2024-07-21
Home Performances tales Innovation and Performance: The new Ekoï C12 Pro Team shoes in collaboration with Michelin
Performances tales

Innovation and Performance: The new Ekoï C12 Pro Team shoes in collaboration with Michelin

Raphael Dalle reveals details of the new Ekoï shoes and how they achieved success at the Giro d'Italia

Innovation and Performance: The new Ekoï C12 Pro Team shoes in collaboration with Michelin
Photo credit: Ekoi instagram

Ekoï is a leading cycling apparel and accessories company. The brand is known for its commitment to innovation and quality and offers a wide range of products from helmets and goggles to technical clothing and footwear. Ekoï stands out for its ability to combine functionality and design, collaborating with professional cyclists to develop equipment that enhances sports performance.

Over the years, Ekoï has gained a solid reputation in the cycling world by working closely with top athletes and constantly seeking innovative solutions. The brand’s mission is to provide athletes with products that help them achieve their goals by combining comfort, lightweight and aerodynamics.

Founded in 2001 in Roubaix, Ekoï embarked on a unique journey, aiming to be different and international from the beginning. The name “Ekoï,” with its distinctiveness in the use of umlauts on the “Ï,” was chosen to stand out in a market dominated by brands with American or Italian-sounding names.

Initially, the brand sold its products through traditional wholesalers and major sports chains, offering high-quality helmets and goggles at excellent value for money. In 2008, the brand launched its own website, beginning to present its new products and the professionals who wore them directly to the public. This step marked the beginning of a unique international success story.

In 2010, Ekoï decided to change its business model, opting to sell exclusively online globally. This change accelerated the development of the brand, enabling a rapid expansion of the product offering.

 Ekoi C12 Pro Team | shoestechnologies
Photo credit: Ekoï Instagram

Today, it covers all the cyclist’s needs, from head to toe, and is present in the four main disciplines: road cycling, triathlon, mountain biking and, most recently, gravel.

Recently, Ekoï launched a new shoe in collaboration with Michelin, the Ekoï C12 Pro Team. To learn more about the features of these revolutionary shoes, we interviewed Raphael Dalle, Footwear Manager at Ekoï, who gave us a detailed overview of this new product.

The evolution of Ekoï’s design and production from 2001 to today

From 2001 to the present, Ekoï has seen a significant evolution in the design and production of its products. In an industry where every detail can make a difference, the company has always focused on performance as the main driver of its choices.

In today’s cycling, all choices are driven by performance. Our research and development team works daily to improve our products, offering athletes the best equipment in terms of comfort, weight and aerodynamics. Over the past 20 years, it has been critical to always be driven by innovation, and the close relationship we have with professional athletes is very important to this.

This dedication to innovation is also reflected in strategic partnerships, such as the recent one with Michelin.

The New Ekoï C12 Pro Team Shoes

After their success in mountain biking, enduro, gravel, downhill and cross country disciplines, the debut of Michelin soles in road cycling is a major innovation for the Giro d’Italia 2024.

It is one of the most prestigious cycling races in the world, along with the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana. Founded in 1909, the Giro d’Italia takes place every year in May and covers about 3,500 km through various Italian regions. The race is famous for its extremely challenging mountain stages, beautiful scenery and enthusiastic fans along the roads.

The Giro d’Italia consists of a series of stages that include flat stages, which are ideal for sprinters and take place on relatively flat terrain; medium-mountain stages, with less challenging climbs than the high mountain stages but still decisive in creating significant gaps between riders; high mountain stages, characterized by long, steep climbs that often decide the overall classification; time trial stages, which can be individual or team stages and require riders to complete the course in the shortest possible time; and mixed stages, which combine flat and hilly sections and can favor breakaways and riders with good skills on various terrains.

Innovative features: the carbon sole

Our C12 shoes are a product developed together with professional athletes. We built the shoe to meet their needs in terms of comfort and performance.

Says Raphael

When it comes to performance, it is crucial to have the best power transfer, and this comes mainly from the shape and stiffness of the sole, and in fact, one of the most innovative features of these shoes is the very carbon sole, designed to ensure the best power transfer. The shape and stiffness of the sole are crucial elements for professional cyclists, who need to maximize efficiency to win races.

The sole of the C12 Pro Teams is a concentrate of technology and innovation. The Michelin components-the toe cap and heel counter-were developed exclusively by JV International for Ekoï and are co-molded, eliminating the use of glues and screws. This process increases the lightness of the shoes, a crucial factor in road cycling.

Lightweight but stiff shoes: the materials used

The sole features a woven carbon structure that provides additional lightness and rigidity. A system of different thickness gradations has been added to the toe and heel counter to maximize performance, protect the carbon from contact with the ground, and increase rider safety when releasing the pedals.

The components are made of a thermoplastic polymer with a limited percentage of rubber, further enhancing sole protection. The BOA® Fit System with Dual-Dial Li2 ensures an even fit without any discomfort or pain, allowing multi-directional adjustments for easy and intuitive tightening and loosening.

The impact of the new C12 Pro Teams in professional cycling

At the Giro d’Italia 2024, the new Ekoï C12 Pro Team shoes proved their effectiveness and quality. Thymen Arensman, rider of the Ineos Grenadiers team, took an impressive third place in stage 14 of the Giro. This result is significant because stage 14 is one of the most challenging stages of the race, characterized by steep climbs and difficult conditions.

In addition, Carlos Rodriguez, another cyclist from Ineos Grenadiers, achieved an important victory in the Tour de Romandie 2024. This competition just as prestigious as the Giro d’Italia is part of the UCI World Tour circuit, a series of high-level cycling races organized and overseen by the International Cycling Union (UCI). It takes place annually in the French-speaking region of Switzerland, known as Romandie, and is one of the highlights 

Raphael describes this achievement with pride:

The C12 product was released this year and we are very proud that Carlos Rodriguez (INEOS) won the Tour de Romandie in these shoes. Then Thymen Arensman (INEOS) finished 6th in the Giro with remarkable performances during key stages such as time trials. We also saw in classic races earlier in the season Valentin Madouas and Guillaume Martin perform very well with the shoe. This shows that our C12s can be solid in different conditions and for different types of cyclists. Looking at the trust we receive from great cyclists, we are very confident in the product and are working on many more great projects coming up.

These successes prove that the C12 shoes are suitable for different conditions and types of cyclists.

The new Ekoï C12 Pro Teams are just the beginning of a series of innovative products coming in the next few months. Looking at the trust Ekoï has earned from great athletes, and as Raphael states, “We are very confident in the product and are working on many more great projects.” 

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