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ROAD TESTED: BONT RIOT PLUS...

ROAD TESTED: BONT RIOT PLUS CYCLING SHOES


   

ROAD TESTED: BONT RIOT PLUS CYCLING SHOES
An entry-level cycling shoe boasting many features of the company's top shelf offering, but less than half the price.



An entry-level cycling shoe boasting many features of the company's top shelf offering, but less than half the price. That's how we see the Bont Riot Plus, a high quality but relatively low-priced offering from Australian business Bont Cycling.
Pricing generally comes at the end of a review but with a retail tag of around $230, that's certainly one of the headline features of the updated Riot. Offering many of the attributes of its big brothers the Vaypor and last year's major release the Helix, the updated Riot Plus sure packs a punch, particularly considering its price point.

Riot Plus Score Single BOA

With a single BOA dial in place of the original Riot's micro-adjust buckle, the Riot Plus not only deliver the pro-level feel of their more superior siblings - the Vaypor & Helix - but offer a quicker and more efficient closure and tensioning system over the superseded model. 

In addition to the BOA dial the Riot Plus feature a velcro tensioner. This is angled to ensure the frontal section of the shoe is evenly wrapped to the foot. 

Following factory advice the new shoes were put into a pre-warmed oven of 70 degrees celsius - this was done before fitting the cleats and after sliding out the insole. After 20 minutes in the oven, and after a few minutes of cooling, I fitted the shoes, tightened the velcro then BOA and allowed to shoes to cool to room temperature. The result - fully customised fitting in a $230 cycling shoe!

With the shoes fitted - and the added luxury of brand new compression socks from 2XU just for the occasion, it was onto the bike and out for an undulating 40km reccy ride around the Noosa Classic course on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. 

First thing I noticed was a firm and comfortable shoe that felt more an extension and less an attachment to the foot. At under 300gr in size 44.5, they are noticeably light. 

A Quality Climbing Shoe

Bont are well known for their research, development and reputation so far as power transfer goes - that is taken as read. One of the first things I noticed about these shoes, particularly as the bitumen curved upward, was the feeling of increased efficiency not just when pushing down on the pedals but noticeably when lifting them as well.

Tough comfort. That could be a way to describe the microfibre upper, a strong yet supple outer layer hardy enough to withstand the rigours of everyday activity yet pliable enough to still feel good after a long and warm session the bike.

Leaning down and giving each BOA dial a tweak just before the climb, the shoes actually felt as comfortable and secure as their big brothers - the premium level Helix (Bicycling Australia are currently also testing a pair of Bont's premium-level Helix in Black - more on those shortly).

Read more of Nat Bromhead's review on the BA website here