Forever in Electric Dreams – Off-Road EBike Adventures
Lake Off-Road Shoes
The Ebike has been around for a few years now, and it’s getting more efficient all the time. Why have I so far avoided it - I can’t answer that, because there’s no good reason, save for the simple fact that as I head into my late 50s, I want to keep as physically fit as possible. I kind of just thought that, maybe if I had an EBike I’d pedal less! How wrong I was, and I’m happy to admit this. I’ve ridden all manner of bikes, and I have a varied selection at home - just not an EBike… yet!
Taking a trip to the Yorkshire Dales recently, my bike for the day was the superb Orbea Rise full suspension E-MTB, with 140 mm travel out front, 130 mm at the rear, and a geometry made for having fun. Off we go then - shoes on, power up!
EBike for Big Smiles
The Rise comes with three power options, with two pre-set settings: ‘Eco’ setting, for general riding; ‘trail’ setting, for when the technical elements need a little bit more; then finally, for those moments that we all experience, there’s a ‘power boost’ setting that literally drives you forward like a Red Bull fuelled freerider, and helps you to tackle those tricky moments of trail time. It’s a bike that wants you to ride hard and fast, but one which also wants to extend the trip, by looking after you. The front-end tracks perfectly and the rear simply follows the line chosen, with a willingness to ride, leaving you to swoop and steer to your hearts content.
It’s especially good fun when you have the right off-road shoes on your feet - which is where we come to Hutch and the team here at Lake. They bring all of their expertise and knowledge to every shoe design, on tarmac or trail, to make sure that your Lake off-road shoes are as comfortable as possible, and that they give you that necessary base to be able to control the bike through the pedals. And, when you’re riding off-road, that’s a vital skill – using the pedals to stay on course, as well as to power you forward. Yes, good off-road shoes are critical, especially with dynamic flat pedals. You need to be sure that your feet stay fixed and firm. There’s no place for second best; not for the rider, the bike or the shoe.
A Shoe for all Seasons
Choosing the MX 177 today, was definitely a good choice in the dry air, but with dampness in the late winter woods having that mossy rock look that waits to trap you, and wet and slippery tree roots everywhere. Thankfully, my mtb skills came to life and the shoes stayed pinned, with the stable sole giving me the right level of control and flexibility for me to properly steer the rear triangle of the Orbea Rise in harmony with the front fork. The MX 177 has Lake’s fiberglass inject nylon sole, which is world famous for its uncompromising comfort and performance. No other injected nylon sole offers the same level of stiffness or comfort. Combined with a real rubber sole, the MX177 is one of the most versatile cycling shoes available. It’s a shoe designed for aggressive riding, while remaining comfortable to wear all day. It’s not solely about pedal placement on these trails; it also means having a shoe that stays firm on the wet and loose trail surfaces, when the feet head rapidly to the ground.
Today, the riding was fast and furious at times, with tight S-shaped snake-like gaps between trees. Bubbling rock sections came and went, meaning rapid and precise foot placement off the pedal was also required, as the Orbea Rise suspension simply floated over and spat out its contempt for all obstacles and continued the ride. The steep climbs, even the technical ones, became easy as confidence in bike and shoes increased, and line choice was more open to me. Being able to use my feet to control the bike was crucial, and the MX 177 did all that was asked of it and more.
A high-performance off-road shoe at a budget-friendly price
How did they perform overall? Absolutely spot on, with the BOA system allowing me to tweak the fitting on the fly, tightening when required. It was like riding in slippers, due to the durable microfiber and mesh upper with a comfortable secure BOA® closure utilizing the Carbitex tongue panels, for reduced friction lace adjustment. The Lake MX 177 isn’t simply an entry level shoe; it has technical features, like the Supergrip Enduro Sole with Ice Lock anti-slip lug inserts, which did their job perfectly on the tricky trails. My feet had been wrapped in foot love, due to the wide toe box which gave my feet the space needed, and didn’t pinch or feel tight at any time, despite the dynamic foot movement required on a mountain bike ride. I was in control all the time, and able to flick the bike over the wet roots and around the tight turns.
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