Horst Engineering Toe Spike Review

By: Gavin Gould Dec 11

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(Editor's note: the spikes reviewed here were provided complimentary for our review, though no promise was given of the outcome of the review.)

Earlier this cyclocross season, I saw Adam Myerson mention Horst Engineering's toe spikes. I figured he knows what he's doing, so why not check them out? Turns out Horst sponsors a number of riders beyond Myerson, including team Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld, Mo Bruno-Roy, Jeremy Powers, Justin Lindine, Cassie Maximenko, and more. A short time later, a combo pack of all four sets was on its way.

The combo pack includes a combination (see what they did there) of all the different spikes Horst makes - small (14mm) medium (16mm) large (18mm) and ice & snow. Straight away, I mounted up the medium and large on two pairs of Giro Code shoes, greasing the threads so there wouldn't be any issues removing them later.

A couple days later, it was race day - I chose the shoes with the medium spikes and got down to business on a course with spitting rain, some steep upward pitches I could ride during course recon, but would end up running during the race as I tired. I'm the worst runner in terms of speed, and it makes my heart rate skyrocket, but I know that many times it's the best way to stay upright and keep moving forward (#svenness.) The Horst spikes gave me grip when my tires - FMB Supermuds - could not.

Fast forward one week later, the second test came on another mildly wet course with a few more steep bits and a deep swampy bog in a flat section that could not be ridden. A good portion of this track also had loosely cut long grass, which when combined with mud easily clogged any tread on the shoe. After a pre-ride with the mediums, I swapped to the shoes equipped with long spikes and found the situation much better. Running the mud and scrambling up a couple steep sections I couldn't find the power to ride was now much easier.

Overall I rate these very highly. They show no appreciable wear as of yet, and since they're stainless steel, no rust. They should last easily more than one race season and can be a big difference maker in some situations.

(Editor's note: The spikes can be purchased directly here for $15.99-16.99 for single packs of each length or $42.99 for the combo pack reviewed here that runs the gamut.)

photos and words by Gavin Gould


Giro Empire VR90 MTB Shoes Long Term Review - Out of the Box

By: Brandon Nov 24

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click any photo to view gallery

Giro sent us an early pair of the new Empire VR90 MTB shoes a couple of weeks ago. Out of the box they fit just like the rest of the Empire line, so we didn't see much need to share that. But, now with some ride time, some weights, and more thoughts, it's time to share.

Unpacking them was as eventful as unpacking cycling shoes is going to get. They come in their own shoe bag, which is a nice touch others rarely take the time for. Boxed with an extra pair of laces (hi-viz laced up, black laces if you want to tone them down a bit) as well as a set of spikes and Giro's own Supernatural Footbed Kit.

Out of the box things stay pretty exciting. Comparing the new VR90 with the Vibram outsole to the previous version (I have the bright blue as well as the Camo LTD versions, all in 45), the new VR90 is about 15g heavier per shoe. A claimed weight of 315g was quite accurate I assume as my 45 came in at 345g compared to 330g for my previous generation Empire MTB shoes. But, put those up next to the Code from Giro, and the VR90 actually comes in over 10g lighter than the Code.

Clearly I'm a fan of Giro's line of shoes, I own more than 10 pairs. I could go on and on about the fit and comfort, but that's personal and I know that. What I'm really interested in finding out is if the addition of the Vibram outsole really gives the rider. Now that these are in open production, rather than limited runs, what will your $300 get you?

photos and words by Brandon Elliott



By: Brandon Nov 16

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We don't often share content from others on our site, but sometimes we just can't pass it up. This video does an incredible jobs capturing the emotions of battle that come from cyclocross. Sit back and enjoy.

Guerrieres from Petitesreines on Vimeo.


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