The Maltese Falcon is a true 2011 shoe and won't be available until February at the earliest. Like the Minnaar which was first shown to the world last year, this is a shoe for the SPD users among us and is a really nice looking shoe in the flesh. The Velcro closure should keep laces out of the way when sprinting. This looks a lot more casual than the Minnaar's and should therefore appeal to the trail orientated riders out there as well as those looking for something a little different.
The recessed cleat area and plentiful rubber on the underside of the Maltese Falcon should mean plenty of grip for the occasions where you're clambering over rocks with your bike, as well as the invariable unclipped moments. These shoes will also be available as a flat pedal version called the Cyclone, both being available early 2011.
Shown here are the Cyclone and Line King, the SPD and flat pedal variations respectively of the same basic shoe design. Both feature a high top for ankle support and protection, but a low cut rear so that you can still pedal freely. The SPD Cyclone comes with a Velcro strap to keep laces out the way, as with the Maltese Falcon above.
To the undercarriage where the magic happens. We've all seen the famous dotty Stealth rubber imprint in the dirt, made famous for many years by the world's top riders and now it's available to clipless riders too. And this is definitely a good thing - how many times have you not quite managed to clip back in and ended up riding the cage through a tricky technical section? And a tricky technical section is the last place you want your foot to slip off the pedal. We've got the lower cut Minnaar's coming very soon, so we'll be giving a review on how they perform in the sloppy conditions of a typical British winter.