B'Twin Road 9 shoes £99.99

Carbon soles and stiffness

BikeRadar score 4/5

B'Twin is the house brand of sports retail giant Decathlon. The Road 9 shoes' synthetic uppers are made from a small number of panels, which minimises the amount of stitching on the shoes (and helps keep weight down).

All the straps are anchored directly to the sole for a positive hold on your foot. You'll find the usual two-velcro, one-ratchet strap arrangement, with the ratchet buckle featuring a long, easy-to-grab aluminium lever, and there's plenty of adjustment range on the ratchet.

A full-length carbon fibre sole is a real highlight for a sub-£100 shoe, and the BTwin's isn't just for show – there's properly impressive stiffness here. You can only fit three-bolt cleats, but that won't be an issue for most people.

The inclusion of fore-and-aft and sideways position markers for cleat alignment is a useful touch. They're as tricky to walk in as any other race-style shoe, although grippy pads at the toe and heel help a bit.

The Road 9s feel immediately light and airy – the 620g weight for the pair is impressive, and there's plenty of ventilation. You should expect to break out the overshoes a little earlier than with some shoes though.

Thinly-padded uppers and a low-profile sole give the shoes a distinctly performance feel, although heel retention could be a little better, so try before you buy. The fit isn't unusually narrow or wide, so you should be safe with your usual shoe size.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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