Adidas, the former shoe supplier of Eddy Merckx, is back in cycling after a 15-year absence.
However, Adidas's new cycling shoe, simply called The Road Shoe, is not aimed at winning the Tour de France.
The brand says it's designed to meet the needs of a "young and burgeoning generation of cyclists that aren’t just driven by the pursuit of elite-level performance, but a desire for adventure, improved health, and the ability to move in and out of their cities in a sustainable and flexible way."
Adidas says the ambition behind the shoe was to improve accessibility to cycling and allow more athletes to "clip in with the latest technology."
So Merckx's face won't feature on the tongues of the new shoes, as it did Stan Smith-style with his original signature model - in fact, there won't be any mention of Merckx at all - but they will be lace-ups and they will feature the iconic three stripes on a black background as the lead colour way.
"Cycling has always lived in the soul of Adidas," punned the press release.
The uppers won't be leather, either: Adidas has used Primegreen for the upper, made from 100 per cent recycled material, with reflectives on the heel section. Adidas says the lace tightening system and toggle ensure that cyclists of all levels of experience are able to lock in and achieve a perfect fit.
The sole is also made from recycled material with added fibreglass elements to provide stiffness and is compatible with three-bolt cleats.
Celine Del Genes, Adidas VP Specialist Sports said: “The launch of The Road Shoe is the first step of our long-term journey towards creating a range of products that enhance the cycling experience, and playing a part in changing the way that cities move for the better. This represents a big moment for the brand as we make our return to road cycling footwear and draw on our proud and long-standing expertise in the industry. Our ambition is to cater to the needs of a rapidly developing new cycling culture by creating accessible high-performance products that empower more people to clip in and ride.”
The Road Shoe will be available to purchase online and via the Adidas app from December 1, with a price of £130.
Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor on the magazine following an MA in online journalism (yes, it was just after the dot-com bubble burst).
In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends a bit more time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
What's in the stable? There's a Colnago Master Olympic, a Hotta TT700, an ex-Castorama lo-pro that was ridden in the 1993 Tour de France, a Pinarello Montello, an Independent Fabrication Club Racer, a Shorter fixed winter bike and a renovated Roberts with a modern Campag groupset.
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