That’s because earlier this year the Bont Crono, a time trial specific shoe, became outlawed by cycling’s international governing body. Banned in an email directly from the UCI a ruling was given that the shoe would be prohibited from competing at all UCI racing events. With one keystroke the Crono was officially blacklisted for Bont’s rigorously innovative design.
But Steven Nemeth and his cunning crew have come up with an answer – a refinement to make the Crono street legal, and they’ve dubbed it the Gen2 Crono.
I couldn’t wait to see this new shoe and when Nemeth’s associate returned from the car he brought a chic, white canvas bag with him. When he unzipped it the new Gen2 Crono was unsheathed. It was light as a feather and like a rare exotic sportscar the Gen2 was flying while merely sitting still. Aside from giving me goosebumps for its sexy aerodynamic construction it didn’t standout from the original, until I took a closer look.
The rocket-like styling and space-aged detail are still there, along with the fully customizable construction. The Gen2 looks like a sword or a javelin ready to slice through time-robbing air and undoubtedly attract a plenty of attention at post-ride coffee stops. But even though this was the sweeter, nicer, more law-abiding sister somehow I thought the updated refinements actually made the Gen2 Crono look more attractive – and I was ready to introduce her to mom.
Nemeth described the update to me, “The angles aren’t as sharp.” As seen in the pictures below, the toe and heel are a bit more subtle and rounded. But the lace enclosure that fastens shut with velcro is now attached on the inside of the upper instead of detaching altogether as it did on the original Crono.
Even with this new model Bont isn’t taking any UCI decision as final. Nemeth continues to appeal and lead a discussion with cycling’s governing body about innovation. “It’s not a financial concern,” Nemeth said. “They can’t just keep holding the sport’s development back. The sport needs to progress, it needs to move forward and we want to help take it to the next level.”
The Gen2 Crono is also not approved by UCI yet, but the updated design could be available for purchase as early as mid-summer 2011. It will retail for $500 US. In the future Bont plans to devlop a Triathlon-specific version to keep the new technology rolling.
Check back for continuing coverage on this shoe and a look at some of Bont’s other models soon.