Colors: Black, Camo Charcoal
Cleats: 2-bolt SPD
Sizes: 38-48 EU
Closures: Double BOA L6 micro-adjustments
Weight: 360 g (size 42)
Outsole: Carbon and rubber outsole
New this season from Garneau is the Baryum shoe. This is the off-road version of their high-end, award winning Course Air Lite II road shoes I reviewed a while back. The Baryum is uniquely designed to handle anything from MTB trails to gravel adventures, along with roadies who like to ride SPD pedals.
Garneau won the prestigious Eurobike award for their X-Comfort Zone technology featured in the Course Air Lite II, and now also in this shoe. This patented and innovative design allows the shoe to stretch (up to 5mm) to accommodate B to D+ foot widths (North American sizing) thanks to a ventilated elastomer-spandex insert. The X-Comfort Zone creates a dynamic, non-constrictive fit for the foot’s natural toe splay, which improves power, reduces injuries, and enables a comfortable pedal stroke.
The stiff Power Zone system covers the central part of the shoe, which wraps the foot to eliminate any movement when pulling up on the pedals. For additional comfort, a 3D insole lets you choose the level of arch support (3 adjustable arches included in the box) that works best for your feet.
The Baryum uses a two BOA L6 micro-adjustment closure with an internal lace system. This helps to keep trail mud from sticking into the fastening system. The carbon outsole is covered with rubber for optimal grip in a variety of conditions. For added protection on the trail, the heel and toe have extra reinforcements.
As for sizing, I ordered the same size as the Course Air Lite II. But the Baryum ran long for me and should have ordered a half size smaller. Having a stiff sole, these shoes were more comfortable to pedal in than walk. There was good power transfer and with my longest 53-mile trail ride, I never experienced hot foot.
While these shoes are a bit pricey, if you are a serious gravel or MTB rider who wants comfort, durability and a stiff sole, the new Garneau Baryum are worth a try.
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