Teva Clipless Prototype
Teva have been making serious in-roads to the mountain bike market in the past couple of years with their flat pedal shoes, especially with their high end Link which has fast become a strong favourite for many riders using flat pedals in all genres. So it was perhaps inevitable that the ambitious company would sooner or later look at the clipless shoe market and decide that they wanted a piece of the action, much as Five Ten did a few years ago. As it happened it was sooner, and they had the first prototype available for us to look at here at Eurobike. We took some time to sit down with Giles Cundell from Teva to see what influences had led to the new shoe, and to see when we could expect to see it on the shelves of your local bike store.
| Coming from the world of watersports, Teva had zero experience of the mountain bike market just a few short years ago. Yet they're keen to highlight this worked to their advantage as it allowed them to start with a clean slate and design a shoe from the ground up. As a result of this successful approach they're also keen to highlight that it's exactly the same development route taken with this as yet unnamed clipless offering. To ensure that they were able to design the ultimate shoe they enlisted Crankbrothers in a collaboration which allows both companies to design in mating features to their products for symbiotic compatibility.|
| This resulted in some features which we can show you, and a couple which we can't. Firstly, these shoes are going to be targeted at the lucrative all-mountain market although using the same shoes across both downhill and all-mountain regularly ourselves we feel that these would hold up well as a gravity shoe should you be that way inclined. Secondly, the shoes are stiff. This is thanks to a fibreglass shank stretching virtually from toe to heel on which the rest of the shoe is built. This unit also incorporates plastic plates on which the shoe rests when clipped in to reduce the wear on this part of the shoe and thus ensure that the shoe doesn't start to feel baggy over time. Also of note in this area is a stainless steel plate which came from the Crankbrothers side as the wings can often dig into the plastic of other shoes in this area.|
| As with the Link and other shoes in their bike range this will have a Spider rubber sole, their tacky rubber interpretation, still useful here for when you inevitably end up riding a section unclipped. A priority was to keep the visuals associated with their existing range, and a key part of this was a totally flat sole when seen in profile, as with any skate shoe. But, determined to keep traction high when off the bike, lugs were inset to the sole to do so. We'll be keep to see how these work on the trail. One surprising aspect to come up in the conversation was the incorporation of technology from basketball which is down to alleged similarities between the way feet move around in shoes in both sports.|
• Designed in conjunction with Crankbrothers for all-mountain use
• Stiff shank, unique plastic anti-wear section around pedal & stainless steel wear plates
• Lightened construction compared to Link: less padding around the tongue and less EVA in the midsole
• Spider rubber sole with inset lugs to provide off-bike traction while keeping strong visuals
• Unique cleat attachment method
• Available July/August 2013
Crankbrothers Mallet DH
Crankbrothers also had something new on display at Eurobike 2012. After a season of testing the Mallet DH, first shown at Sea Otter, the production versions are now ready to be released. Having created the Mallet Mk3 Crankbrothers found that their sponsored gravity riders were wanting a wider body than the low profile mk3 could provide, citing that wider downhill shoes felt a little unsupported on the edge of the pedal. To counter this they went back to the drawing board and using the outline of the old mk2, they filled it with the engineering elements of the mk3 while also removing every last trace of unnecessary material. What this means is a much stronger axle, 5mm longer on this Mallet DH, and a needle-roller bearing inboard augmented with a DU bush at the outboard end of the body combined with weight not much greater than that of the standard Mallet. This increased Q-factor provides greater clearance to cranks when using bulkier DH shoes. The seals employed are also improved which should reduce the frequency of servicing for downhillers and their regular jet washing.
| Also carried over from the Mallet 3 (the top tier mk3 Mallet) are the stronger cast wings which form the clipless mechanism. Larger diameter springs are reverse wound over earlier pedals to prevent binding on the axle and are slightly stiffer on the DH to provide a sharper feeling entry and release.|
• Wider body apes larger dimensions of the earlier Mallet pedals
• Q-factor is increased by 5mm on each pedal thanks to longer axle
• Needle roller bearing and bush are protected by improved sealing
• Stonger cast steel wings
• Available now
As we now have a set of these to test out we’ll be fitting them to a bike just as soon as we get back to home shores. We will of course provide an update on they’re performing once we’ve had some meaningful time on them.