Giro launch 'revolutionary' Techlace cycling shoes

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Eurobike 2016: Giro introduce Techlace shoe range – including 136g Prolight Techlace

The latest take on cycling footwear from pioneers Giro

Giro have introduced a range of shoes utilising the American firm’s new Techlace closure system, which combines laces with Velcro straps and, on two of the three-strong Techlace line-up, a BOA dial. The flagship Prolight Techlace is staggeringly light, coming in at less than 150g per shoe.

All in all, three new shoes adopt the Techlace system, with the Factor Techlace and Sentrie Techlace completing the collection beneath the Prolight Techlace. But what is Techlace? First, a bit of history. Giro delved into the footwear market five years ago and, in 2012, launched the Empire: a modern take on the classic cycling shoe, combining an up-to-date carbon sole and lightweight upper with old-school laces.

Giro’s thinking was – and many riders seemingly agree, given the subsequent popularity of the Empire – that laces distribute pressure evenly across the shoe, providing a secure fit and helping to eliminate the pinch points which some riders may experience from modern closure systems. And they look cool, too. Taylor Phinney was a fan, wearing the Empires for the first time at the 2012 Giro d’Italia, and Sir Bradley Wiggins is also an Empire user.

Giro are aiming for the Prolight Techlace to dip under 150g but this prototype shoe comes in at just 136g

Still, laces aren’t for everyone – some riders like the ability to adjust the fit on-the-fly, while others aren’t convinced by the security of laces, which can conceivably come undone while riding. That’s where Techlace comes in. Essentially it’s Giro’s attempt to provide the best of all worlds: the evenly-distributed fit of laces, combined with Velcro straps to securely hold those laces in place. Giro will offer the laces in different lengths to make sure the Velcro straps, which can be detached and replaced, land where they’re meant to.

If you’re an Empire fan, or find the simplicity of laces appealing, then don’t worry – the regular Empire and lightweight Empire SLX shoes remain in the Giro line-up, in a new range of colours for 2017.

So that’s Techlace; now let’s run through each of the shoes in the range, starting with the Prolight Techlace. These shoes are all about low weight, so they just have a combination of laces and velcro straps, whereas the Factor Techlace and Sentrie Techlace shoes which we’ll come on to also have a BOA dial at the top to offer micro-adjustment at 1mm increments.

The Prolight Techlace isn’t just a super-light shoe, it’s seriously featherweight. Giro are still fine-tuning the design – you can expect to see these in the shops from April 2017 – but are aiming for each shoe to weigh less than 150g. The prototype shoes on display at Eurobike dipped well under that target at 136g per shoe. We told you – staggeringly light.

The Factor Techlace adds a BOA dial and weighs a claimed 210g per shoe. They’ll set you back £289.99

That low weight doesn’t just come from the Techlace system, but also the design of the upper, made up of a reinforced fabric skeleton, and a new carbon fibre sole design which uses less resin to drop the weight without affecting stiffness, according to Giro. If you’re chasing every gram, these shoes are for you – but you’ll need very deep pockets. How much? US$500 for the pair (UK price TBC). They’ll be available from April.

Needless to say, that’s seriously expensive, but the Factor Techlace shoes are more in line with their high-end competition at £289.99. They weigh a claimed 210g per shoe and, as we’ve already mentioned, combine with the Techlace closure system with an additional BOA dial. It’s a setup which Giro say offers the best of all worlds – an evenly distributed fit and micro-adjustment. The Factor Techlace shoes use the same EC90 SLX sole and Evofiber microfibre upper as Giro’s existing Prolight SLX shoes.

The Sentrie is the most affordable Techlace shoe at £189.99

There’s also a third shoe with Techlace, the Sentrie, and that uses a slightly heavier, slightly less stiff EC70 carbon sole and a different upper material, but that helps drop the price to £189.99, while adding a further 70g to the claimed weight. While the Prolight Techlace will be available in two colours, the Factor Techlace and Sentrie Techlace will come in a range of three colours each. You’ll be able to get hold of them from October.

Website: Giro

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