So far as cycling shoes go, these are already all-time classics. Virtually from the moment of first release, the Bont Vaypor S redefined the standard of pro-level shoes. The automatic choice for a huge number of riders – from top-tier pros to Gran Fondo-seeking recreational riders, it’s little wonder Bont is the official shoe partner for the inaugural Noosa Classic to be held on August 26 this year.
Spotlight On The Bont Vaypor S
Along with the recently released Helix, Bont’s Vaypor S is considered the most anatomically correct platform with the most efficient power transfer platform currently available.
With its supple kangaroo leather outer skin, it’s a durable and light weight option for the most fastidious and performance-minded of cyclists. Turn the shoe over and you’ll see the base features Bont Cycling’s unique ‘micro grid’ alignment markings. These allow for perfect accuracy in cleat placement and fine adjustment.
The front of the shoe incorporates a one-piece toe guard, further reducing weight, increasing airflow (for cooling), improving the aesthetics of the front area and also offering protection.
One Of The World’s Best
The Bont Vaypor S features twin BOA closures and has proven itself as one of the world’s best cycling shoes. The show is kept secure by the best retention system available – twin BOA dial closures.
Offering a fully customisable fit, the Vapour S is one of the most heat moldable shoes available. The company’s proprietary resin has been developed to be extremely stiff. It becomes pliable at relatively low temperatures. While other shoes are only moldable in select locations, all Bont cycling shoes are able to be molded over the entire chasis providing superior comfort and the perfect custom fit.
Top Quality, High Performance Shoe
The custom fit vastly increases comfort. Clever shaping of the uppers with the latest Boa dial tensioning ensures the foot is comfortably secure, complimenting the benefits and efficiency of the wraparound last.
The Bont Vaypor S shoes weigh in at 250 grams in size 45. They are available in all sizes and 4 width options and can be ordered via the Bont online store at http://www.bontcycling.com
We recently caught up with Steven Nemeth, head of Bont Cycling, and started by asking about the Bont background.
Bicycling Australia: Many would have seen your products on the feet of some of the world’s top cyclists but might not realise Bont is a proudly Australian company?
Steven Nemeth: We’re a little Aussie company that’s battling and yes, we’ve got a few results under our belt. We obviously have numerous pro cyclists along with triathletes and multi-sport athletes wearing Bont. We’re very proud of the progress and have 200 top riders around the world. We generally take about 33 to 36% of medals in track events and our riders include the number one womens’ team, Wiggle Honda, Cycling Australia, Paralympic teams right through to BMX riders such as Caroline Buchanan.
So far the Bont Cycling trophy case holds –
59 World Track Championship titles.
3 UCI World Road/ TT champions.
12 x Olympic Gold Medals.
A TDF title (Sir Bradley Wiggins).
1 x Paris-Roubaix win.
2 x Tour of Swiss.
3 x Ironman World Championships.
3 x 70.3 World Championships.
2 x UCI BMX World Championships (Caroline Buchanan).
Numerous Grand Tour Stage wins, classics and countless stage races.
If you add silver and bronze you could probably triple those figures.
BA:Staggering – do some of these professionals assist with feedback and ideas for updates?
SN:Not so much – I think their key focus is the riding. We look after the shoe side of things. We obviously don’t just cover the professional side of cycling – we’re the only company that put our top-level engineering into our entry-level cycling shoes as well.
The key aspects of our shoes, in terms of shaping and anatomical and structural support, is included right across all of our range. The materials and production methods may change, but in terms of what’s required to stabilise the knee or stop the foot from rolling in, the shaping, forward support, heel cut, structural support etc – it’s all the same. No one is penalised for not being able to buy a top-level shoe.
BA:How many models do you currently have and where are your biggest markets?
SN:We currently have 15 models across the range. The UK and Asia would be our biggest markets – we do a genuine Asian-fit cycling shoe which is a niche and has proven very popular.
BA:The Vapor S, the Riot + and recently released Helix have a solid reputation as best of the best – how do you improve on that?
SN: There are two things that bind us. Probably the biggest limitation we have at the moment is pedals – that’s our biggest limiting factor in making a better-performing shoe. There are still things we can do before touching that area, there are specific requirements of pedals that don’t let us go to that stage at the moment.
BA:How do you work around pedal limitations without developing your own pedal?
SN:Shaping is one way around this, to work more on the shape of the base. The way I look at shoes is different – closing mechanisms are great but they’re nothing to write home about. What I try to work on is looking more at the biomechanics side of it – how the bone structure and muscle structure in your foot actually behave during a pedal stroke. And how we can maximise what we can get out of that movement. How we can get the most out of that, how we can go about muting muscles that are useless and neutralising the feet, that sort of thing.
BA:Can you explain the research, development and testing process?
SN:I come from a sports science background – plus a lot of years in sport and working with athletes. We test the shoes with Cycling Australia and other associations.
When you look at a pedal stroke or take a slow motion video you can decipher at which pedal stroke what muscles are working. We assess how we can make changes to the shape of the shoe to affect that in a positive way – to make riders go faster with the least amount of effort.
If there are muscles firing just to support something that’s not actually making you go faster, that’s a waste of energy and something we want to reduce or eliminate to save that energy.
BA:Absolutely fascinating – thank you for giving us this insight.
SN:A pleasure, thank you.
Bicycling Australia are currently road-testing entry level Bont Riot+ and the premium Helix cycling shoes. Stay tuned for further details.