is a flat-soled gravity-styled performance shoe with a few innovative features that have been long in coming. The Pivot was co-designed with the help of Jeff Lenosky, who admittedly is a flat-pedal rider. Jeff wanted an all-mountain/trail shoe that felt similar to a flat-pedal style, yet one that possessed a more effective sole for pedaling and with a cleat interface. Teva solved the first hurdle with a molded mid-sole plate to support the foot across the arch. The stub-nosed insert lets the front of the shoe flex to assist walking – which is problematic of all racing type cycling shoes. The cleat interface is designed in the reverse of the conventional style – the cleat is bolted from the inside of the shoe instead of screwed from the outside. The logic is that if the threaded bits are stripped (an occurrence that is relatively common in such a gritty location), they are not integral to the shoe and thus, easily replaced. Teva Pivot shoes weigh a reported 892 grams for the pair and retail for $150 USD. Colorways are black/silver or white/red.
Teva's Pivot shoe incorporates performance-enhancing traits of racing shoes into a true flat-sole all-mountain/DH design.
Teva's dual-compound flat sole (top) has a sticky gripper section
at the pedal interface and deep 'reversed' lugs for hiking traction.
A hook-and-loop instep strap protects the laces.
• Designed for all-mountain/trail/freeride use.
• Tough, ‘PedalLINK’ outsole with inverted lugs for hiking traction.
• Antimicrobial, padded insole.
• Closed-cell-foam padding throughout shoe will not absorb water.
• Reinforced heel cup.
• Hook and loop midsole strap and conventional lacing.
• Shimano SPD-type cleat tunnel will fit Shimano and Crankbrothers pedals (also drilled for Time).
• Midsole plate stiffener for efficient pedaling.
• Aluminum cleat shield for precise adjustments.
• Wrench port on tongue of shoe to access cleat for in-pedal adjustments.
• Sizes: 4 to 14 US with some half-sizes available
• Weight: 446 grams/15.7 ounces.
• MSRP: $150 USD
Engineered Soles: Perhaps the best aspect of Teva’s Pivot shoe is that it has an internal stiffener to support from the ball of the foot to the heel. That stabilizes the foot and removes a lot of tension from the lower leg muscles that would normally be used to keep the foot in position over the ankle while pushing on the pedal. XC-type shoes typically have stiff, curved soles specifically for this task. Teva, however, molds the shoe with a generous ‘rocker’ at the toe box and terminates the stiffener just ahead of the cleat interface to allow some flex there. Both features act to make the Pivot very walkable – a must for anyone who will be pushing or digging. By contrast, stiff-soled XC-type shoes can be a pain to walk in.
Teva’s dual-compound sole is flat to ensure that a missed cleat entry will not prevent a rider from powering out of a corner or completing a technical climb. The center of the sole is a tacky material with a closely-spaced texture intended to grip flat pedals should the rider choose to skip the clips. Deep grooves at the heel and toe hold fast to irregular ground and loose surfaces. Tough uppers:
Heavy rubber reinforcements at the toe should ensure that the shoe will last a while should you count yourself among the new crop of drifters and mesh uppers keep the Pivot breathing on hot days A pronounced plastic reinforcement at the heel cup stabilizes the foot to direct power in line with the pedal circle.
Teva's reversed cleat attachment system uses a threaded nut-plate (left). The two screws that fixt the cleat are accessed through a flap inside the shoe (center). A small window in the tongue of the shoe (highlighted) allows access to the screws. Teva's design allows the cleats to be adjusted with the shoe clipped into the pedal.
To install a standard Shimano or Crankbrothers cleat, the insole is removed, which allows access to a padded flap inside the shoe. Open the flap and the slotted holes of the aluminum cleat engagement plate are exposed. Teva includes double-threaded inserts that nest into the cleats and replace the oval washers that are in the stock cleat kits. Using a pair of screws that Teva includes, the cleats are attached from the inside out. A clever door in the padded tongue allows Allen-wrench access without unlacing the shoe. The advantage of this arrangement, beyond protecting the threads, is that minor adjustments can be made by clipping the shoe to the pedal, slightly loosening the screws, and moving the shoe exactly where it needs to be. Shoes with conventional cleats require the user to remove the shoe, loosen the cleat and guess how far to move the cleat, then refit and repeat.Easy lacing:
Standard laces mean that the Pivot can be snugged to a variety of foot shapes – high or low insteps are non issues. A hook-and loop-strap protects the laces from abrasion and further secures the shoe.Performance
Mounting the cleats and dialing them in to our pedal circles was an easy job. Not having to tweak and try – over and over again – to achieve a correct foot position over the pedals is worth a fourth of the Pivot’s retail price. Care must be taken, however, to center the cleats in the shoe’s engagement tunnel, otherwise, the sticky rubber sole will hang up on the pedal and create some difficulty while engaging and disengaging from the pedals. Both Shimano and Crankbrothers cleats can be tuned by adding shims beneath them to obtain the perfect release action, and shims are included with the Teva kit to this effect, but shims can compromise the security of the cleat interface, so we try to avoid using them.
Teva Pivots feel like a good pair of flat-pedal shoes should - grippy and flexible, and easy to walk on. The cleat interface is well padded, but it can be felt while walking, and sometimes when pedaling. This is not what we expected, because the first question that comes to mind after learning about Teva’s internal attachment system is, “Will I feel the hardware through the padding?” One would expect that Teva would have gone out of its way to make the internals disappear, but they are apparent.
On the bike, however, the cleat system is rarely noticed, but the pedaling effectiveness afforded by the Pivot’s mid-sole plate certainly can be felt. Sprints and climbing are made easier and more powerful when compared to the most popular softer-soled flat-bottomed shoes. For this, Teva gets its highest marks. Cleat engagement is not as easy of a task as it is for a dedicated XC/trail shoe, mostly due to the fact that Teva’s Pivot is has a flat bottom. The deeply curved, XC-style shoe presents the cleat to the pedal with greater accuracy and from a wider range of foot angles. That said, the Pivot shoe’s ease of engagement is on par or better than the Five Ten and Giro shoes we have been on in recent times. We did get some shuttle time on flat pedals and can report that the spikes did not interfere with the Shimano SPD cleats, and that the feel and security of the Pivot shoes on flat pedals were about the same as a dedicated DH shoe.
One of the benefits to a molded flat-sole shoe is that the best ones are well padded in the heel cup area. Teva has a gel insert, as well as molded padding in the upper and sole to minimize bad landings or planned ejects. Speaking of the heel cups, Teva designed a trick looking hard-plastic support that wraps around the rear of the shoe to stabilize the foot. It seems to function quite well. Issues
Teva covered the bases with the Pivot, and although we found a few talking points for improvement the Pivot shoes have maintained their coveted location below the hydro-pack and helmet, ready for the next ride. • Instep strap:
The stiffness and placement of the Pivot's wide instep strap caused our feet to fall asleep on longer rides unless we took care to set the tension just right - or made a mid-ride adjustment. Tucking the laces under the strap may exaggerate the discomfort - although we found that tucking the laces between the two layers of the strap alleviated the point-contact aspect of the lumpy knots and lacing. Take the time to get it right. • Cleat plate:
The Pivot's bolt-through cleat retention system is a plus for getting the adjustment spot on. When walking, the molded stiffener insert flexes comfortably as promised. The steel cleat plate inside the shoe, however, can be felt with each step, which is a bother - not a deal breaker - but enough of an issue to make us prefer the Pivots for riding and not so much for all-day walking around.Pinkbike's Take
|Teva's first cleat-specific shoe is a worthwhile investment for those who want more performance from a flat-sole mountain bike shoe than sticky rubber and an image that conforms to the AM/DH/Enduro crowd. Its molded and reinforced sole is noticeably more efficient under power and more comfortable over an extended trail ride. We use them for every kind of riding from casual XC/trail on the carbon 29er, to weekend DH shuttles on the big bike. Like most molded rubber flat-sole shoes, Pivots weigh a lot - 890 grams a pair, with an extra 75 grams for cleats - so there will be a slight step-down in performance for those who will be switching from Sidis to Tevas. For riders upgrading to clip-in shoes from flat pedals, however, Teva Pivots will make a noticeable improvement in your game. - RC|