The New Pearl Izumi Tri Fly IV
It’s been long overdue. After several occasions in our house of being hit by random wafts of filth I soon realized it was my bike shoes. It shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise, these are the shoes I wore at Ironman Canada last summer and I pretty much needed to handle them with rubber gloves the day after before spending an hour cleaning them. I won’t get into too much detail but they were fowl to say the least. Thinking about it now as I write this I’m actually pretty embarrassed that I waited this long to replace them, I think next season I’ll treat myself to a CLEAN pair of cycling shoes once racing’s done.
I’ve had my eye on Pearl Izumi’s cycling shoes for a while now. I have one of their tri suits which I have nothing but good things to say about so I figured the shoes should be on the same high level of performance and quality. Dave at North Shore Road Bike had a few options for me to try on. The first pair I tried on was the Pearl Izumi Pro Leader; these were super light and fit like a glove. They were probably the most comfortable pair of cycling shoes I’ve ever tried on; however, I had my heart set on a pair of tri specific shoes, I wanted something that I could get in and out of easily on the bike.
The next pair I tried out was the Tri Fly IV. This is Pearl Izumi’s entry level tri shoe. Right away I noticed how snug it felt in the toe box which I really liked. I didn’t realize until now but I actually had a bit of play in my old tri shoes, the front part of my foot could move up and down vertically so if I was really pulling on the upward portion of my pedal stroke my forefoot would lift slightly. The fit of the Tri Fly IV’s eliminated this and it really feels like my pedal stroke is now more efficient. Whether it is or not it’s certainly more comfortable.
Once I knew my size, I opted for the carbon version of the Tri Fly IV. It has a carbon fibre base which makes it stiffer than the composite version. The shoe has 3 decent size drainage holes in the base which come in handy when I’m jumping into them with wet feet from the swim, but they’ll also be useful for all my indoor spins when I’m sweating up a storm. The heel loop is definitely large enough to grab when putting them on while riding and the large velcro strap has a small ridge to keep the strap open when mounted on your pedals.
One other thing worth mentioning is the difference it makes replacing your cleats. My cleats were pretty worn and because of that they moved around a bit when clipped into my pedals. Having new cleats made me feel like I was really locked into the pedal (in a good way, I could still get out). This is something I’ll consider replacing more regularly as it gives my pedal stroke such a better feel. I’ll definitely be replacing them before my next big race. If you’re happy with your shoes, but haven’t changed your cleats since you bought them, I would definitely suggest it, you may be surprised at how much difference it makes.