Ride Concepts have made a fairly big impression on the mountain bike shoe market in a remarkably short period of time, coming from nowhere, to present a formidable challenge to the Five Ten hegemony.
The Transition is a versatile shoe intended for use by clipless pedal users over a wide range of applications, from trail riding, to downhill racing (apparently it’s the shoe chosen by Atherton Racing for that purpose) and I’ve had my hooves in a pair for the last 3 months or so.
Starting at the bottom, the sole features a hexagonal pattern and is made from Rubber Kinetics DST 8.0 Mid Grip compound. It’s a firmer compound than used on Ride Concepts flat pedal shoes as less pedal grip is required and super-soft rubber can actually compromise pedal entry. It’s plenty grippy when you’re walking and seems to be lasting well.
The cleat box itself is noteworthy being both 40mm wide, allowing for really easy entry to the pedal and extra-long, allowing for plenty of adjustability.
Both the heel and toe of the shoe feature robust molded armour that when combined with the nylon heel counter make the shoe feel tough and confidence inspiring in rocky terrain.
The theme of robust protection continues through the insole which features D3O pads under the ball of the foot and the heel for impact protection and into the uppers, where a raised, asymmetric medial collar inside the ankle also features D3O protection from crank strikes.
The uppers are neatly welded and feature breathable panels; the tongue is held firmly in place with an elastic bellows which should also help prevent the ingress of dirt, twigs, stones and seeds; the lace closure allows you to get a good close fit and there’s an elastic loop to secure them before you fasten up the velcro power strap. The overall feeling is one of a really well designed and very high quality product.
From a fit point of view, the last is narrower than I expected, especially considering the profile of the shoe. Some shoes of this style fit much wider than this but after bedding in, the Transitions have allowed me to retain a firm fit along the length of the foot, without bagging out and getting sloppy.
It’s not the stiffest shoe and those who are used to a carbon shank should look elsewhere, but the “PowerDrive” nylon shank is plenty stiff enough for efficient pedaling and still allows for comfort off the bike.
Out on the trail I’ve been very comfortable in them – from longer cross country rides to the bike park. Inevitably, I’ve lost a little bark over the last month and can certainly vouch for the effectiveness of the molded toe box protection!
They’re available in 3 colourways – a stealthy black, a contemporary charcoal/red and this somewhat lairy lime, which I like, because it matches my helmet.
If you’re a clipless user looking for a shoe that offers durability, plenty of protection and pedaling efficiency but isn’t styled like a roadie’s disco slippers, I suggest you check them out.
Find out more at Ride Concepts