What's Cool In Road Cycling

Top Kicks: SIDI Ergo 2 Carbon Lite

Sidi might be the most stable road cycling shoe brand in North America and I don’t mean it in the biomechanical sense…

As a company they’ve just had a heck of a run, where other makers have been on a bit more of a roller coaster. Part of that sustained success is the result of good product management (something not to be taken for granted in cycling’s a here-today, gone-tom, er… later today business). But even the best distribution can’t make a long term go without a manufacturer who has great product, innovation and the same passion for delivering the product that they had in announcing it (you decide what countries are more famous than others for failing at that last part)…

Sidi have scored well for years on all of those fronts and have done so again with the latest Ergo 2.

Click the small thumbnail for a Sidi Screen Saver

Sure the boots look marvy… And the moving parts up top tend to get the most attention, but we’re going to flip this one around and start where Sidi made the biggest change.

The new Carbon Lite Sole.

I would love to be a true tech geek, but that would have required melting the sole of the shoe and pulling it apart to show you what’s making this latest edition tick.

For starters, Sidi’s sole is straight T700 carbon. It’s probably no surprise that lots of companies’ soles are of cheaper carbon (if it’s carbon at all).

And while you see a top layer of weave pattern, Sidi are hand laying unidirectional layers underneath in a specific pattern and number of layers so that the sole resists twist while allowing for some specified / directional flex… (more in a second).

Shape is also playing a role in the new sole flex… Take a look at the old sole.

Now scroll up and take a peek at the new Carbon light again…

The old sole prevented flex well and made the cleat attachment area very solid.

Sidi have laid unidirectional layers and molded the shape so that the shoe will flex a bit more in a natural fashion, allowing some toe-up movement, but it’s also shaped and laid up in order to limit the flex in the other direction, meaning your pedal cleat isn’t pushing up into your foot and creating hotspots.

The design works like it should. There is slightly more flex and movement allowed in your toes and on long rides, this bit of extra freedom really presents some relief.

The rest of the shoe changes very little…

For fans of the brand, this shoe is simply a little better than the old one, but the fit and features remain solid Sidi.

Down low, High Security Velcro does the duty for the bottom strap.

If you get lots and lots of use in your shoes, standard velcro can start to hold a little less aggressively. Sidi give it teeth and when this stuff is strapped down, it’s going nowhere and the teeth are making for less stress on the fibers when they’re seated…

Half step up the shoe and it’s Sidi’s Techno II Buckle that is cross over tech from their Moto Race boots (you might have heard the story before, but I owe one of my feet to Sidi’s Vertebrae race boots).

Their Moto Kit is handled by MOTONATION.

Pop open the tab (1) and twist to fit for arch support that’s spread out comfortably by a flex plate on the tongue.

Then snap shut (2) and it stays locked in place…

The top Ratcheting closure remains the same for this version. It allows for Micro adjustment and easy partial and full release.

The padded tongue and super wide strap spread the load very evenly and do a very good job of cushioning hot spots.

Speaking of heat, people sometimes confuse the surface of Sidi for being a shoe lacking mesh and potentially collecting heat…

That’s simply not the case as the holes are not just decoration. Where light goes, air flows…

And these shoes have always been cool enough for summertime use in Arizona, where rides can start at 5:30am already in the 90+ degree range.

And as is the case with most things, intake means little without exhaust…

The holes in the heel are not just decoration… They breathe.

While the air flow in through the front holes doesn’t really “flow through” (meaning this isn’t really “exhaust”) the holes throughout allow for a lot of radiant heat exchange as well as some moisture escape.

The end of the shoe is up last and the Ergo 2 Carb-Lite keeps Sidi’s VERY good heel cup feature, the adjustable Heel Security System…

The HSS give these shoes a last bit of refined fit not found in anyone else’s stock / non-custom footwear. It’s very simple to use in that a standard head screwdriver can either make the heel cup more or less snug.

And the sides are independent so that you not only have just the right amount of Achilles grip, but if you have orthotics or shims for cant, your heel is perfectly snug at the right tilt…

Speaking of orthotics, Sidi still don’t do much in the way of insert. It’s the slightest of things and for those wanting a solid foundation, you won’t have to worry about overly cushy/mushy guts.

There’s a chance that at this level of shoe you’re possibly looking at custom inserts or aftermarket soles. This piece is solid, well fit and durable, but I’ve chosen a different path in my shoes.

How Do Shoe Do?
If you’re reading tech on PEZ, you don’t need to hear anything beyond “These are Sidi’s best shoe” to know what you’re getting…

Everything functions perfectly. And should you take a dumper, darn near everything on the shoe is replaceable.

The new sole does what Sidi had in mind. Honestly I wouldn’t have asked for a bit more movement because I would have guessed that it would mean a more floppy shoe all-round. I would not have risked the trade off simply because I loved the old Ergo 2. But carbon fiber molding tech is reaching further into lots of products and it makes sense that Sidi are at the front end of its use.

Have a look at this model and the loads of other models and sizes at:
Sidi America.

Have Fun,
Charles Manantan

Thanks for looking. 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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