If you’re looking for an affordable cycling shoe that can meet all of your gravel biking and XC needs, then look no further than this pair of cycling shoes from Giro. Giro develops and manufactures some of the most widely-used shoes on the road cycling and mountain biking market.
Their Cylinder model falls in the mid-range when it comes to pricing, and it has the features, looks, and performance that most cyclists out there will find useful, without breaking the bank. We’re going to give you all the details you need to know about this great men’s cycling shoe.
Giro Cylinder Cycling Shoes
These shoes are very reasonably priced and are best suited to novice and intermediate riders. They are a great choice for XC and gravel mountain bike riding.
The Cylinder is a cycling shoe that is built with purpose and showcases all of the features and performance aspects that cyclists have come to love and expect from Giro. They work well with pretty much any style of clipless pedal but are at their best when used with platform pedals or pedals without platforms.
While these cycling shoes were designed to be used on gravel and similar terrains, that does not mean you can use them when riding on tar or dirt roads. You may not experience their full range of benefits, but they will perform well nonetheless.
Who are These Cycling Shoes for?
The affordable price tag attached to the Giro Cylinder makes them an excellent entry-level shoe for beginners who are looking to get started with off-road cycling. They are a unique first pair of cycling shoes for novices that don’t want to spend a fortune on a pair of shoes that they can’t utilize to the fullest.
There are two fits available that Giro offers with all of their cycling shoes. The first is the Performance Fit, which supports a low-to-mid-volume foot securely and comfortably, and is also their most common option.
The second is their High-Volume Fit. This fit is designed for folks with wider feet, extra tall insteps, and an overall greater foot volume. The High-Volume fit can also provide a great fit for those that prefer to use custom orthotics since they can be thicker than the stock footbeds that Giro offers.
If you are an experienced cyclist looking for some high-performance shoes, then you may want to consider another pair, since the Cylinders are not considered high-performance. Rather, they are mid-range, designed for use by novice and intermediate XC and gravel cyclists.
There are no added accessories or extras included when you order a pair of Giro Cylinders. You’ll receive a box with your new pair of shoes inside of it - nothing less, nothing more!
Overview of Features
The Giro Cylinders make use of a nylon shank that is similar to Giro’s Privateer Rs. The Boa dial system included on the Cylinders make them much more secure than the velcro and ratchet combination found on the Privateers, which results in an increase in power on the Cylinder that is not extreme but is certainly noticeable.
The Cylinders are not as stiff as other XC shoes that are made with carbon shanks, which makes them an excellent choice for those who might want to race in XC competitions.
In terms of comfort, the Cylinders do not exactly impress. They do not come with an adjustable arch support, have quite a narrow fit, and feature a footbed that is more on the basic side.
These design choices result in a lower feeling of comfort, especially since the Boa system tends to restrict blood flow to the outer toes. It is clear that Giro intended these shoes to be a budget-friendly solution to cross-country cycling, since they skimped on some features, such as the padding and footbeds, in favor of reducing the shoes’ weight.
The result is a shoe that is incredibly light but does very little in terms of comfort. If you’re looking for a shoe to ride in for hours on end, you would be better off with another pair.
On a more positive note, the Cylinders’ ventilation keeps your feet cool, thanks to the mesh and microfiber upper, but also allows moisture to enter the shoe when riding over mud, snow, or through water. When it comes to traction, these shoes have a similar level of walkability and traction as other shoes in its price range.
If you were to add metal toe spikes to the Cylinders, you could probably increase their traction. Giro sells these spikes, so you should definitely consider picking them up if you value traction.
Once again, the lack of comfort comes into play, as it can reduce the Cylinders’ walkability. Blood circulation to the outer part of the feet tends to be cut off when riding for hours, resulting in numbness and, ultimately, frustration.
The weight department is where the Cylinders really excel. They are some of the lightest cycling shoes out there, weighing in at a mere 358g, which is roughly the same as other shoes that cost twice as much.
It’s clear that Giro designed these shoes for gravel and cross-country bikers since those activities generally do not require much walking or hiking. This design strategy leaves the Cylinders with a better fit for rides where your shoes are clipped to the pedals all the way, rather than frequently dragging them on the ground for tight corners.
You might start to see wear and tear on these shoes when riding in mountainous conditions. Riding through thick brush, exposing them to creeks, and hiking up loose rocks can end up making these shoes look much older than they actually are.
How to Get the Most Out of Giro Cylinder Cycling Shoes
As we’ve mentioned a few times already, the cylinders are made for XC and gravel riding. You should stick to those terrains, and avoid using them in areas that require a lot of walking, as they can become damaged easily, and can quickly become uncomfortable.
- Great breathability for longer use
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Stiff and durable
- Boa Dial
- No waterproofing
- Narrow fit for some people
If the lack of comfort is making you skeptical about the Cylinders, then you might consider picking up the Specialized 2FO Cliplites. They are a few dollars more expensive than their Giro counterpart, but are very comfortable, and boast many of the same features that the Cylinders do.
Or, you could look at the Five Ten Kestrel Pro Boas. They are a bit more expensive but are both comfortable and suitable for hiking and extended periods of walking.
In the end, the Giro Cylinders are still a very reasonably priced shoe that is great for novice and intermediate cyclists. They are lightweight and functional and are quite stylish as well. If you are a casual cyclist looking for shoes that will get the job done, then the Giro Cylinders might be perfect for you.