The Allroad Pro shoe is impressively lightMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
We first saw Mavic’s premium gravel shoes last year and now I’ve got my hands on a pair. The Allroad Pros accept two-bolt cleats only and their USP is the ultra-thin upper made from what Mavic refers to as Matryx fabric — a woven material that combines kevlar and polyamide fibres.
It’s designed to be light and breathable while offering abrasion resistance that, according to Mavic, far exceeds that of ordinary synthetic or woven uppers.
The Matryx upper is thin yet appears resilientMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
Mavic claims these weigh 280g per shoe for a 42. This size 43⅓ pair comes in at 293g/295g with SPD cleats, so I reckon Mavic is actually being a little bit conservative here. However you slice it, these are really light shoes.
As you can tell from the extremely authentic dirt on these, I’ve already tried the Allroads (using my own insoles, because my feet need more support than standard ones can provide).
Shoe fit is highly subjective, but I appreciated the way the Allroads enveloped my feet. That ultra-thin upper looks strange and floppy when the shoes are unoccupied, but it creates a sock-like fit around the ankle.
£225 / $275 / €250
Specialized S-Works Diverge Rotor 1×13 testbed
The S-Works Diverge is a gravel bike for one-percentersJack Luke / Immediate Media
The S-Works Diverge is Specialized’s flagship gravel bike, a very lovely and expensive way to ride quickly over dirt and (small) stones.
Its FACT 11r (that’s Spesh speak for “very nice carbon”) frame is claimed to weigh less than 900g and it accepts tyres up to 700x42mm or 650bx47mm.
The Rotor 1×13 groupset is a wondrous thing to beholdJack Luke / Immediate Media
The front end features a more progressively sprung version of the Future Shock found on the Roubaix endurance machine. This offers 20mm of travel at the cockpit, enough to take the sting out of the terrain this bike is aimed at.
This 56cm bike is particularly special because it’s been built up with Rotor’s beautifully made 1×13 hydraulic groupset with matching carbon clinchers. Looking resplendent in Satin Cool Grey Camo, the Diverge weighs 8.5kg including pedals, cages and tubes (it will be tubeless imminently).
High zoot Silca Ti cages seem appropriate on a build like thisJack Luke / Immediate Media
It’s destined to be ridden in a daft challenge by our very own Jack Luke, watch out for a video in the near future.
Frameset: £3,500 / $4,000
Velocio Trail kit
Velocio’s lightweight MTB kit feels about right for the weather we’ve been havingMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
After feeling like it might never show up, summer has come at us with a vengeance and that means wearing the lightest, airiest kit we can lay hands on.
Velocio makes a full range of road and MTB kit, and the brand has sent us its Radiator Trail jersey and Trail shorts.
There are two pockets for valuablesMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
Both are available in men’s and women’s versions in various colours. The shorts are made from an almost papery fabric and have a stealthy waist adjustment to tweak fit, and two mesh-lined pockets for valuables. A DWR finish means they should be at least a little bit water resistant.
The jersey is ultra-light and feels very breathable. It’s actually made from the same material as one of Velocio’s baselayers, one for truly warm weather.
Matthew is an experienced mechanic and an expert on bike tech who appreciates practical, beautifully-engineered things. Originally a roadie, he likes bikes and kit of every stripe, and he's tested a huge variety of both over the years for BikeRadar, Cycling Plus and others. For a long time Matthew's heart belonged to the Scott Addict, but he's currently enjoying Trek's lovely aluminium Emonda ALR and having a torrid affair with a Giant Trance e-MTB. At 174cm tall and 53kg, he looks like he should be better at cycling than he actually is, and he's ok with that.