Ride Concepts Hellion - Women's Review
Cons: A bit heavier than other comparable shoes we tested, breathability is lacking in hot and humid conditions
Manufacturer: Ride Concepts
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Ride Concepts Hellion - Women's
$59.73 at REI
|$76.50 at Amazon|
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|$109.08 at Amazon|
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|$120 List||$70.00 at Amazon|
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|Pros||Good grip, very good power transfer, stiff, durable||Lightweight, fantastic grip, great power transfer, durable||Lightweight, awesome grip, absorbs trail chatter||Excellent grip, comfortable, lightweight, breathable, reasonable price||Inexpensive, offers a lot of protection, balanced grip|
|Cons||A bit heavier than other comparable shoes we tested, breathability is lacking in hot and humid conditions||Breathability is not the best in hot conditions||Minimal foot protection||Long laces, minimal foot protection||Not the grippiest, moderate weight|
|Bottom Line||An ultra stiff and durable shoe with a no-slip grip and an impact absorbing midsole||A great performing all-round shoe with great power transfer and the right mix of stiffness, flex, and comfort||A lightweight, well-balanced shoe with incredible grip, all-day comfort, and great trail absorption make this shoe stand out in the crowd||An excellent performing shoe for all types of flat pedal riders that has outstanding grip, comfort, and value||This is an exceptional flat pedal shoe for someone just starting their mountain bike adventures, especially for the price|
|Rating Categories||Ride Concepts Hellion||Five Ten Freerider Pro||Giro Latch Women's||Specialized 2FO Roo...||Ride Concepts Livewire|
|Comfort and Protection (25%)|
|Rigidity and Power Transfer (20%)|
|Specs||Ride Concepts Hellion||Five Ten Freerider Pro||Giro Latch Women's||Specialized 2FO Roo...||Ride Concepts Livewire|
|Outsole||Rubber Kinetics DST 6.0 HIGH GRIP||Stealth S1||Tack Rubber||SlipNot™ ST||Rubber Kinetics DST6.0 High Grip|
|Tread Pattern||Full Hexagon Dot||Full Hexagon Dot||Gamma tread design||Full Hexagon Dot||Full Hexagon Dot|
|Measured Weight Grams (pair)||736 g||616 g||593g||669 g||754 g|
|Upper Material||Synthetic||Synthetic||Microfiber synthetic||Leather, Suede||Synthetic, mesh|
|Footbed||D3O High Impact Zone||Ortholite||3D molded||Body Geometry||D30 High Impact Zone|
|Midsole||EVA||EVA||Mute Foam 3D||EVA||EVA|
|Size Tested||9||8||EU 40||EU 40||9|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Ride Concepts is a relative newcomer to the mountain bike shoe market, and the Ride Concepts Hellion is not only the company's lightest weight shoe but is made to "excel in wet and gnarly" conditions. While not as light as other similar shoes we tested, the Hellion fell into the middle of our pack for weight, but additional features such as a two-panel, anti-peel synthetic upper and gusseted tongue that resist dirt and moisture, make it a good choice for riding in less than ideal conditions. The DST6.0 outsole has some of the better grip in our testing, inspiring confidence but also making adjustments on the pedals more difficult. Above the DST6.0 outsole is a midsole and footbed, which features D30 impact zones that work well to dissipate vibrations from the trail and reduce foot fatigue. The fit of the Hellion is a bit less bulky, and lower volume than traditional mountain bike shoes, which we feel helps with power transfer to the pedals.
The Ride Concepts Hellion features Rubber Kinetics DST 6.0 High Grip Rubber outsole, which is fairly grippy and features a hexagon pattern, providing ample space for pedal pins to embed themselves in the rubber.
We found that once you plant your foot on the pedal that your shoe is stuck. This is confidence-inspiring on steep climbs, jumps, and drops. However, it is harder to make micro-adjustments to your foot position on the pedal without lifting your foot up. This is something our testers prefer not to do and favor a compound that better allows for micro-adjustments.
During our testing, we noticed the Hellion did not grip broken or worn pins as well as some other models we tested. Once, we replaced pins, issues with our foot slipping went away.
Comfort and Protection
We discovered the sizing of the Hellions to be different when compared to other brands, with an EU40 translating to a US9, instead of a US8.5 which is more common. Because the shoe is lower volume some people prefer to size up, we recommend trying them on for size when possible.
The Hellion has a break-in period and early on, we had some issues with the shoe rubbing the widest part of our right foot, but after wearing the shoes four times or so, they stretched out and the rubbing went away.
The Hellion does not have a lot of volume or width, meaning it wraps your foot more than older and bulkier style mountain bike shoes. This decreased volume and width makes the shoe feel like more of an extension of the foot and aids in power transfer (more on this later). At the ankle, there is additional padding that helps to secure the ankle in place as well as protect it. During hike-a-bikes, we did not experience heel lift while wearing the Hellions.
The uppers of the Hellion are a two-panel, anti-peel synthetic material and have a gusseted tongue that is stiff and resists impacts from trail debris while helping repel dirt and moisture. Rounding out the Hellion's protection is an insole with D30 impact protection at the heel and forefoot. The D30 helps to mitigate trail impacts reasonably well, but we found that other shoes performed slightly better in this area.
Rigidity and Power Transfer
The Hellion is one of the stiffest shoes we tested and has excellent power transfer. An ultra-stiff midsole and outsole paired with a low volume fit provide good power transfer and pedaling efficiency. However, the Hellion weighs a bit more than other shoes we tested (of similar stiffness), and we notice the extra weight makes the Hellion's harder to spin the cranks with, especially on fast cross-country laps.
It is difficult to feel the pedal underfoot with such a stiff and rigid sole, which depending on your preference, can be a positive or a negative. In a side-by-side comparison, we found Hellion to have the best power transfer of the shoes we tested, earning it high marks.
A common thread we found throughout our testing is that the more protection a shoe has, the less breathable it is in general. This holds true for the Hellion and similarly constructed shoes we tested.
The two-panel, anti-peel upper has a lot of perforations and decent airflow but is less than ideal in hot and humid conditions. The perforations at the shoes mid-foot help with ventilation, but overall we would like to see a bit more breathability. On 90-degree days our feet were sweating while riding, even with lightweight wicking socks.
After a few months of testing the Ride Concepts Hellion still look new, the uppers and outsole are free from scratches, knicks, or cuts. As advertised, they are built with durability in mind. However, we will say we are not particularly "hard" on our gear, tend not to crash, and only wear our shoes while riding, not to and from the trailhead or out for post-ride beverages.
Unlike most round laces, the laces on the Hellion actually stay laced, something we appreciate. However, they are a tad long and extend to the toe box even when secured by the lace retainer and could be shorter.
The anti-abrasion texture on the toe and heel does a good job at resisting scratches as do the shoes' two-panel synthetic upper. The tongue of the Hellion is gusseted, helping prevent debris from entering the shoe. Overall, the Hellion is designed with durability in mind and should last the rider a few seasons.
The Hellion comes in at 736 grams per pair for a EU40 or US9 women's. While not the heaviest shoe we reviewed, it is 120 grams heavier than a very similar shoe we reviewed and that weight can be felt over time while pedaling.
The Hellion performs very well in comparison to other shoes available at its price point and should be on the shortlist for those wanting a stiffer soled flat pedal shoe.
The Hellion was easily one of the best performing and most comfortable shoes we reviewed and was a contender for Editors' Choice. However, when taking into account all factors, including breathability, we felt some shoes were a better overall package. The Hellion is a very good shoe and should be considered by anyone looking to purchase a new flat pedal shoe. The power transfer, comfort, and durability all earned high marks in their respective metrics.
— Tara Reddinger-Adams
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