Ride Concepts Hellion Clip shoe review – stiff and stable enduro shoes

Ride Concepts takes their popular Hellion flat pedal shoe and gives them a clipless redesign

Ride Concepts Hellion Clip shoe
(Image: © Graham Cottingham)

Bike Perfect Verdict

The Ride Concepts Hellion Clip is a comfortable and capable enduro-ready shoe. A stiff but damped sole, loads of cleat adjustment, and a great fit give it loads of stability when tackling the tech.

Pros

  • +

    Universal forgiving yet secure fit

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    Look great

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    Good pedaling stiffness

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    Enough damping to absorb impacts

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    Long cleat slots give a very rearward cleat position

Cons

  • -

    The softer fit reduces finite foot input

  • -

    A touch heavy

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Since their initial launch in 2018, Ride Concepts have managed to make a name for themselves on the MTB gravity scene in a very short period of time. Established as a mountain bike-specific footwear company, they have already produced some of the best MTB shoes for men, women, and youth riders.

The flat pedal Hellion model has been around since the company's inception, however, it wasn't until the end of last year that they released the Hellion Clip I have on test. The Hellion Clip is aimed at enduro riding, positioning itself in between the and sits between the more trail-orientated Tallac Clip and DH-orientated Transition Clip with its mid-height protection. 

Ride Concepts Hellion Clip shoe review

The Hellion Clip adds a clipless sole and Velcro strap to Ride Concepts popular Hellion flat pedal shoe (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Design and specifications

Visually, there isn’t much to differentiate between the flat and clip pedal versions. Upper construction is much the same too with their microfiber synthetic and anti-bacterial mesh lining controls. They both feature scuff-proof TPU toe and heel sections with internal toe protection. The tongue is gusseted to keep debris out and has an elasticated lace tidy. Along with the laces, Ride Concepts has added a hook and loop Velcro strap to the Hellion Clip to give them extra security. Inside there is an EVA midsole and dual-density insole to give additional support and cushion when riding.

All the differences lie underneath, the hexagonal treaded sole uses Ride Concepts' Clip Grip rubber compound which isn't as grippy as their Max Grip to pedal release easier, but is still soft enough for pins to bite into. The cleat is recessed within a very long channel to help guide you back into the pedal mechanism mid-ride and the cleat slots themselves have indexed markings. The slots are quite long too which gives plenty of room for adjustment and the ability to properly slam your cleats really far back if preferred. 

The Hellion Clips come in Black/Charcoal or Khaki/Black colorways for the men, or a single Charcoal/Manzanita in the women's shoes. The women's shoe comes in sizes from US 5 (EU35) to  US 10 (EU41.5) with half sizes in between. The men's goes from US 7 (EU39.5) to US 15 (EU49.5) with half sizes for all but the largest three sizes.

Ride Concepts Hellion Clip shoe sole detail

Long cleat channels help guide your cleat back into the pedal (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Performance

The Hellion Clips are more than stiff enough to give a solid pedaling platform without translating harsh slaps or vibrations when rattling down the trial. The shank is long enough and stout enough that there are no hotspots on from the edge of the cleat plate or pedal.

The fit isn’t super snug but it was still secure enough that my foot didn't move around when putting in the power or pushing the bike sideways through corners. The fit also offers ample stabilization stopping my foot from rolling or lifting when riding through rough sections although it feels softer and more disconnected compared to closer-fitting shoes if you're a rider that uses their feet for extra fine input.  

Ride Concepts Hellion Clip shoe tow detail

A stiff toe box and reinforced scuff section will protect against any mid ride toe stubbing incidents (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Although Ride Concepts classes the Hellion Clip as low volume, they are still quite a bulky shoe. That's not an issue for gravity or trail riding as it's reassuring to have a little extra material between you and the trailside objects as you whizz past. The larger size and extra bit of weight mean these aren’t the first shoes I would go for bigger mileage trail days though, although they are more than comfortable enough to wear all day. 

I found engaging and disengaged from my Crankbrothers Mallet Trail pedals to be a little stiff, but the clip-in and out action became easier after a few rides. Interestingly, while I expected a deeper cleat channel to be the cause, it measures the same as the Crankbrothers Mallet E Speed shoe I used previously. The cleat plate on the Mallet shoes has significantly deformed from the pedals jaw mechanism while the Ride Concepts cleat plate hasn't deformed to the same extent. If you ride using Crankbrothers pedals and prefer a looser pedal feel, I would recommend fitting the cleat with a cleat shim. 

Ride Concepts Hellion Clip shoe velcro lace strap detail

The Velcro strap is a welcome addition adding extra security  (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Verdict

The Hellion Clip is a versatile gravity-orientated shoe that performs well for any riding from trail to downhill but specializes in enduro. They manage both pedaling performance and impact absorption well, giving a stiff and stable platform when driving power through the pedals or battering through roots and rocks. The soft fit should be agreeable with a wide range of foot shapes and I found them comfortable enough for a full days pedaling or hoofing back up the trail to session a section. 

Tech specs: Ride Concepts Hellion Clip shoe

  • Price: $150.00 / £149.95
  • Color:  Mens - Black/Charcoal or Khaki/Black colorways Women - Charcoal/Manzanita
  • Retention: Laces and Velcro
  • Weight: 1,011g (EU 43)
  • Sizes: EU 37 – 49.5
Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road. With almost 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro, and gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotland's wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes, or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect.

Rides: Cotic SolarisMax, Stooge MK4, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg