Bontrager RL Mountain Shoes

Bontrager RL Mountain Shoes 

DESCRIPTION

Bontrager's RL MTB shoe is the perfect companion for your epic trail rides. Rugged, efficient, incredibly comfortable, and more about epic adventure than all-out speed, the RL MTB is plenty light and stiff thanks to a Bronze Series Composite sole that helps put the power to the pedals. It's also built for long-wearing durability, featuring a TPU toe cap and tough medial and lateral side mud guards. It's all-day comfort and all-day support for all day on the mountain.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 22  
[Jan 11, 2015]
Barry McCormack

Strength:

Nil

Weakness:

I purchased these for my wife who is an experienced mountain biker. On her first outing she broke both the left and right shoe buckles. After closer examination of these shoes it's clear the quality is poor.

buy Shimano if you have a narrow to normal width foot or specialized if you have a normal to wide foot

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
[Jan 21, 2014]
Skelldify
All Mountain Rider

Strength:

Stiff, yet comfortable. Lightweight.

Weakness:

Not very durable, buckles snap off easily, poor traction when hiking, overpriced

These have been my first pair of clipless shoes, and I think I could've done better for the price. Bought them based on the Trek saleman's recommendation that they were good all-mtn shoes. I've had them a year, riding aggressive desert trail 2x/week, and they're getting really beat up. I've only gotten them slightly wet on two rides.

The buckles are made of plastic, and snap off really easily. Like, if you pull too hard to unclip, they break. They cost $20 each to replace. I started using Bontrager's cheaper buckles, which aren't made for this shoe, but only cost $3 each. They don't work perfect, the ratchet system is made for a different strap, and they sit a little crooked, but at least they're not breaking off all the time.

The shoe itself is gradually just falling apart. The stitching is coming apart all over the place. I'm afraid my foot is going to rip right out of the shoe before long. One of the ratchet straps broke off about 1 notch short of where I like to set it. So that shoe is always tight, and in danger of popping back through the buckle. The two velcro straps are tearing, and the velcro is starting to separate from the strap, so they're not very effective anymore.

Last complaint is that the traction in these things is terrible! They have two removable spikes on the front. If you can get them to bite, you might be okay. The gray plastic "teeth" are basically useless because they're all connected by a lengthwise piece that prevents the teeth from biting!

Good points: they're comfortable while riding, power transfer is great, lightweight. Just seems like they were an XC designer's attempt at making an all-mtn shoe.

Also worth noting: after the first time I broke a buckle, Bontrager sent me a brand new pair of shoes. No idea why. It made no difference to me since the shoes were only a couple weeks old anyway, and the new pair was exactly the same except for the color of one piece.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
[Nov 08, 2012]
SoFlaBiker
All Mountain Rider

Strength:

Very comfortable. Super easy to get in and out of , plenty of toe room and not narrow squeezing your feet fatiguing them . Stiff enough sole to get you moving and keep you moving, good tread pattern when it comes time to hump up the trail.

Weakness:

None so far, these are the 2012 edition which the rep says they did improvements from last years model.

I upgraded to these shoes from Sete Element MTB shoe which is a outstanding shoe for beginners starting out clipless. But after 1 year of riding with those shoes I realized my feet needed a better shoe overall . Something not so narrow, comfortable and with better securing to my feet. The Bontrager RL Mountain fits my requirements and needs for an "Upgrade Shoe". Also the Trek store rep gave me 10% off for buying them, total cost was less than $140.00 .

Similar Products Used:

Sette Element MTB shoe

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 03, 2012]
shenny88
Weekend Warrior

Strength:

pretty stiff sole (carbon reinforced), comfortable, fairly durable, good looking, plastic heal cup, lightweight

Weakness:

large exposed ratchet/buckle prone to damage, plastic strap non-replaceable, little bit of strap-stretch

This if a review of the 2010/2011 model Race Lite shoes***** (not the 2012)

For the money the 2010-2011 RL shoes are a great bargain, an excellent mid range shoe.

....dont bother with the heavily downgraded 2012 models

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
[May 27, 2012]
BmoreKen

Strength:

cost, on the wider side inside, stiff sole

Weakness:

eSole insoles that are compatible are costly, noticed threads coming loose, etc. after modest amount of use, fit isn't for everyone

The price is right for these shoes but they don't work for everyone. I wear a 46 but these were a little too large for my foot, while the next lower size was definitely too small even with a super-thin sock. No half sizes is a bummer. With the shoes being slightly large, I figured no sweat, I'll wear them during the shoulder season -- wear a winter boot is too hot but you need a thick sock to keep the feet warm -- but they do not keep water out. Not a problem in the summer, when if sometimes feels good to get some water on your feet in a stream crossing, but not good in the late fall or winter/spring.

The other issue was the inside fit was strange -- had a lump or something that pushed on the side of my foot. Don't fit as well as Shimano or Sidi.

Finally, the construction quality is suspect -- though they're nice a lightweight, I can't see them holding up well for more than a season of hard use. So I gave up on them and went with Shimano -- much happier.

Similar Products Used:

Shimano, Sidi

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
4
[May 12, 2012]
Dave Nicholson
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

Lightweight, Breathable, easy to get in and out of, STYLE!

Weakness:

Adjustments, Fit

I bought these at a LBS Tent Sale a few weeks ago and have about 10 rides in. I like how comfortable the shoes are to wear. They breathe nicely and have super stiff soles. These are the Orange/Plaid model. My only complaint would be that I constantly have to adjust the fit on a long ride; they stretch out and become loose way too easy. IMO

My feet do not become nearly as fatigued and get 'hot spots' as they did in my old Shimano's.

Not sure I'd buy another pair, but for the price, they are a heck of an upgrade!

Similar Products Used:

Shimano M086
Forte CM220

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
[May 10, 2012]
p0g0
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

Good stiff sole, comfortable for long rides.

Weakness:

The plastic soles can be very very slippery indoors. The plastic buckles seem fragile. I bent the metal that holds it in a crash. It still works, but I'm not sure if it will survive another crash.

Good shoes, good value. I'll shop around when I have to pick up a new pair, but I would consider them again.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[May 12, 2011]
slomak
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

light weight, carbon midsole, quick secure strap system, breathable, better than expected durability, pricepoint

Weakness:

none so far

Overall, Bontrager hit the mark! Recommended by racer who has over two hard seasons with shoes, and still going strong. Have not been disappointed. Good fit (even on steep loose hike sections), truly feel the carbon under foot difference; light and ventilated. Can not beat the price for this quality. Going into season two and nothing is showing any excessive wear. I feel like a rep for Bontrager, but not so-just a great shoe!

Similar Products Used:

shimano m180, carnac

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 07, 2011]
Stevuke
Weekend Warrior

Strength:

Light weight, well ventilated, holds your foot tightly to the carbon fiber sole for excellent power transfer

Weakness:

crappy plastic buckle. plastic release already broke. the plastic strap is about to break off at the end (it'll still work though.. just shorter)

I enjoy using the shoe and I love riding clipless.. this is my first mountain shoe. I'm riding on CB Mallets.

It's light, stiff, great treads and decent for walking. Very breathable.. I can feel the breeze on my foot. This shoe is nice and efficient.. looks cool too.

But the plastic strap, buckle and release are for crap.

Don't get me wrong, I love how you can ratchet the buckle to make it fit super perfect.. that part works well.. but it breaks way too easy.

I'm going with laces next time.

Similar Products Used:

my first clipless shoe

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
[Dec 03, 2010]
Rucker
Weekend Warrior

Strength:

Super light
Comfy
Great looks
Super breathable

Weakness:

Really only the ratchet strap. Its made of plastic and kinda cheap.

Awesome shoe overall. They are light, comfy, and overall a good shoe. I dont have any problems with the shoe being too loose, but I have to have the straps all the way tight. One of the best things I think is how breathable they are. I dont sweat at all in these. Highly recommend.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 22  

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