Ride Concepts Releases New Lineup of Flat & Clipless Footwear

Jul 16, 2019
by Ride Concepts  
Changing perception with the Transition Clipless Shoe. Photo: Susie Theis

PRESS RELEASE: Ride Concepts

Good things take time

Commitment. It defines a purpose- a meaningful relationship, a close connection. For us, that commitment is the uncompromising ride; a mission that was born out of a quest for a better fitting and performing youth bike shoe. With the release of five new premium models, that mission has evolved into a comprehensive, progressive line of footwear for men, women, and youth.

We launched Ride Concepts in fall 2018 with the Session series of flat pedal footwear, intended to be immensely durable while maintaining a casual aesthetic. Meanwhile, the development of the next generation of premium series of flats and clips was already underway. Designed to redefine connection with the pedal regardless of riding style, the Powerline, Skyline, and TNT cater to flat pedal riders. The Transition and Traverse serve clipless riders.

Challenging the standard for interaction between foot and pedal set forth by current product in the market, the team determined there was work to be done. “The idea from the beginning was to offer an initial series of durable flat shoes, loaded with features for the rider who is on the trail day after day, and then build upon that for the next generation,” said founder and CEO Brandon Dodd. “We saw a big opportunity across men, women and youth for many riding styles.” The brand and product were an immediate hit, with global distribution quickly spreading to over 30 countries.

When developing the premium flat shoes and expanding into clipless, we took our time, asking important questions of riders putting the Session series through the paces across the globe. “With no boardroom or suits to tell us how to do it, we are calculated in our approach to design and real world use,” said Dodd. “We are not going to release a product until thoroughly confident that it improves the ride and it is a product that we want to use.”

Welded microfiber upper and breathable mesh on the Powerline. Photo: Susie Theis

The release of the premium line virtually represents a “Ride Concepts 2.0.” “We paused, asking ourselves why we ride and why we are doing this,” said Brand Manager Rick Reed. “It might sound cliché to say it, but we went back to the roots, thought about our connection to the bike and the ride itself. We examined why we pick the gear we put on when we head out for a particular ride.”

Sometimes it’s a solo backcountry ride that beckons, and preparation is key. Or a morning when your buddy unexpectedly calls and asks, “I have a shuttle to the highest peak around that you have yet to ride, so are you in?” “You drop your plans, grab your bike and gear, and leave the rest of life’s daily frustrations behind for those few hours,” continued Reed. “You make the time to push yourself and you must be ready for the unexpected. That’s our motivation in doing this.“

Redefining connection through technology

The countless hours spent defining that connection has resulted in the evolution of progressive bike footwear. Utilizing premium materials such as microfiber and anti-peel uppers and construction techniques like welding rather than stitching to eliminate seams, increasing durability and saving weight, the five new models feature numerous technical details typically unseen in bike footwear of this type.

Collaborations with partners Rubber Kinetics and D3O form the foundation of each model. The Powerline, Skyline and TNT introduce the Rubber Kinetics DST 4.0 MAX Grip rubber, our softest compound. The proprietary DST 4.0 combined with the hexagonal tread outsole provides ultimate grip, pedal feel and shock-absorbing qualities making it the ideal instrument for the hardest days on the bike. On the TNT, a larger diameter hexagonal pattern is used for even more surface contact with the pedal.

TNT. The big mountain bomber, designed for riding outside of your comfort zone.

DST 8.0 MID grip is introduced on the Transition and Traverse, as an uninterrupted interaction with the cleat box is of utmost importance on a clipless shoe, whether an all day ride or a race against the clock is on the agenda. The 40mm wide cleat box is designed for easy entry to any clipless pedal.

Each model features an asymmetrical medial mid height collar, utilizing D3O impact protection. The asymmetrical design is completely unobtrusive to the rider when pedaling, but ready to protect when you need it. Custom toecap protection, high-rise medial EVA for additional arch support, and D3O insoles are just a few more of the many features packed into the shoes.

Ride Concepts Photoshoot
Tahoe local and Ride Every Day team ripper Nick Chmell, testing the TNT in early spring. Photo: Ian Hylands

Like our entire line, each shoe is developed on a gender-specific last (3D mold of a foot) for proper fit, form, and flex.

No shortcuts. Full Commit.

For most young brands, experienced help with product development and testing doesn’t necessarily come walking in the door every day. However, one major objective of our company is creating a home for athletes. Enlisting the services of the legendary and respected Crankworx Champ Paul Basagoitia as Team Manager, we are encompassing the help of pro athletes with years of experience at the highest levels of competition and commitment to test product.

Unexpectedly, even to our young company, an athlete roster was assembled including a World Cup team who was on a parallel path of going against the grain and launching a brand of their own- Atherton Racing, aboard their new Atherton Bikes brand.

During Leogang World Cup DH Round 3
The Atherton Racing team with the Transition and Traverse Photo: Sven Martin

A few calls and texts from Basagoitia, and a deal was struck. “When I initially contacted Rachel regarding a sponsorship, she laughed, thinking I was joking!” said Basagoitia. “I don’t blame her, as we were still in the development stages. I told her I wouldn’t jeopardize our friendship if I didn’t think RC could deliver a bitchin’ clip shoe!”

"The clipless shoes are now World Cup proven by the team, especially Rachel, who tested the women’s Traverse for months prior to the season. “Providing critical feedback that went right to production, Rachel really helped us push the limits of how a performance shoe could be constructed, and how it needs to function with every clipless pedal,” said Dodd. “It challenged us and our factory.”

During Ft William UCI MTB World Cup DH Round 2
During Ft William UCI MTB World Cup DH Round 2
The queen of downhill tested several prototypes. Photo: Sven Martin

“I am so fussy about the shoes I ride in,” commented Atherton. “Being one of only two contact points to your bike, it’s an incredibly important area. The whole range is brilliant, flat through clips to sliders. Stepping out in great shoes makes you feel and ride like a boss!” We wish a quick and strong recovery to the boss, Rachel.

You Belong With Us

The launch of the new line was recently celebrated at our Lake Tahoe headquarters, where dealers, athletes, friends and family gathered for brews, shoes, and a hearty meal cooked by the staff. Office neighbors and friends High Fives Foundation and Truckee Brewing lent a hand in making a memorable day. Embracing the spirit of the mountain town lifestyle, all-age mini bike races broke out in the parking lot, and factory rider Greg Watts brought his Crankworx skills to the office staircase.

Photos: Susie Theis

Thriving on the community and camaraderie that mountain biking and its related activities bring, office barbecues and group rides are the norm. If you ever find yourself in the Lake Tahoe area, be sure to drop by the office and meet the crew. You might even get a glimpse of future product in development or find yourself in an impromptu mini bike race with a factory athlete.

Ride Concepts is a rider-owned company based in Truckee, CA, focused on building technical, progressive, mountain biking footwear. For more information, visit www.rideconcepts.com.


  • + 61
 Flat pedal shoe with laces cover flap...Hot fucking dam!!!
  • + 5
 I've been begging five ten to do this for so long. I'm gonna have to try these out
  • + 3
 Next on my list for this reason
  • + 13
 And yet everyone insists on making shoes that can't get wet without inhaling 5 gallons of water on a cold fall day & being rendered 100% useless.

How hard is it to make a trail shoe that sheds water like my Shimano DX did...but lighter than a motocross boot & not made of million dollar unaffordamantium materials?
  • + 3
 why the f is that so difficult to grasp for shoe makers?
  • + 4
 Unparallel has had some out for a bit, been riding theirs for a few months, really like them:

  • + 1
 About GD time!
  • + 3
 Still not a full lace cover unfortunately. I guess i'll be the one to bring up the need to reboot the Karver...nudge-nudge five10. or better yet a competitor that can hold their own with grip... nudge nudge every other mtb shoe maker.
  • + 1
 @LukeBurgie: The RC shoes are so much more comfortable than 5.10s. They are also better ventilated. I have a pair of the Transition clipless on the way.
  • + 1
 @KennyWatson: Forgot about those. Right idea, but I wasn't a fan of the vibram rubber they used in the past and while i'm sure they're an improvement, i still haven't heard anything special about the Michelin soles. Plus i think many people like myself who want a full lace cover, want it also with water shedding in mind. Seems a little pointelss when they put slits in the cover and breathing (water sucking) holes all over the toes and sides. Maybe i'm just looking something that doesn't have wide enough appeal. Granted we can often ride all year in the PNW and the winters aren't particularly dry so i can't be alone.
  • + 1
 @lostlunchbox: I live and ride year round in North Vancouver. I tape the slits up in winter. Untape in summer. It helps. That said if you have aspirations of finishing January rides in the PNW with dry feet you picked the wrong hobby. Water will always get in the top, unless you wear gaiters or similar, in which case you might as well get a style that covers the laces...

I also have a pair of impact vxi with mi6 stealth rubber (stickiest 510 makes I think). The rubber itself is stickier, they have more grip on pedals with a convex or flatish profile but the soles are also stiff, the gr9 Michelin rubber is not as grippy but the soles have more flex and conform to a concave pedal nicely but I've found that is a key to making them work right.

Just my experience as a fellow PNW flat pedal rider.
  • + 1
 @KennyWatson: waterproof socks from Sealskinz or Showers Pass are a real game changer for winter riding. May need to size up one half size for your winter shoes, but so worth it. Get the tall over the calf modern waterproof socks and have all day comfort and performance (just like summer for your feet!!!).
  • + 1
 @JDFF: yeah, but that doesn't resolve my main issue. I live in the Southeast with tons and tons of tiny creek crossings and wet trails plenty of the time.
I'd say 70-80% of rides go through creeks.
I've got the AM45 clipless Shimanos which are the newest version and my old school DX/AM45's both have flaps across the laces area, which is what soaks up tons of water in all the creek crossings and puddle splashes.

Side vents on the outside of the side of the new AM45 shoe facing away from the frame aren't an issue, but the toe box on the new AM45 is mesh, the lace cover has slits in it and there are tiny ports on both the arch side of the shoe and the outside. I can go on most of my rides and come back with puddles in my shoes. It just sucks.

My DX are heavy as crap, but the toe box doesn't have that big water catch and the lace cover is solid and I've been great with their temp regulation. I don't ride in Sedona.

Showers Pass socks would still be in a puddle of water.
Duct taping the toe box is ugly & comes off part way through rides.
  • + 1
 @bizutch: hmmm....being that you ride in the Southeast, I imagine you may overheat in waterproof socks? Up here in the PNW, I ride areas with 100" of rain per year. Wet squishy shoes arent a problem at all as long as our feet are warm and dry. But, I recognize that your zone may be too warm for that. For what it's worth the waterproof socks have a gasket up top, that keep water from entering (splashes, and standing in streams, still 100% dry). I guess you could build jumps over your streams, ha ha!
  • + 1
 @bizutch: 2FO? ????????‍♂️
  • + 1
 Time for all those whiney c*nts over the years to pr their money where there mouth is.

Saying that I have those Giro mid tops flats with Velcro. ???????? With the Chromag pedals. Unsure what the negative grip reviews were about ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • + 8
 Ride Concepts is local to me, was able to check out their products in person before buying.

What I wanted: Long wearing, ankle protection, power strap

What I bought: The Wildcat.

I have two months on these shoes, three to four rides a week, using Race Face Chester pedals. I have had some pin wear as expected, but no tears, rubber still looks good, I'd say wear is as expected (not fast or slow). Stickiness of the sole is average, no 5.10, but similar to Specialized or Teva.

Uppers are very durable, relatively fast drying, and they are comfortable. No real change in stiffness or in fit, ie they have not gotten floppy or stretched out. Toe box is protective, which is nice when you smash your feet on rocks.
  • + 3
 I wanted sturdy/firm soled and durable replacements for my 5.10 Freeriders.

I bought the Ride Concepts Hellion. I've had close to 4 months on mine and am happy. Pedal pin damage is near non-existent, they have firm soles and the grip has slowly improved as they break in. The build quality is really good. The lace retention strap is brilliant and they are quite resistant to water - which is great because it's winter here in NZ.

My early complaints would have been some discomfort for the first month or so as the uppers took a while to gain some flexibility, and the tongue had been rubbing/digging into my ankle when I dropped my heels on descents (or pushed up hills haha). The soles (DST 6.0) weren't as grippy as I had hoped as well. That's improved over time and now they're excellent, but not quite at Stealth levels. I'm converted from 5.10.

It would have been nice to see some stickers etc in the box though!
  • + 2
 @Funboy69: I second the good lasting soles, pedal damage is suuuuper minimal after 5 months on my end too. For reference my last freerider pros were swiss cheese after a little over 2mo..
  • + 1
 @adventuresbycole: I appreciate everyone sharing their feedback. I've yet to find another flat pedal shoe with the grip of 5.10s, but these reports are super helpful.
  • + 7
 Grips like 5.10 stealth? Or useless? All I need to know. Anyone know?
  • + 1
 I can test it out today if youd like to know? I have a pair of Wildcats and a pair of 510s that havnt been used much.
  • + 4
 I have a pair of the Wildcats. I have tried a lot of shoes trying to find something that compares to the grip of a Five ten especially after Adidas took over. For me the more grip the better but I also wanted a mid top for more support. The Wildcats have great support and are by far the best fit and feel. Finally to answer everyone's question, yes, yes the grip is just as good as Five Ten. You're welcome.
  • + 3
 I have been using the Hellions for about 2 months now. They replaced five ten impact pros. The rubber is not quite as soft as five tens so not quite as grippy but more durable. This has not impacted my riding at all. The rest of the shoe exceeds the quality of the impact pro in my opinion. Great toe box protection, D3O at pressure points on the insoles, breathable, and water resistant. I have been impressed at how this shoe sheds water. I don't think Im going back to five ten.
  • + 2
 The DST 6.0 soles (on Hellion etc) aren't as grippy as 5.10 Stealth. Even after 4 months of riding - but they are pretty close imo. I imagine the DST 4.0 (just released) would be on par (but hopefully has better resistance to pin and trail damage than Stealth).
  • + 4
 Ordered my TNT a week ago and no email regarding shipping yet!!! Ride concepts better step up their game, I know I am not the only one having issues.
  • + 9
 Hi faron. That's no good. Please DM us here or email us at info@rideconcepts.com with your order info so we can make sure you get sorted!
  • + 3
 I have clown feet and need a wider shoe. Anyone here with wide feet have any experience with these and your opinion compared to other makes?
  • + 1
They are pretty generous in the toe box without being excessively wide or deep.
  • + 1
 I have heard they run big. I ordered a pair and downsized 1/2. Supposed to arrive today and we'll see. Crossing fingers.
  • + 1
 @JDFF: I'd say a hair big. I tried on 1/2 size down from my sneakers and felt that was a better fit, which was aligned with their size chart recommendation.
  • + 1
 These models have a slightly more roomy fit in the toe box than the Livewire, Hellion or Wildcat if you've tried those.
  • + 4
 they look like nice shoes...but, c'mon, take it easy on us with the marketing bs.
  • + 1
 I just ordered a pair on release day July 9th. I hate to rant but, so far their shipping kinda sucks. For a product that has been hyped up on their website for so long you think it would be better. Hopefully I am not waiting four weeks for a pair of shoes.
  • + 1
 Hi Josh. Any remaining Canadian orders are shipping tomorrow. We apologize for the delay. Things took a little longer than expected and demand has been strong! Please contact us directly if we can assist further. Thanks for your patience. We trust it's worth the wait.
  • + 2
 Ride Concepts stuff looks like a durable substitute for 5.10, unfortunately a lot of there products are.not in stock. Seems like a huge dilemma.
  • + 2
 I want to see the video of that guy ridding down the stairs on the tiny bike!
  • + 1
 Looks nice, but how far behind the ball of your foot can you get the cleats? I would like a pair of shoes I don't have to take a dremel to.
  • + 1
 I’m sure the orthopaedic department at the local hospital will buy these up. Do they come with carbon fibre leg callipers as well?
  • + 0
 So post Adidas purchase 5.10 jacks their prices across the board, making room for a lot of smaller-scale competition. These shoes look really nice on some features but $160 USD is pricey.
  • + 2
 Jacked prices?? 510 Freerider is still $100, has been for years, even pre 3 stripe
  • + 3
 Adidas purchased Five Ten in 2011. They have only recently began promoting themselves as the parent company. Prices/quality have not changed to my knowledge.
  • + 1
 Anyone with big feet try the 13us size? Do they fit like 5.10’s? I wear a 14 in 5.10...
  • + 3
 I am a size 12 in 5.10 and can say these fit true to normal shoe size, I would go 11.5 but with ankle braces the extra room is perfect. I would say they are "slightly" wider than freerider pros. I was the first person in WA state to get them on the trails, just happened to show up the day the rep was at my LBS. Purchased the Wildcats around the beginning of December and rode through the winter and up until 2 weeks ago when I snagged a set of the Livewires for more of a summer pedal shoe. The WC's are still in awesome shape considering the 300+ hard earned miles on them. Been through the dryer a few times and have been filled with mud and other pnw crap. It took about 3 rides before I felt just as comfortable as using 5.10's, the sole is stiff but is really nice once you have a few rides on them, most notably they don't become nearly as foldy as 5.10s after a few months of use. My last freerider pro's were absolutely destroyed after 2 months... Will be riding these LW's for a month in Morzine/Chatel/Les Gets so will really get to put them to the test. All in all @RideConcepts killed it, definitely will be picking up these new versions after my trip.
  • + 1
 @adventuresbycole: wider than free rider pros? Then they wouldn’t work for me even if they did make a 14.
  • + 1
 @RideConcepts ,
Any plans to make bigger footed folks happy? I’d gladly ride a size 15 if you made them...
  • + 1
 @bkchef2000: Yes, there will be US 14 and 15 coming in the future in certain models.
  • + 1
 @RideConcepts: great news!
  • + 1
 Are there any flat pedal shoes that don’t look like you’re wearing a brick?
  • + 2
 hopefully stock or ship to Australia, keen to check them out.
  • + 1
 Very soon. Details will be announced shortly.
  • + 1
 I wanna see that clip mount channel go way further back! Not sure why the adjustment is so limited on every shoe.
  • + 1
 Are they doing half sizes yet?
  • + 5
 Yep. The new line features half sizes!
  • + 2
 @RideConcepts: You just won my business. Thank you!
  • + 1
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