The road test
The road test
Two bikes accompany me, various pedals, flat, Spd and double function, and long walks with “all rubber” sole and with cleats. An exit in the rain (only one, we are not in the Summer and, at my age, I have to take care of myself), several in the cold weather and others with Spring temperatures (I measured 19 degrees C, which in January is not a little, a couple of weeks ago, to test thoroughly any possible situation.
And of course there were plenty of long walks, both with “all rubber” sole and with the mounted cleats. In this last case, I also made the “queen test”: the marble 😀
Let’s start from the width: comfortable, wide, as in the civil shoes, if you understand what I mean. So, when you chose the size, you must refer to the civil shoes, not the cycling shoes, which seem to have all different sizes.
They look like “sneakers”, with their tips looking slightly up to facilitate the walk.
I like them a lot in this black version and I like the color note given by the logo embroidered in red; I like the red laces too and, in fact, I wanted to use them, but my daughter passed by, pitied my grey beard, glanced at my attempt of appearing younger (helped by the Vaude Larvik denim jeans that you see in the picture, which are the object of another test) and I went back to the black laces. Never mind.
But I don’t usually give up and, taking advantage of the distraction of the young girl, I went out with the red laces: cute, isn’t it?
But now let’s put aside family’s vicissitudes and let’s pedal.
I start from the flat pedal, I used two different types: a free ride one, then wide and with all its surface spiked, and a vintage one, the Maillard of my Peugeot. After all, these bikes are still very popular, especially overseas, by urban bikers.
In both cases, the grip of the sole has always been very good, even when riding the bike with wet soles. An aspect not to be underestimated in the city, because it’s true that these shoes can have the cleats mounted and presumably they will be chosen exactly by those who prefer to pedal hooked, otherwise they would opt for the Truk Bike Shoe with full sole; but it is also true that sometimes you can use a different bike, with free pedals and I know from experience how dangerous it is to suddenly lose your grip in the traffic….
Using freeride pedals, therefore rather wide, the sole sags very little. It stays rigid in the right way, so you don’t waste strength and, at the same time, it has the elasticity necessary not to be uncomfortable. But here is the pedal factor too, so wide that it occupies almost half shoe.
It’s better to try with thinner pedals, like the Maillard precisely; and I added the Rose Duo Plus, obviously on the flat side.
You don’t have, justly, the rigidity of a sports shoe; and you don’t have, and that’s the thing, the pliability of a civil shoe. One on the saddle, you can pedal for many hours, push uphill or get up on the pedals, relying on a reasonable stiffness. The sole does not flex, it compresses a little and so it does the inner sole, but without that effect of sinking you would feel pedaling with normal sneakers, not created for cycling.
And this, combined with the excellent grip I talked about it before, allowed me to have a very effective pedaling, lower than that one you have with hooked sports shoes, but much higher than that of any normal shoe I ever wore while pedaling.
It was not a predictable conclusion. I often used non-specialist bike shoes, however equipped with Spd attack, like some trekking shoes proposed by different companies. After less than an hour, it was all a tingling sensation in my sole if pedaling free, after half an hour a very strong trouble in the cleats area, if pedaling hooked. A sign of a sole too soft, despite the fact that they were shoes designed to ride a bike.
All this didn’t happen with these Chrome Tusk Pro Bike Shoes, even pushing myself on durations well longer than those typical of urban cycling. In the flat configuration I often exceeded two hours, when hooked, I reached the limit of five hours strolling around, and only after four hours I felt the pressure of the cleats. A result, in this respect, of a sports shoe more than an urban one.
In short: you can push them well beyond the boundaries of the city.
And now let’s see what happens using the cleats.
As we saw before, under the rubber flap we have two pairs of holes for Spd cleats; no problem even with the Crank Brothers.
The pedals chosen were the Shimano Pd-M545 and some old Shimano Deore 505 that I use as a all-purpose pedal: where I need it, I mount them. But the majority of kilometers, however, I pedaled with The Rose Pro Duo Plus once again, also because I had to respect the time limits and so I had to do two tests together.
I start from the ease of the mounting, because, I remind to you, the cleats are not protruding from the sole like a Mtb shoe, but they are embedded in a niche and then the first thing to find out was if a wider pedal would have caused difficulty or slowness in the maneuver.
No, no difficulty, neither with the Rose nor with the PD-M545; and I must confess that I feared that I would have problems with the latter. Obviously everything went smoothly with the Spd nude pedals, but it was predictable, it was a test scrupulously done. Those who choose these shoes will hardly use bare pedals, preferring dual-function versions or with external cage, more suitable to the urban cycling.
At first, passing from a sports shoe to these Chrome Tusk Pro Bike Shoes, you can feel the superior softness of the sole and this mad me imagine that soon I would have had some difficulty with the pressure of the cleat.
In reality, it was just the sensation in the immediate passage, during a riding in which I had both shoes for an instant comparison. As I wrote before, pedaling hooked I went far beyond urban boundaries, transforming a test exit in a very long ride. Where only the sports pace, but the duration was the same.
In the pushing phase the sole shows a good rigidity, I already noticed it pedaling free. In the ascent phase the urban vocation emerges, with a noticeable bending of the sole.
But watch out! It is not a defect. I wanted to go beyond the scope of these shoes, exploiting them far beyond the scope they were created. I got carried away.
So then, far from being a limit, the fact that I could still exploit them even with a sportier pedaling, indicate that they can boost an efficiency superior to the limited urban routes. That the sole has postponed the bending during the ascending phase it is normal, we are not dealing with a rigid carbon sole.
Instead, I was struck by the fact that the bending was much lower than I would have expected, and definitively less than the trekking style bike shoes I used long ago. Needless to say which shoes, I never tested them in this blog and it would not be a fair comparison. I was also hit by the fat that another cyclist, to which I lent these shoes for an exchange of impressions, didn’t notice the bending at all…
The only time you must pay attention is when you stop, foot on the ground and paved wet. Not always, it depends on the movement you usually perform and on the position of the cleat. I, who use a saddle height a little lower than mine on sports bikes, I have to stop, slip from the saddle and rest the metatarsus area on the ground. It means that often the metal cleat is the one touching the ground and it, even if embedded, in the position chosen by me, protrudes a little in the front.
But again, it does not always happen and after a while you get used to it and you put your foot in the right way.
Pedaling without cleats or letting the rubber sole touch the ground first, its anti-slip construction avoids any danger. Your foot always firm in support and we all know how important it is when riding in our busy and disordered metropolises.
Speaking of wetness: how are we with the impermeability? Pretty well.
The upper immediately soaks, the water does not slip away, I mean; and it’s normal since they are not guaranteed water-repellent. However, even after several minutes , the wet does not filter inside. This shiny rain shadow remains and you start feel the damp after about half an hour, three quarters of an hour. It also depends on the intensity of the rain.
In these pictures I practically wet them under a fountain, holding the tip for quite some time.
So I would say that we are at good levels of protection, although they are not specifically designed for the rain.
No infiltration, not at all!, between the upper and the sole thanks to the manufacturing by vulcanization.
The breathability is also on good levels, thanks to the quality materials.
So they are promoted both pedaling free and hooked. But on foot?
Yeah, we are not talking about some sport shoes, done just for riding. These Truk Pro Bike Shoes must accompany us on the saddle and continue with us once we leave the bike to the pole.
They are comfortabe, really very comfortable worn without cleats. Nothing to envy and nothing less than shoes designed just for walking. And after some time of use, the fabric gives a little to adapt to our foot. The presence of the rubber plate hiding the seat for the cleats is not really felt, as well as the two small embedded Allen that keep it closed.
But what interested me the most were the sensations you feel with the cleats mounted.
When you walking on dirt, you don’t perceive it at all, neither by the noise nor by their impact on the ground. When you walk on the sidewalk, you hear a light “click” if you have the cleats mounted advanced and the surface is very irregular, for example the typical paving of our city centers, otherwise nothing here as well.
It seems you don’t have the cleats. But it was not enough for me, I needed the ultimate test: the marble! That it does not exist only in churches and luxury homes. Just walk in some gallery of our cities centers.
I approached with caution, imagine how embarassing if I slip in front of everyone. Three steps and I become self-confident, a perfect grip and no noise because the surface is regular.
Now I was launched and I increased the difficulty: the tempered glass!
Slipped? Nah! Everything went smoothly and in the outmost silence. Except around me the buzz of the audience that, meanwhile, formed around me to look at this strange individual going up and down, pushing a bike with one hand and photographing his feet with the other one. Next time I’ll wear the sign “Press”, at least I keep up appearances. 😀
I wanted to add the polished parquet test, but no one volunteered. Never mind.
I can say that the exam was passed with flying colors, nothing less than what was reasonable to expect, on the contrary, as in other situations, something more in terms of performance and comfort.
Then it will be up to the needs of everyone to decide: but either you ride a little and you walk a lot or vice versa, honestly I would leave the cleats always mounted. However, I also remind you that there is also the full sole version Truk Bike Shoe.
Those who pedal a lot and use their feet just for short walks from one place to another, they will be able to use this Pro version with cleats in place without major sacrifices in terms of comfort; and only with the need to pay attention to the surface on which they walk and always only accordinfg to the cleats’ position.
Well, I think we have collected enough data and can go to the conclusions.
Sono Fabio Sergio, giornalista, avvocato e autore.
Vivo e lavoro a Napoli e ho dato vita a questo blog per condividere la passione per la bici e la sua meccanica, senza dogmi e pregiudizi: solo la ricerca delle felicità sui pedali.
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