November 29, 2012
Costly but gorgeous race shoes from Gaerne.
No matter how you look at, £299.99 is a hell of a lot of money to pay for a pair of mountain bike shoes. However, if you shave your legs daily, have a proper set of cycling tan lines [even in November… – Ed.] and spend every minute on a bike looking to go faster, then these could well be the shoes for you.
From the second you open the box, these Italian disco slippers scream speed – uber-stiff carbon last, lightweight bright red tread, minimal-yet-blingy BOA dials on the top and the super slim form all tick the speedy box.
When I first tried the G. Kobras on, I have to say I was a little disappointed with the fit – I have quite slim Italianesque feet and I like my race shoes to be tight – right to the point of “ooh, that pinches” tight. I’ve owned previous Gaerne shoes and the fit has been spot on. With these though you had to really crank up the Boa dials to get the tension right. It was still possible to get enough tension, but in order to do it you had to turn the Boa dials to what felt like their limit.
Luckily once happily strapped in, the ride quality was superb. Perfectly stiff (yet no hot spots), no heel lift and no tight spots – just good controlled tension. The shoes were tested on everything from humid Cuban road rides, to chilly autumnal ‘cross races to end-of-season indoor roller training and they performed faultlessly. They’re certainly not winter shoes (as they are well vented and the sole isn’t the grippiest on wet surfaces), but it seems that Gaerne have got the mix of stiff and stylish spot on.
Overall: Ultimately, whether you’re willing to pay nearly £300 for having the most stylish shoes on the start line is something only your overdraft limit will dictate.