220 Triathlon

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

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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.

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