A very select few Sidi-sponsored athletes debuted a couple of new products from the Italian shoemaker over the weekend. We caught a glimpse of the next generation Sidi Tiger mountain bike shoes as we were checking out bike tech at the XCO World Championships. Getting off to a good start in the first race, Nino Schurter won the elite men’s championship in the Tigers’ first outing, with Julien Absalon rounding out the podium in third with the only other pair at the event.
Of course the key difference to the current Drako is the relocation of the Sidi’s Techno-3 Push dial system and the reworking of the tongue shaping. For a mountain biker this small shift could make for much better crash protection and long-term durability. But as we also saw Chris Froome riding le Tour over the weekend in a very similar Sidi Shot road version, crash protection could be a good benefit on the road too. Take a closer look after the jump…
The dials themselves do not look to change, but their orientation is rotated to make them easy to use and so that they do not interfere with each other in the closer spacing on the tongue. Bringing the dials to the center of the shoe will go a long way towards reducing crash damage. Pretty much anytime you lay the bike down on the trail or on the road the outside of the shoe is the first thing to come in contact with the ground, and while I haven’t specifically broken any of Sidi’s dials, I have packed a few with mud and have seen a few scraped on the asphalt. Even not crashing, riding trails it isn’t so rare to hit a rock or tree with a shoe, and moving the dials out of harms way is a welcome move.
As a side benefit, one of my personal pet peeves about my Sidis over the years has been when sitting cross-legged on the ground post ride, either the dial or previous generation buckles would press on the ground making sitting like that uncomfortable. I guess that will no longer be an issue. One issue that may arise with the new layout is fit for riders with low volume feet. The current generation offers a lot of adjustability with the soft instep strap, and now with more of a limitation because of the width of the dials on the tongue, some riders may have to move to narrow sizes that previously didn’t have to. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to try them out once they are available to the public.
At the same time while we were scoping the new Sidi Tigers in the Czech Republic, Chris Froome was racing on the other side of Europe in the road-going version called the Sidi Shot at the Tour de France. The Shots and Tigers look to share all of the same tech much like the current Drako and Wire, just with their trail and road specific carbon soles with replaceable tread blocks.
No word yet on pricing or availability, but we expect to find out more at Eurobike.