Ride Concepts Tallac Clip Review
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Ride Concepts Tallac Clip
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|Pros||Durable construction, comfortable, great traction and walkability||Lightweight, reasonable price, good power transfer, comfortable||Versatile, robust construction, easy adjustment, casual style||Lightweight, reasonable price, casual style, great blend of pedaling stiffness and walkability||Inexpensive, comfortable, great off the bike|
|Cons||Heavy, no ankle protection||Minimal foot protection, not great for walking, smaller cleat adjustment range||Single boa closure, limited traction in wet conditions||Roomy fit in the forefoot, not the best lateral stability||Minimal protection, limited cleat adjustment, below average power transfer|
|Bottom Line||A beefy and rugged shoe that should stand up to multiple seasons of abuse||A quality shoe that offers high-end cross-country performance at a reasonable price||This shoe has the versatility, performance, and style to be a reliable daily driver for any rider, and it won't break the bank||An affordable, lightweight, casual-looking trail riding shoe with good power transfer and off the bike walkability||A well-rounded, budget-friendly option that's just as comfortable off the bike as it is on|
|Rating Categories||Ride Concepts Talla...||Scott MTB Team Boa||Pearl Izumi X-Alp L...||Specialized 2FO Roo...||Giro Gauge|
|Power Transfer (20%)|
|Traction Walkability (25%)|
|Specs||Ride Concepts Talla...||Scott MTB Team Boa||Pearl Izumi X-Alp L...||Specialized 2FO Roo...||Giro Gauge|
|Closure||Laces plus velcro strap||Boa iP-1 dial, plus velcro strap||L6 Boa||Laces||Laces|
|Measured Weight (per shoe)||539 grams||359 grams||436 grams||375 grams||452 grams|
|Upper Material||Bonded Cordura mech with TPU toe and heel protection||Synthetic Polyurethane, 3D Airmesh||Recycled Cordura fabric||Synthetic Leather and Textile||Synchwire on-piece composite|
|Footbed||D30 High Impact Insole||ErgoLogic||Pearl Izumi Insole||Specialized Body Geometry||Die-cut EVA|
|Midsole||RC Powerdrive Nylon Shank||Nylon/Glass Fiber Composite||Composite shank||Stiff Lollipop nylon composite plate||Injected nylon shank|
|Outsole||Clip Grip||StickiRubber||Vibra, ECOSTEP||SlipNot FG||Rubber outsole|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Since the company's inception in 2018, Ride Concepts has focused their product line mainly on gravity-oriented shoes for downhill and enduro riding. Their shoes typically lean heavily towards protection and durability rather than light weight and walkabilty. The Tallac Clip represents an expansion of their product line into new territory while staying true to their character by striking a fine balance between beefy, well-constructed protection and all-day comfort and walkability. As a result, the Tallac Clip feels right at home both smashing through rock gardens at max speed and pedaling for hours on end.
Most adventure-oriented shoes compromise on stiffness in the name of improving walkability and comfort for all-day epics, but the Tallac Clip surprised us with a reasonably snappy feel on the pedals. It is by no means as stiff and efficient as a top-of-the-line cross-country shoe, but when compared against other trail and enduro models, it's right up there with the best in the test. A nylon shank in the midsole provides a sturdy pedaling platform that you can reliably stand and crank on without any noticeable front-to-back or lateral flex over the pedal. The lack of flex not only makes this shoe efficient, it means that your foot won't fatigue and cramp over the course of a long day in the saddle. When it comes time to really lay down the power and sprint you can feel a little bit of mushyness at the pedal-shoe interface, but this is expected with almost any trail or all-mountain shoe.
Given its list of gravity-oriented features, we were pleasantly surprised by the Tallac Clip's efficiency. The insole features D30 protective padding, the midsole is constructed with EVA, and the outsole wraps the whole thing with a thick layer of heavily lugged rubber. As a result, the shoe does a great job of absorbing chatter and reducing fatigue on the way down the trail and baffles us with its stiffness and efficiency on the way up.
All of the performance in the world is meaningless if you can't stand wearing the shoes for more than an hour at a time, so we made sure to get as many hours of ride time in while testing the Tallac Clip as possible. After a month of testing and countless hours pedaling and tromping through the forest, we found virtually nothing to complain about with this model. Heavy cushioning around the heel, ankle, and tongue along with gussets on either side of the tongue provides a secure, cloudlike fit. The traditional lace closure system allows you to dial in the fit, and the hook-and-loop strap helps to lock your foot in place.
The combination of the EVA midsole, the D30 padding, and the Cordura upper do a lot of the heavy lifting that keeps this shoe comfortable all day long. The padding helps by providing a little bit of extra cushion that allows the shoe to conform to your foot with a tight fit, and the midsole soaks up trail chatter and impacts that fatigue your foot over time. The Cordura upper breathes well enough that our feet never overheated and developed hot spots on longer, warmer rides. The heavy-duty construction means that these are far from the best-ventilated shoes we tested, but the Cordura means that they are far cooler than gravity-specific shoes like the Ride Concepts Transition for example.
The fit sits a little bit on the wider side of average like many of the all-mountain shoes that we tested. Our primary tester has a wide foot, and he was very happy with the fit. Riders with super narrow feet may struggle with this model, but the lace closure system should allow enough adjustment to find a secure and comfortable fit for most foot shapes.
Traction and Walkability
Any shoe that's marketed as being "designed to outlast the biggest epics" better be able to handle some hike-a-bike time, so when we got our hands on our Tallac Clips we eagerly started scrambling up hill and down dale to test their mettle. While they weren't the best off-bike shoes that we've ever worn, they certainly performed extremely well. The toe flexes enough to allow for a semi-natural gait, the cleat box is recessed far enough into the outsole that the cleat doesn't scrape the ground with each step, and the beefy rubber lugs feel at home on rocky, uneven terrain. With the laces and hook-and-loop strap properly tightened we had minimal heel lift when walking up steep inclines. They don't feel quite like a hiking boot, but the heavy-duty construction provides peace of mind when trudging through rough, abrasive rocks.
On the whole, the beefy outsole provides good traction. We found that these shoes felt most comfortable in dry, loose, and dusty conditions. When things were more on the wet and greasy side we found that the CLIP GRIP hexagonal lugs in the midfoot didn't stick to the ground quite as well as some of the best shoes in our test. The CLIP GRIP sole is designed to allow you to quickly and easily clip in and out of your pedal without any obstruction and also stick to your pedal's pins if it has any. We found that it works well on the bike, but gives up a little bit of ground on foot. Luckily, the Tallac Clip has more rugged lugs at the toe and heel that help with traction when walking up and down steep inclines.
Any design comes with compromises, and any good designer knows that you can't have it all. As we found with the Ride Concepts Transition Clip, it appears that the Tallac Clip makes a sacrifice in weight for the benefit of its durable, protective, and comfortable construction. This was among our favorite shoes in the test in a number of areas, but its heavy weight drags it down our rankings like, well, a heavy weight. At 539 grams for our size-11 test shoe, this is among the heaviest shoes that we tested. One of the only heavier models, in fact, is the Transition, which came in at 547 grams. For reference, our Top Pick for aggressive all-mountain shoes, the FiveTen Hellcat Pro came in nearly 100 grams lighter at 452 grams.
Luckily we don't think that the weight of a mountain bike shoe makes or breaks it. Most riders might not even notice a few extra grams here or there, and for a trail and all-mountain model like the Tallac Clip, performance, comfort, and walkability are much more important considerations. For that reason, weight is one of the less-important metrics in our scoring system. So despite its high weight, the Tallac Clip impressed us enough to remain among the top-scoring shoes in the test.
In our experience, durability tends to be one of the greatest selling points of Ride Concepts shoes, and the Tallac Clip is no exception. Right off the bat, the high weight of their models that we've tested tells us that they don't skimp with flimsy materials or questionable designs in the name of cutting grams, and we respect that they're willing to accept the weight penalty to ensure a high-quality construction. The Tallac Clip has a substantial outsole, a welded upper, and reinforcing panels in areas that are likely to be exposed to abrasion. We put our test shoes through the wringer over the course of our test session and they're no worse for wear. It's obvious that they've been used, but they show no signs that they're starting to give up the ghost.
Foot protection is another huge benefit provided by the Tallac Clip's beefy construction. D30 padding and TPU protection at the toe box and heel provide peace of mind when threading the needle between foot-smashing rocks out on the trail. Much like a good helmet, a protective shoe gives a feeling of security out on the trail. Some shoes we've tested had us constantly fearing foot contact with trailside obstacles and consequently riding much more slowly. The Tallac Clip gives the confidence to drop your heels and smash through the rough stuff.
Riders looking for a shoe that will stand up to multiple seasons of abuse will find a ton of value in the Tallac Clip. The price tag is slightly higher than some shoes that performed similarly in our test, but we think that the construction warrants the price. If you don't mind a few extra grams and want to make sure your feet will be comfortable and protected out on the trail, we highly recommend this model.
The Tallac Clip is the second model that we've tested from Ride Concepts, and we're quickly becoming fans of this fresh-faced company. Both models we've tested are all business and are well-suited to a variety of riding styles and conditions. The Tallac Clip offers just about everything you could ask for in an all-mountain shoe with great stiffness, walkability, comfort, and protection. A lower weight might make it a more attractive option for gram counters, but we think it's a great model.
Other Versions and Accessories
Ride Concepts also offers the Tallac Clip BOA, which is the same base shoe with a different take on the closure system. The BOA allows for quick tension adjustments that traditional laces don't allow, but this version will cost you a good chunk of change more than the version that we tested. It features a single BOA closure and a hook-and-loop strap to adjust the tension at the toe box rather than the instep like the lace version.
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