Fi’zi:k R1B UOMO | Road Cycling Shoe | 2017 Review
The Fizik R1B Uomo actually spelled Fi’zi:k is their top of the line road cycling shoe.
For 2017 we reached out to Fi’zi:k to get a pair of the R1Bs and put them to the test. Over the years we have tested many of the top named cycling shoes and we were really interested in seeing what Fi’zi:k had to offer.
Fizik got it’s start in 1996 as a brand made for high performance cycling. The fi’zi:k brand was designed in the USA, and handmade in Italy by the world’s largest saddle manufacturer, Selle Royal.
Fi’zi:k are the largest producers of racing saddles in the world, making an astounding 500,000 saddles each year in their factory in Bressanvido, in the northern Italian province of Vicenza.
Fi’zi:k is the phonetic spelling of the word physique, referring to the form or state of the human body. Often associated with general fitness and athletics, the word is also used in many contexts to illustrate physical strength and superb health. – ie. a powerful physique, a healthy physique.
In its phonetic form, fi’zi:k inspires other associations. Visually, the symbol conveys a sense of something scientific, technological or mathematical; and audibly, something fresh, effervescent, energetic and lively. Since the beginning, fi’zi:k’s mission has been simple: to improve the ride experience for all cyclists.
Cycling Shoes Arrived
The Fi’zi:k shoes came in a nice sized box that fit the shoe box perfectly.
The Fi’zi:k R1 is Fizi:k’s top of the line road cycling shoe.
The shoes came properly packed with extra packing inside the shoes.
Putting them on you can see the cool styling from above. Very clean lines.
The shoes come with 2 Boa closure dials that are the best we have seen in the industry. The dials are really easy to adjust and are the perfect size to adjust while cycling. I am willing to say right here that their choice of their particular boa dials are the best we have ever tested. The dials are super easy to reach while cycling and are just the right size to twist and turn. Perfection doesn’t get any better.
There are 3 holes for SPD compatible cleats to attach. If you are a Speedplay user, you will need Speedplays adapter plate, which comes standard with Speedplay pedals.
The shoes come with a replaceable heel should yours wear down. I found the heels a bit more slippery when walking compared to other shoe manufacturers. My guess is these heals should last a really long time given their tough material.
The F1’s have booth front and rear vents, allowing a bit of air to flow into the shoes from the bottom. In 85 degree weather the shoes didn’t feel like they would overheat.
Here are the Fizik F1’s with Shimano Cleats.
The R1B predecessor had a kangaroo leather upper which has now been replaced with a Microtex synthetic material. The older version had two Velcro straps and ratchet. Those have been replaced in favor of a pair of Boa dials (Smart Move). Needless to say the updates are impressive.
FIRST RIDE – PRESSURE POINTS
On the first ride the shoes for the most part felt pretty good, but as the ride went on they started feeling a bit tight on the upper part of the foot. As you can see from the picture below, the red area is where I had issues.
Now part of this could have been my fault for over cranking the boa shoe dials. YES you can crank these babies and be super snug in the shoes. I did it because I was attacking some hills and wanted a really tight grip around my foot.
Since the first ride, things have gone on without a hitch and I haven’t had the same issue. It could have been a combination of over-tightening plus the shoes needing to stretch a bit.
The pressure points are still in the same area, but not tightening the shoes as much solved the issue of it feeling uncomfortable.
If I could engineer one change, it might be to make the rubber tip on the shoe’s tongue out of softer material. The rubber doesn’t flex as much as it could.
Fi’zi:k R1B TOE BOX
The shoes have a wide toe box giving your toes plenty of wiggle room to stretch and move about, but not so much that it’s annoying.
Fi’zi:k incorporates their own proprietary technologies into their shoes called Volume Control and Carbon Outsole.
Is a unique new shoe fitting technology developed exclusively by fi’zi:k. By adjusting the tension of the foremost Boa control, the shape of each shoe can be changed individually and adapted to fit perfectly around any rider’s foot, enhancing comfort and ultimately performance. Changing the tension of the rear-most Boa control – the Extended Power Strap – will adjust the fit of the heel cup around the rider’s foot. The ability to easily tighten the grip here results in increasing power transfer and thus maximizing performance.
CUSTOM UNIDIRECTIONAL CARBON OUTSOLE
Custom unidirectional carbon or carbon reinforced nylon soles mean every precious watt goes straight into your pedals. Sculpted footbeds and supportive heel forming keep feet securely cradled without any hot spots or crush zones.
- Materials: Microtex Laser Perforated
- Outsole: Full UD Carbon Vented
- Closure system: Double IP1-B
- Insole: fi’zi:k cycling insole
- Weight: 227 (size 42,5)
- Sizes: 40-48 with half sizes from 40.5 – 46.5
- Colors (White, Black, Black/Red & Red)
- Retail: $400
The Fi’zi:k currently comes in 4 flavors. We were sent the White and love the look. Every ride thus far they have gotten a bit dirty up front due to wheel rub marks. The good news is they seem to clean up fairly nicely with soap and water.
I would love to see some more exotic colors, like bright orange or purple.
We dropped in on Mellow Jonny’s bike shop in downtown Austin, Texas to check out some of the Fi’zi:k competition. Mellow Johnny’s is Lance Armstrong’s world headquarters.
Mellow Johnny’s carries Fi’zi:k and 2 other high end road shoes including the Bontrager XXX Road Shoe and Shimano’s RC9 road cycling shoe.
All the shoes fall into the $400 price range and all are using the Boa closure system. Of the 3 the Fi’zi:k’s felt the most comfortable. Of course there are other brands out there that also compete including Sidi, Vittoria IKON and others.
We feel pretty confident though that the Fi’zi:k engineering team did a great job in the design and function of the cycling shoe. Their lacing system definitely stands out and makes the shoes very sleek. Most of the high end cycling shoe company’s all seem to be using the boa closesure system.
Both the Bontrager XXX Road Shoe and Shimano’s RC9 provide a bit more air flow up front compared to the R1, which could make the shoes a little cooler during the hot summer months.
We absolutely love the look of the Fi’zi:k R1b UOMOs. The shoes are really a joy to cycling with. The boa closure system works flawlessly and can be adjusted on the fly without even looking down.
Huge kodos go out to Fi’zi:k’s design and testing team for an amazing update to the previous version.
To check out the full line of Fi’zi:k products hit up Fi’zi:k’s website
Just About Perfect
Summary The FIZIK R1B UOMO does everything a cyclist could ask for and more. The fit is really good, the closure system works and the shoes feel really solid.