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Lake MX235C Mountain Bike Shoe

The Lake MX235C Mountain Bike Shoe, while not in the same class as a Sidi Dominator, is an excellent MTB shoe. This shoe has a 100% carbon sole, full-grain leather upper and a non-slip rubber tread with mud studs (included). At only 365 grams this is an incredibly lightweight shoe and the carbon sole dampens vibrations from the trail.

Lake MX235C Mountain Bike Shoe

Lake MX235C Mountain Bike Shoe

If you ride off-road trails you are going to appreciate the rubber tread and the mud studs—they provide amazing traction for those times you have to get off the bike. And when you do get off the bike you will find this shoe is very easy to walk in as well. This shoe has two pre-drilled holes for SPD cleats. I am using Crank Brothers Egg Beater cleats and they work well with this shoe. The shoe closes with three hook ‘n loop straps and has a very secure fit. Mesh inserts in the upper make this shoe very breathable.

As for size, these shoes are available in sizes 39 through 48 (European), and they seem to be true to size. They are also available in wide widths. I bought the wide width shoes (MX235C-X) and they have the widest toe box I’ve found in any cycling shoe. In fact, there is enough room for thick socks, which I need for about half of the year (I live north of Chicago).

Lake MX235C Mountain Bike Shoe

Mesh drainage hole

One of the greatest features of this shoe, and one I’ve not seen anyone else mention, is the mesh drainage hole in the sole of the shoe (like in the shoes triathletes wear). This mesh hole is located under your heel, but is covered by the sole insert. You might not need this feature, but if you ever get caught in a thunderstorm or heavy downpour you will appreciate how this little device helps drain water out of your shoes! I got caught in one downpour this summer and for over an hour my road shoes were filled with water on my way home (not a pleasant feeling).

The Lake MX235C Mountain Bike Shoe has a list price of $190, but I was able to buy a pair from Nashbar.com on sale for $90. At the sale price this shoe has to be one of the best buys you will ever find for a MTB shoe.

As I said in an earlier product review for another Lake shoe, the only downside to this shoe is Lake Cycling itself. I don’t know of a single manufacturer or distributor of cycling products that has a worse reputation for customer service than Lake Cycling. The shoes they sell are fine, but if you ever need help from Lake Cycling you are out of luck. Their Web site has absolutely no contact information on it at all!

 
 

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Lake MXZ302 Winter Cycling Boots

There comes a time in late fall or early winter when even the best shoe covers just won’t keep your feet warm. When you reach this point you have to either purchase a pair of winter cycling boots or just hang your bike up for the duration. A couple of months off the bike will probably cause you to gain a few pounds and it will definitely take you a while in the spring to “get your legs back.” Seeing that you really do need a pair of winter cycling boots, I would suggest a pair of Lake MXZ302 Winter Cycling Boots.

Lake MXZ302 Winter Cycling Boots

Lake MXZ302 Winter Cycling Boots

Lake Cycling is well-known for their moderately priced cycling shoes, and their MXZ302 Winter Cycling Boot is a fantastic product for those of us who have never outgrown playing in the snow! I bought a pair of these boots two winters ago and it was one of the best cycling purchases I’ve ever made. This boot has a full leather upper coupled with a Vibram rubber sole that makes walking on snow and ice an easy task, and a 3M Thinsulate lining in toe box to keep you warm. Neoprene cuffs and the 2-piece lace overflap seals the shoes incredibly well—I’ve never had snow or rain get inside these shoes while cycling. The side mounted Push/Pull BOA Closure lacing system keeps these shoes at exactly the right tension while on your feet.

The shoes come with a set of spikes (lugs) and a small wrench so you can easily attach the spikes to the front of the sole. You really should install the spikes—you will really appreciate the extra traction they will give you on the ice. I would recommend that you apply a few drops of an anti-seize compound on the threads of the spikes and your cleats before installation. The anti-seize compound will make the spikes and cleats a lot easier to remove after they have spent the winter in snow, ice and road salt. These shoes are SPD compatible.

I don’t have a complaint against these winter boots, but I do wish they were a bit lighter. However, when you are cycling thru several inches of snow and the temperature is around zero you probably won’t be thinking about the extra weight! I’ve cycled over 2,000 miles with these shoes during all sorts of snow and ice storms and my feet have never felt cold.

These shoes are available in men’s sizes 36-50 (whole sizes only) and men’s wide EE 39-50 (whole sizes only). I have wide feet and these shoes fit me perfectly. As you probably know, you need to order a winter cycling shoe in at least a half-size larger than you normally wear so you will have room for thicker winter socks.

The bad news is that these shoes are not cheap! The retail cost is around $300 a pair, but you can sometimes find them online for around $230. I know the price is high, but have you ever considered how expensive a case of frostbite might be?

The only downside to this shoe is Lake Cycling itself. I don’t know of a single manufacturer or distributor of cycling products that has a worse reputation for customer service than Lake Cycling. The shoes they sell are fine, but if you ever need help from Lake Cycling you are out of luck. Getting a phone number or email address for this company is harder than getting the home number for the director of the CIA. Their Web site has absolutely no contact information on it at all!

 

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Sidi 2011 Genius 6.6 Carbon Lite Mega Road Cycling Shoes

One of the most popular articles on this blog has been my review of the Lake CX165 Wide Road Shoes. For cyclists with wide feet the Lake CX165 is one of the few wide road shoes available. If your average ride is fairly short or if you are on a tight budget then the Lake CX165 will work out fine for you. However, if you spend a lot of time on your bike (and can afford it) the Sidi Genius 6.6 Carbon Lite Mega Road Shoe will rock your world!

Sidi 2011 Genius 6.6 Carbon Lite Mega Road Cycling Shoes

Sidi Genius 6.6 Carbon Lite Mega Road Cycling Shoes

For the past few years I’ve ridden with the Sidi Genius 5 Pro Carbon Mega road shoe. Unfortunately, the heel cushion on these shoes wore out and made them unwearable. When it came time to buy another pair of road shoes I didn’t hesitate for a moment to order another pair from Sidi. I don’t even know where to begin extolling the virtues of the Sidi Genius 6.6. This shoe is incredibly well-made and is truly a thing of beauty.

Unlike most cycling shoes, none of the Sidi shoes I’ve owned have required a “break-in” period—they fit perfectly from the very first moment I tried them on. The Sidi Genius 6.6 is both lighter and stiffer than the Sidi Genius 5 Pro I used to wear. The sole on the Genius 6.6 is handmade from sheets of T700 carbon fiber. While this material is unbelievably stiff, it is also very lightweight. Lighter shoes mean that less effort is required when you pedal and this makes a big difference on long rides. The stiffer sole on the Genius 6.6 means that more power is transferred to the pedal than with typical cycling shoes.

The upper on the Genius 6.6 is made from Lorica microfiber and I have found this material to be extremely breathable. Lorica is a synthetic leather that is water-repellent, breathable and quick drying. Even on days when the heat index was over 110 degrees I never felt like my feet were overheating. The shoes also have excellent cooling mesh panels to provide additional ventilation. The shoe closes with three straps (two high security Velcro straps and one caliper buckle). The caliper buckle on the top is so easy to adjust that you can change the tension as you are riding without any problems.

Sidi 2011 Genius 6.6 Carbon Lite Mega Road Cycling Shoes

Sole of the Sidi Genius 6.6

My only complaint with the older Genius 5 Pro was that the front of the sole got scuffed up a lot because the shoe did not have any protection there except for the carbon fiber sole. The new Genius 6.6 has a red pad at the front of the sole and this is a great addition. The abuse at this end of the shoe comes from having to take your foot off the pedal at stoplights and then resting the tip of the shoe on the pavement. In case you are wondering, I actually do stop at stoplights (most of the time).

I have used Look Keo 2 Max pedals and cleats for several years on my main road bike and the Sidi road shoes have worked very well with them. I know they also work with many other pedal and cleat combinations, but I have not tested them myself. In the area where you attach the cleats on this shoe you will find a printed alignment guide which makes getting your cleats in the same spot on both shoes a snap.

When I first got my new Sidi Genius 6.6 road shoes I decided to try them out on a short 30 mile ride. Unfortunately, when I was 15 miles away from home I got caught in the worst thunderstorm I’ve ever ridden in. For nearly an hour my new shoes were filled with water (not a great feeling). I ride a lot in the rain, but I had never been in anything like this before. All the way home I was thinking that the new shoes would be ruined. Incredibly, once the shoes dried out I put them on again and they still felt great!

The Sidi Genius 6.6 road shoe is available in standard sizes (and half-sizes) from 39.5 to 46.5. It is also available in wide (Mega) sizes (and half sizes) from 40.5 to 46.5. This shoe is available is several color combinations in the standard sizes, but it is only available in the Black w/ Yellow in the Mega sizes.

The Sidi Genius 6.6 road shoe was designed for the high-mileage cyclist. It doesn’t surprise me a bit that in 2010 the winner of both the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia was wearing these shoes. The only downside to this wonderful road shoe is the price—it retails for $400, but you can probably find it for around $330 if you shop around online. Is the Sidi 6.6 worth the price? Yes, but only if you are a high-mileage cyclist. If your typical ride is under 30 miles then you would be just as well served with a lower priced road shoe.

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2011 in Cycling Footwear, Product Reviews

 

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Lake CX165 Wide Road Shoes

Cyclists with wide feet are at a disadvantage when looking for bike shoes since many manufacturers don’t even offer a wide shoe. The Sidi Genius 6.6 Carbon Lite Mega road shoe is great, but certainly not priced for anyone on a budget. Fortunately, Lake Cycling has a lower-priced road shoe that I think you will be very happy with.

Lake CX165 Wide Road Bike Shoes

Lake CX165 Wide Road Bike Shoe

The Lake CX165 Wide Road Shoe has a fiberglass-injected nylon sole that provides excellent power transfer from your foot to the pedal. I have found this shoe to be true to size (something a lot of companies cannot say). The shoes are held in place with a triple Velcro strap closure. Once you strap these shoes on they are going to stay in place, but I still found them easy to adjust while cycling. The uppers are made of leather and have mesh inserts for breathability. Personally, I wish the mesh inserts were larger because my feet were getting hot when I rode with these shoes today and the temperature was only 84 degrees. However, riding with these in cooler weather is a very pleasurable experience.

One thing not mentioned in most of the reviews I’ve read about these shoes is that they have a bit of tread at the front of the shoe (like a mountain bike shoe). This tread is not very big but it sure helps you keep your balance at the stop lights.

This shoe is available in both regular and wide (EE) sizes. The men’s sizes go from 39 to 48, with half-sizes available up to 46.5. The women’s sizes go from 36 to 43, with half-sizes up to 42.5 They are available in either silver and black or black and silver.

I bought my Lake CX165 Wide Road Shoes early last winter from Bike Nashbar. The list price is $80.00, but Nashbar often has this shoe on sale for $60.00. Let’s face it, $60.00 for a well-built leather road shoe is a great buy!

The only downside to this shoe is Lake Cycling itself. I don’t know of a single manufacturer or distributor of cycling products that has a worse reputation for customer service than Lake Cycling. The shoes they sell are fine, but if you ever need help from Lake Cycling you are out of luck.

 

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