Decathlon’s R700 are ideal for wallet conscious racers or those looking for a high performance training shoes. Compared with the latest generation of shoes dripping in carbon composites, they seem technologically modest with their mesh and faux leather uppers but this is largely forgotten aboard the bike, where the performance outstrips the price.
The super-stiff soles are drilled for Look, Time and SPD SL cleats and deliver excellent power transfer. The R700s feature supple uppers secured using three Velcro straps which provide a very tailored fit for day-long comfort. Sizing – especially the toe box – is more generous than their profile suggests while acres of mesh and ventilation in the soles provides excellent climate control whether enduring the slavery of the indoor trainer or on long spring rides.
Despite the mesh they’ve been surprisingly comfortable on chilly early season rides and they seem pretty shower proof, although submerged in a puddle they take on water pretty fast so overshoes are a must in winter. Graphics are racy but tasteful and the brilliant white gives a bit of presence after dark. Care couldn’t be simpler and consists of periodic wiping using a damp cloth. Weighing a respectable 520g, they feel reassuringly solid and are backed by a two- year warrantee.
The R700s offer an amazing amount of bang for very modest buck, although availability is limited to Decathlon stores which might not be convenient for everyone. They're a competent race shoes with a wallet friendly price tag
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Make and model: Decathlon Replica 700 road shoe
Size tested: 44
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?
The R700 are a replica road shoe aimed at racers on a budget or those looking for a high performance training shoe. It will serve both groups admirably.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Man made faux leather upper with acres of mesh for ventilation. Super-stiff sole is cut for Look, Time and SPD SL cleats
No gimmicks here but super stiff sole delivers excellent power transfer. Easily on a par with models costing £20 more.
Quality of construction seems good with no obvious weakness, although I would reccomend overshoes both to protect the rider and footwear during the wetter months.
520g pair in size 44 is pretty reasonable, striking an excellent balance between low weight and durability.
Extremely comfortable-even on day outings and cool enough for long sessions on the trainer. Resists showers but heavier, more persistant rain sees the mesh absorb water.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very competently and better than the price tag suggests.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Soft, tactile uppers with good ventilation paired to a very efficient sole.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Detailing might've been a touch sharper.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Unreservedly
Age: 35 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)