Bontrager’s tough-trail/enduro family now has shoes to match. The Rhythm’s bright neon tread lugs are made from properly grippy Tachyon rubber and wrap right round the sole, which is low enough for a connected feel even on smaller clipless pedals. Sole stiffness is good enough for positive acceleration but still bearable for short walks. The InForm Pro orthopaedic shaping meant we didn’t have hot spot issues on long rides or clattering descents either.
The toe, heel and outside flank get extra Gnar Guard scuff protection but the overall feel is light, not locked in. The mesh toe panel lets in water and cold – a surprise on an otherwise splashproof shoe – but the ratchet system works better than its flimsy looks suggest and the price is good.