FLR F-55.II shoes review£64.99

No-nonsense XC-geared footwear

BikeRadar score3.5/5Find prices on Bicycle Blue Book

If you’re after a pair of simple, stiff cross-country shoes, then FLR’s F-55s are worth looking out for.

The first thing you’ll notice is the stiffness of the reinforced nylon sole, which uses a raised inside lip to create a semi bathtub design for minimum flex. In fact, it isn’t far off lower priced carbon shoes in terms of pushing your power through to the pedals, so racers and speed freaks on a budget are going to really love them. If you’re racing cyclocross or front-fanging up steep, slippery slopes for any other reason, being able to screw toe studs in will be a bonus too.

Don’t rely on the tread otherwise though, because it’s as hard as Lego. Combined with the super-stiff sole, that makes them as grippy as rollerskates on wet rocks. They won’t wear out in a hurry though, and these shoes are for riding, not walking.

Triple Velcro strap fastening keeps things simple and cheap, and while they’re not as ‘clamped on’ in feel as stiffer exoskeleton/hard heel cup shoes, the generously padded heel cuff limits heel lift so you don’t need to get excessive with tightening. An F-65 with ratchet buckle and a dial-fastened F-75 are also available.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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