We’ve spent some time with Teva’s newest clipless shoe offering, The Pivot. We have our review of it inside for you all to learn more about as part of our 25 Days of Sickness.
Words: Toni Walridge
Photos: Jason Nixon / Toni Walbridge
Teva has been putting a lot of effort into the mountain bike arena these past few years. From sponsoring events to athletes, their products have become well known in the cycling community. One area where they were initially lacking was in a clipless SPD pedal offering. No longer is this true however as they offer the Teva Pivot Clipless shoe. For 2014, Teva will be scaling back their mountain bike production but regardless these shoes deliver.
Teva Pivot Video
Available in sizes : 3 – 14 (This is a men’s model with extended sizing for women and children. We recommend women order 2 full sizes down, e.g., women’s size 8 should choose size 6.)
It’s light, comfortable and supportive through the full pedaling motion – and it works (and looks) great off the bike, too. The cleat attachment is compatible with all major 2-bolt attachment systems, and you can quick-adjust it through the sole from above (so you can do it while it’s attached to the pedal). A hook and loop strap keeps your laces out of the chain, and its sneaker styling means it looks great with shorts – and terrible with spandex. – TEVA
Shoe options in this area are growing (all mountain / enduro style shoes) but quantity wise, the options still pale in comparison to the XC market. This type of shoe tends to be the style that non xc-racers will enjoy as they’re designed to pedal well but also be comfortable to walk/hike in. The use of rubber in the shoe’s tread area/cleat area help give more support and grip when on or off the bike.
Some competitors in this shoe market include Shimano’s AM45, Mavic Crossmax shoe, and the 5.10 Maltese Falcon to name a few.
Teva sent us over a pair of the Pivot clipless shoes for us to have a look. We lace’d ’em up and did some hard miles on them and here’s the full report. Aimed squarely and the Enduro, All Mountain, and gravity crowd, the Pivots combine the look of a skate style shoe with the tech of a clippless shoe. Some of the key elements of their design include blending casual style, a stiff sole for efficient power transfer, and enough flexibility in the fore foot to make them easy to walk around in.
At first glance, I expected the Pivots to be a bit on the heavy side, I was wrong. At 910 grams (size 10), they’re not much heaver than many dedicated XC race shoes.
The styling of the Pivots is pretty basic. If you’re a fan of subtle, you’ll be happy. I’d like to see some brighter colors myself. The lace strap is simple and does it’s job perfectly. Plenty of light weight armoring all around should keep them together for a good long while. The sole includes what Teva has dubbed the “shoc pad” to provide some extra heel damping to protect against bruising in the case of a hard stomp. Additionally there is heel stabilizer to help give support in the rear of the shoe. The overall fit of the Pivots is quite roomy. I have fairly wide feet, wide enough that I often have to go up a 1/2 size to get my toes to fit. I had no issues at all going with my normal size 10, in fact the toe box felt down right generous leaving lots of room for my toes to wiggle.
The sole of the shoe is a pretty basic pattern. I was kind of disappointed to not see some aggressive lugs for running up or down muddy slopes. I’m pretty much over that now after discovering how well this tread pattern grips when you’re not clipped in. The tread hangs on remarkably well if your pedal has even a little surface to cling to thanks to Teva’s sticky Spider365 rubber. It’s not quite 5.10 Stealth rubber stickiness but it does a good job nonetheless. Those riding pedals with a big platform clipless pedal like a Crankbrothers Mallet will no doubt be happy with their performance while sneaking in strokes unclipped.
Time to put some cleats on… Teva has come up with an interesting design here. Rather than threading the bolts for the cleats from the bottom of the shoe, you thread them from inside. In theory this makes it possible to adjust your cleat placement while your shoes are connected to your pedals. I can’t say I tried this, but it’s a cool idea. The other thing this attachment method does is protect the bolt heads, making it easier to change your cleats in the future. In order to access the bolts for the cleats without completely unlacing, Teva placed a small port in the tongue and includes a long torx tool to reach down to the bolt head. It sounds a bit complicated but it’s pretty darn simple once you have the shoes in hand.
I knocked out a couple of nice long rides in these shoes to get a good feel for their performance. The stiffness in the sole is just about right for this kind of shoe. As expected, they’re not as stiff as a carbon soled XC race shoe, but I wouldn’t say they give up more than a couple percentage points. Any time you have to put a foot down quickly in rough terrain the wide rubber sole is solid and confidence inspiring. The flex in the toe is great for walking around, making them reasonably comfortable and sure footed. The range of cleat placement seems dialed. I like my cleats pretty far back and was able to achieve that with no issues. I also rather appreciated that I did not have to trim the rubber around the cleat area to get a consistent clip and release. The shoes are pretty easy to clean but some of the nooks and crevices can prove a little challenging to remove all debris.
Final Thoughts –
At an MSRP of $150 the Pivots are priced a bit above the competition but only by a few bucks. I certainly appreciated the little tech details like the cleat mounting and sticky rubber. Overall, I’d say the Pivots are a great option for long days of pedaling in rugged terrain and I look forward to putting many miles on them.