Now it’s easy to think that all of Bont’s race shoes look somewhat similar; even the entry-level Riot and top of the range Vaypor look pretty similar save for the materials used. The new Helix shoe may look similar again, but it’s got some really clever ideas going on under the lightweight surface.
Bont CEO and designer Steven Nemeth explains: “When I started, I knew I wanted to get the low weight and custom fit of the Vaypor but add something more to improve the fit. So we started looking at the Boa wire placement to better control the volume adjustment. As we’ve had some riders with particularly low volume feet complain that the upper can crease when really cinched down.”
You can see the twin channels for the Boa wires running through the lightweight carbon sole Warren Rossiter / Immediate Media
The solution it found was to use longer wires and wider routing for the Boa dial. “Then we thought why not use the wire all the way round the foot, so we prototyped a new sole with channels built into it. Combine that with an overlapped upper and you can get much, much more adjustment and volume control,” says Nemeth.
The final shoe now features twin tunnels through the mid-foot of the sole to control the upper fit. I tried on a prototype pair at Eurobike (the Helix models on the stand were hand cut and assembled one-offs rather than the full production version) in a size 46.5, much too big for me, but still got a feel for how the upper grips around your foot.
The Helix’s on show were in a large 46.5 size, but still weighed only 265.3g. So expect a sub-240g shoe for the usually quoted size 43 Warren Rossiter / Immediate Media
Rest assured, I’ve got a test pair on order to see if the fit really does live up to the hype. No pricing has been set yet, but I’d expect them to be in line with the current Vaypor+ at around the £350 mark.