The Mavic HC Jersey ($124) is a tribute to ventilation. HC stands for Hors Categorie, a rating for the most difficult climbs but in Mavic’s case, it could also stand for Hors Cool.
While not the top of the line Mavic Helium or Infinity jersey, the HC handles summer heat as easily as Alberto Contador handles a 17% gradient mountain climb.
We’ve been wearing the HC jersey all summer and it fits the bill for cool, venting and staying comfortable. Probably the most noticeable — and beneficial — innovation on the HC is the Skin Wick ST. The fabric has a soft, smooth surface that lays against your skin to create as much sweat absorption as possible. Yet on the outside the texture is more dimensional, maxing out the surface area for faster evaporation.
The Skin Wick ST fabric covers most of the jersey, front and back except for the shoulders and sleeves so the ventilation is quite good. The underarm and under-sleeve Wick Matric fabric is even more breathable and open structure.
With our hands on the bar, you literally feel the breeze enter the jersey and flow down your side. It felt so good we had the image of one of those hand-held toy fans. That’s gold on a hot day. The HC is also really comfortable thanks to that smooth fabric trick on the inside.
Style-wise, the HC fits in what Mavic calls their “classique” range, meaning it leans a bit more traditional and doesn’t go crazy with the high-priced exotic materials.
Still, it’s French, right? In recent years, Mavic has brought a cohesive visual esthetic to their road cycling apparel. The HC jersey matches the HC bib, the red sleeve bands mimics the red thigh bands, the curved-in line of white mesh follows the same visual design element on the bib. It’s a nicely integrated look and you either dig the French thing or you don’t. We tend to like French food, French women and French wine so put us in the “Oui” category.
Tres small things: Fit is generally race-cut with tight sleeves and a sleek look. If you’re between sizes — or carrying a few extra pounds or kilos, go up a size. The three pocket design includes a fourth, smaller zip enclosure for valuables like your Bernard Hinault autograph.
There’s also a nice subtle use of the Mavic M pattern in the front zipper seam going from top to bottom. You may not like the exposed seams — it gives the jersey a non-nonsense, super lightweight technical appearance but we would have kept them less visible. The seams are flat lock so monsieur is not chafing.
After far as build quality, the HC is well-constructed. We’ve tested two Mavic bib shorts and a high end Mavic jersey in the last year and all three garments are doing well. Keep in mind that Mavic has a reputation for building some of the most bomb-proof wheel sets in pro racing.
Verdict: The Mavic HC jersey is a super solid choice for hot weather summer riding. In particular, the Skin Wick ST fabric does the wick & evaporate routine while still feeling soft on the inside.