Ride Concepts Hellion Clip Women's Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Protective, comfortable, supportive, well-constructed
Cons: Not very breathable, moderately heavy
Manufacturer: Ride Concepts
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Ride Concepts Hellion Clip Women's
|Price||$149.95 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Protective, comfortable, supportive, well-constructed||Comfortable fit, large cleat opening, good power transfer, excellent trail absorption||Lightweight, good power transfer, easy to walk in||Comfortable, excellent protection, excellent power transfer, easy to clip in and out of, great for hike-a-bike||Comfortable, stiff, good power transfer, large cleat opening|
|Cons||Not very breathable, moderately heavy||Lacks breathability, expensive||Not the best lateral stability||Heavy, not waterproof||Not waterproof, velcro strap too long|
|Bottom Line||A supportive and durable shoe made to withstand the rigors of technical trail, all-mountain, and bike park riding||This comfortable shoe impressed our testers with its fit, trail absorption, and power transfer and is a great match for short trail rides and all-day epics alike||This unassuming shoe combines on and off the bike performance with good power transfer and walking comfort at a relatively reasonable price tag||A high-performing shoe that offers comfort paired with excellent stability, protection, and walkability||This shoe offers a shock-absorbing sole and breathable uppers that deliver exceptional comfort, even when on technical hike-a-bike sections|
|Rating Categories||Ride Concepts Helli...||Crankbrothers Malle...||Specialized 2FO Roo...||Ride Concepts Traverse||Five Ten Hellcat -...|
|Stability and Control (20%)|
|Specs||Ride Concepts Helli...||Crankbrothers Malle...||Specialized 2FO Roo...||Ride Concepts Traverse||Five Ten Hellcat -...|
|Measured Weight (g)||413g||379g||322g||450g||437g|
|Outsole||Clip Grip||Match MC1||SlipNot FG||DST 8.0 MID GRIP Rubber||Stealth C4 rubber|
|Closure||Laces, Velcro strap||Boa, Velcro strap||Laces||Laces/Velcro||Laces/Velcro|
|Upper Material||Microfiber synthetic with TPU toe and heel protection||Synthetic||synthetic leather||Synthetic & D30||Synthetic weather-resistant micro-perforated, EVA|
|Footbed||Dual-density EVA||not specified||Body Geometry||EVA Foam||EVA Foam|
|Sole||RC PowerDrive nylon shank||EVA midsole||Soft Lollipop Nylon Composite Plate||D30 High Impact Insole||Three-quarter dual-density TPU shank, EVA midsole|
|Size Tested||US 8.5||US 7||EU 39.5 / US 8.5||EU 39.5 / US 8.5||EU 40 2/3 / US 8.5|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Not all shoes are built for the rigors of technical singletrack, all-mountain, and park riding, nor do they need to be. But when you ride these types of trails you want a shoe that can withstand the rigors of the riding. Enter the Ride Concepts Hellion Clip Women’s, a purpose-built shoe designed for park riding and technical singletrack. The Hellion Clip is based on the popular Hellion Flat shoe with some added features for riding clipped in. The Clip Grip sole has a uniform hexagonal dot pattern with a huge 137mm long by 41mm wide cleat pocket runway to make clipping in and out easy. The Clip Grip rubber sole is harder than the compounds found on Ride Concepts flat pedal shoes and our SPD cleats sit below the tread inspiring confidence when walking.
The midsole and insole are made of EVA foam which does a very good job of dissipating trail forces, even on super rocky descents. While riding the Hellion Clip feels very supportive. It has a low volume fit, a Velcro strap to help secure the foot in place, and a PowerDrive nylon shank. These work well in conjunction with each other to provide lateral stiffness and prevent foot movement. Throughout our testing, our feet stayed securely in place with no lateral foot movement or heel lift and allowed us to confidently power up technical climbs. The biggest downside to the Hellion Clip is its lack of breathability. Much of our testing was done at elevation and in temperatures between 75 and 95 degrees. In these conditions, the shoes are fairly warm on the foot and do not breathe as well as some other models. However, in terms of overall comfort, support, and performance, the Hellion Clip Women’s has become our shoe of choice for technical singletrack and all-mountain riding.
Stability and Control
The Hellion Clip Women’s is one of the most stable shoes in our review, earning high marks in this metric. The Hellion Clip is designed for technical single track, shuttle laps, and bike park riding, and to mirror these types of terrain we did extensive testing with big climbs and long, technical descents. Our testers were impressed with how stable the shoe was in these conditions. The synthetic Microfiber uppers envelop the foot and the low volume fit reduces the foot moving inside the shoe. During testing, we experienced no lateral or fore/aft movement, which gave us complete control over the pedals.
Ride Concepts uses their PowerDrive nylon shank in the Hellion Clip with an EVA foam midsole. This combination flexes slightly in hand and provides a stiff pedaling platform. When standing up and climbing the shoe flexes slightly as one would expect from a non-carbon soled shoe, but not enough to hinder performance. On the bike, we did not feel any loss of power going into the pedals, our feet stayed securely in place, and we were able to push and pull on the pedals with ease.
The sole of the Hellion Clip is Ride Concepts Clip Grip rubber with a uniform hexagonal pattern and a large 137mm long by 41mm wide cleat pocket runway. This design makes clipping in quite simple as there is nothing in front of the cleat box to interfere with clipping in and the 41mm width provides plenty of space to unclip. Our testers prefer to place their cleat farther back in the cleat opening and with 40mm of fore/aft cleat adjustment, we easily found our ideal location for control over the pedals.
On descents, the EVA foam midsole paired with the EVA insole and Clip Grip rubber dissipate trail forces and prevent the feeling of your feet bouncing or moving around on the pedals. The midsole is thick and stiff enough to not feel the cleat under the ball of your foot while pushing into the pedals on descents.
The Hellion Clip stands out for its comfort on long rides on technical trails. Unlike shoes that cause foot fatigue, pressure points, or become uncomfortable after a few hours of wear, the Hellion Clip feels great after three and four-hour rides on rocky terrain. The dual-density EVA insole and EVA midsole do a great job of dampening trail vibrations helping to alleviate foot fatigue.
Ride Concepts lists the Hellion Clip Women’s as a low-volume fit and our testers would agree. Those with a larger volume or wide forefoot may find the fit too snug for their comfort. We wear a US 8.5 women’s shoe and have a slightly wide forefoot and the Hellion fits perfectly, we are able to achieve a nice snug fit with the laces and Velcro strap. Although we’re not huge fans of Velcro simply because it's generally stiff and in the way while lacing shoes, it works very well with the heel cup to keep the foot in place on technical climbs and eliminates heel lift. The synthetic Microfiber uppers wrap your feet and have an anti-bacterial mesh lining. Throughout our testing, we never experienced any lateral or fore/aft movement in the shoe because of its snug fit.
We wore the Hellion Clip Women’s on a few rides lasting approximately four hours each, and while it is well constructed, supportive, and protective shoe, it’s not the most breathable. The synthetic Microfiber upper does a great job of repelling water and dirt, but does not breathe as well as other shoes in our testing, and was downright hot when the temps climbed into the 80s.
Being able to comfortably walk in your shoes is important, especially when your local terrain involves hiking to get to the better lines, or because the trail is loose, steep, or a combination of both. The Hellion Clip Women’s surprised our testers with how well it held while hiking loose, rocky, trails, especially because we were wearing a different shoe on each foot. When the opposite foot was sliding, the Hellion Clip stayed securely planted earning high marks in this metric.
The EVA midsole, while being fairly stiff in hand, flexes right at the ball of the foot allowing you to put downward pressure into each step comfortably. Ride Concepts uses their Clip Grip rubber on the outsole, with a uniform hexagonal dot pattern that extends from toe to heel save for the large cleat box area. This compound is firmer compared to some of the compounds found on their flat pedal shoes but holds the terrain and rocks very well while hiking. Our Shimano SPD cleats sit just a hair below the hexagon tread on the shoe’s outsole, alleviating any potential slipping on the cleat while walking, and is secure on a variety of surfaces.
Unlike shoes in our test that left our feet feeling exposed, the Hellion Clip Women’s not only feels protective but it’s also designed with protection in mind. Ride Concepts uses TPU at the toe and heel of the Hellion Clip. This coating is abrasion resistant and protects the uppers from scuffs. At the front of the shoe is a hardened layer of toe protection that sits below the TPU (and can be felt by placing your hand in the shoe), this layer helps not only protect your toes in a crash but also from rock strikes.
The synthetic Microfiber uppers are abrasion and weather-resistant and the gusseted padded tongue keeps dirt and debris out of the shoe. We wore the Hellion Clip in moondust conditions and were always surprised at how clean our black socks were despite our shoes being coated in gray baby powder dust. An elastic lace retainer sits on the tongue to keep the laces tucked neatly away and out of your chain and each eyelet is reinforced to prevent them from tearing out.
As we’ve said the Hellion Clip really shines on technical trails and we found the EVA midsole and dual-density EVA insole to dissipate trail forces very well. Even at the end of rides with multiple long climbs and descents our feet did not feel fatigued from extended descending over baby head-strewn terrain and earns high marks for this metric.
Our size US 8.5 women’s shoe weighs 413-grams, placing it towards the heavier end of the spectrum for the shoes in our test and earning a bit lower marks for this metric. As with many shoes designed for all-mountain and park use, the Hellion Clip Women’s has a beefier construction with internal toe protection, TPU coating, and a weather-resistant upper all of which add additional weight to the shoe.
In comparison to other shoes in our test designed for a similar intended purpose the Hellion Clip Women’s is in a very similar weight range, weighing slightly less than some models and about 35 grams more than other models.
The Ride Concepts Hellion Clip Women’s is less than or similarly priced to comparable all-mountain shoes. For the rider looking for a shoe that is versatile enough to handle the rigors of all-mountain, technical trail, and park riding we feel the Hellion Clip is a good value.
The Ride Concepts Hellion Clip Women’s is definitely a purpose-built shoe and is one of the best technical trail shoes we have tested. Its stability and control really set it apart. The shank and midsole provide a stiff pedaling platform but are flexible enough to be comfortable for all-day use. While the uppers don’t breathe incredibly well, but are well constructed and provide plenty of protection for most types of trails and riding. We appreciate that our cleat sat just below the Clip Grip tread so that we weren’t slipping on our cleat while walking and we were impressed at how well the shoe held on loose terrain for hike-a-bikes. If you’re looking for a shoe that can you can feel comfortable and confident wearing on technical trails and at the bike park, we highly recommend the Hellion Clip.
— Tara Reddinger-Adams
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