Test Lab: QUOC Mono II Cycling Shoes
New shoe day isn’t quite bike day, but it’s still exciting for a rider. Here we ride a pair of shoes not often seen in Australia – the QUOC Mono II.
Weight, comfort, breathability and power transfer should be the four key attributes of a quality cycling shoe, remove just one of these and the whole riding experience will suffer.
At first glance, and even after four weeks with QUOK’s new Mono II, these four aspects seem to be central to the design of the shoe.
First is the weight, the most obvious aspect when you first take one of the shoes out of the box. In size 44, the review shoes weighed 260g and were light as a feather in the hand. Hold and rotate the new unmarked shoe, look closely and the careful attention to detail and craftsmanship is clearly evident.
Starting at the base, the unidirectional carbon sole features a matte black exterior with etched markings for stud alignment. There is a fixed toe guard (which is smoothly wrapped around the front of the shoe) and a removable heel guard which can be swapped out via a Phillips head screw on the back of the shoe under the insole removable.
Finished in soft white leather, the shoe features two BOA style closures with a soft and flexible wire lacing system. When closing and tensioning the shoe, the tongue is pulled evenly across the foot for a comfortable, versatile fit.
They look more like a summer shoe, there are a lot of perforations inside and outside the shoes as well as all over the tongue. Under the sole and there is a mesh ventilation hole in the front, a nice touch and useful in hot weather.
More comfort, and the shoes came with six different arch support inserts – two pre-fitted to the insoles and four more in a zip-lock bag in the QUOC box. Fitted with fixing tape, swapping them out is a simple job and can help with a precise and better fit.
Designed as a “race-grade road shoe”, we tested the Mono II on the climbs, descents and long country roads of the Snowy Mountains region in November. In terms of comfort and stiffness, they performed extremely well.
Power transfer was direct, yet the shoe retained a high degree of comfort. The high density insole seemed to work well here, it felt like a well balanced buffer between the stiff carbon exterior and the soft leather upper.
It’s interesting that QUOC doesn’t use the industry-leading BOA system, but rather two similar dials for their take on the secure closure system. These dials performed perfectly during the test period and offer the “counter-clockwise twist in tension”. To loosen or remove the shoes, all it takes is a clockwise click.
The shoes proved comfortable on long rides, although a little chilly inside, but we were riding in 10-15 degree weather – a far cry from the 25+ degree summer days we expect what these shoes are best suited for.
Overall this is a premium road shoe with attention to detail and high quality materials. I was a little surprised to see that the shoes are made in China, but they seem to be of supreme quality, are incredibly comfortable to wear and look great on the bike.
They’re trendy, have flair, and an extra degree of street (or cafe) credibility… after all, you don’t see a lot of QUOCs.