New Release and First Look: Crankbrothers Mountain Bike Shoes

New Release and First Look: Crankbrothers Mountain Bike Shoes

Shown above is the complete line of the STAMP Flat Pedal Shoes

Crankbrother has stepped up to the plate by now offering shoes that are designed to work in harmony with their pedals. They have applied decades of experience in order to optimize the shoe-pedal interface. For the first time. Crankbrothers is introducing its first range of mountain bike footwear for both clip-in and flat pedals. The Mallet and Mallet E clip-in shoes and Stamp flat shoes are designed with Crankbrother‘s new platform called- Match System. The idea behind this new system is to have a tailored engagement for clip-in and flat pedal riders. The team at Crankbrothers entered the footwear category to help solve common discrepancies in the cleat box that cause can cause frustration to riders.

“We have spent many years finding innovative ways to optimize the shoe-pedal interface focusing on the pedal system, but we were missing control over the shoe, which created interference issues with the pedals. We saw riders cutting the cleat box in order to properly engage with the pedal and lengthening the cleat track to allow for more cleat placement options. We’ve been working obsessively in the space of less than 1 mm to develop the right cleat depth to improve clipping in and out. We constantly look for opportunities to challenge the status quo and improve the riding experience,” said Gaspare Licata, Crankbrothers CEO.
Shown above is the complete line of the MALLET Clip-in Shoes

TECH FEATURES:

A closer look at the Mallet Cleat Box

The R&D for the shoes started with some of Crankbrothers athletes such as Fabio Wibmer on the Stamp shoe and Luca Shaw on the Mallet shoe. However, there was even more testing on the development of proprietary rubber compounds, particularly on the flat shoe where it is crucial to stay on the pedals. The Stamp flat shoe outsole has a high-friction rubber compound called, MC2, to stick to the pedal body and offer low rebound properties to depress vibrations. In addition, the large lug depth is designed around pin dimensions to embody the pins of the pedals. The Mallet and Mallet E shoe outsoles have a mid-friction rubber compound, MC1, which allows for easy pedal entry and exit.  The MC1 is a bit stiffer in comparison in order to provide a better power transfer. Crankbrothers recommends getting these shoes a pedal combo, however, the Match System is also compatible with SPD. Unique and an industry first, The Mallet and Mallet E clip-in shoes come with a Match shim and Crankbrothers cleat pre-installed out of the box in a neutral position. We have to admit, this is a pretty nice bonus when getting a fresh set of clip-in shoes. Thinking ahead, the team used the shim so as the wearing of the outsole’s rubber around the Match Box occurs, a rider can remove the shim and ride with the cleat only to maintain effective cleat height. There is also a marking on the cleat box of The Mallet shoe that indicates, “Race Zone.” While we hope consumers do not automatically think this will make them faster and more comfortable on the trails, this zone on the cleat box allows the cleat to be positioned further toward the heel for added stability when descending. Keep in mind that this was on the feedback of professional Downhill racers which not all of us regular riders even come close to pushing the level of World Cup DH tracks. Beyond the cleat tech, the shoes feature perforated materials and mesh windows for ventilation in hot conditions and to dry quickly when hitting creek crossing. At the front is a solid reinforced TPU toe box that can help provide protection against rock strikes and impacts. When we first slipped the shoes on, we noticed how well our heels pocketed into the shoes. This is thanks to the silicone heel dots for the heel grip while the comfort continued with a large padded tongue. We’ve had the shoes about 2-weeks before this launch and are eager to have more pedal time for our complete review.

CLOSURE SYSTEMS AND PRICING

Each new model comes in three closure systems, BOA® and strap, speed lace and strap, and lace. The range is priced starting at $129.99 to $199.99; the clip-in versions include Crankbrothers premium cleats pre-installed. There has yet to be a hint of a combo package where pedals and shoes come together at a more affordable price than buying each separately. Perhaps this is something we will see in the future with the Match System design. The Crankbrothers shoe range starts at US size 5 up to size 14 with half sizes to fit riders with small and large feet. We found their sizing runs a bit small in comparison to others on the market for our test pair. Launched today, the complete shoe collection is now available at crankbrothers.com and select retailers worldwide. Stay tuned for our full review coming up!

Shown above is the complete line of the MALLET E Clip-in Shoes

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