The Bont Crono – dubbed the ‘world’s first time trial specific shoe’ – has been banned from UCI-sanctioned races. The Australian manufacturers have been told that it contradicts article 1.3.033 of the governing body's technical regulations.
This stipulates: “It is forbidden to wear non-essential items of clothing or items designed to influence the performances of a rider such as reducing air resistance or modifying the body of the rider (compression, stretching, support).
"Items of clothing or equipment may be considered essential where weather conditions make them appropriate for the safety or the health of the rider. In this case, the nature and texture of the clothing or equipment must be clearly and solely justified by the need to protect the rider from bad weather conditions. Discretion in this respect is left to the race commissaires.
"Equipment (helmets, shoes, jerseys, shorts, etc) worn by the rider may not be adapted to serve any other purpose apart from that of clothing or safety by the addition or incorporation of mechanical or electronic systems which are not approved as technical innovations under article 1.3.004.”
Bont, who began life in 1975 making ice skating shoes but branched out into cycling footwear in 2007, say they're in "formal communication" with the UCI regarding the matter. A statement on their website says: "[The ban] is totally contradictory to the standards they have set by allowing countless manufacturers to produce items such as skinsuits, aero helmets, booty covers, etc, etc."