PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling : SIDI Ergo 2: Bettini’s Boots Tested

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SIDI Ergo 2: Bettini’s Boots Tested
SIDI have been in the shoe game for quite a while, starting out in 1960 knocking around specialty trekking foot gear. That morphed into their creating the first rear entry ski boots.

That’s roughly a half century for a man who today, still has a passion generally reserved for folks that have lived half as long as Dino Signori has been a shoe man.

My initial appreciation for Dino several years ago while rolling round on my other two wheeled, carbon kitted passion…

As Sidi also make arguably the best Motorcycle footwear available, I was fortunate enough to be wearing on of Dino’s moto proto’s when I decided that an extra couple of laps on crapped out tires was an OK thing to do… My foot caught and was pulled backward toward the rear sprocket and had Dino not decided to put a metal brace (vertebrae) down the side of his boot, I would today only need 1.5 shoes instead of a full pair, as the boot was cut through and a boot with less protection would have simply left me with a size 24 instead or a 42. (Grazie Dino!).

While Mr. Signori has a thing for 200mph two wheelers he’s also been round our version…

And as we all know, once cycling gets into your heart, it’s not easily cured. It was a logical “step” for the shoe maker to also be involved in cycling where the men are the machine…

Today, SIDI are an extremely popular shoe choice for professionals. In fact looking under shoe covers and at Pro feet, you might see that there are, according to SIDI’s accounting, more pro’s in SIDI shoes than all others… Combined.

Part of that has to be down to SIDI’s great range of sizes and foot volumes / widths. No other brand offers a larger range of sizes and fit volumes, as stock, than SIDI do with their Mega, standard and narrow lines and with ranges from 37 to 52 (that’s basically a US Men’s size 4 Ѕ – 17 ј ), women’s oriented sizes and most with full and half sizes through the most common fittings. There is not another brand of stock shoes that are more likely to fit as close to custom shoes than Sidi.

Speaking of custom, Sidi sent us a pair of their new Limited Edition Ergo 2 that were a custom set for Paolo Bettini, but are now available in limited quantities to the general public. They also sent a second set in standard white in the next half size up so that we would be best fit for the test…

While the white are so very “euro pro”, the Bettini Olympic / Worlds were the size that fit and definitely go a couple notches past the white and goes beyond the bling-o-meter, requiring a scoville scale!

The last (upper shell) materials are primarily Lorica, with mesh cooling inserts. While it’s been confused as leather in black or white shoes, Lorica doesn’t com from animals. It’s a Microfiber / technopolymer material from DuPont that is not only softer but will not stretch like leather, stink like leather (though some folks can make a solid effort at smell…) or hold water like leather. That makes for a long lasting, breathable but still very durable shoe. Plus it’s more practical than trying to find prismatic golden cows.

The venting is actually more substantial than I thought, and an inside-out look is always a nice indicator, as light and air tend to find there way into a shoe in similar ratios.

The fastening system is the same for standard and Limited editions…

The main strap can be tightened with a pretty simple tug on the inside lever.

The lever for increasing tension is also easy to find with your finger and doesn’t get mixed up with the main release arms. The release arms are on the sides of the buckle and require both sides to be pulled for a full release of the strap (which helps prevent mistakes that could have you pedaling one legers on accident….

A nice added feature is a micro release that allows you to loosen the top strap tension in very short increments for a refined fit.

Next down the shoe is a line tension system that requires a flip up and twist (1) to tighten or a push on the black nub to release tension. The line system was designed to be light, highly adjustable. It was also designed to relieve pressure points, which it does to perfection with the line passing through a plastic retention piece that works in combination with a thin but firmly padded tongue to wrap your foots arch.

Once the line tension is adjusted to fit, you simply snap the little handle back to flat and it remains secure (2 above). And this line system is not only secure and comfortable but simple and durable (more so than a few other brands). In fact it’s Secure, simple and durable enough for the moto guys to have the same system functioning on their two wheel kicks…

Last thing down is a simple Velcro strap with a nice little added touch of an indexed strip built in to the top and bottom so that once snug it’s more resistant to movement that might let the strap come loose…

Well Heeled?

One of SIDI’s better developments comes with a little input from one Ivan Basso. Their newest Heel Cup System.

Say what you will about Ivan, but I tip the hat to him as his input with SIDI helped developed my favorite shoe rear end next to a fully custom upper. There are a few pro’s that have taken to wearing shoe covers to help hide some of the “modifications they’re doing to the shoes from brands they are required to wear. Pull off the light covers that you sometimes see in the bunch (even in summer) and you’ll find some highly secret and technical equipment (aka duct tape) among other things that riders are using to better secure the back of the foot.

SIDI’s newest system now has adjustable pressure on both sides of the Achilles…

Simply use the included screw driver (or any small flat head) and turn it out (1) to apply inward pressure.

You can adjust this more on either side to help your foot sit a little differently inside the shoe and dial in your fit, as well as keeping your foot more (but not too much more) secure.

There’s also venting in the heel cup which is uncommon and welcome.

Note the added reflectors are something that add virtually no weight, but most folks wouldn’t design it in as the mould tooling and labor to do it add to the cost…

Got Sole?

The sole, as you can probably tell (from a block away) is carbon fiber.

Something that’s also easy to see is the substantial built up section at the cleat fastening area that faces more stress than any place else on the shoe. That reinforced section extends with a bit less material as a spine (bicivertebrea?) down the center of the shoe for stability without wasted weight.

Something that’s not easily seen but is notices is the sole thickness is no cosmetic mould job. Closer inspection shows solid and thick Carbon fiber through all the mountin holes and slots.

Another plus from SIDI is in their partnering with LOOK for an easy cleat replacement bung. Simply adjust your cleats to the proper position and fasten a screw through the dead center of the cleat – cleat…

And the next time you go to change your Keo cleats, you simply remove the old tired cleat and your little memory bung (sorry Ming, I forget the right term…) is sitting there ready to accept your new cleat with no fuss at all.

This makes for a no hassle 3 minute cleat swap rather than the endless fidget session required for most other systems…

Does the Shoe Fit?

These come white, black and steel-lux as standard colors and will blend with pretty much anything. As for the Limited Edition Bettini’s, I actually love em because it simply annoys the hell out of a couple folks that have seen em. And they actually don’t stick out at all when riding this…

But when your daughter is caught wearing them in her play room along with a ballet dress, wings and a crown and when asked she says “I’m playing with daddy’s princess shoes” I admit they may not be for eh, lesser men.

As for the fit, SIDI simply score big with the Ergo 2. That said they also score well with their 6.6 and 5.5. SIDI’s size and volume range simply make them a better choice for more people that any other top brand. SIDI go the extra mile (or extra several sizes) and deserve the credit.

The build quality is also top marks. The stitching is done very well, the hardware works easily and without a hitch and the materials used are excellent from top to sole.

Shoes are a bit like saddles in that some folks need a bit more of this or a bit less of that, but the combination of sizes in the top ranges and the fact that the fastening is very neutral. What I mean is “neutral” fits pretty much the same for folks who will tension the different areas more or less. Some shoes don’t spread stress well or use materials that might start to pinch or won’t move the same way if a person needs a bit of funky tensioning… Not so the SIDI.

The only area I wish for a bit of a change would be in the foot bed it’s self. I fully admit, in fairness to SIDI that this is a personal peeve, but I like custom insoles and SIDI have a bit of shape to the bed of the shoe (the bottom part underneath the insole / insert). A few other brands have a more flat profile (side to side) so a neutral custom foot bed will be more likely to fit. With SIDI’s slightly canted shape, they have a very comfortable shoe using stock insole or basic aftermarket insoles but might change the shape and fit of custom inserts a bit.

I guess in the end I’m complaining that SIDI have a foot bed that the 99% of you not using custom inserts might actually prefer, so lame-one-me…

Overall, I get closer to the feel of my full custom shoes with SIDI’s new ERGO 2 than I have with any other stock top line shoe I’ve tried. No heating or forming required, they have enough variable sizes that more folks will find a home, and the materials and workmanship are top shelf…

Veltec Sports handle SIDI for USA and you can hit their site for more details… The lucky bastards also handle Colnago, Vredestein and others so you can hit their site for more details or call em and ask who your local SIDI guy is…

In Canada see:

Retail on the Bettini’s sits at $549 and the standard colors roll in at $462. If that’s too steep, you can take the next run down with SIDI (and still have a shoe that is most other folks top of the line) going to the 6.6 and 5.5… Any way you take it, you’ll have a hard task finding a better made shoe and broader line than SIDI…

Have Fun,

Charles Manantan

Thanks for looking. We’re happy to bring you lots of large pictures instead of making you click a bunch of extra pages. We would rather make things convenient and entertaining for you than artificially inflate our page views…

Note: if you have other experiences with gear, or something to add, drop us a line. We don’t claim to know everything (we just imply it at times). Give us a pat on the back if you like the reviews, or a slap in the head if you feel the need!

PezCycling News and the author ask that you contact the manufacturers before using any products we test here. Only the manufacturer can provide accurate and complete information on proper use and or installation of products as well as any conditional information or product limitations.

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