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Old 02-25-14, 01:29 PM   #1
carleton
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Looking for reviews or feedback on Bont Vaypor (road or track)

I had some Bonts back in 2010 based on the strong recommendation of a track-racing friend who used to be a competitive roller blade racer (or whatever it's called). Bont used to be a small brand with a big reputation. That was around the same time that I think their production expanded and quality changed.

I bought a pair of A2s they felt great but both carbon heels cracked in the corners within weeks. I thought it was an isolated incident but the same thing happened to both of my buddy's shoes.

I returned them for warranty replacement and all Bont did was slap some paper mache on it and called them "repaired". They failed during the very next ride (actually the next walk through the infield). So I asked for my money back from the shop and moved on.

(This guy's Bonts were damaged in a crash, but my cracks looked just like this)


I later realized that the cracks happened because when I stop the bike in the infield, I place the heel of my free leg down first (on the heel pad, not the exposed carbon). That being said, I've never had an issue with any other shoes (Fizik, Shimano, Sidi, Giro, etc...)

So, I'm asking for recent reviews/feedback of the new "Vaypor" or "Vaypor Track" models. Thoughts?
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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 02-25-14, 07:01 PM   #2
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Bont

sounds like Bont needs to make a custom rubber bumper?




have you tried Lake?

http://www.lakecycling.com/

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Old 02-25-14, 07:08 PM   #3
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I have the T-One for about a year and I've got to say that I love it. I used to use a Sidi Genius 5, it was fine but it doesn't come near the bont in terms of stiffness, comfort and tightness around the whole foot.

As for the sole, it seems very odd what happened to yours, I'm not a lightweight and I train 3x on weekdays on a path that I need to walk like 150 meters to get to, so these shoes do see a lot of pavement and the sole is intact, I'll upload some pics of them when I get home.
Did you heat them to mold it? Maybe it cooked more than it should and damaged the structure?
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Old 02-25-14, 08:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soil_Sampler View Post
sounds like Bont needs to make a custom rubber bumper?


have you tried Lake?

http://www.lakecycling.com/
It wasn't a bumper thing. The carbon never came into contact with the cement. It was like a structural thing or something. Maybe a bad batch of carbon?

I haven't tried Lake road shoes. Just MTB.

I like my Fizik and Giro shoes now. But, I really miss the Bont "Bathtub". It really does feel good on the up stroke.

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I have the T-One for about a year and I've got to say that I love it. I used to use a Sidi Genius 5, it was fine but it doesn't come near the bont in terms of stiffness, comfort and tightness around the whole foot.

As for the sole, it seems very odd what happened to yours, I'm not a lightweight and I train 3x on weekdays on a path that I need to walk like 150 meters to get to, so these shoes do see a lot of pavement and the sole is intact, I'll upload some pics of them when I get home.
Did you heat them to mold it? Maybe it cooked more than it should and damaged the structure?
I've had Sidi Genius 5s and they are as stiff as house slippers

I kept them for a while after retiring them from being my main shoes. I'd put them on every now and then for casual rides where it was nice to have comfy shoes. But, the uppers stretched soooo much on up strokes that my foot rose off of the foot bed.
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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 02-25-14, 08:35 PM   #5
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I've had my pair for a couple years. They feel great. Very stiff and secure. Very mold-able. No problems whatsoever.

-TC
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Old 02-25-14, 10:39 PM   #6
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I have Bont Zero's which I love... they are lace up and have a flap that then goes over the laces, so they are perfect for use with straps.

Unfortunately, I snapped the carbon sole on one (right inline with the pedal axle) from doing standing starts. Bont are going to replace them, but I can't send them back till after nationals in 3 weeks.

Apparently they will be replaced with Bont Zero+ model, so they still have the flap, but have a BOA mechanism instead of laces. Hopefully I can still get them secured nicely like I can with laces.

JMR
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Old 02-26-14, 10:39 AM   #7
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i own four bont vaypors and no problems. i love these shoes. planning on picking up the track model before season begins. you either love or hate them.

my buddy had his heel break. the heel began to go up through the sole or something. he said it might be from walking in his shoes.
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Old 02-26-14, 10:46 AM   #8
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they famously had QC problems as they scaled up from small-boutique-shoe-guys to mass-market.
Allegedly most of the issues have been resolved, but buyer beware. I've seen a variety of shoes come through my shop that were absolutely warranty issues and Bont didn't want to deal with them.

An industry guy I talked to recently said that since they have gotten their QC in a better place they are more willing to do warranty work, and they had just been overwhelmed previously, so that might be the case.

I dunno- if they were a better match for my foot I'd probably get another pair. I quite liked the ones I had, but I have the opposite foot shape of their last, and no amount of molding/vacuuming/was ever going to make it right.
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Old 02-26-14, 12:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Impreza_aL View Post
i own four bont vaypors and no problems. i love these shoes. planning on picking up the track model before season begins. you either love or hate them.

my buddy had his heel break. the heel began to go up through the sole or something. he said it might be from walking in his shoes.
Yeah, I think walking was (or part of) the problem. But, how do I not walk in them? Especially if I get the lace-up models.

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they famously had QC problems as they scaled up from small-boutique-shoe-guys to mass-market.
Allegedly most of the issues have been resolved, but buyer beware. I've seen a variety of shoes come through my shop that were absolutely warranty issues and Bont didn't want to deal with them.

An industry guy I talked to recently said that since they have gotten their QC in a better place they are more willing to do warranty work, and they had just been overwhelmed previously, so that might be the case.
I'd heard about the quality issues, too. Something about them making everything in-house in Australia for decades then moving production to Asia when they went more mainstream.

It was interesting to watch. They were the new darling shoes for a while, then after 1.5 years they were being blown out on Bonktown.

I was one of the negative reviewers (here on BF). But when they are in one piece, they work amazingly. That's why I'm asking for new reviews and feedback, hoping that things are more stable now.
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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 02-26-14, 12:07 PM   #10
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certainly- regarding their recent stuff, I haven't seen a single warranty come through on shoes that are from MY2013.
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Old 02-26-14, 12:56 PM   #11
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I love my Bonts.
I really do think they make me go faster.

Other than that, nothing to add but echoes about past QC issues that I believe are resolved.
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Old 02-26-14, 06:15 PM   #12
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Bont

have you sent Bont any pix of your shoes?
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Old 02-26-14, 06:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
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have you sent Bont any pix of your shoes?
This all happened back in early 2010. I dealt with the shop I bought them from (All 3 Sports in Atlanta). I didn't deal directly with Bont. All3Sports sent my shoes to Bont in California expecting a warranty replacement pair. But, they put "carbon paste" on them and returned them. This was the equivalent of putting whiteout on a cracked fork. I took one step in them and the paste cracked. I asked All3Sports to simply give me a refund and let them deal with Bont after that.
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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 02-26-14, 06:28 PM   #14
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sounds familiar...

sounds a little like some of FSA's warranty practices.
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Old 10-18-14, 06:26 PM   #15
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I know its 6 months old, but wanted to bump if anyone had more feedback on current models, particularly the Vaypor track model. I got hooked on Sidi last winter and will probably remain as my road shoe, but would like to get a new pair of shoes just for the track.


And even with the prior quality issues, it sounds like they have a pretty good warranty program?
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Old 10-19-14, 04:09 AM   #16
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I have Track 1, the older track model, and no problems on track nor on road, survived a couple of crashes. Also have Vaypor +, with the ATOP dials (newer ones have BOA) and other than a few scrapes they are like new. I recommend them.
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Old 10-23-14, 09:06 PM   #17
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Thanks for the feedback. Seems like they are going to be harder to get than I assumed, the only Bont dealer around says they can't get the track shoe as their US distributor doesn't carry them (not sure if it was a can't or won't situation).

Anyone buy directly from Bont's website? I tried on a pair of Bonts and have a pretty good guess at size, they seem to fit a little big (about half to a full size bigger than SIDI, but maybe its because they are moldable?). Only worry is getting hit with duties, its like 30%...
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