|Wiggins' feet inside Bont Zeros |
Back when he was on top of the world
Ordering the Bonts online from Bont directly was a bit of an exercise. Measure and measure again. Then look at the website and play a bit of what-if. What if I had feet a little bigger than I measured - how does that change the size recommendation? A little smaller? Eventually, I was satisfied and picked a size. It worked out OK.
Initially, I had pressure points on the outside of the ball of my feet. Of course the shoes are heat moldable in your kitchen oven. The problem is my kitchen oven doesn't record temperature low enough to match the requirements for the shoes. So initially, I was very conservative in how long I left them in there. Basically I heated the oven up to its minimum operating temperature. Then I turned it off and inserted the shoes. Every time you heat mold the shoes is a bit of a pain. You have to remove the laces, remove the insoles, and remove the cleats. Then when you take out the hot shoe, you have to put the insoles and laces back in, and lace it back to your feet to allow it to take your foot's shape. Don't forget to remove the insole! I did once and it shrivelled up to child size. Not a big loss though as the insole was crap for me. The bottom of my feet did not like it, going somewhat numb on 2 hour or longer rides. I replaced the Bont insoles with Giro insoles and that has been much better.
What I did learn with the heat molding was that it took more heat than I thought. I was having trouble getting rid of the pressure points until I cooked the shoes longer. Getting the black "bathtub" portion mouldable takes more heat for sure. But if you lack a properly precise oven like me, go easy and just ramp up the heat exposure time gradually like I did. Takes longer but you won't wreck your shoes. You can remold these shoes over and over. I did. I think the shoes gradually conform to your foot over time as well, as mine seem to be getting more comfortable. They are quite reasonable now on long rides.
The shoes are definitely extremely light and very stiff on the bike. Walking around, which I do very little of in these shoes, does feel like the sole is flexing at the cleat. But on the bike you can't feel a thing through the sole. Of course, these shoes aren't made for walking are they?
How do they work? Well they won the Tour didn't they? There is no doubt that I feel much better connnected to the bike and I feel like I have more power. Essentially, the whole bike feels stiffer and more responsive to power input. Strava says they are faster than my Sidis too. I have no doubt they are faster.
As for the newer model switching to boa lacing, that is a good thing. Although conventional shoe laces are very adjustable, they are not adjustable while riding a race. I find I have re-tie the laces between my warm up and the race to get just the right pressure. Then I have to live with whatever the tightness is for the race. It hasn't been a huge issue, you just have to plan ahead a little bit. Same issue as putting on your shoe covers for a time trial or a cold road race. You are committed.
|Imagine how much lace you have left |
when you pull these tight - a lot
Bottom line? I like them, they are fast and light and actually seem to be pretty aero with the cover over the laces. But take note of the few finicky issues above. And they are way too expensive at regular price.