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Giro Cylinder cycling shoes review

22 Aug 2018

Comfortable, and versatile with discreet styling. The Boa dial may polarise opinion

Cyclist Rating: 
• Comfortable • Highly breathable • Versatile • Styling
• One-way Boa dial

Giro shoes have a reputation for being well made, occasionally narrow fitting and often at the forefront of style. There was a time when any self-respecting Instagrammer would not dare post anything related to #sockdoping or #newkitday without a pair of Giro Empires to set off the outfit.

Then came the Techlace series and now the Knit series are the new trailblazers.

Amongst all the noise of reflective uppers, camo colour schemes and colour matching laces, the more discreet, timeless and practical offerings from Giro seem to have flown under the radar.

Buy the Giro Cyclinder shoes from Wiggle now

This is a shame as I discovered riding the Giro Cylinder cycling shoes recently.

In the all black colourway the Cylinders cut a stealthy and timeless shape out of the box. The synthetic uppers are instantly supple and required no breaking in period.

Fastening comes courtesy of a Boa L6 dial (more on this later) and a velcro toe strap. The nylon sole provides plenty of grip off the bike, whether walking across the office or trudging through mud, sand or gravel.

Toe spikes and cleats

The option of fitting toe spikes caught my attention for future CX use where many racers opt for the extra traction when dismounting regularly on muddy courses.

Fitting cleats was an easy and straightforward affair using a standard two-bolt fixing and after a few rides I got my positioning dialled in.

I encountered some issues with a hot spot on my right foot but after several tweaks this soon dissipated. Riders having a shop fit or who have more experience riding SPDs are unlikely to experience these issues.

Slipping the shoes on for the first time I expected the fit to be narrow and whilst I could see how riders with wider than average feet might struggle, I was within the limits.

There is no adjustable arch support that more expensive shoes from Giro offer. Some riders may seek these out for a complete fit but I found them to be comfortable straight from the box.

Whilst the soles lack the carbon composition of more expensive models, I never once wished for a stiffer sole, especially when riding off-road where any vibration damping was always welcome.

Pure racers might opt for something stiffer in search of greater power transfer but for most of us these offer plenty enough for exploring with friends at the weekends and evening blasts round the common and woods after work.

Boa dialled

The only shortcoming I experienced was with the Boa dial which operates as a ratchet. Depressing the dial elicited a positive click and then by turning the dial one can tighten the Boa lacing.

Pulling the dial outward releases all tension allowing the shoe to be removed. The only shortcoming is that should you over-tighten the laces you have to start over by releasing all the tension.

Other Boa dials can be turned in each direction to tighten or loosen the laces on the move and dial-in the optimum fit easily. I should point out that this is not purely a Giro issue as shoes from other major brands also feature these dials.

Buy the Giro Cyclinder shoes from Wiggle now

Whilst this is a minor fault and one which might not be present on models higher up the range, I did find adjustments on the fly awkward and eventually opted to start my rides with them slightly looser than usual so I could tighten them over the course of the ride.

Aside from this minor niggle, the Giro Cylinder is a great shoe at a price which is attainable for many. For road cyclists crossing over to CX or gravel riding these are a good pair to begin with and the styling is closer to that of a road shoe than many offerings from the MTB world.

They also make great shoes for commuting and with excellent venting provide 3 season usability. At only 10 grams heavier than a pair of Empire VR90s and less than half the price, these are a hard pair of shoes to beat.


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