Australian cycling footwear company Bont has always been best known for its high-end range – such as the Vaypor and Zero models – but the company has long reached down to much more attainable price points, too.
Bont will make an even bigger appeal to the masses now with a new road shoe called Riot, which will cost just US$149/£99.99/AU$179 when it hits stores in mid-to-late March.
While the Riot will cost less than half of the current Vaypor flagship (or the new Vaypor+), the list of similarities is impressively long. Just like the Vaypor, Riot features a bathtub-style fiber composite sole for minimal weight but excellent stiffness, built-in arch and forefoot support, it’s fully heat moldable, plus it will come in an extraordinary range of sizes from 36-50 and, eventually, the same four last options (standard, narrow, wide, and Asian).
Claimed weight is also just 520g for a pair of size 42 shoes – only 70g more than the new Vaypor+.
Naturally, however, there are key differences, too. Notably, the Riot is not built as a true monocoque like Bont’s other offerings, instead using a more conventional two-piece construction where a separate upper is bonded to the bathtub chassis. That bathtub is also made of a less exotic carbon composite, which adds some weight, additional stack height (a still-thin 4.8mm vs. 3.6mm), and sacrifices a little stiffness.
The Riot’s stitched microfiber upper will use a conventional Vaypor-like mix of a ratcheting main strap coupled with a single ‘Z-strap’ up front instead of the new Vaypor+’s new dual cable reel setup. However, the generous allotment of mesh should provide very good ventilation, too. In addition, sliding cleat holes will allow for more fore-aft adjustment on the Riot than other Bont shoes, which typically use fixed T-nuts.
“My focus and commitment to ensure all levels of our shoes offer the same biomechanical benefits as our pro level are maintained,” Bont principal Steven Nemeth told BikeRadar. “What we have redesigned are manufacturing processes, inner soles, and some internal structures to the uppers with the Riot not being a monocoque shoe. The focus with our previous models have always been performance via our industry leading power transfer of our shoes, functional structural support of feet to maintain correct biomechanical function, and limiting fatigue factors associated to feet and comfort.”
“Whilst all the focus has been maintained on the biomechanical factors and comfort, the power transfer component has been slightly changed. This is not saying the shoes are soft. As compared to our competitors, we are still miles in front, but compared to our own standards it is slightly lower.”
The new Bont Riot uses a more conventional two-piece construction with separate uppers and lowers instead of the company’s usual monocoque assembly