When it was time for a new pair of mountain bike shoes, I had to give the nod to my 8-yr-old Specialized BG’s for lasting so long. Well-worn, yet still in remarkably good shape, it was time for those old dogs to retire. Their replacement? Naturally, my first instinct was to look at Specialized again, so the new Specialized BG Comp MTB shoes were hired as replacements.
Specialized BG Comp MTB Shoes Features:
- New low profile and lighter weight M-lock SL buckle for secure closure
- Lightweight nylon sole with sturdy co-molded lugs for off-the-bike traction
- Hard molded toe kick protector
- Engineered Micromatrix upper is light, durable and supple fitting, with welded reinforcement in high wear panels
- Performance-enhancing BG contours in the outsole and footbed
- 2-bolt SPD-style cleat pattern, compatible with all major MTB pedals
- Weight: 810g pair (approx)
- Colors: Brown, Black (tested)
- MSRP: $140
Specialized BG Comp MTB Shoes Review
Again, impressed with the long-lasting performance of my previous Specialized BG bike shoes, the BG Comp’s were a natural replacement and an upgrade to my previous shoes. The most notable difference is the M-lock SL buckle, which securely locks the foot in position for proper power transfer. All my previous shoes were Velcro only, so the buckle was welcome with its benefits immediately felt.
Ratcheting it down is quick and easy with micro-adjustments on-the-fly as simple as a quick reach and pull on the buckle to ratchet them down one notch. Releasing the buckle is equally easy when it comes time for that. The only issue I have with the buckle is that the return spring could be a bit stiffer as the lever didn’t always return to its seated position.
The overall fit of the BG Comp’s is superb with the whole package providing a solid, glove-like fit. While these lack super-stiff and powerful carbon fiber soles, they are still an affordable MTB shoe that provides solid power transfer under hard climbing and cross-country sections. The lasts have changed in the 8 years since my first pair of Specialized BG shoes and the 43.5 size was a little bit longer. This ended up being a good thing as I appreciated just a tad more wiggle room in the toebox.
With all Body Geometry designs, you get the added benefit of improved ergonomics for better performance and wellness. With these, the included Body Geometry insole features a metatarsal button to help spread the toes and improve circulation, reducing numbness and tingling.
I did notice the positive effects of the metatarsal button, but mostly I appreciate the ramped design (varus wedge) that’s built into the outsole. This 1.5mm ramp helps prevent the foot from collapsing under pedal load. Just like the Somnio Pacemaker shoes I recently reviewed, the BG shoes do their best to keep everything aligned and can be felt on the trails. I also swapped out the insole with a Superfeet slim-fitting design for comparison with positive results.
As a crossover test, I wore the BG Comp’s on my road bike as well. The extra pedaling forces and duration of pedaling on a road bike can expose problems or inefficiencies. While these may not be the most performant road shoe designs, I had no issues powering them on the road with my Crank Brothers Eggbeater pedals.
Speaking of the pedal interface, that was one area that has taken some time to get used to. With the new shoe transition has come a new set of Crank Brothers cleats. It has taken some time breaking in the new cleats and the tread interference with a new shoe is a little challenging, but the proper float and entry/exit is improving with the wear of the outsole and the cleats. Keep this in mind when switching new shoes/cleats as it may take a few weeks or months to settle in.
Walking in the BG Comp’s is a breeze as the midsole’s walkability is much better than my previous shoes. The toe cleats dig into hard soil and the treads walk comfortably around parking lots and trails.
The only major flaw I’m seeing with these shoes is the floating tongue design. While the floating tongue is great overall, it needs to be secured better at the base to prevent rocks and dirt from slipping inside. At the end of nearly every ride, I’m pulling pebbles and dirt out of my shoe due to the large gap I experience between the lowest strap and the toebox (see above). I’m going to head to a shoe repair store to have them stitch that lowermost 1-inch of the tongue to prevent this intrusion.
Good BG Comp
- Body Geometry design helps improve alignment
- Great breathability on hot days
- Love the ratcheting upper buckle and found it easy to adjust on-the-fly
- Very comfortable fit
- Excellent walkability without sacrificing pedaling power
- Great traction
Bad BG Comp
- Gap between floating tongue and uppers allows dirt to penetrate
- Buckle didn’t always retract on its own
- May be just a tad heavier than comparable models
Bottom Line: Speciailzed BG Comp MTB Shoes
Switching to new bike shoes can be challenging, but ditching the old dogs for the affordable Specialized BG Comp MTB shoes should be a no-brainer. The Body Geometry features can be felt and the overall package has little to complain about for the price.