Review: Bontrager SSR Multisport SPD Shoe
February 11th, 2015
February 11th, 2015
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Being a newbie to clipless pedals, I read my beginner's guides to SPD’s and decided to go for something versatile, the Bontrager SSR Multisport - the idea being that I could wear something on-pedal and off-the-bike sounded like a perfect match for my needs. If your looking for something similar then you need to head to the ‘Mountain’ or ‘Multi shoe’ section/aisle where you will find brands like Northwave, Mavic, Specialized, Giro, Shimano and Louis Garneau, all with their 2-bolt cleat compatible options. On SPD system shoes, the ‘cleat’ is generally inset into the sole (unlike road shoes) so once off the bike, it makes little or no contact with the floor allowing you to walk without sounding like a tap dancer. I must admit that my buying behaviour was to find something that looked least like a traditional cycling shoe. Something that was both comfortable and that I could wear to the pub or to pop to the shops, as the need arose. The Bontrager SSR's were exactly that. Their classic low trainer styling making for a versatile 'multisport' and casual shoe. However, once on, the rigid sole and tough laces make it apparent that these are functional footwear designed for cycling. Fitting the SPD's is a doddle. Just cut out the central rubber section on the sole of the shoe, that is marked for this purpose, with a sharp knife. Once removed it exposes the metal sole plate that the SPD clips screw into. Take your time to get them in the right position and away you go. All you need to fit the cleats is an Allen wrench. Performance-wise they are great - comfortable and supportive. Once you clip in for the first time, the improvement in speed, acceleration and control is instantly noticeable - I’m told that being connected to the pedals adds twenty percent to your speed. Or, you use up twenty per cent less energy to achieve the same speeed.... If your deliberating going with a cleat mounted fixed cycling shoe - do it! - you won't look back. I also learned that the cleats come with pedals, and not the cycling shoes. So if you’re using hand me down pedals from a mate (like I am!) you’ll need to buy yourself some cleats. Priced at £74.99 from your local Bontrager & Trek dealer.