Giant Conduit Road Shoe
What are you looking for in a triathlon or road cycling shoe? Are they the same to you? What do you prefer to wear?
My fetish for cycling footwear and an ever increasing hunt to find the perfect triathlon training and racing shoe introduced me to the Giant Conduit road shoe. Hooked up by the great team from the Giant Sydney store.
Starting out in triathlon I was initially racing and training in tri shoes, but as I started to compete over the longer distance races, these shoes left me feeling uncomfortable, less secure and I was always left feeling I could be wearing something more appropriate. In the past couple of years I’ve been training and racing my triathlons in road shoes, trialling a number of models in search for the ultimate race shoe. So far I've trained and raced in the Giro SLX2 and the Shimano R171, both contrasting in design, price and market place. Before trialing The Giant Conduit, I thought its attributes were well poised to sit between these previously mentioned models.
Why a road shoe for triathlon?
You can talk to a range of long course triathletes and get very varied views on cycling footwear. More and more athletes are now switching to the more secure and comfortable ride a road shoe offers. Some will say it doesn't matter too much what you wear, others will say that saving time in a quick transition shoe isn't important for long distance racing and some will train all year round in a road shoe and chuck on a tri shoe for a race?
If I am trying to push the boundaries of my racing, a shoe is definitely going to go a long way to make me comfortable and improve my performance. After all, would you a run a marathon in a shoe you were not completely happy with?
My ideal shoe wish list
comfort in a 90-180km race (enabling me to get out of it and run afterwards)
stiff enough for good power transfer
easy in transition
So how does the Giant Conduit stack up?
· Giant’s ForceDrive carbon composite sole
· Double BOA closure system
· Seamless upper with Airstream 5 vent cooling system
The conduit is offered in the traditional Giant white/black/blue or black/white. I went for the white which matches my 2016 Trinity Advanced Pro 0 nicely. The shoe looks neat and compact, the cushioning is not overdone in the heel box making it look sleek and aerodynamic. The detail on the synthetic upper and 5 vent cooling system gives the white upper extra detail making it look less plain than some more classic white cycling shoes. The different coloured tongue and BOA dials give enough contrast to match with a range of cycle gear.
The double boa closure system is great to get a specific, micro adjustable fit for your foot (easy to do while riding too). With a narrower ankle and wider forefoot it was easy to adjust to my needs in small increments unlike some other closure systems. The quick release boa feature also makes the shoe easy to get on and off in transitions. A fully closed boa system means that there is no chance of the wire slipping out during transition (or when my 1 year old decides to play with them).
The only thing to be wary about with the fit is the sizing. It does have a slightly larger toe box to some other brands. There is also a difference in the Giant sizing with EU/US/UK to other brands I've used, so check with Giants size chart for which size is going to work best for you. For example a Giro EU46 is US12 and Giant and EU46 is US13.
My first impression of the conduit shoe was how easy I got accustomed to riding with it. I took it away on a training weekend, two 100km rides later and I barely noticed I had new shoes. The adjustability of the shoe made it secure and comfortable. One of my rides included intervals on some very undulating roads in Port Macquarie. The stiff carbon composite sole gave good power transfer in and out of the saddle. I’m not a particularly ‘toey’ rider so stiffness is a big deal in how my pedalling feels when riding at higher wattage's, the mid arch support goes a long way to helping support this.
Weighing in at 257g (EU46) the conduit is a reliable and fairly affordable shoe, light enough for any race day and supportive enough for all year round riding needs. At RRP324.95, it comes in slightly more expensive than the Shimano RP9, but cheaper than the Giro SLX2.
With comparable features and weight to other more expensive carbon composite soled road shoes, the Conduit states its point as a very good option for road racing or triathlon. I'm going to be racing in them this season so look out for some additional feedback and some flashy race pics.