"Lilac rain, unbroken chain
Song of the Saw-Whet owl
Out on the mountain it'll drive you insane
Listening to the winds howl" - Grateful Dead
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Lake MXZ302 Winter Cycling Shoe - My Review
Lake MXZ302 Winter Cycling Shoe - 2008
After having my feet feeling like frozen block of ice the last three winters, I decided I was serious about riding in the winter and needed some real winter cycling shoes.
I got together my extra cash, realized I needed more and got what I could from under the couch cushions and sent away for some Lake winter cycling shoes. Well, these things weren't going to be cheap but if they did what I've read in other reviews then I was hoping I was making a good investment.
Too small. I have narrow feet, and having read I should order one size bigger, that's exactly what I did. The shoes were delivered, and too small. My regular cycyling shoes are a size 45, and I ended up needed a 47 in the Lakes.
Got the shoes just in time for the Punk Enduro ride. I took the new shoes out of the box, installed the cleats for my Eggbeaters and put on the shoes. The lacing system is awesome, you just spin a little dial and the "fishing line" laces snug right up. Very easy to get just the right tension.
Now taking them off was interesting. Not much documentation in the box. Well, that would be no problem for a well-educated rider like myself. I could NOT figure out how to release the laces. After way too much time, I realized all I had to do was pull up on the dial and it released. Whew. This release system is great for when you're done with a ride and exhausted and really don't want to undo laces or straps. Only downside is when you're tightening the laces, the dial sometimes releases the laces. Really not a big deal.
The Punk Enduro was not very cold this year, about 40 degrees, so warmth wouldn't be a problem. Now mud and streams, yes that I would test. Short version: I rode in a lot of mud and crossed a lot of streams and totally forgot I was wearing the shoes. A great compliment indeed. My feet were toasty and dry at the end of the ride. There was no break in period needed, and I did not treat the leather with the included MiniWax. I will treat it in the future though.
Road riding with the Lakes: overall they kept my feet way warmer than cycling shoes with overboots. For about the first hour my feet were really comfortable in the 20 degree weather. They started getting cold the second hour, but not unbearable so. But when you figure your feet aren't moving much and you get the added wind chill from road riding, that's not so bad. Took the shoes off when I got home and my wool socks were soaked. Now, I didn't ride through any water, so I'm pretty sure my feet overheated early in the ride then cooled off from all of the sweat. Not sure how to get around this as I've tried both thick and thin wool socks.
Mountain biking with Lakes: I could go 10-15 degrees colder while mountain biking. I think this was due to the lack of windchill that you get on the road, and the fact your feet move a bit more. For instance, when I had to hike a bike due to snow fall. Shoes totally comfortable when hiking around.
Overall opinion: very good winter shoes, they don't quite live up to the hype , but I'm very pleased. I can ride a lot longer before my feet get cold. If you're into all of the technical specs you can read here, but that stuff means not a thing to me.