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The CX 401 in all its glory

Lake CX 401
REVIEW DATE: 8 Aug, 2009
RRP: $799
Retailer(s): Lakes stockists Nationwide

Lake pushed the boundaries two years ago with the CX 400 Custom shoe, no manufacturer had ever added a custom sole to a production shoe before, coupled with its ultra lightweight construction and use of kangaroo leather and CFC carbon it was going to be interesting to see how they stood up to the rigors of everyday riding.

I had almost done two years in the 400's when the 401's arrived in the office, I pretty much climbed over the desks to get to the courier first and rip away that annoying polybag to reveal what is pretty much the most eye-catching pair of cycling shoes one will ever see.

The 400's had stood up well to the challenge of everyday riding and have now been relegated to grey days, in order to keep the showroom shine on the 401's as long as possible.  The kangaroo leather is probably the most robust material that can be used on race shoes, I can see why the likes of Dainese and Alpine Stars use it in the manufacturing of their top end motorcycle race suits.  The suppleness of the Roo skin is like nothing else.

The custom moldable CFC sole still works on the same principle, (warm it in an oven and mold it) and the fastening is still done by the tidy Boa cable system.  What has been reworked is the shape of the sole contact points when both riding and walking to the bike.

The cleat area now sits a little prouder and really seperates the workable areas of the sides, heel and instep.  The heel pad is now both screwed and glued and bound to never come free unlike its younger bro the 400.

At just 235 grammes lake have slimmed a few more g's from the design which no doubt was another factor when riders of the cablibre of Carlos Sastre contacted Lake owner Lee Katz for test pairs late last season.

So I pretty much maintain, they are a big investment but not far off the value of a top end set of handles bars or saddle, and more importantly you are pushing all of your energy through them all ride, so if there is going to be one area where custom and better fit can enhance your ride its at the start, your feet, and you get two!



Click to enlarge...
The tweaked sole of the 401 is a good upgrade

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