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Giro Chamber 2 Clipless Mountain Bike Shoe ReviewBest Clipless Mountain Bike Shoe Review

Great Clipless Mountain Bike Shoe for Enduro and Downhill Riders

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 70% 70%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 80% 80%
  • Comfort and Fit 80% 80%
  • Durability 100% 100%
  • Weight 50% 50%

Best Application: Enduro, Downhill, All-mountain

Closure: Laces Plus Power Strap

Sole: Tri-molded SPD Compatible

Outsole: Vibram Megagrip

Weight: 525g (size 44)

Upper Material: Water Resistant Microfiber

What We Like: Well Protected, Durable, Wide Range of Cleat Adjustment

What We Don’t: Heavy, Narrow for Riders with Wide Feet

Price: $149.95

The Giro Chamber 2 is a redesign of the original, extremely popular and gold medal winning, Giro Chamber. If the Shimano ME7 is an enduro focused mountain bike shoe that feels just as at home on cross country trails as it does shredding lift-served downhill, the Giro Chamber 2 is a shoe that skews more heavily toward the downhill side of the equation.

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Shimano ME7

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 80% 80%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 100% 100%
  • Comfort and Fit 90% 90%
  • Durability 90% 90%
  • Weight 80% 80%

Pros

Comfortable

Versatile

Great Power Transfer

Great Off the Bike Traction

Cons

Not the Cheapest Nor the Lightest Clipless Mountain Bike Shoe

Best Application: Enduro/All-Mountain

Closure: Speed Lace System and Upper Ratchet Strap, Large Velcro Panel Over Laces

Sole: Carbon Fiber Composite

Outsole: Michelin Rubber

Weight: 425g (size 44)

Upper Material: Synthetic

Giro Empire VR90

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 100% 100%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 60% 60%
  • Comfort and Fit 70% 70%
  • Durability 60% 60%
  • Weight 100% 100%

Pros

Ultra-Lightweight

Amazing Power Transfer

Cons

Too Narrow for Many

Questionable Durability

Best Applicaton: XC

Closure: Laces

Sole: Easton EC90 Carbon Fiber

Outsole: Vibram Mont Molded Rubber High Traction Lugged Outsole

Weight: 338g (size 43.5)

Upper Material: Microfiber

Shimano S-Phyre XC9

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 100% 100%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 40% 40%
  • Comfort and Fit 90% 90%
  • Durability 90% 90%
  • Weight 100% 100%

Pros

Dual Boa Closure

Amazing Power Transfer

Cons

Expensive

Lack of Durability

Poor Off Bike Performance

Best Application: Cross Country Racing

Closure: Dual Boa IP1

Sole: Dynalast Carbon Fiber

Outsole: Dual-density Michelin Rubber

Weight: 390g (size 45)

Upper Material: Teijin Synthetic Leather

Giro Terraduro

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 70% 70%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 100% 100%
  • Comfort and Fit 70% 70%
  • Durability 90% 90%
  • Weight 60% 60%

Pros

Well Rounded

Great On and Off the Bike

Great Value

Cons

Fairly Heavy

Best Application: Enduro/All-Mountain

Closure: Replaceable N1 Ratcheting Buckle Closure at Ankle, Two D-ring Velcro Straps at Midfoot

Sole: Nylon

Outsole: Vibram High-Traction Lugged Outsole

Weight: 458g (size 43.5)

Upper Material: Microfiber

Giro Privateer R

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 70% 70%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 80% 80%
  • Comfort and Fit 70% 70%
  • Durability 70% 70%
  • Weight 90% 90%

Pros

Durable for XC Shoes

Lightweight

Good Power Transfer

Great Value

Cons

Narrow Fit

Less Durable Than Terraduros

Best Application: XC, Trail

Closure: Replaceable N1 Ratcheting Buckle Closure at Ankle, Two D-ring Velcro Straps at Midfoot

Sole: Nylon

Outsole: Co-molded Nylon and High Traction Rubber

Weight: 386g (size 43.5)

Upper Material: Microfiber

Giro Chamber 2

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 70% 70%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 80% 80%
  • Comfort and Fit 80% 80%
  • Durability 100% 100%
  • Weight 50% 50%

Pros

Well Protected

Durable

Wide Range of Cleat Adjustment

Cons

Heavy

Narrow for Riders with Wide Feet

Best Application: Enduro, Downhill, All-mountain

Closure: Laces Plus Power Strap

Sole: Tri-molded SPD Compatible

Outsole: Vibram Megagrip

Weight: 525g (size 44)

Upper Material: Water Resistant Microfiber

Shimano XC7

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 90% 90%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 70% 70%
  • Comfort and Fit 80% 80%
  • Durability 70% 70%
  • Weight 100% 100%

Pros

Top of the Line XC Performance at Half the Price

Cons

Still a Pricy Shoe for Marginal Gains Over the Giro Privateer R

Best Application: XC

Closure: Boa IP1

Sole: Carbon-Reinforced Nylon

Outsole: Dual-Density Michelin Rubber

Weight: 365g (size 45)

Upper Material: Perforated Upper

Five Ten Kestral Lace

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 70% 70%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 90% 90%
  • Comfort and Fit 60% 60%
  • Durability 100% 100%
  • Weight 60% 60%

Pros

Patented Five Ten Grip and Durability

Cons

Heavy

Comfort Issues

Best Application: Enduro/All-Mountain  

Closure: Lace-Up with Hook and Loop Ankle Strap

Sole: Nylon

Outsole: C4 Stealth

Weight: 484g (size 43)

Upper Material: Polyurethane-coated synthetic

Pearl Izumi X-Project P.R.O.

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 90% 90%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 90% 90%
  • Comfort and Fit 80% 80%
  • Durability 40% 40%
  • Weight 80% 80%

Pros

Great Pedaling Efficiency

Comfortable and Grippy off the Bike

Cons

Expensive

Least Durable Shoe in Review

Best Application: XC, All-Mountain

Closure: Two BOA IP1 dials

Sole: Carbon Composite

Outsole: Molded Carbon Rubber Tips on TPU Lugs

Weight: 419g (size 44)

Upper Material: Advanced 3-Layer Seamless Composite

Rigidity and Power Transfer

Looks can be deceiving, and that is the case with the Giro Chamber 2. One look at this clipless mountain bike shoe and you might think that it has more in common with your old skate shoes than a $400 pair of carbon soled XC racing shoes. However, the laid back look of the Giro Chamber 2 hides a stiff “tri-molded” internal nylon shank that actually provides extremely solid power transfer to the pedals, as evidenced by Richie Rude and other EWS riders laying down the power in the Giro Chamber.

That said, it is not quite so stiff that you would want to wear it on a pedal with no platform, and if you did, you would be missing out on much of what the Chamber 2 has to offer. The Chamber 2 offers much more adjustment of where your cleats go than the average clipless mountain bike shoe. This allows you to dial in a foot position similar to what you would experience on flat pedals. Pair the Giro Chamber 2 with a pair of large platform clipless pedals like the Crank Brothers Mallet E and you can have the connected feel of a flat pedal underfoot, with the security and efficiency of clipless pedals.

Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability”

Like most of the enduro and all mountain oriented clipless shoes in our review, the Giro Chamber 2 is a good option for hiking your bike up and over nasty terrain. A great deal of this is thanks to the toe flex that allows for more comfortable walking without compromising pedaling efficiency, a feature that Giro seems to have particularly dialed in.

A full Vibram sole with a hexagonal pattern similar to Five Ten’s full dot pattern puts a maximum amount of rubber against the ground and provides great traction over rocks in particular. The shallow patter clears mud well and provides traction on a variety of surfaces, but does not dig in when the going gets terribly steep and/or muddy, like the larger lugs of the Shimano ME7.

Comfort and Fit

Every Giro shoe on the list to this point has come with the disclaimer that it is quite narrow fitting. The Giro Chamber 2 is certainly wider than most, though we still recommend sizing up for anyone whose feet border on the wide side of average. Perhaps because the Chamber 2 does not fit as narrowly as other Giro offerings, there is no HV version of the Chamber 2, so sizing up is your only option if the shoe is too tight.

Beyond the fit issues, the Giro Chamber 2 is a quite comfortable shoe. The water repellant microfiber is supple, and the sole offers just the right amount of rigidity and toe flex to make the Chamber 2 comfortable both on and off the bike. Furthermore, generous rubber placed around the toe area and padding around the ankle help to protect your feet from the gnarly terrain that the Chamber 2 is obviously intended for.

Finally, the Chamber 2 nails the traditional lace and velcro strap combo that the Five Ten Kestral Lace came up just short on. The laces extend a bit further toward the toe, helping to secure your foot in a toe box that is already more secure thanks to being a bit more narrow. Meanwhile, the power strap across the ankle does not bite through the tongue and into your ankle, the way the Kestral Lace’s does to some riders.

Durability

The durability of Vibram rubber speaks for itself, and the Vibram Megagrip sole of the Giro Chamber 2 holds up just as well as you would expect it to. It also has very little midsole showing, so the Vibram rubber takes almost the entirety of contact with the ground.

As for the uppers, the Giro Chamber was already known to be a durable shoe, and the Chamber 2 removes a great deal of the stitching and paneling found on the original chamber. While this takes away from the skate-inspired look of the original Chamber, it also removes some of the most vulnerable parts of the shoe, helping to make the Giro Chamber 2 one of the most durable clipless mountain bike shoes in our review.

Weight

Weighing in at 525g in a size 44, the Giro Chamber 2 is a heavy clipless mountain bike shoe by just about any standard. However, that is the price you pay for a shoe that has a high degree of durability and protection. As with the Five Ten Kestral Lace, the Giro Chamber 2 is not aimed at riders who count grams. Instead, it is for riders in disciplines where speed, safety, and fun down the mountain is what it’s all about, and the weight penalty it pays is well worth achieving those ends.

The Bottom Line

If you are an aggressive all-mountain, enduro, or downhill rider looking for a great shoe at a great price, then the Giro Chamber 2 is a very difficult deal to pass up. If you do more all-around riding, including lighter trail and XC riding, then maybe take a look at the Shimano GR7, but if you skew toward rowdy days on rowdier terrain, then the Giro Chamber 2 is a clipless mountain bike shoe that has you covered.

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