PRODUCT REVIEW: FIZIK GRAVITA TENSOR SHOES
FIZIK Gravita Tensor Mountain Bike Shoes
Founded in 1996, Fizik set out to develop cycling products that could enhance human performance. The brand’s main focus was road cyclists, triathletes and cross-country races; however, the company’s recent shift towards more adrenaline-packed forms of cycling is changing the way customers think about Fizik as a brand. With the all-new Gravita-series shoes, Fizik plans to take on the enduro and downhill shoe market with a new lineup of clipless and flat-pedal options.
The goal for the new Gravita line of shoes was to blend the form-fitting and lightweight feel of an XC shoe with the durability and walkability of a true gravity shoe. Fizik developed two new shoes known as the Versor and the Tensor, with clip-in and flat-pedal options for each shoe model. The Gravita Tensor clip-in shoe we tested is the top-of-the-line model, while the Versor shoes cost $30 less. The flat-pedal shoes are $10 less for each version.
One cool feature that stood out on our Tensor shoes was the use of asymmetrical laces, which are pushed to the outer side of the shoe, nicely tucking the laces away from the pedals. A tall neoprene sleeve wraps the inner ankle and tapers outside for a comfortable fit and to prevent dirt from falling in the shoes. Last but not least is the Velcro strap, only seen on the Tensor models, which on its own seemed sturdy enough to hold our feet in place while riding. Fizik added a long clip box for maximum adjustment and a sticky Vibram sole for walking. The shoes have a competitive weight of around 420 grams for a pair of size-44 shoes.
FIELS TEST RESULTS
Slipping into these shoes quickly validated Fizik’s experience with high-performance shoes. While the fit is designed for gravity riders, the shoes are not as clunky as traditional gravity shoes. Trail riders may find these shoes light enough for longer days in the saddle, while downhill riders will appreciate the protection they offer. Fizik noted that the clip-in models are stiffer than their flat-pedal counterparts, which made us wonder how well the shoes would perform when pushing up the trail for another lap down. To our surprise, the shoes flexed just enough to make walking comfortable; however, the shoes are plenty stiff, providing a nice platform for rocketing out of the start gate or sprinting towards the finish line.
The wide range of sizes—from 36–48, including 1/2 sizes—can make you second-guess whether you purchased the correct size or not. Another minor thing we ran into was dialing in our cleats. With a wide range of adjustments, we found ourselves balancing between the traditional method of lining the cleats up with the ball of our feet and the new-school style of running the cleats further back, allowing weight to be distributed more evenly through our feet.
Once we figured out our setup and got the shoes broken in, we quickly fell in love with the fit, styling and protection. These shoes are burly enough to handle rough tracks, yet their performance-first design provides efficiency for everyday trail rides. At $180, the Gravita Tensors are not cheap; however, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed since they should last many years.
• Lightweight yet protective
• Excel when pedaling or hiking
• More sizes available than many competitors offer
• Cleat position takes some time to dial in
• Premium pricing
STAR RATING: ★★★★☆