Shimano has just unveiled new shoes and clothing for spring/summer 2017 at the Outdoor Show in Germany, with a focus on the urban cycling market. The perfect match for your new adventure bike. Here are the key details of the new offerings.
Shimano shoes go retro
Shimano goes retro with the release of the new RT5, which uses velcro straps, and the RT4, which uses laces.
Visually, they remind us of Specialized's Audax shoes, which tap into the growing desire among non-racing cyclists for a more classically styled shoe. Unlike the Specialized shoes, however, Shimano has used an SPD sole which means the recessed cleat facilitates easier walking, making them ideal for commuting, touring and Audax.
The RT5 uses three velcro straps with a glass fibre shank plank to provide rigidity to the full-length rubber sole, which offers enough flex to provide walking comfort. The synthetic leather upper is perforated and provides 360-degree reflectively. Shimano supplies adaptable insoles to ensure they are comfortable.
Laces have made a big return to cycling in the last few years, with Giro gaining a lot of fans when it brought out the Empire shoes. Now nearly every shoe brand has followed in Giro’s wake and released a lace-up, and Shimano is the latest. The RT4 uses the same glass fibre and rubber sole and synthetic leather upper as the RT5 shoes but swaps the straps for laces.
With winter in mind, Shimano has issued the new RW5 winter boot, the latest update in this category. It’s constructed with a Dryshield membrane to keep water out, with a neoprene ankle collar and fleece lining. They use a speed lacing system in place of straps and dials, and the top flap covers the laces for added protection. It uses aa regular 3-bolt SPD-SL compatible sole.
An MW5 mountain bike version is available with an SPD sole and might be a more suitable option if there is any walking involved, such as for commuting.
Shimano’s new ‘Transit’ urban clothing range
As well as shoes, Shimano has also launched a new range of urban cycle clothing for spring/summer 2017 dubbed Transit.
“Shimano’s new clothing line up is designed to appeal to both the performance rider and the city commuter or day trip explorer with a wide array of cycling-specific shorts, jerseys, shirts, daypacks and backpacks, gloves and sunglasses," says the company.
The urban cycle clothing market is a rapidly expanding one, with the likes of Giro launching into this category and homegrown Vulpine proving the popularity of cycle clothing that is functional yet stylish.
Shimano has concentrated on design, comfort and safety with its new Transit City range. There are jackets, shirts of polo and check variety, shorts and trousers. Shared features include subdued colours, water repellant fabrics and coatings, anti-bacterial treatments and discrete reflectivity.
The new range is complemented by new glasses, the snappily titled S23X and S22X sunglasses. They feature anti-fog and anti-scratch lenses, hydrophobic lenses and UV400 protection.
Lastly, there’s a new Toyko backpack available in two sizes, 17 or 23-litres, and made to carry laptops, books and clothes to and from the office/gym/college. It has a padded laptop pocket, organiser pockets, an integrated hi-viz rain cover, water-resistant base and retention straps for a helmet.
The majority of these new lines will start appearing in stores from September, says Shimano.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.