Vaude has been making cycling shoes since 2010, but for the most part has stuck to general use mountain biking & touring shoes. With 16 new bike shoes for 2018, they are targeting more performance oriented sides of cycling footwear and broadening their eco-friendly materials even into this year’s knit trends – getting into enduro, XC race & now road too. Plus, on the clothing side, Vaude have a couple of unique solutions to keep mountain bike warm & dry on the trail…
2018 Snar mountain & road bike shoes
For their first venture onto the road, Vaude are taking a hint from many other cycling shoe makers and working with a single high performance upper concept that can do double duty as an XC shoe as well paired with either a vented road or lugged mountain sole. The shoes even share the same name – RD Snar for the road & MTB Snar for the trail.
The multi-piece bonded & laser perforated PVC-free PU synthetic upper is available in three different closures. The top-level Snar Pro uses a single L6 BOA dial paired to a single velcro strap. The Snar Advanced steps down to a lesser BOA dial and two velcro straps. And the Snar Actives simply get three velcro straps.
TVL Skoj & Sykkel mountain bike shoes
More inline with their current trail shoe offerings, Vaude has this knit TVL Skoj with a few vibrant colors, single BOA closure, and the one-piece seamless & breathable upper.
In a similar vein, yet less flashy are the eco certified leather TVL Sykkel. Both share the same mid-level stiffness nylon SPD compatible sole for walkability off the bike. But they are designed to have an aesthetic to transition off the bike too. Vaude is targeting them to the commuters, adventure riders, and off-road tourers who want to be able to walk around camp or even around town without shouting cyclists!
AM Downieville Low & Mid trail mountain bike shoes
The two new options for all-mountain/enduro trail shoes – the AM Downieville in Low & Mid heights – build off the success of Vaude’s Moab flat pedal mountain bike lace-ups from last year. But to give more versatility they get a new aggressive lugged sole compatible with clipless pedals. Both shoes share a mixed synthetic material upper and lace-up closure with a top velcro strap. The Downieville Low leaves it at that, but the Downieville Mid extends the cuff up to protect the ankle on the inside, and gets a velcro flap to cover the laces.
As for the rubber on the new mountain bike shoes, almost all of them get new treads from Swiss SUP Traction in R20 rubber that mixes in 20% of recycled rubber content. The original lace-up Moab (in dark gray & blue, below right) continues over with the flat pedal-friendly Vibram sole with lugs at the toe & heel, and a ultra soft mid foot pedal section. But the new Downievilles (middle above) get the new SUP R20 rubber, as do the Skoj & Sykke (right above).
Across all of their road & trail shoes going forward, Vaude developed a new V-Flow sole stiffness index to now make it more clear which shoes are most appropriate for each riding style. With 3 being the least stiff shoe they are making for cycling so far, it is suited mostly for enduro riding on wide, flat pedals. Stepping up most of their all-purpose shoes fall into the 5-6 range for clipless use and walkability off the bike. For now, their top road & XC shoes are limited to 8s with carbon reinforced soles, but leaving an extra number (or two) at the top of the scale for the eventual inclusion of full carbon construction.
Moab Rain Suit, rain overalls for mountain bikers
OK, so it is a little ironic that the rain suit is named after a desert mountain biking destination. Maybe a more iconic rainy locale like Glasgow or Vancouver might have been a better option. But the Moab name just means that it is in Vaude’s highest level of performance for mountain biking. The short sleeve, short legged Moab Rain Suit is one of the most odd products we saw this year at Eurobike. But it is kind of compelling at the same time.
Designed for summer riding to keep your shorts & jersey dry, the super light 2.5 layer membrane overalls stuff down to fit in the bottom of a backpack. And then saves your butt from getting wet when the storms roll in on your ride. The Bluesign eco-certified overalls actually cover the knee (and probably your pads) and gets long waterproof zips to make it easy on & off.
Moab Ultra Light Hybrid mountain bike insulated jacket
Lastly on the weather protected mountain biker front is the new packable the Moab ULtra Light Hybrid jacket. Designed again as a protection piece to get stuffed in your pack or even a jersey pocket, the Hybrid is for those big ascent/descent days to keep you warm when temps drop. It uses a quilted recycled polyester PrimaLoft Eco insulation across the chest and upper arms to keep your core warm. But it still gets a longer cut at the waist and sleeves to make sure you get seamless wind protection over gloves and shorts to keep that biting wind out. It comes in both men’s & women’s variants (women get a hood included) and even features a harmful fluorocarbon-free eco waterproofing finish.
Like their new bags, the shoes and mountain bike clothing are set for availability at the start of next year as Spring/Summer 2018 kit.