Italy’s Northwave has agreed a three-year sponsorship commitment to supply the shoes for Leopard Trek, the new Luxembourg-based team that includes Andy and Frank Schleck and time trial/Classics ace Fabian Cancellara.
“For the 2011 season the team will wear our Evolution SBS shoes with a special Wood Lasting Insole, an innovative solution created by our R&D department to reduce the vibrations transmitted by the pedals and which will become an outstanding support during races like Paris-Roubaix and Tour de Flandres,” said Northwave founder Gianni Piva.
We guess you’re wondering about the wood thing, right? Here is Northwave’s explanation:
“Northwave’s R&D department has perfected a special thermoformed wooden arch support for assembly. The layers of wood are worked, thermoformed at high temperatures and treated with special bonding agents to protect the insole from external agents like water or perspiration.
“The structure is broken down into two sections: a more flexible part that adapts to the shape of the foot, and a stiffer core to make power transmission more effective. Wood Lasting Insole helps dampen the vibrations transmitted by the pedal and isolates the foot from any possible overheating of the sole.”
So there you go: wooden insoles. We’ve never used this design, so can’t comment on the performance.
The Evolution SBS comes with a microfibre upper, Northwave’s SBS ratchet buckle closure, and a three-layer carbon outsole.
If you want to but a pair for yourself, they’ll set you back £204.25. Check them out at www.i-ride.co.uk.
Mat has worked for more bike magazines than anyone else in the known universe, dating back to a time when this was all just fields. He's been road.cc technical editor for four years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. When he's not cycling around Wiltshire, he's running around it, or possibly swimming (sadly, he's one of those 'triathletes'). Mat is a youthful 42-year-old Cambridge graduate, GSOH etc.