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  • Simply better than laces: 12 BOA® off-road cycling shoes
  • barney
    Free Member

    The BOA system has been a replacement technology for laces since the mid 90’s but how was it invented and by whom?

    By barney

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    Just better than laces: 12 BOA® off-road cycling shoes

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    Free Member

    PUMA had their disc system out in 1990 or 1991 which this boa thing is a copy of.

    Full Member

    How much adjustment does each click of the dial give though?

    Free Member

    @theotherjonv – says up there ^^ – “one click equals one millimetre at the laces”…

    Free Member

    Actually, you’ll no doubt be deeply fascinated to learn that the main body of the test *was* written from scratch – I outlined some ideas, submitted a list of questions to Hilke, who emailed back her answers, and I incorporated them into the text. The rest of the information mostly came from reading around – Boa’s website, of course, and some other information that Boa was kind enough to send me. The finished article then went back to Singletrack, and thence to Boa for their approval.

    The information on the shoes/helmets etc was, naturally enough, assembled rather differently. The detail there mostly comes from their respective websites, and I tried to standardise it where I could.

    But thanks for taking such an interest, and I’m super glad you liked it! Have a fab rest of holidays.

    Full Member

    I guess if you’re trying to describe a length equivalent to one thousandth of a metre, you’re options are quite limited.

    Free Member

    @darlobiker “1000 microns” sounds pretty cool though.

    Full Member

    laces, just work.

    Free Member

    Er, no.  I’m not seeing a balanced discussion here from the author, just the positives, of which there are indeed a good handful, of course.  Whilst the shoe is still new…

    To be blunt, they’re really a bit too delicate to work well in the real mountain biking world, the Boa system is prone to failures when heavily scuffed on rocks which causes damage to the coating on the wire. It becomes progressively harder to tighten, as the plastic coating gradually wears off and the wire is  then reluctant to wind into the mechanism.

    Grit and mud will eventually penetrate and gunge up the mechanism, exacerbating a sticky wire.  The dial cap can be ripped off in an impact and I’ve had a wire snap. It can be repaired, sure but it’s fiddly and time consuming to get right; I’ve done it twice now to rescue damaged mechanisms and get value from the original shoe purchase but that’s enough for me.

    Maybe it depends on where you ride; if its groomed trails, trail centres and dry locations perhaps.

    After two pairs of shoes equipped with these, it’s a ‘never again’ from me.  I’ll stick to simpler technology that’s much more reliable.  Not all advances are worthwhile.

    Full Member

    I had a good experience with them, 8 years on a pair of Lake boots that were regularly covered in mud.

    Boa provided a free replacement when one tangled up, and it was at that point I realised I should be pulling the lace out evenly from each side of the knob rather than just pulling the tongue open on one side of the Boa, I’ve not had a problem since.

    Laces also snap and the ends come off and you don’t get those posted out for free! 🙂

    I’ve replaced the Lakes with Shimano MW50s with ‘speedlace’, after just a few days one of the laces looks like it’s about to snap with the insides ballooning out through the sheath.  The lace is sewn in so I suspect they’ll have to replace the boots…great!

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