The guy who designed this shoe obviously wore Lake MX165s back in the nineties, took racing far too seriously for a while, and doesn’t mind a hike-a-bike for elevation gain. He has designed a shoe that demands you stay on the bike whatever the gradient, but is more than happy for you to fail and get off and walk, and is aimed squarely at the rider who wants cross-country performance for all-mountain riding.The Rime comes out of the Specialized school of Body Geometry; these guys take product design and cycling science to the next level. Most noticeable is the footbed, with a soft, lengthways arch support, and a slight tilt to the outside at the front, which helps keep your knee and hip aligned and just feels ‘right’. While cycling doesn’t dish out the same punishment to feet and knees as running, some comfort and foot stabilisation makes sense, especially on longer rides. There are no panels or visible joins on the shoe’s inner side to rub on cranks, and mesh panels reside above midway on the shoe. The tongue folds over from the side, wrapping your foot like a sushi roll, offering both comfort and ease of use. Detailing is deliberate but not fussy, the Velcro straps are moulded and low profile, and the Boa fastener sits out of the way and works well. The heel is boxy and looks narrow, but my wide foot was easily accommodated by adjusting the straps. Without too much analysis, an aggressive sole with hard plastic tread suddenly doesn’t seem like the be-all-end-all underfoot. If you want to walk comfortably and safely, tread compound is important, so it makes sense that Specialized chose Vibram for the Rime’s sole. I could’ve done with a bit more tread under the toes, but I see why the designers chose a closer tread pattern in this high wear area. There was enough flex for comfortable walking, and the shoes stayed put when I had to scramble up on my toes, yet the Rime felt supportive; moderate to firm stiffness is how I’d describe it. The Rime is elegant, but not pretty; understated yet menacing. Equally capable of efficient power transfer on and off the bike, the Rime sits at the pointy end of mountain bike shoe evolution. LAURENCE MOTE
A 170mm 29er built to go fast as hell, and only weighs 14.4kgs with an aluminium frame. Banshee build one hell of a bike, and the new Titan lives up the hype. Get the low down inside
A new Tallboy that redefines it’s image. No longer just an XC trail bike. This thing decend’s as good as it climbs. Maybe better? Get the details inside.
The Meta TR 29, the new 130mm travel beautiful brushed alloy trail rig from Commencal just passed through the office recently. A solid, well-priced build makes this a very good option for a lot of people wanting that perfect blend between fun and pain. The go-everywhere, do-everything Meta in a neat little bundle.
One of the supercars of the modern era, the Pivot Firebird has been on the lips of everyone this past year. With Ed Masters piloting one to all sorts of reults, we got the Rod Bardsley to swing his leg over a Firey Bird and deliver some wise words of his own.
Santa Cruz have reached into their bag of tricks, and conjured up the all new Hightower. A completely revised version of their extremely popular 150mm 29er. We got to get an early ride aboard this beautiful machine on some equally stunning dirt. Here’s the lowdown…
Afton are another newcomer in what seems a flood of new shoe brands, but the stylish look and comfort have got everyone talking. Want to be the snazziest dude among your mates? Look no further.