As it’s time to bring forward the “big guns” for 2014, Shimano wasted no time on this and presented two new items belonging to its cycling equipment range. The XC90 mountainbike shoes and S71X pair of mountainbike specific glasses both represent high-end models of each’s category, with a good chance at earning a nice spot in the riders’ preferences.
The dedicated mountain bike eyewear S71X features photochromic and polarized lenses, being a good option for trail riding also thanks to its wider view and higher protection. Shimano states that when the surroundings are dark, the lenses are almost clear, while when it brightens up, the lenses turn a darker hue. Changing from the lightest hue to the darkest takes 8 seconds; from darkest to lightest takes 35 seconds. Another piece of useful information is the fact that the new eyewear is designed with a UV transmittance of 17% to 85%.
On the other hand, the polarized lenses also reduce glare and reflections from various objects, such as pavement, water and glass, with a visible-light transmittance set at 13%. Further features of the S71X model include a lens angle adjuster that permits tilting upwards or downwards the lenses, up to an angle of 8 degrees, and a lightweight frame that makes the pair tip the scale at 34 grams.
Next on we have the XC90 mountainbike shoes, a trustworthy weapon for tackling off-road, at least according to the manufacturer. Developed in cooperation with riders like Eva Lechner, Maja Wloszczowska, Katarina Nash and Fabian Giger, the pair includes a number of promising features.
The front section of the outsole is fitted with special shaped spikes and blocks, which are arranged in a pattern that optimizes traction. The open, mud-shedding tread pattern allows mud and debris to fall through, keeping the shoe and pedal light and power-efficient. Sole stiffness has been improved through a layered structure that offers the good rigidity for cross-country riding. The SH-XC90 features a carbon-composite midsole and, in the front section, a carbon-composite insert plate.
Also, the toe spikes can be swapped out according to the riding environment, for dry conditions the resin type being recommended, while for muddy situation, you can go for the metal-tipped ones. Last but not least, it’s worth mentioning that the upper has been redesigned, the manufacturer using Rovenica, a synthetic leather that features good durability and shape retentiveness, while the weight of a size 40 pair reaches 627 grams. For now, there is no word on pricing or availability.