BTWIN 900 Road Shoes Review
BTWIN 900 Road Shoes Review
A review of the BTWIN 900 Road Shoes.
You were thinking that now Summer is on its way a new pair of shoes might be nice. You want something that looks good and has all the features of the expensive shoes that the pros wear, but without the ridiculous price tag. I present to you the BTWIN 900 Road Shoe. There’s two adjustment dials, they look good and they have a super stiff carbon composite sole.
As a cycle commuter and ‘casual’ cyclist, Decathlon were one of my first ports of call whenever I found something worn out. Or if I decided there was a piece of kit that would keep me warmer or drier than the stuff I already had. Good news though, Decathlon doesn’t only provide excellent value commuter kit, they also have a decent performance range. Most of the BTWIN products have a three digit number in the name between 100 and 900. As the number gets higher, the product gets pricier. So the BTWIN 900 Road Shoe is right at the top of the tree.
In the 900 designation you’ll find the good stuff, with a few items above this labelled ‘Aerofit’ instead of the three digit code. Decathlon supplied the FDJ Pro cycling team for the last four years. The 900 and Aerofit items are what they developed and used within this partnership. These BTWIN 900 Road Shoes have been developed and worn by AG2R riders Nans Peters and Jean-Christophe Péraud.
Available this season in Black, Fluoro Yellow and White, the 900 Road Shoe has two ATOP dials and a single Velcro strap for adjustment. They aren’t as adjustable as the BOA dials you’ll find on other brands as they only offer one way adjustment. Turning them towards the toe tightens the laces incrementally and turning them away releases the mechanism so you can get your foot out. They’re still much easier than laces or velcro, and they haven’t missed a beat.
It works well and seems simple enough. I’ve not had any problems doing these up even with oversocks on, and if using this different brand dial makes them cheaper that’s fine by me. They’re solid enough and have a rubber edge on the dial which makes them easier to grip and less likely to get damaged, or to damage something else if you catch them on the coffee table or the door frame.
The tongue is sewn into the upper on one side, and loose on the other. This means that the tongue doesn’t move about in use. The heel box has a rubberised grip section to stop the shoe sliding around as you pedal and there’s adequate padding around the ankle. Ventilation is taken care of with a perforated tongue and toe box, with mesh panels on the outside of the toe box and down the outside of the upper.
The carbon composite sole was noticeably stiff. Although the website says the shoes are 280g each, my size 45 pair measured 350g on my scales, but that includes cleat and a wedge. It’s not noticeable in use, but the weight combined with the stiff sole is why they feel so planted and stable when pushing hard on the pedals.
They are certainly a substantial shoe, well-made and durable. To compare I have some old Mavic shoes with velcro straps and they were 325g per shoe with the same cleats and wedges on, but the sole on them is more flexible than the BTWIN shoes. The screw holes for the cleats are slightly recessed. This shouldn’t be a problem, but if you use wedges or shims you will definitely need longer screws as the ones provided are only just long enough.
Personally I try and buy black shoes, so scuffs aren’t as noticeable. But I’m impressed with how the BTWIN 900’s have stayed looking presentable. Even though they’ve been thrown about a bit and had gritty shoe covers on them. I mentioned the carbon graphic on the soles in my preview. Although there’s a couple of scratches in the places you’d expect on the toe and heel, it’s held up well.
On the Decathlon reviews page there are negative comments about the fit and insoles. Personally I prefer thinner insoles, partly because they take less time to dry. As we know from saddles, more cushioning doesn’t always means more comfort. The insoles on these shoes are thin, but that’s pretty standard on most performance road shoes and they aren’t less comfortable because of it.
There’s plenty of options for aftermarket insoles if you feel the need. I was advised to go a size up from normal with these shoes. I’m not sure this was necessary and unless your feet are particularly wide you should be fine.
At £79.99 you could be forgiven for overlooking the 900 Road Shoe. You’d be missing out on an absolute bargain. I’ve had so many compliments on these shoes, and not just because they’re fluoro yellow. Despite these shoes being slightly too big, the combination of the grippy heel and the decent ATOP fastening system have meant that there’s been no complaint from my feet. Just as the BTWIN 900 Road Shoe was recommended to me by someone else, I’ve passed on the recommendation to friends of mine and now you.
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