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Time re-enters shoe market with high-end Osmos range

5 Mar 2019
Verdict:

Carbon soles and one-piece uppers, the French brand has left no expense spared

Those of you with a long memory can probably recall a time when Time was known for its shoes just as much as for its pedals and bikes. After all, it dominated the market back in the 1990s alongside the likes of Sidi and Northwave.

For example, did you know at the 2000 Tour de France, 100 of the 180 in that year’s peloton wore Time shoes?

But with times changing and after falling behind giants such as Specialized, Giro and Fizik, Time suspended its footwear branch of the business in 2013 deciding to concentrate on bikes and pedals.

But now, five years on, Time has relocated part of its operation to Trento, northern Italy, partnered with ski-boot experts Rossignol Lange and relaunched the shoe side of the business with the Osmos range.

Three shoes, the Osmos 15, 12 and 10, all aimed at the highest end of the cycling market and look to find the perfect compromise between comfort and performance.

Almost three years in the making

To make sure that Time executed its return to the cycling shoe market correctly, it had to make sure it had all the right tools.

To put it simply, that meant moving operations to northern Italy. Not only is this pocket of Italy ripe for bike production, but it is also a hub of footwear expertise with the likes of Geox, Lotto and Sidi all within touching distance of one another.

Instead of going alone, Time decided to partner with Rossignol Lange, mass-manufacturer of ski-boots, moving into its headquarters in the small town of Montebelluna.

This not only gave Time access to a fully-established manufacturing line in both Italy and Romania but also an army of footwear experts that could transfer their skills across to Time’s return.

‘As we are part of the Rossignol Group, we naturally turned to the research and development centre in Montebelluna,’ explained Lucie Croissant, marketing manager at Time.

‘This centre has over 40 years of experience in the field, with more than 3,000 feet scanned. It masters not only the anatomy of the foot but also every stage of design, development and production of sports shoes.’

A lot of thought has gone into the Osmos range and that would have been only been possible with this Franco-Italian meeting of minds.

For example, Time noticed that stiff carbon soles, while excellent at efficiently transferring your power from the pedal stroke to the bike, could often be uncomfortable on long days in the saddle.

‘Stiffness is a key factor for us, but it is impossible to take things further without comfort,’ said Croissant. ‘That is why we positioned our research and development by placing the human at the centre of the project.’

This led to the immediate development of Sensor 2 and Sensor 2+ internal padding that has been strategically placed on the shoe's inner sole, below the ball of the foot to absorb vibrations near the metatarsal bones and ease muscle fatigue.

This interest in rider comfort also transfers to the shoe’s upper.

The upper portion of the Osmos shoe is completely seamless but for one connecting seam on the heel of the shoe. This reduces the number of pressure points on the foot, ultimately keeping the pressure distribution quite even.

This one-piece system also has a weight-saving benefit thanks to less material being needed in production: the top-end Osmos 15 weighs in at 480g for a size 42. The Osmos 10 also shares that weight due to the same material used.

As for the Osmos 12, they weigh 500g due to the addition of a velcro strap.

Using a single piece of material to form the upper of the shoe may suggest a lack of support in order to keep weight and discomfort at a minimum. Luckily, this is not the case with Osmos due to a spiderweb structure build onto the underside of the upper which provides a shelled support.

Time has also opted for the BOA closing system across the entire Osmos range. The Osmos 15 uses a double Boa system while the Osmos 12 and 10 use just the one. The former also uses a single velcro closing strap.

The Time Osmos is available to buy in the UK at Merlin Cycles here.

Of the three options, only the high-end Osmos 15 will have a full carbon sole. The Osmos 12 will have a carbon composite and Osmos 10 a polyamide structure built entwined with 20% carbon fibres.

You see, Time has created the Osmos to form part of a pedalling ‘ecosystem’.

Combined with the brand’s own cleats and pedals, it believes its ‘ecosystem’ is among the most efficient for power transfer due to offering one of the ‘most minimal biopositions’ on the market with a relatively low stack height of 14mm when paired with the Xpro15 pedal.

Pricing

As previously mentioned the Osmos will be available in three options - 15,12 and 10 - with each sitting at the higher end of the pricing spectrum. The Osmos 15 will retail at €399 while the Osmos 12 will be priced at €299.

The Osmos 10 has been labelled as the entry-level shoe to the range but will still cost €249.

Colours are classic and minimal. Both the Osmos 15 and 10 will be produced in just black or white while the Osmos 12 also has the option of a red heel. All three options will be stocked in sizes 39-46 with half sizes between 40.5 and 44.5.

Price: 
€399-249

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