Five Ten Freerider VXi  2013 Mountain Bike Review

Five Ten Freerider VXi 2013

Reviews / Shoes

Five Ten 176,977

At A Glance

The Freerider has been the weapon of choice for many riders looking for all the benefits of the Five Ten Stealth Rubber Sole in a skate style shoe. They have been in the range for some time now and each year have undergone new colourways and pro model offerings in terms of styling. For 2013 though, we are seeing a totally new shoe that has been redesigned from the ground up. Talking of the ground up, the first difference is the Stealth Rubber Sole has been changed, it still uses the same excellent compound for grip, but now it is totally flat in the section where you connect with your pedals. More support has been added around the instep and there is a protective section on the toe too.

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On The Trail

The new flat section on the sole of the Freerider VXi was obviously the first thing that got talked about in the office. It almost looks a little silly, like they forgot to put any grip there. However, it is designed for the pins of the pedal to totally penetrate into the thick rubber. By having a flat sole you get 100% contact on all points of the pedal. It works well, you still get that famous Five Ten grip and the connection between you and your bike feels as solid as ever. It does take a little “breaking in” at first, we noticed a few slips when pedalling uphill for instance, but after a couple of rides the rubber becomes a touch softer and grips even harder. You would also think that this would leave loads of pin shaped holes in the bottom of your shoe; it doesn’t, the rubber reforms and after a month or so of use we cant see any real damage to the sole of the shoe yet. Impressive.

Elsewhere we liked the short laces, great for ensuring they don’t get caught up in the bike, the improved support for the instep stopped any roll on the foot when riding and the shoes are exceedingly comfortable. The sizing seems to be a little on the larger side, so try a pair on if you can before you buy.

Overall

A great shoe once again from Five Ten with an innovative approach to 100% connection between you and your bike. Good looking and well made they should see you through the next couple of seasons!

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This review was in Issue 23 of IMB.

For more information visit Five Ten

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By Rou Chater
Rou Chater is the Publishing Editor of IMB Magazine; he’s a jack-of-all-trades and master of none, but his passion for bikes knows no bounds. His first mountain bike was a Trek 820, which he bought in 1990. It didn’t take him long to earn himself a trip to the hospital on it, and he’s never looked back since. These days he’s keeping it rubber side down, riding locally and overseas as much as possible.

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