These Specialized mountain bike shoes weigh only 231g

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Not cheap, but if you are spending lots of time on the bike, probably worth it (Photo: Specialized)
Not cheap, but if you are spending lots of time on the bike, probably worth it (Photo: Specialized)
  • Winter updates from Specialized include new off-road shoes and grippier tyre compounds
  • The S-Works EXOS Evo is Specialized’s lightest off-road shoe yet
  • Specialized’s XC mountain bike tyre range has been updated with a variety of new treads and compounds

Specialized has revealed an off-road version of its S-Works EXOS Evo shoe.  Aimed at riders looking for an extremely stiff yet lightweight option for gravel riding or mountain bike racing, these shoes are full of fabric and material technology.

The S-Works EXOS Evo is the lightest off-road shoe that Specialized has ever created, with a weight as low as 231g per shoe, for the smaller sizes in the range.

This new shoe has been designed around a Dyneema layup. This technology drastically lowered the weight of the upper while maximising strength and increasing pliancy to create a featherweight racing shoe. The excellent breathability of this material, which was first used on the S-Works 6 shoes, make them perfect for the warm riding conditions of South Africa.

To ensure that the shoe fits all riders perfectly, Specialized have incorporated the newly released BOA Li2 dial, which allows for minute adjustments when fitting or while riding. The central positioning of the BOA also means that it will be less susceptible to damage in the event of a crash.

mountain bike
These shoes are so light, you'll forget you are wearing any (Photo: Specialized)

Comfy - but not cheap

A reshaped toe box uses a sleeve that stretches comfortably over the toes and forefoot while maintaining room for movement and flexion. On the outside, a protective toe bumper and added layer of TPU around the shoulder, adds protection in vulnerable areas.

Good power transfer is guaranteed thanks to a Specialized XC FACT Carbon sole. The sole is the stiffest and lightest off-road sole to date, measuring 13 on the company's stiffness scale.

This stiffness should also make this new Specialized shoe a great option for gravel racers, who prefer using mountain bike pedals on their drop bar bikes, and want a very efficient shoe that one can still do a bit of walking in. Without discomfort.

The Specialized S-Works EXOS shoes retail for R7500.

Specialized's Fast Track, Ground Control and Renegade tyres. Have all benefited from an update (Photo: Specialized_

Familiar tyre names - now with new treads

Specialized has upgraded their popular Renegade, Fast Trak and Ground Control tyres with upgraded treads offering even more grip and reliability.

Raised knobs inspired by tyres from the world of motocross and a block in block design are said to increase grip and stability.

All three models are available in the S-Works, Control and Grid casings. This allows riders to choose their preference depending on their weight versus puncture protection needs.

While average riders will struggle to reach the limit of any of these tyres, they are also available in a variety of compounds for riders who do like to tailor their grip levels more precisely.

mountain bike tyre
A tougher casing, to keep you securely rolling through rocky terrain (Photo: Specialized)

There are 26-inch tyres - too

Riders can now also choose between T5, T7 and T5/7 tyre compounds. The respective numbers representing damping, with more damping representing more grip but at the sacrifice of speed.

T5 features side lugs built for race-day speed and excellent wear and tear protection. The S-Works exclusive T5/T7 compound features T5 in the centre for minimum rolling resistance and T7 on the sides of the tyre for better grip.

Finally, the T7 compound provides extra grip without a major effect on rolling resistance.

The 29-inch tyres will retail between R850 and R950 depending on the casing or tread choice - and yes: they are available with tan skinwalls too. There are 26-inch models available too, with pricing starting at R295, if you need new tyres for your old-school mountain bike.

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