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Friday, August 31, 2018

Review: Giro Manta R Cycling Shoes

One of the biggest problems with using clipless pedals for kids is the shortage of cycling shoes small enough to fit them. We are at the point where I'm using aquaseal to fix Bowen's (bought second hand) Speeder cycling shoes so that Boen will eventually get a chance to wear them.

Pardo came across a pair of Giro Manta R women's cycling shoes in size 36 (the smallest they make) in a thrift store for about $10. He bought them. On a lark, about a month before the tour I tried them on Bowen and to my surprised, if you cinch down the straps all the way, they're a slightly loose fit on him! Kids aren't going to sprint all out on the tandem, or if they do, they're usually helping you uphill, so they're not going to pull out of the shoes. Because these shoes have a strap and velcro buckling system rather than shoe-laces, Bowen immediately abandoned the Speeder. (Some day, I'd like to meet the idiot who thought that shoe laces and a velcro cover are a good idea for kids shoes)

The shoes are definitely very stiff, and despite Bowen's abuse, I haven't needed to fix them yet. The big issue is that the cleats mount in a position that's a little bit too close to the lugs on the soles. As a result, playing in a playground with gravel will occasionally pick up a stone at exactly the right spot to prevent the cleat from engaging the pedals. Whenever this happens, the stone is too tightly wedged to pull it out by hand, so you'll have to pull out your pocket knife and pry it out.

From the looks of it, Bowen will outgrow these shoes long before he wears them out, and they're much nicer than his old Speeder shoes. Recommended.

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