The year is almost ending, and here I am deciding to do a review of sorts. I wonder if there's still people out there who randomly happen to pass through here. Anyway a short update before I jump into the review(based on my own opinion).
<<< Those of you new here can skip straight to the review after the paragraph below >>>
It's been a long year, my cycling has been slowing down as the year end gets closer. Went from a 50mm wheelset to a 38mm wheelset to better fit my riding. Also went from Shimano Ultegra 6800 to SRAM Force 22. The set up has not disappointed me so far. Rode a 300km ride sometime back in May(a story for another post, if I do post). Also managed to snag a 1st place podium in my local group ride Criterium.
<<< Review begins here >>>
With those out of the way, we can officially start with what the post title says. Before I begin, I'd like to note that Shimano did not, in any form, sponsored or offered me anything to do this post. All comments and points voiced out here is based on my amateur cycling knowledge of 4 years (I started cycling sometime in 2014).
Shimano unveiled their new range of products at the 2018 Eurobike Show, which was held in July. Amongst them were their new road shoes as well as a new off-road shoe. At the top of the line was the new Shimano S-Phyre RC901, the RC standing for Road Competition. But the bigger update came on the Shimano RC701, Shimano's second-tier road race shoe for 2019, a facelift and slight changes to the previous RC7. It comes in three different colors at the moment which are black, white, and a red/black gradient reminiscent to the previous RC7. I chose the white.
Upon closer inspection, Shimano has done some rather interesting finish design on the upper and overall of the synthetic leather, and it seems like it's matte (at least it feels like matte to me). Aesthetically, it looks amazing to me, where it kind of stands out from the rest of the plain white shoes. When the light hits just right, the shoes really look amazing. I've not had the chance yet to test it, but I'd assume it would be more scuff resistant than it's predecessor with the gloss finish.
Shimano did away with the velcro strap at the toe box area, in favor of a second boa dial. They also changed from BOA IP1 dials to the BOA L6 dials, which I will address in a bit. The shoe is covered with "Supple high-density synthetic leather" as stated by Shimano with generous amounts of perforations to aid in ventilation.
Now, to address the one of the issues I had with the new RC701, which are the BOA dials. the L6 dials work just like the IP1 dials, pull up to loosen, push in and turn clockwise (anti-clockwise for the left side) to tighten. EXCEPT, the L6 doesn't allow you to turn anti-clockwise to loosen when it's engaged(or pushed in) in minute adjustments on the go. I'd say this wasn't a big issue to me as Shimano has always fitted perfectly on my feet, but I guess if you're a rider who's feet expands a little during the ride, it'll be cumbersome to adjust the straps on the go. Also, another issue with the wire is that the last loop isn't fixed in a hole or holder, but just looped around a hook, just like the previous RC7. So do keep in mind when loosening or tightening the shoe. Don't worry about the wire popping off and unwinding out the shoe though, as the wire is fitted through a fixed holder on the opposite side.
The sole is Carbon with Shimano putting it on a stiffness level of 10, which is supposedly plenty stiff for those out of saddle sprinting, and uphill attack, where the power transfer matters. Don't take me up 100% on that, as I am not one of those riders who feels everything on the bike, if Shimano says it's 10 and stiff, then hey, good enough for me!
Similar to the previous model, the heel is non-replaceable. Walking on concrete over a couple of years(depending how much you walk in them too), they will probably wear out. So don't go running around with them.
Overall, I really love the shoe, it fits to size for me, I'm a UK8.5 and this is a 42 with enough toe wiggle room. I have worn a Fizik R4B UOMO before this pair, and it fits rather narrow for a 42. Other than my gripes with the BOA dials, and possibly scuffing and dirtying a white shoe(who doesn't eh?), I find the RC701 a great shoe to look at, as the weather has been horrible this few weeks, so I have yet to take it out for a ride.
So I hope you find my amateurish review helpful for the RC701, have a great ride out there!
Till my next post.