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.