Taking quite literally a step in a new direction — and heading towards an even more comprehensive product range — Evans Cycles’ in-house brand, FWE has recently released some very exciting cycling footwear.
The four Beacon road shoes (two for men and two for women), and the four Pitch mountain biking, commuting and leisure-riding shoes (again two for men and two for women) are all designed to work with clipless pedal systems and offer a perfect way to enhance a rider’s cycling experience. As we’ve come to expect from FWE, they also offer fantastic function allied with great value, too. So let’s look at these breakthrough shoes.
Named after the Evans crew’s local big hill and a challenge familiar to anyone who has taken on London to Brighton — Ditchling Beacon — all four road shoes carry the ‘Beacon’ name: first the entry-level Beacon Sport and women-specific Beacon Sport WS; then the higher-spec Beacon Comp and Beacon Comp WS.
Although the Beacon Sport and Beacon Sport WS are priced to suggest they are aimed at riders just starting to discover the benefits of clipless pedals, they are actually very fulsomely specced shoes. As you would expect, both models feature three-bolt cleat compatibility to work with most road bike clipless pedals, and stiff outsoles contribute to further enhancing pedalling efficiency. The three Velcro-strap closure system also ensures a nice and secure fit. But there are some impressive finer details not often seen on shoes at this price, too, such as reflective highlights at the heel for night-riding visibility.
One final feature that a lot of riders will appreciate is FWE’s commitment to true sizing, meaning — again, unlike some brands — you won’t need to up-size. That should making purchasing just a little more straightforward. Similarly, because FWE doesn’t believe in a lazy ‘shrink it, pink it’ approach to women’s cycling, the Beacon Sport WS has been especially built using a narrower foot mould to create an entirely women-specific shoe.
Beacon Comp shoes benefit from all the same features of the Beacon Sport but enhance certain details for improved performance and functionality. So rather than a three Velcro strap closure, the Comp and Comp WS have ratchet systems. Shoe uppers are made from a more supple and breathable micro-fibre, too. And finally, just to provide even more all-day comfort, Beacon Comps come fitted with dual-density footbeds for extra cushioning. Again, Beacon Comps are true to size, and the WS women’s version has been built around a women-specific foot mould.
Essentially, then, if you’re planning to take on long-distance road challenges, the Beacon Comp is for you.
Mountain biking, leisure riding and commuting
Following the convention set by the Ditchling road shoe, FWE’s new multi-terrain footwear range has been named after the popular Pitch Hill trails in the Surrey Hills. And just like the road offerings, all four shoes — Pitch Sport, Pitch Sport WS, Pitch Comp and Pitch Comp WS — all offer superb value for money.
A bicycle is a rare invention that offers almost an equal measure of practical benefits — such as efficient mid-week commuting — and grin-inducing excitement — such as hitting the trails at the weekend. But your bike’s potential for efficient travel and off-duty fun can be enhanced even further by FWE’s Pitch Sport and women-specific Pitch Sport WS shoes. Designed to cope with typically muddy British mountain biking conditions, the Pitch Sport models feature outsole studs for deep, secure grip. But more than just off-road ability, the cleat area has also been recessed, so you can comfortably walk in them off the bike in an urban environment, too.
As with the Beacon Sport road shoe range, there is a three Velcro-strap closure system and reflective highlights feature at the heel. Fit also remains true to size with the Pitch Sport WS again based on a narrower women-specific foot mould. But other important differences come in the shape of tough toe and heel bumpers for added foot protection, and the Pitch Sport range is compatible with easy to use two-bolt mountain bike clipless pedal cleats. For anybody wanting a multi-purpose cycling shoe, there’s no better place to start looking.
The Pitch Sport is already an impressively high-functioning offering, but the design team at FWE has added an extra level of performance with the Pitch Comp range. As well as the tough toe and heel bumpers and outsole studs, the Pitch Comp also comes with a dual-density footbed for enhanced comfort. Meanwhile, out go the simple but secure Velcro straps and in comes a slightly more refined ratchet fastening system. To add a little extra long-ride capability, a more breathable and supple micro-fibre upper has also been specced.
Simply put, the Pitch Comp is the ultimate shoe to wear while riding your week-day commuting workhorse. Then wear it again to enjoy cross-country jaunts while riding your weekend off-road thoroughbred.