What's Cool In Road Cycling

Time Osmos 15 Shoe Review: Time Step Back In

Time are back in the cycling shoe business and we have a look at their top-kicks; the Osmos 15.

If you know anything about the sporting shoe business, you know that the high end of this biz was basically founded and still resides in and around the area of Montebelluna Italy.

For the same reasons it’s a bit easier to find Formula One Engineers and technicians around a few towns in the UK, you’re hard pressed to find a better place to make technical footwear than this area in Northern Italy as you’ll find brands Asolo, Scarpa, Alpina, Scott, Technica, Zamberlan, Lowa, Hoka, Lang, Fischer, K2, Arc’Teryx, Nordica and many others all within spitting distance.

Within Cycling you’ll also find Sidi, Northwave, Gaerne, and our friends at Time.

Time decided to get back in the business after their acquisition by Rossignol. This was a natural fit given Rossignol have R&D, Design and manufacturing for their ski boot and skate business and already had staff that were familiar with cycling. There are decades of footwear design and manufacturing skills already under roof ready to bring Time back into a field where they excelled in the past.

Within the latest Osmos line, the “15” sit at the top and it’s evident from the moment you set eyes and hands on the shoe itself.

The build detail is excellent and the materials are well chosen and executed.

The upper is a combination of different PU materials and mesh.

To eliminate stitching and the associated rubbing and hot spots that can come with multiple seams, nearly the entire main panel of the upper is a single piece of material carefully cut to be formed into a complete shape. There are just a couple of small stitching spots around the forefoot to attach the buckles and tongue.

The single main seam of the upper construct is at the back of the heel cup.

The main body gets substantial venting by way of very large mesh sections that allow for gobs of air.

The ample venting is thankfully extended to the inside/arch area of the foot as well, and you can also see a different PU material (the black stuff seen through the mesh) that is designed to specifically reinforce the softer mesh and outer material. This reinforcing material is also soft, but has no stretch and resists pulling in the direction you stress your shoe within the pedal stroke (pulling up and over…)

The tongue is a thicker PU that is a bit stiffer than the rest of the upper in order to spread the pressure from the Boa Wires.

There’s a comfortable layer of padding to the upper and a couple of notches cut in the material to allow it to spread around the top of your foot and ankle.

This all works to make for a supple but secure fastening that creates a fairly even distribution of pressure as the retention system is tightened and the shoe wraps around your foot…

Time use Boa’s IP1 Buckles that allow for easy incremental adjustment and a pull-release, both which can be felt to adjust even under quite a few shoe covers.

And in the case you live in places where it gets a little chilly, you’ll definitely need shoe covers as the substantial venting of the upper is matched in the all Carbon Fiber sole plate.

There are a couple of toe vents and 3 vents at the back of the forefoot, but this is 8 vents in all, as the cleat screw-in positions are also designed as vents.

Note the toe rubber as well. Not too large and not a screw in replacement, but the sole shape has a slight toes-up shape and unless you hit it while falling, this piece should get nearly no ground contact with cleats in place.

The cleat mounts are also fore-aft adjustable which should be the case in all shoes (other than custom).

There is a substantial double riser in the mid-foot section that substantially stiffens this section to resist twist while allowing for a thin sole section.

And the pad that does get a lot of ground contact during walking is replaceable (and fairly grippy but not overly soft).

The total sole structure is excellent, with marks that will aid in cleat replacement. The one omission seems to be a stipple or grip finish in the cleat placement area that helps resist cleat slipping or movement.

I forgot to mention that inside the heel cup there is a grip finish in the form of raised silicon nubs that do a very good job holding your heel in place.

I haven’t found a single shoe yet where the stock insoles were of a high enough quality to use, but then I have a bit higher arch than many and need more support. Still, Time’s version of insole might actually be worth keeping. The Sens2r insole is a mid density foam with ample perforation to allow those vents in the sole to blow toe…

And it has a damping insert that acts to prevent a few more of the high frequency vibes from reaching your feet.

Speaking for our tester the Osmos 15, Time have come back into the game without missing a beat. Modern materials have allowed them a competitive weight spec given the comfort features and adjustability. Time spared very little here in design and there’s not much that seems to need changing.

Time may want a wide version, but these are not overly narrow shoes. They do fit to the middle of a lot of stock available sizes and the toe box shape and the softness of the materials allows good adjustability. Time feel like the retention system placement and the material movement allow these to fit C-D and E width feet and I think they’re correct easily with C and D and will make some E people feel at home.

The sole has mid-high to high stiffness, still allowing that little bit of flex toward the front of the arch, but there is no toe box flex of the kind that allows for you to feel the cleat attachment points as you put down the power. Just that little bit of uniform bend where your foot might bend in any case. I prefer this bit of flex for long term comfort without sacrificing power transfer and it’s similar to what you find with Sidi’s top of the line.

Time have three shoes in the road range currently. The 15 we have is joined by the 12 in the mid range…

And the Osmos 10 as the base model.

Differences in materials, fastening and especially in the sole (the 10 and 12 have a modular composite sole that is 20% carbon fiber with the 12 getting a solid carbon insert at the forefoot and the 10 getting a less expensive composite). The upper of the 12 is relatively similar to the 15, but drops one Boa Dial in favor of velcro, where the 10 is less ventilated and has a single Boa dial for the closure.

All of these models are currently available and seem to be currently selling @$350 for the 15, $300 for the 12 and $250 for the 10s…

On fit, comfort and weight, my choice would be the 15 given the relatively small gap in price…

You can find more at: Time-Sport.com

• Check pricing and buy ’em at Amazon.com

Have Fun,

Charles Manantan
[email protected]

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