New shoe day is not quite new bike day, but is always exciting for a cyclist. Here we ride a pair of shoes not often seen in Australia – the Mono II from QUOC.
Weight, comfort, breathability and power transfer would have to be the four key attributes of a quality cycling shoe, remove just one of these elements and the whole riding experience will suffer.
At first glance, and indeed after four weeks with the new Mono II from QUOK, these four aspects appear to be front and centre in the design of the shoe.
First to the weight, the most obvious aspect when lifting one of the shoes out of the box for the first time. In size 44 the review shoes weighed in at 260gr and felt featherlight in the hand. Hold and rotate the new, unmarked shoe, take a close look and intricate attention to detail and workmanship is clearly obvious.
Starting from the base, and the unidirectional carbon sole features a matt black outer with etched markings for cleat alignment. There’s a fixed toe protector (that’s smoothly wrapped around the front of the shoe), and a removable heel protector which can be swapped out via a Phillips head screw inside the rear of the shoe under the removable insole.
Finished in soft, white leather, the shoe features twin BOA style closers with a soft and flexible wire lacing system. In closing and tensioning the shoe, the tongue is pulled evenly across the foot for a comfortable, all-round fit.
They feel like more of a summer shoe, there are plenty of perforations on the in and outside of the shoes plus throughout the tongue. To the underside of the sole and there’s a meshed ventilation port at the front, a nice touch and helpful on a warm day.
Further on comfort, and the shoes came packed with six different arch support inserts – two pre-fitted to the insoles and another four in a zip lock bag in the QUOC box. Fitted with securing tape, swapping these out is a simple job and can help with and accurate and better fit.
Designed as a ‘race-grade road riding shoe’, we tested the Mono II’s on the climbs, descents and long country roads of the Snowy Mountains region in November. So far as comfort and stiffness went, they performed exceedingly well.
Power transfer felt direct but the shoe maintained a high degree of comfort. The high-density insole seemed to work well here, it felt to be a well-balanced buffer between the stiff carbon outer and soft leather upper.
It is interesting QUOC don’t use the industry-leading BOA system, but instead two similar dials for their take on the secure closure system. These dials worked perfectly fine for use during the test period and offer the familiar ‘twist anti-clockwise to tension’. To loosen or remove the shoes it’s a case of one click clockwise.
The shoes proved comfortable on longer rides, albeit a little cool inside but we were riding in 10 to 15 degree weather – a far cry from 25+ degree summer days where we expect these shoes would be best suited.
Overall, this is a premium road shoe with intricate attention to detail and high quality materials throughout. I was a little surprised to see the shoes are made in China, but they feel to be of supreme quality, are incredibly comfortable to wear, and do look sensational on the bike.
They are fashionable, have flair, and an extra degree of street (or cafe) cred … after all, you don’t see a lot of QUOC’s out there.