helmet’s light weight the coverage is really good and it is certainly comparable with other, heavier “All Mountain” helmets. The visor is non adjustable and I´m a fan of its more secure fitting, however if you feel the need to be adjusting your visor angle it is something to think about. The visor is removable if need be. The venting is good, the antibacterial pads are really comfortable and after a couple of very hot and sweaty weeks there is no hint of smell.

Along with the Notch shorts, the Notch helmet is one of the stand out parts of the Mavic’s Notch range. I loved its comfortable simplicity, light weight and great coverage. No two heads are the same though so I´d always advise trying before you buy.

Mavic Notch Socks

Yes, there is even a sock in the new Notch range! What can you say about a set of socks? The Notch socks are cut to just above the ankle, quite long but not too long. They seem quite thick and I was worried they would be too warm but the material seems to wick moisture away and keep my feet dry and cool even in these high temperatures. There isn´t much that I can say about them apart from the are comfortable, black and keep my feet cool.

Mavic Singletrack Gloves

These gloves aren´t part of the Notch range but they are the glove that most fit into the range. The leather palm is brilliant and I can testify to the fact it is tough and really protected my palms during my recent crashes. The dye does run from the leather on the first use, however after the first wash this stops so if it bothers you then wash the glove once before use. The ventilation on the knuckles works really well and keeps my hands cool even in the unusually hot weather we have recently had. The fit of the gloves is different from other gloves I´ve used, it´s a very snug fit and at first I thought that they were too small. In fact the gloves are a perfect fit, the tightness around the fingers isn´t uncomfortable in use and really stops the gloves from bunching up during riding.

I really like the Singletrack gloves and would give them top marks. Styling is personal but I think that they look cool, you just have to keep washing them to keep that white nice!

Mavic Notch Mountain Bike Clothing: Summary

I really, really like Mavic’s Notch clothing range. It’s not perfect but it is better than other clothing I have used. It is stylish, comfortable and hard wearing. Any potential short comings are down to personal preference and fit, for example the non-adjustable helmet visor, the lack of waist adjustability on the shorts and the sizing of the clothes. For me, those things just leave a simpler design which eliminates many things I would never use anyway. Sizing is always an issue and I would really recommend trying any clothes and helmets before you buy. A good fitting, poorly designed set of clothes is often better than a badly fitting set no matter how good the design is. My Mavic Notch clothes fit perfectly and they are going to be the clothes that sit a the top of the pile in my wardrobe for quite some time as other clothes sink through the layers.

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