Well, I’ve finally done it. It all comes full circle they say and it seems like my childhood love of Disco (it was short-lived…and I was just a kid, OK?) has been rekindled, at least in my choice in footwear. Here are my new shoes – Sidi Ergo 3.
And here’s the funny part. These shoes are nearly 200 grams heavier than my destroyed Mavics. I agree, there’s little sense in it. I seem to have developed a soft spot for bike stuff made in Italy and, unlike all other European cycling shoe makers, I think, Sidi’s are still made at home (and Romania). Sidi is run by Dino Signori, who founded the company over 50 years ago, and who we can thank for giving us, over the years, the adjustable cleat position system, nylon soles, adjustable straps and ratcheting buckles, among others, I gather. Although I’d never buy an Italian car (OK, maybe that cute little Fiat for my wife…) I feel safe, somehow forking out for Italian footwear (but couldn’t they make a matt black version?).
They also come with some neat bells and whistles (which must do something more than add to the weight, I hope).
The red bit is part of Sidi’s Vent Carbon Sole. When the bottom part of the two pieces up there is closed (like it is in the photo) so is the vent. Unscrew and open it up and there’s a hole in the carbon sole that is supposed to allow air to flow through, exiting from another vent halfway down the sole. I get hot feet, so I’m hoping this one works.
There’s also this black piece of plastic on the heel – the Adjustable Heel Retention Device – which snugs in the heel by turning the screws you can just about see on either side. Theoretically, this is for narrow-heeled riders and allows a looser main strap closure by keeping the heel in place from the back, as well as the front. I’ve played with this a little and am still not sure about the ideal setting for me. I can say that I certainly feel the difference when adjusting the screws though, so there could be something to it.
The last couple of toys you get with your Ergo 3′s are probably something you would get on any shoe that costs over 300€ – Good, adjustable closure systems. The round dial (Techno II System in Sidi parlance) you see above is attached to some really strong nylon cords and to tighten you lift the red bit and turn. There is a very fine ratcheting device inside that allows you to really fine-tune tightness. The caliper buckle up top, on the other hand, is super robust and makes you feel very secure when you tighten it up.
Another apparent advantage of Sidi is that most of the parts I’ve outlined are replaceable, including the buckle, which is what I broke on my Mavics, forcing me to buy new shoes. Maybe I’m not that stupid after all!
On the negative side of things I found the tongue to cut into my instep and immediately started to get hot spots. I think I have remedied this by cutting off the little ‘fringe’ of excess the padded tongue has on these shoes (i.e. not the padded part). It seems much better now, but makes me wonder if maybe I have shoes that are a half size too big or something. Perhaps it’s my skinny ankles.
I haven’t worn my Sidis on many rides yet, but my overall impression is ‘solid’. Once I cinch everything up I feel like I’m in a pair of ski boots, not cycling shoes. I’m taking this as a positive, since you really want to foot-shoe-pedal interfaces to be as ‘one’ as possible, I suppose.
The only question I have is, can I dance the ‘Bus Stop’ in cycling cleats?