TRI BIKE SHOES
Which of these tri-specific bike shoes will see you through transitions and your bike leg in record time? Jack Sexty tests six from £75 to £360
Aiming for the tri podium, GB age-group qualification or a personal best this season? Then a multisport-specific pair of bike shoes will shave your transition times and lead to a more comfortable bike leg. How? Let’s find out.
Tri shoes will often have better ventilation and quick-drying properties than their road shoe counterparts, which is more useful on short-course triathlons especially where your feet have less time to dry out on the bike leg.
A heel loop is also added to tri bike shoes so you can pull your shoes on and off easier in transitions one and two. And there are often additional mini loops for attaching the shoes to your bike with elastic bands on
the inside of most tri-specific shoes. In terms of fastening, tri bike shoes either have a dial and wiring system to help athletes find the right amount of tension, or they can use traditional or reverse straps (the latter also speed up the transition process).
To test the six pairs on the following pages – which range from a wallet-friendly £75 to a princely £359.99 – we not only rode them in training and races, but also did T1 and T2 mock-ups to assess the ease of foot entry and exit on the fly. The same Shimano SPD-SL yellow cleats were used, and we rode similar sessions in each to rate comfort and power transfer. The effectiveness of the straps and ratchets was also considered, as were ventilation, aesthetics and durability.