Reviews You Can Rely On

Ride Concepts Hellion - Women's Review

An ultra stiff and durable shoe with a no-slip grip and an impact absorbing midsole
Ride Concepts Hellion - Women's
Photo: Backcountry
Top Pick Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $130 List | $77.93 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Good grip, very good power transfer, stiff, durable
Cons:  A bit heavier than other comparable shoes we tested, breathability is lacking in hot and humid conditions
Manufacturer:   Ride Concepts
By Tara Reddinger-Adams ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 16, 2020
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
81
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 10
  • Grip - 30% 8
  • Comfort and Protection - 25% 8
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer - 20% 9
  • Breathability - 10% 7
  • Durability - 10% 9
  • Weight - 5% 6

Our Verdict

The Ride Concepts Hellion impressed our testers with its exceptional power transfer and rigidity. However, making micro-adjustments on our pedals was a bit harder due to the stickiness of the DST 6.0 High Grip rubber. We are fans of the lower volume, less bulky fit of the Hellion, which paired with an incredibly rigid sole helps to transfer power to the pedals. The synthetic upper is both durable and protective, making it an excellent choice for a variety of trails. As with many shoes that are protective, the breathability is good, but less than ideal in hot and humid conditions.

Overall, the Hellion performs very well on the bike and competes with the top-performing shoes in our review, making it a Top Pick.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $77.93 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$129.00 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
$120 List
Check Price at Backcountry
$132.66 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
$59.93 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
81
87
85
84
78
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Good grip, very good power transfer, stiff, durableLightweight, fantastic grip, great power transfer, durableExcellent grip, comfortable, lightweight, breathable, reasonable priceExcellent grip, Lots of foot protection, durabilityInexpensive, offers a lot of protection, balanced grip
Cons A bit heavier than other comparable shoes we tested, breathability is lacking in hot and humid conditionsBreathability is not the best in hot conditionsLong laces, minimal foot protectionBulky and heavy, poor ventilation, not the best choice for trail ridingNot the grippiest, moderate weight
Bottom Line An ultra stiff and durable shoe with a no-slip grip and an impact absorbing midsoleA great performing all-round shoe with great power transfer and the right mix of stiffness, flex, and comfortAn excellent performing shoe for all types of flat pedal riders that has outstanding grip, comfort, and valueThese are great for a downhill-specific rider, as they provide tons of foot protection and tenacious gripThis 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 Specialized 2FO Roo... Five Ten Impact Pro... Ride Concepts Livewire
Grip (30%)
8.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
8.0
Comfort And Protection (25%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
9.0
Rigidity And Power Transfer (20%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
Breathability (10%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
3.0
6.0
Durability (10%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Weight (5%)
6.0
10.0
8.0
3.0
6.0
Specs Ride Concepts Hellion Five Ten Freerider Pro Specialized 2FO Roo... Five Ten Impact Pro... Ride Concepts Livewire
Outsole Rubber Kinetics DST 6.0 HIGH GRIP Stealth S1 SlipNot™ ST Stealth S1 Rubber Kinetics DST6.0 High Grip
Tread Pattern Full Hexagon Dot Full Hexagon Dot Full Hexagon Dot Full Dot Full Haxagon Dot
Measured Weight Grams (pair) 736 g 616 g 669 g 986 g 754 g
Upper Material Synthetic Synthetic Leather, Suede Synthetic Synthetic, mesh
Footbed D3O High Impact Zone Ortholite Body Geometry Ortholite D30 High Impact Zone
Sole EVA EVA EVA EVA EVA
Size Tested 9 8 EU 40 8.5 9

Our Analysis and Test Results

Ride Concepts recently released a new Hellion Elite flat pedal shoe. It has the same looks and fit as the Hellion but comes with a tackier DST4.0 Max Grip rubber outsole. April 2021

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. Overall, we are impressed with the Hellion's performance, earning it our Top Pick Award.

Performance Comparison


There is a lot to like about this shoe, we just wish it was a little...
There is a lot to like about this shoe, we just wish it was a little lighter weight and more breathable.
Photo: Byron Adams

Grip


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.

The outsole is made of DST 6.0 High Grip rubber which grips the...
The outsole is made of DST 6.0 High Grip rubber which grips the pedals exceptionally well.
Photo: Tara Reddinger-Adams

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.

We found the upper crease right behind our toes on longer...
We found the upper crease right behind our toes on longer hike-a-bikes.
Photo: Tara Reddinger-Adams

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.

Here we're giving our shoes a little hike-a-bike test on a limestone...
Here we're giving our shoes a little hike-a-bike test on a limestone outcropping. Overall, the DST 6.0 rubber grips very on rocky hike-a-bikes.
Photo: Byron Adams

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.

Here you can see the orange D30 impact protection embedded into the...
Here you can see the orange D30 impact protection embedded into the shoes footbed. These areas help to dissipate impacts before the reach your foot.
Photo: Tara Reddinger-Adams

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.

Frequently, we wore two different shoes to really be able to judge...
Frequently, we wore two different shoes to really be able to judge the small differences between them. Here we're testing the shoes power transfer as we prepare for a rooty climb.
Photo: Byron Adams

Breathability


On hot, humid days it seemed none of our shoes breathed very well...
On hot, humid days it seemed none of our shoes breathed very well, which is a trade off for protection.
Photo: Byron Adams

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.

Here you can really see the differences in the midsole and forefoot...
Here you can really see the differences in the midsole and forefoot, the Five Ten (upper) has no mid-foot ventilation, yet has a reinforced midsole. The Ride Concepts (bottom) in contrast, has a thinner midsole and perforations along the mid-foot for ventilation.
Photo: Tara Reddinger-Adams

Durability


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, and 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 laces are a tad long as shown here, even with a double knot they...
The laces are a tad long as shown here, even with a double knot they still extended down past the first lace. Thankfully, the tongue has a lace retainer to keep them out of the chainring.
Photo: Tara Reddinger-Adams

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.

Weight


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 weighs in at 736 grams per pair for a EU40, or US9 womens.
The Hellion weighs in at 736 grams per pair for a EU40, or US9 womens.
Photo: Tara Reddinger-Adams

Value


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.

Conclusion


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, earning it a Top Pick award.

We were impressed with the shoes overall performance on the bike and...
We were impressed with the shoes overall performance on the bike and it outperformed many shoes at a similar or more expensive price point.
Photo: Byron Adams

Tara Reddinger-Adams

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More