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Old 04-16-12, 06:35 PM   #1
mcafiero
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Shoe Review

I want to know what kind of shoes people are wearing. Do you love them or hate them?

I have been wearing an entry-level road shoe by Specialized. I can't get them tight enough. And the velcro is getting worn out, the buckle is stripped. I hate that my foot leaves the footbed on every pedal stroke.

I just ordered some Bont track shoes off their site. They get mixed reviews. One thing I see is that they take forever to deliver. So I feel I have time to cancel if I decide there's a better shoe out there. I'm looking for a super tight fit without too many hot spots.

Anyone here order a pair of their web site? Did it take forever?

I hear amazing things about heat molding on that shoe.

I can see how shoes can really make a difference with sprinting. Loose fit is like trying to run a 100m sprint in flipflops.
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Old 04-16-12, 07:08 PM   #2
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I had some Bont A2 shoes. The heels on both shoes cracked within a month. Same thing happened to a guy I race with. The repair from Bont was crap. Just some black paper mache paste.

The failure may be unique to track riders. It happened when I come to a stop. On a road bike, I simply coast to a stop with one foot unclipped and I put it down with the ball of my foot first. On a track bike, because we come to rolling stops, I extend my left foot *heel first* to help me stop. So, the heel pad would touch the ground first. Apparently, this odd angle is enough to crack the shoes.

They were awesome until that point. The heel cupping action is really nice. The toe box is really wide though. Touch for fitting double straps. Depending on your cleat placement, the strap will wedge between the shoe and the crank arm on every pedal stroke.

I use Fizik R1 and R3 now and love them. They feel like custom shoes...especially with the Sidas footbed that comes in the R1. They are pricey, but worth it especially if you can get them on some sort of discount. The uppers do not stretch, even if wet. I did, however, break a velcro strap. The sailcloth isn't as durable as one would like. It broke where it doubles over itself.

Sidi Genius 5s are comfortable, but the upper is too soft for standing starts and other efforts that are heavy on the up-stroke. They stretch like crazy.
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Old 04-16-12, 08:01 PM   #3
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Hmmm yeah one of the common complaints I have read has to do with quality but those reviews are from a couple years ago. The new shoes have a heel skid pad screwed securely into it, or so it appears. I looked at fizik. They look nice. Also considered the exustars. Wondering if anyone has had good luck with them. The good thing about Bont being so slow is that maybe I have time to reconsider. For the money, those should not be so easily damaged.
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Old 04-16-12, 10:19 PM   #4
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I'm using a set of 90's luck road shoes, and they're the cat's pyjamas. I've tried the s-works road shoes from a team sponsor, and I actually prefer these. I'm probably crazy though.
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Old 04-16-12, 10:31 PM   #5
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Hmmm yeah one of the common complaints I have read has to do with quality but those reviews are from a couple years ago. The new shoes have a heel skid pad screwed securely into it, or so it appears. I looked at fizik. They look nice. Also considered the exustars. Wondering if anyone has had good luck with them. The good thing about Bont being so slow is that maybe I have time to reconsider. For the money, those should not be so easily damaged.
Bont's quality has gotten worse, not better.

I've been told that ever since they went from being a small boutique to mainstream the quality has gone down, not up. I think production went from Australia to Asia to keep up with the demand of being in local bike shops. Maybe custom shoes are made by hand in Australia and the standard sizes are mass produced in Asia?

I hope someone with more information can chime in.
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 04-16-12, 11:26 PM   #6
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The DMT track-specific shoes are awesome.
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Old 04-17-12, 10:42 AM   #7
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I picked up a pair of A-one's.

First month the buckle ripped out of the backing nut... thing, and the back rubbery BONT logo piece started to delaminate. But they're comfortable to my weird-shaped feet once you heat mould them.

Also shipping was fairly quick, I had them within a month.
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Old 04-17-12, 03:59 PM   #8
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A little off topic, but does anyone know of a place to buy new buckles? I've had a pair of Gaerne's for years, but the buckle is starting to get some play. I can only find replacements for their newer shoes via their website.
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Old 04-18-12, 04:21 PM   #9
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I emailed Bont and informed them of the concerning reviews I've seen online in regard to quality control. They replied and confirmed that they are now being manufactured in China, blamed the quality control on their distributors (still trying to figure that out) and assured me that it's all taken care of:

"We have had some issues with distributors which was out of our control and have been rectified now."

I don't really believe them. But I am going to keep my order in the queue and hope that either they are not lying or that I get lucky with a solid pair. Everyone seems to agree that when they are in one piece, they are awesome shoes. We'll see.

She gave me an ETA of May 2.
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Old 04-18-12, 09:44 PM   #10
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...I don't really believe them. But I am going to keep my order in the queue and hope that either they are not lying or that I get lucky with a solid pair. Everyone seems to agree that when they are in one piece, they are awesome shoes. We'll see.
Yeah, they are fantastic when they are in one piece. They are really on to something with the carbon "bathtub" sole. If they can shore up the quality control they would certainly be worth the high-dollar price.
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 04-21-12, 11:04 AM   #11
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I use a set of Bonts on the oval, and Giro Factors on the road.
Both a great, but they feel totally different. The Bont's never molded to my feet all that well, so they aren't comfortable on longer rides - but for track riding they are great.
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Old 04-22-12, 10:27 PM   #12
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Shimano R315. STIFF, very comfortable and supple upper. Snug heel cup and good ventilation. Fantastic shoe.
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Old 04-23-12, 10:42 AM   #13
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I was at the LAVRA TT's in Los Angeles and saw a ton of Bont Track shoes. I asked everyone how they liked them and if they had any quality issues and the response was unanimous: They all love them and no issues with anyone. I feel better.
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Old 04-23-12, 12:58 PM   #14
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I was at the LAVRA TT's in Los Angeles and saw a ton of Bont Track shoes. I asked everyone how they liked them and if they had any quality issues and the response was unanimous: They all love them and no issues with anyone. I feel better.
How did you do? Are the results posted yet?
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 04-23-12, 03:25 PM   #15
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How did you do? Are the results posted yet?
I rode a Team Sprint, then the 200, then 500 and then a Kilo.

Team Sprint I was #3 and it was my first time doing it. I think for my first go, it went OK but I didn't catch as much of a good draft as I could have. I was sometimes good, sometimes a bike length back, mostly from not holding my line well enough. Don't have a time for that.

12.08 on the 200 which I guess I am OK with, it's at least faster than my 12.3 in Frisco, but I still have a lot to learn about the 200. There were 47 competitors or something and my 12.08 was the 17th best or something. Being my first season at it I think that's OK.

No time yet on the 500. My kilo sucked. I just wasn't motivated - it was a long-ass day and I couldn't get my head right for it. 1:15, according to my coach.

In all of my events, I never felt that I was able to give it my 100%. On my road bike, when we do sprint efforts, I can put 100% and I can feel all of my power transferring to my bike. On the track, I can't mentally dig to that point just yet. I am too distracted by "where to be" and "when" and yada yada yada. Believe it or not, I think that once I get my shoes, it will help me to focus more on pushing max power through them. May sound silly, but I think that will help me to flip the switch in my brain to push as hard as I can possibly push. Not there yet.

It was fun though. A very cool track! I want to go back. I did on Sunday for a workout. I could ride that track all day long. Only good photo of me is of my ass
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Old 04-23-12, 04:32 PM   #16
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I rode a Team Sprint, then the 200, then 500 and then a Kilo.

Team Sprint I was #3 and it was my first time doing it. I think for my first go, it went OK but I didn't catch as much of a good draft as I could have. I was sometimes good, sometimes a bike length back, mostly from not holding my line well enough. Don't have a time for that.

12.08 on the 200 which I guess I am OK with, it's at least faster than my 12.3 in Frisco, but I still have a lot to learn about the 200. There were 47 competitors or something and my 12.08 was the 17th best or something. Being my first season at it I think that's OK.

No time yet on the 500. My kilo sucked. I just wasn't motivated - it was a long-ass day and I couldn't get my head right for it. 1:15, according to my coach.

In all of my events, I never felt that I was able to give it my 100%. On my road bike, when we do sprint efforts, I can put 100% and I can feel all of my power transferring to my bike. On the track, I can't mentally dig to that point just yet. I am too distracted by "where to be" and "when" and yada yada yada. Believe it or not, I think that once I get my shoes, it will help me to focus more on pushing max power through them. May sound silly, but I think that will help me to flip the switch in my brain to push as hard as I can possibly push. Not there yet.

It was fun though. A very cool track! I want to go back. I did on Sunday for a workout. I could ride that track all day long. Only good photo of me is of my ass

I can't believe you do power work on your road bike. I did that once and almost broke mine in half.

The key to getting power through the bike won't be the shoes. The key will be you dialing in your bike and spending time on it till everything is second nature to you. There comes a point when the bike just becomes an extension of you. I know this sounds like zen mumbo-jumbo. But, you'll do things before you think about them. That's why they say it takes 3 years (or more) to start realizing one's potential.
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Old 04-23-12, 08:07 PM   #17
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[QUOTE=mcafiero;14135589]I rode a Team Sprint, then the 200, then 500 and then a Kilo.

All in one day? Ouch!
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Old 04-23-12, 11:47 PM   #18
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[QUOTE=Baby Puke;14136858]
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I rode a Team Sprint, then the 200, then 500 and then a Kilo.

All in one day? Ouch!
When the Kilo came around I was like, "the sooner I do this, the sooner I get to eat", and not, "I'm going to kill it on this Kilo!"
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Old 04-23-12, 11:54 PM   #19
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Your first season numbers aren't far off of my personal bests. Yeah, you are doin' OK, hahaha.

I can't believe you do power work on your road bike. I did that once and almost broke mine in half.

The key to getting power through the bike won't be the shoes. The key will be you dialing in your bike and spending time on it till everything is second nature to you. There comes a point when the bike just becomes an extension of you. I know this sounds like zen mumbo-jumbo. But, you'll do things before you think about them. That's why they say it takes 3 years (or more) to start realizing one's potential.
Well you know Carleton, I'm not training for a medal at Master's Nat's. I'm training to give you a good run in a match sprint at Master's Nat's. You don't have much to worry about, I'm a pretty bad match-sprinter. haha but I am hoping it will pan out that way.

I hear what you mean about becoming one with the bike. It's exactly what's frustrating me - I don't feel that oneness yet. I'm sure it will come. I just get impatient.
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Old 05-07-12, 10:22 PM   #20
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I got the shoes last week. Not too bad. However, I noticed a small crack, I think in the resin coating over the carbon on the inside edge, about 1cm in length. The only time that could have happened would have been when I put the shoes on and walked across a carpeted floor, maybe 6 steps. Which seems strange to me. I showed it to some guys at the track and no one thinks the carbon was harmed, but I immediately sent pics to them and have not heard back. Hmmmm. I requested a replacement right shoe but I have doubts as to if that will happen. Not too bent out of shape, but hope they'll at least reply. I put some clear nail polish over it and now you can hardly tell. The shoes are incredible. They are so light and so stiff. When I put them on, my feet felt like they were filled with helium. Pretty crazy. I should probably not use them in hopes to get a new one under warranty, but screw it, I can't bear to wear my old shoes any more. The difference is amazing. I heat-molded the shoe without the crack and it feels incredible. For the first time, I feel that my bike and I are really one. Before we were two, separated at the feet. I'll do the other shoe if it seems they are not going to help me. Love the shoes though. We'll see about the customer support.
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Old 05-09-12, 08:22 PM   #21
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Update: I got an email from Bont, they are sending me a new shoe. Nice, because I love the shoes
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