Fizik R1B Uomo
Out with the old and in with the new as Fizik ditch the ratchets for dials
Before Fizik got into the components and shoes game they just made saddles. Actually, just is doing them a massive disservice as they didn’t ‘just’ make saddles, they made superb saddles.
But back in 2010 the Italian company expanded their horizons and launched their first ever cycling shoes, which were received to widespread acclaim. If ever there were proof you can get something right first time, Fizik’s shoes were that proof. That quality remains today, with the R1B top of their third-generation shoe range.
Fizik launched what could be reasonably called the third generation of their shoes last year, but they featured notable departures from the previous designs. The fundamental difference in these is closure. The first models Fizik made all used ratchets as the primary retention system, with two Velcro support straps further down the body. The new shoes have ditched the ratchet in favour of Boa dials; one on the lower end models and two on the shoes we have here, the top-of-the-range R1B.
If ever there were proof you can get something right first time, Fizik’s shoes were that proof. That quality remains today, with the R1B top of their third-generation shoe range.
But along with that has come a remodelling of the top of the shoe. Before, like a lot of shoes on the market and most trainers, the retention system pulled the two sides of the upper towards each other in order to tighten the fit.
In order to position the Boa dials further down the outside of the shoes and in a more accessible position, Fizik have extended the inside section of the upper so it comes across the top of the shoe. This moves the centre of pressure when you tighten the shoes from the top of the foot – where it can be uncomfortable for some riders – and has the added bonus of making them look pretty damn cool.
When it comes to colour, however, Fizik have stayed strictly traditional. Your choices are all white, or all black and although we reckon white is the classic colour for a set of bike shoes we won’t judge if you go for the black option, which looks just as slick.
If you want to imagine what Fizik’s shoes would look like with a little more colour on them, then you won’t have to imagine too hard though. Last season Fizik partnered with David Millar for what they called ‘an Eloquence of Movement’, a project where the company supplied Millar with a different pair of shoes for every major race in his final season as a pro. The shoes from The Dauphine are particularly eye catching and you can check them all out on Fizik’s website. All the shoes are last year’s R1 model, though, as Millar retired before the R1Bs were released.
One other good thing with Fizik is they haven’t neglected the women’s market. While the R1B shoes are only available in men’s, the R3B, R4B and R5B models are available in women’s-specific versions with sizing extending further down the scale than the men’s equivalents.