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 shoe apply the Match System to provide optimised engagement for clip-in and flat pedal riders.
Crankbrothers said it entered the footwear category to solve ‘common inconsistencies’ in the cleat box that cause frustration to riders. Its debut range is focused on the downhill, enduro, all-mountain and trail side of mountain biking. The outsoles are optimised for Crankbrothers pedals, though they are designed to work with any mountain bike pedal system.
“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,” said Gaspare Licata, Crankbrothers CEO. “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 1mm 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.”
Crankbrothers has spent the past three years developing its footwear range, putting shoes through testing in the lab and on the trail, and applying the feedback of everyday riders as well as professionals such as Fabio Wibmer on the Stamp shoe and Luca Shaw on the Mallet shoe. Much of that testing has been focused on the development of proprietary rubber compounds, particularly on the flat shoe.
“Fabio added great value to the Stamp shoe, thanks to his cross-discipline experience,” added Vanni Scapin, footwear designer and developer for Crankbrothers. “He helped us to address some details on the fit and to improve the interface between outsole and pedal. He also worked with us on the last-mile changes: the toe ramp and the outsole flexibility, two points which allowed us to make a significant step forward on the final performance of the shoe.”
The Stamp Flat shoe outsole has a high-friction rubber compound (MC2) to stick to the pedal body and low rebound properties to dampen vibrations. In addition, the lug depth is designed around pin dimensions to absorb the pin body. The Mallet and Mallet E shoe outsoles have a mid-friction rubber compound (MC1).
Match System optimises engagement for any MTB clip-in system, whether that’s Crankbrothers or SPD, said the brand. The Mallet and Mallet E clip-in shoes come with a Match shim and Crankbrothers cleat pre-installed in a neutral position, so they are ready to ride with Crankbrothers pedals right out of the box. A rider who prefers SPD can remove the shim and replace the cleat to achieve the proper cleat height. As wearing of the outsole’s rubber around the Match Box begins to occur, a rider can remove the shim and ride with the cleat only to maintain effective cleat height. The Mallet shoe has a Race Zone on the cleat box that allows the cleat to be positioned further toward the heel for added stability when descending, based on feedback of professional downhill racers.
Crankbrothers shoes feature a synthetic upper with premium materials designed to offer breathability, protection and comfort. Features such as perforated materials and mesh windows provide ventilation to keep feet cool in hot conditions and dry quickly in wet conditions. Reinforced TPU in the toe box provides protection against rock strikes and impacts. Details such as silicone heel dots provide heel grip and a padded tongue provides comfort for long rides.
Each shoe model comes in three closure systems, BOA and strap, speed lace and strap, and lace. Crankbrothers top of the range shoes, including the Stamp Flat, feature the BOA Fit System. The range is priced starting at $129.99/€129.99 to $199.99/€199.99. The clip-in versions include Crankbrothers premium cleats pre-installed. The Crankbrothers shoe range starts at US size 5 up to size 14 with half sizes. The complete shoe collection is now available at crankbrothers.com and select retailers worldwide.
Crankbrothers is distributed in the UK by Extra.
Read the December issue of BikeBiz below: