Updates abound across Shimano’s shoe line, from the second-tier R241 down to the RT82, designed for touring cyclists. Availability for all three new models is set for this fall, likely sometime in September.
R241 — The new design is sleeker, largely thanks to thinner straps and new low-profile micro-adjustable buckle. Uppers are microfiber, and the insoles are still heat moldable. The outsole has been updated as well, with a hollow channel to reduce weight. Nonetheless, the 241’s still aren’t very light: 541g for the pair, or about 140g heavier per shoe than lightweight options like the Mavic Huez or Bontrager XXXLite. Fit is larger than average in the toe box; I rode a pair of 43’s and could have even worn 42.5’s, though my usual size is 43.5 or 44. The thicker uppers and wide toe box make even the correct size look rather large when on the foot.
R191 — Shimano calls the 191 its “super light weight racing shoe,” a bit of a misnomer in that it at 528g a pair still comes in over 100g more than the true lightweights mentioned above. The design is sturdier than those options, though, with supportive stretch-resistant synthetic leather uppers and the same low-profile straps and buckle as the 241.
RT82 — For the touring crowd, or anyone who digs SPD’s and wants to walk a bit, the RT82 fits the bill. It gets a stiff reinforced midsole with a flexible toe to add comfort off the bike and nice synthetic leather uppers.
PRO components updated
Shimano’s component line, PRO, has made its mark in the pro peloton in recent years, most notably under the HTC-Highroad and Rabobank squads. Both rely on PRO for cockpit components and the occasional seatpost.
The Stealth Evo line is all about integration, with the integrated stem/handlebar the most obvious incarnation of that goal. The bars include options for a computer bracket and clip-on bars, and have integrated cable routing on the underside of the tops that works with either mechanical or Di2 cables. Anatomic and compact classic bends are both available, with a 90-130mm stem. Weight starts at 410g and goes up with bigger sizes.
The Stealth Evo seatpost has a nice twin-bolt wedge clamp design and has a 15mm offset. It’s available in 27.2x350mm and 31.6x350mm sizes, in white or black, and only with 15mm offset. Weight is 185g.
Vibe bits are carbon, like the Stealth Evo, but without the integrated stem/bar combo. The unidirectional carbon handlebar retains the smart integrated dual cable routing, though, and is also available in anatomic or compact bends. Weight starts at 190g for the 40cm and is a bit higher for the 42 and 44cm options. Clamp is 31.8, of course.
The stem uses a “puzzleclamp” system, where the top of the faceplate hinges onto the stem body while the bottom is bolted together. Shimano says the design is optimized for clamping carbon bars. With the included ti bolts, the total weight is just 115g.
The VIBE seatpost looks similar to the Stealth Evo post, but without the narrow top. It also weighs 15g less at 170g. Same clamp design, but the post itself is carbon wrapped alloy rather than just unidirectional carbon. It is available in the same sizes and offset as the Stealth Evo version.
A series of VIBE 7s aluminum components, including the bars often used by the pro teams, is available as well. Designs are the same but material is 7000 series alloy.