For many of us, mountain biking involves more than just time in the saddle; it also requires getting off the bike occasionally. There are times when the trails get twisted and gnarly; rivers, fallen logs and unridable grades may stand in the way. Those whose rides involve a bit of extra adventure need a sure-footed shoe on and off the bike. The $175 Specialized Rime shoe is designed to be just that. We took our pair to the slick, soggy terrain of the Northwest to put them through the test.
The Rime has a composite midsole that Specialized rates at a 7.0 on their stiffness scale (10 being the stiffest). As with all Specialized shoes, the Rime features “Body Geometry” footbeds that are contoured insoles. The shoe use a synthetic upper with breathable mesh panels. Shoe retention is accomplished Specialized’s S2 Boa cartridge system which snugs the shoe with a twist of a dial. The outsole is constructed from Vibram rubber. The shoe comes in black and is available in 15 sizes. With cleats, our Rimes weighed just under 2 pounds for the pair. Check out Specialized here.
Field test results:
Slipping our feet into the Rimes was a breeze. The S2 Boa dial system worked flawlessly, providing a fit that was easier to fine-tune than traditional ratchet systems. The Body Geometry footbeds were very comfortable, providing our feet with what felt like custom arch support. While the Rime’s sole is not as stiff as a carbon-soled cross-country race shoe, the shoes make up for it in versatility and comfort. For trail- and enduro-style riding, the Rimes provided plenty of stiffness, allowing for a good power transfer from rider to machine. When we encountered scenarios where it was necessary to get off the bike to climb over moss-covered trees or forge a river on slippery rocks, the Rimes really came through. They feel more like hiking shoes than riding shoes when you are unclipped. The amount of traction that the Vibram soles provided on slick and loose surfaces was awesome. It was like getting two shoes in one. On top of the great traction, these shoes proved quite durable. The synthetic material held up great in our harsh riding conditions, exceeding our expectations.
Since true mountain biking throws a little bit of everything at you and most of your rides will last longer than an hour and 12 minutes, a versatile and comfortable shoe is going to work better for you than an ultra-expensive, ultra-stiff racing shoe. The Rime Shoe hits this mark perfectly.
This review originally appeared in our July 2012 issue.
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