Dropping into Bont’s road shoe line-up below the Vaypor models, the a-two offers many of the features of its more expensive siblings.
The £50 saving over the Vaypor swaps its full carbon chassis for a carbon and fibreglass composite construction; the upper material changes from shiny to matte microfibre, with a microfibre lining instead of suede; and the Z-form strap is replaced with two separate Velcro straps. The penalty for these changes is only about 30g per shoe, and at 298g for our size 45s, the a-twos are still very light.
It’s essential to buy the correct size, and Bont’s simple size guide makes that a breeze. Because the shoes are shaped like a foot and available in three widths, it is possible to achieve a great fit, which is completed by the heat moulding process.
Bont’s website outlines the procedure for heat moulding, which requires the shoes to be placed in an oven at 70°C for around 20 minutes, then worn to achieve the correct shape. Our oven temperature gauge wasn’t accurate enough, leading to several attempts, which is fine because the Bonts can be remoulded infinitely.
The sole has a detailed fitting grid and accepts three-hole cleats, with replaceable bumpers at heel and toe. The Bonts can be tightened very effectively using the ratchet system and Velcro straps without pinching or affecting circulation, which really aids performance.
The thin sole gives a low stack height of 4.4mm and feels incredibly direct, with that wraparound carbon tub giving excellent pedalling stability. Ventilation comes from a range of frontal vents that do a good job, and the only criticism after a month or so of wear is that the uppers crease slightly when tightened.
Bont’s road shoes are the stiffest we’ve ridden. But even with their minimal insole, the a-twos have been nothing but comfortable, and their performance is outstanding.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.