The RXL is Bontrager’s top-end performance race shoe and it’s not a bad first effort, although it is hampered by a poor fitting heel cup.
The carbon midsole is really stiff, transferring every joule of your energy to the pedals, and the co-moulded tread is very plasticky and slippery, not good for general hooing around but great for clipped-in racing.
The racy looking upper features a deep toe box with plastic guard leading to a refreshingly broad forefoot. The uppers have twin Velcro straps and a micro buckle strap, but it doesn’t offer lateral adjustment, making detailed positioning of the tongue pad impossible.
The biggest letdown was the wide, shapeless heel cup which, combined with the very stiff sole, meant we had lots of heel lift – a real shame as, from the toe to the buckle, it was a very comfortable shoe. We’re mystified as to how this slipped through Bontrager’s R&D.