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Northwave's Scorpius SRS mountain bike/cyclo-cross shoes have a lot of positives going for them, but a couple of niggles prevent them scoring top marks.
Northwave have certainly gone in for the whole fluoro shoe thing, with the black/lime green options I have on test being some of the more subtle in the range – though certainly still noticeable. Generally I'm not that big a fan of black cycling shoes but these look good, and if you're going to be using them for 'cross, mountain biking or commuting in all weathers, black does make sense.
I'm almost always a size 42 in cycling shoes and the Northwaves fit me fine, meaning that hopefully there shouldn't be too much guesswork in having to go up or down a size if you don't get a chance to try them on before buying. The footbed of the shoes fit my feet very well, although whether that will translate to others is a personal thing.
While riding I found that the heel cup held my foot in place very securely, but when off the bike my heels were being rubbed a bit, which is never much fun when you're shouldering the bike through a bog in a 'cross race or walking up a flight of stairs to the office.
The other sticking point was the main ratchet strap, based around Northwave's Slim Ratchet System (SRS). I found it just slightly too thin for spreading the pressure over my foot when really cinched down. The other two (wider) asymmetric Velcro straps on the shoes felt far more pleasant.
Northwave use a "thermoplastic material enriched with carbon powder" for the sole; I can't say I fully understand the inner workings of it, but the results are quite pleasing. The shoes were stiff enough to mash down on the pedals without too much deflection, but not so stiff that it was awkward to walk in them.
The soles also have threaded holes for studs, a definite plus if you are going to use them off road. Ventilation is pretty substantial too, good for warm days and enough to definitely warrant a pair of overshoes when it gets colder.
At a penny under 100 quid, the Scorpius are reasonable value - even with their slight niggles. Good enough on a ride where you're going to be predominantly in the saddle, though not quite so comfortable if you're having to be off the bike for any length of time.
Potentially great shoes just losing marks with a couple of niggles
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Make and model: Northwave Scorpius SRS
Size tested: 42
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Northwave say: "Every pedal stroke is an injection of energy to the body and spirit and has to be an unforgettable experience, even for those getting to grips with their "first rides". So here's a line that enhances the comfort in the saddle and products created to emphasize an attractive look guarantees that only Northwave's 20 years of experience can ensure a true competitive edge. "
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
SOLE: Jaws carbon reinforced
UPPER: Ultralight PU
UPPER CONTRUCTION: Multilayer Thermowelded Airflow system
CLOSING SYSTEM: S.R.S Asymmetrical straps
HEEL: Integrated Heel System
FOOTBED: Performance Advanced
TECH: PU thermowelded reinforcements
At 756g a pair they're on the heavier side for mountain bike style shoes.
Heel rub when walking/running and the skinny strap lose them some points.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
They look all right and are pretty good when pedalling.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not so great when not pedalling.
Did you enjoy using the product? On the bike, yes
Would you consider buying the product? Probably not
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, if they could try them on for fit
Age: 21 Height: 182cm Weight: 73kg
I usually ride: On-One Carbon Whippet Single Speed mountain bike/Kinesis Pro6 My best bike is: Scott CR1 Pro
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking