Why do serious cycling enthusiasts love to ride the bikes and wear the equipment that professional cyclists enjoy? Is it because they aspire to be pro's? Is it because imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? While it is hard to know the motivation of every cyclist spinning along on a Pinarello F8 with Di2 or Cervelo S5 with RED eTap, after nearly three decades into our service of serious cycling enthusiasts, we can safely say it is more about sheer joy and maximizing the personal cycling experience than it is imitation or aspiration. And while, yes, these items carry a high budget price tag, there are many of us who simply prioritize our expenses. More than one of us has pulled up to a local event or group ride with a bike or bikes on the rack that far outweigh the cost of the vehicle being driven. The Shimano SH-RC9 S-Phyre Road Shoe is sure to be a pro-level item that many of us desire, and acquire. A cyclist has three effective points of contact with a bike, hands, butt, and feet, and these are areas no one should compromise on. Fit, comfort, protection, and performance are essential to all three. The RC9 S-Phyre is special, superlative in every area.
Let's just get this out of the way. The RC9 is not the lightest shoe on the market. Shimano never prioritizes making something the lightest out there. Now forget that and focus on what is important: fit, comfort, breathability, power transfer, and overall performance. The design of the shoe follows Shimano's system integration principles, meaning every component is designed with and for the rest in service of the whole. Start with the ultra-stiff, lightweight Dynalast carbon fiber sole, which was redesigned for improved foot support with a refined toe lift position (called toe-spring) that increases leveraged power with less strain forward of the metatarsal zone. Shimano was able to develop a new seamless mid-sole construction process that eliminated the board last, which reduced weight and lowered the overall stack height of the sole, while maxing out Shimano's 12 scale stiffness measure, coming out at 12/12. The sole also features active forward ventilation, a definitive graphic cleat set-up system, and 11mm more fore-aft of the cleat adjustment (as found previously on the R321).
The one-piece molded, external heel cup wraps around and over the sole and up the back of the shoe. This system cradles the back of the heel, locking it in place, eliminating side to side twisting and rolling instability, while in conjunction with the upper and gripping fabric inside maximize power transfer throughout the whole of the pedal stroke, whether powering down, or pulling up while accelerating or attacking on an incline. Into the development of the external heel cup, Shimano also (finally!) created a replaceable heel tap for safe touch down when resting off the saddle and walking. The forefoot and toe area of the sole also get a bonded overly and toe tap- the former to protect the sole, the latter to make stopping at lights and walking safer as well.
Shimano developed a new single piece upper shape and refined their licensed Teijin Avail synthetic material to be more supple, with better moisture resistance, and larger, more effective dimple vent perforations for both oncoming air infiltration and heat and moisture release. This system combines the outsole-based inflow with the insole and upper. The upper is amazing, and combined with the micro adjustable, dual independent Boa IP1 dial/wire closures, delivers incredible fit, so much so that Shimano did not build the RC9 S-Phyre with the Custom Fit heat/vacuum system we have come to expect on the high-end shoes. With the Boa design, and the strategically placed asymmetric Powerzone wire anchor locations, there has never been a Shimano shoe that out of the box fits so many people and foot shapes so well. The way the upper's sides are guided together in the Surround (no tongue) method, and coordinated with the heel zone, this is a shoe that doesn't have to feel overly tight for optimal performance and comfort.
"S-PHYRE has one goal: to maximize power transmission by delivering more performance per gram, minimizing aerodynamic drag and refining efficiencies between the bike, footwear and rider." That is Shimano's statement about this design. For us, and to the attention of all gram counters out there, the key phrase is delivering more performance per gram, and that, as well as durability, is ultimately what drives the Shimano engineers, even at the highest expected performance level. At 232g per shoe (size 42), the RC9 S-Phyre is actually pretty light, but it absolutely maximizes it's performance potential, and means you have the opportunity to do the same. It is true, in our experience, that the most important aspect of any cycling shoe is fit. Shimano's system may not favor everyone but the RC9 is easily the most adaptive shoe we have tried, and Shimano does offer an E-width version for those with wide, high volume feet. As you can tell, we have been very impressed with the RC9 S-Phyre. Now it is your turn. Enjoy!
Please note that these shoes DO NOT come with a pair of S-Phyre Socks.Return to Top
- Premium level road shoe featuring dual independent Boa closures, light stiff sole
- Maximizes power transmission by delivering more performance per gram
- Unified sole and upper construction sets a new level of fit, pedaling stability, rigidity and weight reduction
- Supple, stretch-resistant and highly-breathable one piece Teijin Avail microfiber synthetic leather upper, optimized with dimple perforated drainage/vent holes
- Two independent Boa IP1 dials with Powerzone wire guide lacing allow quick and precise micro-adjustment
- Asymmetric eyestay pattern prevents twisting of foot under high-power pedaling
- Seamless Midsole offers elimination of the lasting board reduces weight and enables a lower stack height
- Ultra-rigid lightweight carbon sole maximizes power transfer
- Extra 11 mm of cleat adjustment range in outsole, with detailed alignment graphics
- External curved heel cup construction suppresses foot twist and roll, stabilizes heel
- Adaptable insole with arch height options, Silvadur™ Intelligent Freshness treatment
- Sizes: 38 - 47 (with half size and E-width options in some color/sizes)
- Colors: Blue, Black, White, Yellow (colors not stocked in all sizes, width options)
- Weight: 464 grams (per pair, size 42)