Bringing back the Cycling Cap one Domestique at a time

Showing posts with label Wire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wire. Show all posts

Review: Sidi Wire Vent Carbon - On the Road

Continued from SiDi Wire - First Impressions.


As is often the case for Cycling Shoes, liking one is a matter of "if the shoe fits". 

I'm lucky to have the proper foot shape to be comfortable inside SiDis. It should be noted that these brand shoes are pretty narrow compared to it's competitors. if you have wider than normal feet don't fret, it's common practice to order a size bigger on these anyway so voila! Problem Solved. 





On the road, the Wires performed admirably. The first thing a new Wire owner would notice is the stiffness! The Carbon Vent soles are really rock solid! And speaking of Vents... the Wire's closeable vents are definitely more than a gimmick! I experienced no heat buildup through 100kms of riding. This is especially noticeable inside the toe box area. After riding, the bottom of my socks felt noticeably cooler compared to what they would have been if I used my Genius 5 Pro. I'll definitely be keeping these closeable ports permanently open. 


Heel lift is definitely addressed by the HSS. As mentioned in SiDi Wire - First Impressions  a little bit of lift is still present.  My right boot had more lift compared to the left one. Hinting perhaps that a bit more tweaking is required.


I'm a bit annoyed at opening the topmost Techno III wire closure system though. Again, two hands are required to completely loosen the mechanism. The micro-adjustments are also too fiddly to be practical.  I guess I just got too spoiled with the 5-Pro's ratchet release.... just pull the red tab and presto! Oh well, can't have your cake...


That said, it's still has it's advantages over strap and ratchet, particularly on comfort.  If you're the type who doesn't need to adjust your shoe during a ride, the choice between wire or ratchet-strap is a no-brainer.   


The much ballyhooed SiDi America insoles did their job well. Well in the sense that I did not notice anything about them. They just look better and the bottom is covered with a thin cloth layer compared to the Genius 5-Pro's bare rubberized foam. 






Compared with the 5-Pro, the Wire provided a better cleat position as i was able to position the ball of my foot closer to the crank arms. It made a world of difference as my knees are now tucked-in throughout the 360 degrees of pedal motion. 


I heard that some guy named Peter Sagan field tested this and they say he's an okay rider so I'll take his word for it :D. 



Peter Sagan Field Testing the Prototype SiDi Wire (note: Marked Ergo 3) 


And finally, I just have to touch back and mention the color once more. When Dua Daddy and I pulled up on a rest stop. You can see every cyclist in attendance eyeballing the boots. On  sunny days,  you can see flashes of yellow reflecting on your sunglasses... WHILE looking straight ahead! :) 


Good? Bad? Who cares?! 


These are simply the best road shoes you can get right now! 




Verdict

Stylish and functional. Extremely comfortable provided your feet fits. Can be too narrow for some. The best. 


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Sidi Wire Vent Carbon - First Impressions

So yesterday I got a much anticipated SMS from my suking cargo forwarder Johnny Air Cargo which started with a plea:

"Pls bear with us, pick up your package as soon as possible, need more space for our next shipment..."


Being December, things have already heated up as far as shipping and deliveries are concerned. I would have happily obliged Johnny Air's request for immediate pick-up but had to let a few hours pass dotting T's and crossing I's. 


The fuss was all bout these.... 




A fruit of Black Friday were these fine pieces of Italian Cycling art from the fine folks at SiDi. These, Ladies and Gents,  are a pair of SiDi Wire Vent Carbons.   These shoes sit at the top of the Sidi food chain which, in my opinion, effectively makes them the top road shoe in all of bikedom.

The first thing anyone would notice about these is the color. Taken straight off the Stabilo Boss palette, these Fluorescent Yellow boots are so bright they almost scream RADIATION! Seriously, these pictures don't do the shoes justice. In bright sunlight, it seems that light is actually emanating from the SiDi's. They're that bright.    


Once your pupils get the hang of the brightness, you'll immediately notice the quality and all the fine details of these shoes. 

These boots are just class.

The Vernice outer is shiny our of the box and promises to be easier to clean than my Genius 5 Pro's Lorica finish. The stitches are done just as how you'd expect from an Italian Craftsman.

Aside from being 62g (claimed) lighter than the Ergo 3, the ex-king of the SiDi range, the Wire carries over most of the features of its predecessor. Most noteworthy of these are the Vent Carbon Sole, Heel Security System (more on this later) and user replaceable wear and tear parts.  


But what makes the Wire a Wire is the use of SiDi's Techno 3 closure system. This replaces the ratcheting strap system used by the Ergo 3 and roughly 90% of Cycling shoes out there. It is important to note that previous Ergos have used a similar system, dubbed Techno 2, to secure the front and mid parts of the shoe, but only now has the Techno system been used to secure the shoe all throughout.

This system was actually bannered by Specialized, and then Scott sporting a similar closure system from a company called Boa. Sidi counters this (in the manual at least) by stating that they had a similar system in place since the 80's/90's. Why they dropped this system and brought it back just now still remains unexplained. :) 

According to SiDi, using strings instead of straps applies even pressure on your foot when tightening up the shoe, something which I would totally corroborate. The Techno 3 system is a joy to tighten; just flip up the switch on the circular knob and twist away. However, if you're used to one handed loosening of the top strap, you'd better practice and relearn this as I found that loosing the Tecno 3 is a bit of a two hand affair. 

That said, I still believe that shifting to Techno 3 is a good move in terms of performance and aesthetics. The top of the shoe looks clean, devoid of the familiar three straps of the typical road shoe. This also allows for better upper foot ventilation via the mesh and perforations in the tongue.  


On the underside, you'll find SiDi's Vent Carbon sole finished in traditional carbon weave. Don't be surprised if one day we'll have a version using unidirectional carbon, the current finish of choice/fad. Here we find the replaceable toe and heel pads, metered cleat holes and of course, the closeable vents. 


Thread lock applied to the vent closure screw. Good Job, Sidi! 


I admit to skepticism on the effectiveness of these vents. But inspecting the shoe from the inside gives evidence that air channels do exist inside the sole. I'm not about to wreck my shoe to find out! The insole's holes align perfectly to those inside the shoe, but whether or not they actually work needs an actual ride to find out.  





The wire looks black when viewed from the rear. The yellow oval accents are actually safety reflectors. The plastic SiDi heel cup is where you actually anchor your foot in and where you should base your fit.  

On top of the heel cup is SiDi's Heel Security System or HSS. It's job: eliminate power robbing heel lift. I must say, this does an excellent job at that. HSS works like a vise; your heel basically gets squeezed in by HSS so the rear of the shoe clings to your foot throughout the 360 degrees of pedal cycle.  Heel lift is still there, but is greatly reduced to the point of being almost unnoticeable. 

Tightened HSS

As expected of a Carbon soled shoe, the stiffness screams out almost as loud as the Fluo Yellow Vernice although SiDi claims to have engineered in a bit of flex in the name of comfort. Performance aside, walking around on top of a slippery bit of Carbon Fiber may be unnerving. To help protect the sole, Sidi provides a small bit of 3M Safety-Walk slip resistant tread. This is the exact same material you'll see on the stairsteps of the conscientious.  

Ignoring SiDi's instructions to put the sticker on the pedal, I put mine where I'll likely need it... behind the cleats. This gives me some peace of mind while I rest my unclipped foot on the pedal before coming to a complete stop.

Black Look cleats - Not for the Faint of Knees



 With Look zero-float cleats installed, a single shoe weighs in at 350 grams. This is inclusive of a 1 gram bolt used to affix Look's memory position plug (weight weenie alert! haha). 





All in all, there's a lot to like about the Wires. I mean, A LOT. 

If you can't stand the sheer audacity of these boots, sidi offers them in tamer colorways of black, white and boring :) 


A Speedplay specific model is also available, saving you a few grams by ditching 4 to 3 hole adapters. 


An intriguing variant is the Wire Carbon Air model. As you can see, the whole surface is perforated which promises supreme ventilation. Unfortunately, this model is only available in select regions. 





I'm so pumped about my pumped up kicks! The only worry I have right now is that I'll scratch these too pretty shoes when I ride! 


But RIDE THEM I WILL!



[UPDATE 22 DEC 2012] We survived the Mayan Apocalypse and reviewed the Wires on the Road! Please click the link to read the review ->  Review Sidi Wire Vent Carbon - On the Road



Verdict

Comfortable closure mech, good ventilation, flashy color and style, functional heel retention. Expensive but worth the asking price. 


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