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Dhb Dorica Carbon road cycling shoes review

15 Jun 2021
Verdict:

Stylish looks, comfortable and affordable, but the carbon sole has a bit of flex

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£100
For 
Plenty of toe room • Lightweight • Good looks
Against 
Sole is a bit flexible • Fixed position cleat bolts

The Dhb range, sold by Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles, gives you an increasing number of shoe options covering both three bolt and two bolt pedal systems. Three bolt-compatible shoes start off with the Dorica priced at £85, which has a nylon sole unit.

For £15 more, the Dorica Carbon on test here has the same upper, but as its name suggests swaps out the nylon sole for a carbon one, with a shiny woven finish.

Sitting above the Dorica Carbon, Dhb also offers the £120 Aeron Carbon with an ATOP dial and velcro closure, with a similar carbon sole unit to the Dorica Carbon. Top of the range is the newly launched £180 Aeron Lab shoe with a textured upper and two ATOP dials.

 

The lace-up closures of the Dorica Carbon shoes give them looks that belie their modest price tag. In white, they look super-smart while the perforations over the forefoot add a little extra ventilation. Those at the sides of the heel are more-or-less cosmetic though, as they sit over the well padded heel cup.

Lace-up shoes have their pros and cons. The seven crosses of the foot ensure even pressure distribution, so there are no uncomfortable pressure points over the top of the foot.

On the other hand, if you want to tighten or loosen the uppers you’re going to have to stop, unlike velcro or dial closures which allow on-the-fly adjustment. I didn’t find that an issue, but others may not like the lack of easy adjustability.

 

The even pressure from the laces means that, even though the tongue in the Dhb Dorica Carbon shoes is quite thin, there’s no discomfort. The tongue includes an elastic tab to tuck your laces under to stop them getting caught in your gears.

Heel support is pretty good and I didn’t find any tendency to heel lift. The toe box is quite roomy too, so unlike some cycling shoes there’s plenty of space to fit wider feet.

Buy the Dhb Dorica Carbon Road Shoe now from Wiggle

Fit-wise the Dhb Dorica Carbon shoes come up quite large. They’re available in whole UK sizes only, so if like me you’re an in-between size, the size down is most likely to give you a good fit. There was plenty of length and width in a size 8 shoe for my pretty average shape size 8.5 feet.

Returning to the sole, it includes three vents covered with mesh panels, which should provide a bit of air circulation. The three bolt cleat fixings are set in a single position, unlike many flashier shoes, where there’s a floating plate. That limits the fore and aft adjustment to what’s available in the cleats.

For most riders, that won’t be an issue, but it’s something to be aware of if you normally set your cleats a long way forward or backward on your shoes.

 

There’s a decent toe and heel bumper on the soles, which although not replaceable do a good job of protecting the shiny surface from scuffing.

There’s a bit of flex in the sole unit, particularly under torsion. It’s something that you can see when you manipulate the shoe over your knee, but I didn’t notice when riding. At the Dorica Carbon’s £100 price tag, that’s something that I’d be happy to live with.

Buy the Dhb Dorica Carbon Road Shoe now from Wiggle

The shoes are pretty lightweight too: the 472g for a pair of size 8s is comparable to much more expensive options.

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