Bont Chat

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Roundabout's picture
Bont Chat

Copy and pasted from blog thread, sorry for interfering with prollybash2k15

On my ride yesterday I had the thought "I should pick up another pair of Bonts in case something ever happens to mine." My feeling after two years in a Vaypor: It's a ski boot, atmo. If you size it right (ie tight) and mold it out, spending the requisite amount of time/effort to get it right, it will be the stiffest, most stable mofo in the house.

I have long, narrow feet - 46A and 46AA. Some people like having the dress shoe fit in the toe box, but I am in the camp of allowing toes to splay out. As long as my heel is secure and foot isn't sliding around at all, we're golden. I have a lot of lateral space in the toe box, not any spare length and after narrowing the heel cup in it's great. When I first got them, I molded them once, then went for a ride. After twenty minutes I knew where the problem spots were and after 45 minutes I had blisters. Ended up remolding two more times in the first two weeks, adding padded tape to problem areas and punched out the toes for a bit of length. Took a couple weeks to get them set, but holy shit they are so dialed now. Haven't had to touch them in the last year and could literally go ride without tightening the ratchet if I wanted to the heel cup is so exact. Takes some effort to get out of them, but that ranks low on my list of priorities. From shop experience, Bonts are much friendlier with wide forefoots and fit similar to Spec through the midfoot/heel without molding. Since they get so soft (like alarmingly) when you mold them, there's a good amount of adjustment either way. Toe cap does limit ability to garner much additional toe length though.

The bathtub means you're not spilling over - brutally stiff and brutally stable. Your feet will be in the exact same place every singly pedal stroke, which means there is no respite. Took time for my feet to get used to the stiffness; first 4 hour ride my feet were fried for a few days after. As mentioned, bathtub also means if you ride in serious rain they fill up and do not drain. Had a race where I poured significant amounts of water out of them after.

I have the all white Vaypors (I dislike boas and they didn't have the laceups at that point outside of custom), and they pick up black scuffs easily but wash off. They've been in some serious mud/grime so aren't perfectly white anymore, but otherwise the durability has been great. Came super close to picking up a second pair in lime green or the electric blue...

The soles have a structural medial longitudinal arch support, which I don't notice (run yellow superfeet and have pretty burly arches) but they do special orders of flat iterations (also had a customer special order a laceup vaypor, pretty rad) as well as alternate widths. If you have flat arches, you will notice this.

Coming off a Specialized S-Works (other prior shoes = Sidi Genius 5.5, Spec Pro), theses are night and day stiffer. If S works is a 5 in stiffness, Bont is a 10. No joke. More importantly for me, as someone with patellar tendon issues, these things hold my feet like the greatest of lovers and give perfect tracking. There is zero space in my shoes, which is perfect as my feet don't move at all when riding. I've never felt the need to unbuckle my shoes to deal with swelling on longer rides, so it works for me. Fit-wise I'm firmly in the camp that a lot of issues originate at the feet and increase exponentially as they reach knees/hips, so I'd rather dial in my feet and have them go tingly every now and again from pressure than go back to an S works or the like.

My shop we carried top of the line Giro, Sidi, Spec, and Bont vaypor and riot. I would recommend the Riot over pretty much anything but the S-works or higher. Anatomically you get all the incredible features and it's moldable (plus a bit less stiff than the vaypor with the glass/composite sole so might be better for some). MSRP $150 shoe crushes offerings from most major brands 2x+ it's price atmo. I think a lot of people would benefit from a Riot stability-wise, but it does require some input on your part. If you want something that's grab and go, this ain't for you but if you're the kind of person who thinks putting 3+ hours of work into a pair of shoes to make them perfect is a fair trade, then they'd be a good place to look.

edit: Another salient point perhaps - I am a 158-168 pound road race duder. Saddle time to me is training time (outside of commuting), so I tend to not give my feet rest but weigh less than a good portion of the riding population. Larger folks might notice the pressure more? I know Misogynisticus (bit heavier big boi sprinter type) picked up a pair this past year, I think has 5-6 months on them at this point and might be able to give another perspective from a larger/more powerful racer.

Sat, 03/21/2015 - 16:25