With casual looks and a functional design, the new Ryder Berms are a flat-soled, cleated shoe designed for trail, eMTB and gravity riding.
| WORDS: Myles Kelsey & Adi van der Merwe | IMAGES: Troy Davies |
Trail riding gear has improved immensely over the years and the best thing about that is we no longer have to ride without protection or in gear that is not up to the task, technically. The new Ryder Berm trail shoe is a good example of contemporary, stylish and functional trail gear. They promise a comfortable fit with good styling, efficient pedaling performance, walkability and protection. Not to mention making it a whole lot easier to clip in and out.
The new Ryder Berm shoes have all the bells and whistles of a modern trail shoe. An EVA midsole for solid pedaling performance and a little give for off-the-bike comfort. A water-resistant yet breathable upper to withstand the elements. A mildly tacky outsole that offers traction when walking, but also wears slowly.
Ryder Berm Trail Shoes
|Sizes | 3 to 12
|Closure | Lace or Atop cable system
|Upper material | Water-resistant, breathable, microfibre
|Outsole | Wear-resistant EVA
|Insole | Molded EVA with arch support
|Weight | 531g with cleat as tested (per shoe)
|Retail | R1540 (Lace closure) – R1965 (Atop)
|More | rydercycling.co.za
Weighing around 50grams more than some of the pricier trail shoes on the market, they are hardly lardy. The lace with velcro closure option or Atop cable style closure iteration, are almost identical in weight. Inside the shoe, there’s plenty of foamy, cushy padding around any would-be pressure points.
The construction, materials and finishing are a whole lot more premium than the price point suggests. The cleat recess (or pocket) isn’t extremely deep and facilitates an average range of fore/aft and lateral cleat positions. The recess is designed to guide your foot perfectly into contact with the pedal. Riders who need to run their cleats at strange angles to work around injuries and the like shouldn’t have any issues getting their prescribed setup.
The design crew at Ryder certainly hasn’t skimped on protection and these are not flimsy XC disco slippers. The front and heel sections are reinforced to withstand just about any possible impact, rock or stump strikes. The Berm is not overly wide in design, which will increase versatility.
I rode both the Atop closure and lace-up option over a period of a month through a range of conditions including the usual heat, cold, wind and rain of Cape Town’s Spring.
FIT & COMFORT | The Ryder shoes fit my feet well with a similar feel to other trail shoes I have used. The flexible upper forms well when tightening the closure and the material seemed to soften after a few rides which further improved comfort. The fit is true to size and the toe box is slightly smaller than other shoes I’ve experienced. They held up well in all the weather conditions I exposed them to and I had no discomfort or issues on super hot, chilly, or wet days.
PERFORMANCE & PROTECTION | It’s a very efficient shoe with great power transfer. They feel stiffer than some of the other trail shoes I’ve used which is a good thing. On one particular test ride, when the temperatures were well over 28°, I noted they didn’t ‘flex around the pedal’ on bigger impacts. I’ve had this kind of issue before and had to donate other shoes because of it. The Ryder’s are not very wide shoes, as a result, they are marginally less stable when walking around rocky trails. The upside of this design is the excellent frame and crank clearance for duck-footed riders, like me.
With Shimano’s older DX pedal, new XT trail pedal, and new Saint pedal, the cleat channel of the Berm lines up perfectly. Cleating in (or out) is not complicated and faffing ain’t necessary. When riding out of the cleats, there’s enough grip to keep in contact with the pedal. From a protection point of view, these are no XC disco slippers and from the moment I put the shoes on I can feel my feet are happy to get ‘sendy’.
VERDICT | At home on anything from an eMTB, Trail or Enduro bike the Berms are a highly versatile shoe. I’d even race DH in them. Don’t be put off by their wallet-friendly status, these are relatively high-performance trail shoes. They offer good protection, power transfer and walkability. So far there are no durability issues. I’ll give them a 10 out of 10 for styling too!
A second opinion
by Adi van der Merwe
The Ryder Berm shoes are pretty robust and the styling is on-trend. They are very comfortable without any pressure points. I found the Atop cable retention system to be convenient and easy to operate. The sole is quite tall and felt marginally higher off the pedal when compared to my Five Ten shoes. Stiffness wise I’d rate the Berms as a medium. When riding they don’t feel too flexible or too stiff and it would be interesting to see how a long-term test would affect this. The shoe is well-damped, with a decent amount of material both around and under the foot.
The Atop retention system performs well but I battled to get it really tight on the front of my foot. Personally, I’d prefer the lace-up version as I prefer a tighter feel, especially when descending at speed. I didn’t notice any heel slip at all, even when sprinting. The cleat does sit a touch further forward than I’d prefer, however, this is more a personal preference thing and in the end, I adapted to them. Overall, it’s really a solid-looking shoe. My durability prediction is that they’ll last which is unlike my experience with Five Tens. The pricing is excellent too. | More: rydercycling.co.za