BikeRadar have just been at Shimano’s 2014 Australian dealer launch, where the company released details of performance footwear and pedals for the road and off-road markets. New top-tier mountain bike shoes, women’s road race shoes and a budget carbon replacement for the longstanding R540 road pedal were all highlights. Availability and pricing is to be announced.
XC90, XC70 and XC61 off-road race shoes
Key 2014 innovations can be seen in Shimano’s XC90, XC70 and XC61 off-road shoes, replacements for the M315, M240 and XC60 respectively. The new cross-country range promises to offer greater efficiency, comfort and lower weight.
Borrowed from the road, Dynalast technology means flatter soles and reduced stack heights that claim to place less tension on the feet, calves and hamstrings, aiding performance.
The XC90 sits at the top of the XC range, featuring a tread layout reminiscent of a football boot’s. Cyclocross racers’ prayers have been answered with a minimal design and replacement studs in the forefoot, which should mean mud-clogging becomes less of an issue while traction increases.
All three models receive a new velcro strap layout. Whereas the velcro straps used to all tighten in the same direction, they now oppose each other to create a foot-hugging fit designed to prevent nerve pinching.
The XC70 shows a large weight reduction from last year’s M240
The XC90 and XC70 shoes retain Shimano’s great custom fit technology, including heat moulding for problematic feet, whereas the XC70 and XC61 receive lower grade carbon soles and move to a more standard tread layout, relative to the XC90.
The XC90 shoes are claimed to weigh just 627g per pair, with the XC70 and XC61 pitted at 632g per pair. Expect the XC90s to be available from October 2013, with other models following soon after. Expect a full review on BikeRadar soon.
WR-83 women’s road race shoes
A new top-tier women’s road race shoe replaces the current WR-82 for 2014. The WR-83 borrows much of its technology from the men’s R320, but with a women’s specific fit.
Featuring Dynalast technology and a far lighter weight (claimed to be 486g per pair) than the WR-82s, the WR-83s should be a welcome addition to Shimano’s ever-expanding footwear range.
The WR-83 is a new women’s specific performance road shoe
Availability is expected to be as soon as August 2013.
R550 budget carbon road pedals
With recent news of a Shimano carbon road pedal at the 105 level, we learnt that even the budget R540 is being replaced with a carbon model. The new Shimano R550 mimics the latest Dura-Ace and Ultegra pedals, with an extra-wide body and bearing placement and a replaceable stainless steel support plate.
The new Shimano R550 pedal could be the perfect pedal for the enthusiast road rider
The R550 claims to drop 20g from the R540, for a total weight of 310g per pair. Could this spell the end of aluminium road pedals from Shimano?