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Giro Privateer R MTB Cycling Shoes review

15 Dec 2017

Good for commuting and even better for cyclocross and gravel riding, the Giro Privateer R MTB Cycling Shoes aren't just for mountain bikers

Cyclist Rating: 
Stiff soles, durable outers, comfy enough when not done up too tight
Narrow fit not suitable for all feet, the shoes can feel heavy when running with the bike

Marketed as MTB shoes, I've been using the Giro Privateer R MTB Cycling Shoes for cyclocross and gravel events along with a fair bit of commuting. Riding across London to get to the Cyclist office involves a fair amount clipping in and out, pushing off from lights and frankly more cleat to tarmac contact than I enjoy putting my road shoes through.

For urban use alone the shoes are very good, but when taken off-road - where they belong - the shoes start to show how good they are.

The Giro Privateer R MTB Cycling Shoes got their first proper outing during the Hansens Cykellob gravel event in Denmark at the tail end of the summer. Which, separately, was probably the best event I took part in this year.

The event takes in main roads, gravel farm tracks plus plenty of singletrack and woodland paths. Assuredly clipped in to a pair of Shimano SPD pedals when riding, on the few occasions when I did have to unclip and shoulder the bike the shoes were easy to run in and gripped the loose ground with confidence.

However, the shoes did feel a bit clunky and on the heavy side when forced to traverse too far on foot in any one go.

Gravel and mud

Later in the season I rode the Rapha Prestige, starting and finishing in at the Rapha Clubhouse in Manchester. Despite the urban sprawl of Greater Manchester and its surrounds, the route took in a lot of muddy trails, cobbles, canal paths and stone covered climbs.

Clad in a pair of GripGrab overshoes to keep out the mud, water and cold wind on the day, the shoes again performed well in the trying conditions.

There was little need to clip out as much of the route was rideable and away from traffic. Despite the overshoes being completely caked in mud by the end of the ride, any sediment dropped off the soles and meant walking back into the Clubhouse at the end of the sportive didn't leave a muddy trail from the front door to the bar.

Narrow fit

The performance of the Giro Privateer R MTB Cycling Shoes is excellent, as detailed above, but the fit is where I find a slight problem. This come down to personal preference and varying feet sizes, but for me these shoes come up a bit narrow.

This problem is easily combatted by not fastening them too tightly but does lead, fairly often, to adjustments done on the fly. Going up a size would have given more width, but would also have meant more room ahead of the toes bringing problems of its own.


Reasonably priced, performing well when commuting and even better for cyclocross and gravel riding, the Giro Privateer R MTB Cycling Shoes aren't just for mountain bikers but be careful with your choice of size.

More information and buy


Weight: 880g (pair, with cleats)
Size tested: 44
Sizes available: 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48
Colours available: Black/gum; Blue jewel; Dark shadow/dark red

Photos: GripGrab Media Crew


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