Australian Mountain Bike - - Tested - WORDS: BEN MOR­RI­SON IMAGES: NICK WAYGOOD

The new Flat­line flat pedal shoe from Bontrager of­fers a great bal­ance be­tween func­tion and style. Our black Flat­line shoes look like a tra­di­tional street styled shoe us­ing laces (the box in­cludes both red and black laces for you selec­tion) to keep your foot snug and in place. They come with a re­ally nice and nor­mal look­ing sole with only the small Vi­bram logo near the heel giv­ing away any hint that this shoe could be more than meets the eye. Sup­port-wise and for gen­eral com­fort when on your foot they feel very much like a skate shoe and de­liver a rather plush feel­ing once on when com­pared to a SPD (or clip-in) shoes of the same styling. Even with the slightly tougher ex­ter­nal ma­te­ri­als and re­in­forced toe box, the Flat­line still does not feel like a cy­cling shoe un­til you match it with a set of ped­als. We com­bined our Flat­line shoes with a set of Bontrager’s Line Pro flat ped­als. These ped­als have an ad­justable pin height, rather gen­er­ous plat­form and nice smooth bear­ings. When first play­ing with our Flat­line black shoes we thought that for sure we would be opt­ing for the longer pin height on the Line Pro pedal, but in or­der to not jump to con­clu­sions we opted to set out on our first ride with the stan­dard pin height. This was to be the only op­tion we re­quired as once the shoe and pedal mated, there was am­ple grip sup­plied by the Vi­bram sole. One of the in­ter­est­ing notes about the Flat­line shoe was the in­put from Ryan Howard – one of Trek’s premier Slope Style rid­ers. R Dogg’s sig­na­ture un­der­stated style and look is ev­i­dent when view­ing the Flat­line black shoes, with that func­tion over fash­ion ap­pear­ance self-ev­i­dent.

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