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Another BOA Failure

Old 02-15-20, 03:31 PM
  #1  
TiHabanero
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Another BOA Failure

Had a customer come in today with a BOA closure failure. Naturally we didn't have the one he needed for his Specialized shoe. No ride for him today. I have gone through three of them and stopped wearing the shoes many years ago because it was ready for a forth. My son ditched his shoes the second season in use because it was the second failure of the BOA closure. The customer's shoes, my son's shoes, and mine are Specialized S-Works. Sure, life time warranty, but really does not help when the Specialized dealer does not have in stock, and the rest of us non-Specialized dealers don't have them as well. I now only use the tried and true ratchet system.
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Old 02-15-20, 03:39 PM
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Yea....for my BOA shoes (Lake boots), I pre-ordered spares.

I've broken ratchet buckles on SIDIs...they're Prime on Amazon--but still annoying as no one stocks SIDIs locally. SO "tried and true", in the sense that the same problem is present.

Otherwise...I'm very much a fan of lace ups. Love the fit of my Giro Empire VR90s, also the fact that shoelaces are available anywhere.
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Old 02-15-20, 03:46 PM
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No more Boas for me. I also switched to laces a couple of years ago and will never use anything else.
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Old 02-15-20, 04:04 PM
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After owning my Spec. Torch shoes for about 6 months the cable on BOA on the right shoe got snarled up to the point it was difficult to get the shoe on and off. I ordered free warranty replacements but in the mean time I disassemble the BOA and was able to unsnarl the cable and continue using it. So now I have a new spare replacement set when the time comes. Can't say I will avoid BOA's in the future since so many shoes are equipped with them but if I get another pair with BOA's I will definitely pre-order replacements since I know nobody in the small town I live in would have them in stock and it took a week to get the replacements when I ordered them.
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Old 02-15-20, 05:59 PM
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(Warning, dinosaur here) I never "got" the BOA system. Always seemed to me a complicated, expensive system to crudely imitate what we did with laces 50 years ago - a system that worked very well (if you were taught while young how to tie a proper bow knot and double it). Had to laugh when the most expensive shoes showed up a couple of years ago with laces. (I'd been removing straps from $100 shoes, using a $10 Tandy Leather kit and installing grommets. $10 for the hardware at retail/pair. And enjoying foot comfort I hadn't seen for many years.

Still BOA free. And every pair of shoes I buy from now on will have laces or get laces. (If I did triathlon use straps. I wouldn't take a time penalty for laces but for road riding I don't have to.

And yeah. the laces thing isn't mechanically foolproof. They do break. More often than the BOAs. But the replacements are readily available, 3rd party parts work just fine and repairs can even be improvised. (And installation of the replacement parts takes what? 3 minutes if you are slow? And the failures have never cost anyone a ride (at least, not anyone who really wanted to ride and was the least bit inventive).

Ben
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Old 02-15-20, 06:40 PM
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When I bought some boa shoes, I bought a replacement set of the boa wiring. I figured I’d need it eventually.

My road shoes are 10+ yrs old, which is probably 35k+ miles, and the three Velcro straps still work fine. Boa seems like a needless complication.
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Old 02-15-20, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
Had a customer come in today with a BOA closure failure. Naturally we didn't have the one he needed for his Specialized shoe. No ride for him today. I have gone through three of them and stopped wearing the shoes many years ago because it was ready for a forth. My son ditched his shoes the second season in use because it was the second failure of the BOA closure. The customer's shoes, my son's shoes, and mine are Specialized S-Works. Sure, life time warranty, but really does not help when the Specialized dealer does not have in stock, and the rest of us non-Specialized dealers don't have them as well. I now only use the tried and true ratchet system.


Oh come on- some tape will get you through a ride or three.
(laces FTW, 'tho)
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Old 02-15-20, 06:41 PM
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Had one break and I replaced it (zero cost). Still looking for a good, stiff mountain shoe with laces. Any suggestions?
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Old 02-15-20, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
(Warning, dinosaur here) I never "got" the BOA system. Always seemed to me a complicated, expensive system to crudely imitate what we did with laces 50 years ago - a system that worked very well (if you were taught while young how to tie a proper bow knot and double it). Had to laugh when the most expensive shoes showed up a couple of years ago with laces. (I'd been removing straps from $100 shoes, using a $10 Tandy Leather kit and installing grommets. $10 for the hardware at retail/pair. And enjoying foot comfort I hadn't seen for many years.

Still BOA free. And every pair of shoes I buy from now on will have laces or get laces. (If I did triathlon use straps. I wouldn't take a time penalty for laces but for road riding I don't have to.

And yeah. the laces thing isn't mechanically foolproof. They do break. More often than the BOAs. But the replacements are readily available, 3rd party parts work just fine and repairs can even be improvised. (And installation of the replacement parts takes what? 3 minutes if you are slow? And the failures have never cost anyone a ride (at least, not anyone who really wanted to ride and was the least bit inventive).

Ben
If you tie a shoelace knot right--it doesn't need double knotting...unless you're using very slippy shoelaces.
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Old 02-15-20, 07:32 PM
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Counterpoint, luddites! My Diadora X-Vortex Pros have two BOA closures on each shoe, and have well over 40,000 miles on them. They'd have more, but I got them for Father's Day in 2016.

The ratchets/wires have free lifetime replacement directly from BOA, and take about 5 minutes to replace. I put in new upper ratchets after around 25k miles, but the lowers will likely outlast the shoes.
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Old 02-15-20, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Counterpoint, luddites! My Diadora X-Vortex Pros have two BOA closures on each shoe, and have well over 40,000 miles on them. They'd have more, but I got them for Father's Day in 2016.

The ratchets/wires have free lifetime replacement directly from BOA, and take about 5 minutes to replace. I put in new upper ratchets after around 25k miles, but the lowers will likely outlast the shoes.
Helps that you live somewhere that there is never weather.
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Old 02-15-20, 07:37 PM
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Those poor shoes have ridden the insert-tray in the dryer more times than I can count. Been fully submerged in creeks more than once, completely full of rain more than once, so full of mud that my feet pulled out with a fworp sound when I took the shoes off. Just the once.

I've never treated them like Faberge Eggs, but I've never treated them the way I see most racers treat their gear either. They're kept clean, dried promptly after being wet, and stored in their own private cubby.
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Old 02-15-20, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Those poor shoes have ridden the insert-tray in the dryer more times than I can count. Been fully submerged in creeks more than once, completely full of rain more than once, so full of mud that my feet pulled out with a fworp sound when I took the shoes off. Just the once.

I've never treated them like Faberge Eggs, but I've never treated them the way I see most racers treat their gear either. They're kept clean, dried promptly after being wet, and stored in their own private cubby.


The rarely-discussed cubby factor...
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Old 02-15-20, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
(Warning, dinosaur here) I never "got" the BOA system.
I think the theory is that BOA allows you to tighten or loosen your shoe while still riding, to adjust fit as your feet swell up or whatnot. That said, I have to say it's pretty rare that I've really felt the need for a mid-ride adjustment. I suppose the pros while out on a non-stop 200km stage might find a benefit.
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Old 02-15-20, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
If you tie a shoelace knot right--it doesn't need double knotting...unless you're using very slippy shoelaces.
Double knots are easy, allow long enough laces to double as winter laces with far more socks and - fix gears - you never want anything to get tangled in the drivetrain. Especially if it is attached to you. Something is going to break. The bike isn't stopping. Better hope the lace breaks. It's bones in your foot if it doesn't. Double knots are very cheap insurance.

Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
I think the theory is that BOA allows you to tighten or loosen your shoe while still riding, to adjust fit as your feet swell up or whatnot. That said, I have to say it's pretty rare that I've really felt the need for a mid-ride adjustment. I suppose the pros while out on a non-stop 200km stage might find a benefit.
I made a point of lacing my shoes up carefully before races. I don't recall ever thinking about my feet during a race. Not in a 5 hour plus race. Not even when the start got delayed 2 hours. That race I realized I was still wearing my shoes lace up tight sitting in the van halfway home after a 4 hour, very hard race. So 9 hours after I put them on. Now straps are a completely different story. I have often had to adjust straps to juggle between aggravating pressure points on the top of my foot and blisters resulting for loosening them because of that pressure. Yes, if I had to use modern systems, I'd consider BOA over straps.

(I am completely unafraid to use unusual lacing patterns to customize the contact with the tops of my feet. I use all the holes and lace fairly tight on my left foot and just over half and go much looser on my right on my favorite fix gear shoes. Looks very odd. I'm oblivious until I take them off. And these are the shoes I do my hardest climbing in.)

Ben
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Old 02-15-20, 11:25 PM
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To add in some counter, the garneau boa shoes I have are 3 seasons old and have probably a few hundred rides on them, plus countless spin and zwift sessions as they are now used indoor due to age.
the boas work great still. They have outlasted the tread lugs and my next shoes will have them too.
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Old 02-16-20, 06:05 AM
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"Papaw, what are BOA cycling shoe closures for?"

"They're for selling son."
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Old 02-16-20, 06:37 AM
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My first air of BOA shoes were Specialized in year 2 or 3 I had to replace a cord. The Specialized dealer did it in about 15 minutes. No charge. Since then (another 3 yrs) I've had no issues. My new Sidis have not had a problem in the 2 yrs. I've had them.
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Old 02-16-20, 07:28 AM
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Velcro straps! Never had an issue with one and never had one break.
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Old 02-16-20, 01:11 PM
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I dunno, I like my shoes with Boa (only about 5K on them, so time will tell.) Specifically, I've always had a problem getting shoes to go narrow enough in the heel while keeping enough room in the toebox (with normal shoes as well as bike shoes - my heels have permanent scars.) Whatever Fizik did with two boa closures eliminated that problem.

FWIW, I have a backup pair of shoes with velcro straps. If something breaks, I can still ride while ordering and installing the replacement.
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Old 02-16-20, 01:29 PM
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Mtn bike shoes with laces and velcro. 10+ years now. Replaced laces only last year.
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Old 02-16-20, 02:59 PM
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So far I'm satisfied with simple Velcro straps on my Scott and Fizik shoes. Saves about $20-$50 compared with the same shoes using BOA closures.

And the Velcro straps lay flatter. That matters with tight fitting aero shoe covers. My shoes with a clicky buckle doodad mash against the top of my foot and cut off circulation to my little toes with tight shoe covers.
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Old 02-16-20, 09:42 PM
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I just got my first modern pair of riding shoes. They have BOAs. They're neat, I guess. With the specific model I have, you just pull the dial out to release all tension and slip off the shoe. I could see that being useful when your hands are wet and cold after a winter ride. The main downside I have noticed with them is that they stretch at the start of a ride as my foot settles and warms the shoe up. I never had that with my lace-up shoes. I also lace and tie my shoes differently than "normal" to expedite the shoe donning/doffing procedure. See links below:

knot:
https://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/secureknot.htm

lacing pattern:
https://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/doublehelixlacing.htm
used for bottom eyelet to keep shoelace from auto-adjusting:
https://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/loc...lix-lacing.htm
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Old 02-17-20, 03:37 AM
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Originally Posted by John_V View Post
Velcro straps! Never had an issue with one and never had one break.
Well, Velcro definitely has a limited life. I suppose in theory you could stitch on replacement Velcro once it dies ... I have to admit to avoiding BOA as it seems rather fragile. I still like the older ratchet system which has served me well over the years.
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Old 02-17-20, 09:33 AM
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My youngest daugther has running shoes from New Balance that uses a BOA to close. I cant think of anyone who is harder on shoes that she is, and that BOA is still going strong. The shoes are falling apart around the BOA lacing and we are going to get another pair for her soon since she specifically asked for that style.

I have come stupidly close to trying the Silca under saddle roll bag that uses a BOA cable to tighten. It looks so good, but across the internet, reviews destroy the product's design. It isn the BOA attachment though, its how the rest of the roll bag is designed and the placement of the cable. Sucks because that thing is sharp looking!
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