Monday, June 06, 2022

Van Rysel RoadR900 Full Carbon Cycling Shoes Review

My old Giro Trans E70 need replacing. It's been in service for the past 10 years at least. I was using the older Shimano TR32 until the shoe actually disintegrated due to major wear and tear. Both the Shimano and Giro was full carbon sole. Meaning it is one piece of a stiff sole. Perfect power transfer and comfortable. I went looking for a worthy replacement. It need to be Carbon sole (trust me, i had Nylon sole for training and it did not do too well in those FTP sets) for no flex, and it has to be cheap. A decent Carbon sole would come up to the range of RM1000. Less than RM1K if I am lucky - and there is the issue on sizing. Most cycling shoes run a size or two smaller due to the cutting. I need a 46 or 47 cycling shoes, when my running shoes is actually just 45. It's a challenge to fit the three criterias

  • Carbon sole
  • Good fit aka in larger sizing
  • Cheap (relative to other Carbon options)
When it comes to "cheap", Decathlon comes to mind. Their products has 2-years warranty. And that meant you have a two years peace of mind when you purchase from them. So I went to check them out - hoping a pair (of older version) is on clearance; even if it is the one that is Carbon Composite RCR520 (meaning mix of nylon and carbon) going for RM459. The full carbon is going for RM699. Both only available in BLACK. 

Being a #TriathleteOnBudget I start to scour Shopee and found a seller that not only sell the Van Rysel full carbon RoadR900 for less than RM450. Yes. Original. Not old stock. Seller convince me he himself is using it for the past 2-years. Just... well, no warranty like what Decathlon can give. But for the price of a RCR520 composite shoe... I'll take the risk. 

Here are photos of the shoe. As a short review, comments and descriptions in each photos. Do check them for details. If you are interested to get them like me from this trusted seller, here is the link to this good deal. He has them in different color too, but those comes with a big premium (RM800 and above) pricing.
ventilation holes all around the shoes

Airy feel

Now I am starting to get worried about water seeping in

what is this obsession with ventilation holes???

There are ventilation holes (again) at the bottom of the sole. Note the full carbon Italian sole.

You guessed it right... holes at the bottom heel for ventilation.

Without the pedal cleats

Front view - it comes with two dial-in locks. It's not BOA system but equivalent

Side View - clean minimalist

How I like my cleats positioned - all the way to the top and to the inner side

I believe this is parallel imported from Indonesia. Made in Italy. 

Notice the toe bump at the front to protect the sole 

the heel rubber unfortunately can't be replaced. 

Marker for cleat positioning

I went 2 EU size up for this. I usually wear a 44/45 running shoe and I went 47 on this. You want wiggle rooms for the toes in cycling. Important when you are all locked in and no where to go (toe wise)

the rather plain looking insole

with some tricks of it's own. The sole is hard/rigid and the blue portion is gel-like or EVA Foam to provide some cushioning and support

Subtle Van Rysel on the side. Rigid heel cup that is also comfortable

The heel cup has two left-right protruding sponge to provide extra comfort level

The Ride
I bought this pair to use in the L'Etape in Desaru. I do not want to risk the Giro as I have a feeling it may not last another ride. Rules of thumb of not using a new gear for race is to wear them before the race. So I did as the cleat positioning need to be as correct as possible more so after it is transferred to a new shoe.
Testing the position
With all nuts locked and nicely positioned. There is one more thing to do. I occasionally cover my cycling shoes with bee's wax to provide a layer of protection against rain/water. The same wax i use for my beard. If it is good for the face, it is good for the shoe!
Like I ain't making this up. As captured by Hafriz
During the 140km ride, it rained for a good 45mins and the shoe stayed dry (or should i say my toes) and the only reason some parts were wet were from the socks/legs that entered into the shoe. Also, for the whole 140km ride, and including wearing the cleat from 0500hours to finally headed back to the room at 1500hours, i experience no blisters, hotspot or any uncomfortable feeling. This was a good testament that these Decathlon Van Rysel were designed by cyclists for cyclists - and I would also say Triathletes too!
Caught in action by Hafriz
If you are looking for a solid no frill Van Rysel All Carbon cycling shoe... get them from this seller in Shopee here. Hope this short review was useful!

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