The Notch jersey and shorts from Mavic are designed to bridge the gap between skin-tight XC race apparel and long, loose downhill / freeride gear. These are garments that you throw on to go out for an after work ride with your friends, especially if the ride ends with burgers and beers. I’ve been testing the Notch apparel over the summer, and here’s how it stacks up.
The Notch jersey is light and loose fitting. Flat-stitched seams keep things from chafing, and the “air wick” fabric allows a pleasant amount of cooling airflow to prevent overheating. Additionally, there are mesh vents running from the neck down under the pits, and a 3/4 length front zipper. A small zippered pocket on the front is suitable for lip balm, a small mp3 player, or maybe a trail map. There is no rear pocket.
This is one comfy jersey. The material is just heavy enough to hang nicely and not flap in the breeze, while still staying cool. The pit vents are top notch (pun intended), and at moderate to high speed on a hot day the extra air flow is appreciated. Overall, the simple design and easy wear make this the jersey I grab when I’m “just going for a ride.”
There are three solid color options: blue, green, and red, as well as two print versions: white and Mavic yellow. There is also a long-sleeved version for sun coverage or slightly cooler weather.
At $59.00 the Notch jersey is a solid, comfortable piece of apparel that won’t break your budget.
The Notch shorts are billed by Mavic as a “longer” short, and they are not kidding. On my shorter frame, these are pretty much 3/4 length pants. At a glance, the cut and fabric are reminiscent of a pair of casual slacks, but they have some tech features going on that put them firmly in the technical bike gear category.
The fabric Mavic uses is a proprietary blend that is tightly woven for superior abrasion resistance and wear. Despite the tight construction, there is still plenty of stretch, and they don’t feel constricted or binding out on the trail. Keeping things together is a huge front snap. In spite of initial misgivings, the snap has held and has not popped open out on the trail, despite the best efforts of my beer gut. There are also belt loops, which seems to be a thing on a lot of shorts lately, but I just can’t get my head around wearing a belt while riding.
For storage, the Notch shorts sport a pair of slash front pockets with ample space. There are also two cargo pockets–one with snaps and one with a zipper–both suitable for electronics, trail maps, snacks, etc. Around back there is a zippered hip pocket… but it won’t fit a wallet. I’m not really sure what you’d want it for other than a wallet, so that is definitely puzzling. The Notch shorts are available in black or grey and go for $119, which includes the padded undershorts.
For both the jersey and shorts, the sizing is a little weird. They are listed as large, which is what I wear in pretty much every other garment, but these are huge. It would be a good idea to try these on at the LBS before buying, as you may well end up going down a size. As mentioned, the shorts are more like short pants than long shorts. These are probably just the thing for tall, lanky riders like our own Jeff, but for those of use in the sub-6-foot category, they are really long. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but just be aware of what you’re getting.
Overall, the Notch line of apparel from Mavic is well made, durable, and practical for day-to-day trail riding. While the sizing is a little confusing, and the one pocket is practically unusable, these are minor gripes, and the Notch line is well-worth a look.
Thanks to Mavic for sending the Notch jersey and shorts for review.