I was invited down to the new Teva showroom in central London with colleague and Bikemagic.com editor David Arthur to get the inside scoop on a couple of new flat pedal mountain bike specific shoes from relative newcomers to the scene, Teva.
Following on from the success of the freerider Jeff Lenosky designed Links that were released last year Teva have expanded their range with a black version, a new mid-style take on last years Links and some more ‘relaxed’ and less technical shoes to cater for a wider range of tastes in a more subdued colour palette.
I tested a pair of links last year and was happy with the performance. The sole is full of little recesses for the pins of your pedals to fall neatly into. The construction is sturdy and built for a hard life and they are comfortable. My only gripe was the size of the tongue which was a little over-padded for my taste.
The grip is not on the extreme end of the scale like Five-tens but more than say a pair of regular Vans. The rubber compound is however noticeably harder to the touch of the above brands and in terms of grip Teva listened to their band of freeriders when deciding just how much of a grip they should be aiming for.
They are said to prefer a less grippy formula for ease of movement around the pedal when performing everyday manoeuvres like back flips, superman seat grabs and tail whips. Talking of tail whips the new mid-version of the links has been introduced to provide more protection for the ankles and is the preferred choice of UK freerider Sam Pilgrim.
Moving on to the Crank model. These look more laid back and understated than the Links, with a low-profile design with a nod to the understated style of a regular plimsoll that ageing skateboarders favour these days. I liked the look of them a lot and coming with identical looking soles to the links I’m sure they will be good on the bike too.
The 2011 Links and Pinner are available now and the new Links, Links Mid and Crank models will be available in the summer from www.teva.co.uk. The new shoes are priced as follows:
Links Mid £90
Crank Mid £60