The first thing you notice when opening up the packet for the Galibier AQUA Crono II overshoes is just how WHITE they are, gleaming, almost dazzling in their brightness - and you can't help but wonder how long it will be until they are a minging dirty brown. Their feathery weight and jovial brightness mask what is ultimately a performance-based product, with the cover's aim to smooth the flow of air in racing situations.
Without the aid of a wind tunnel it's going to be pretty hard to empirically evaluate how well air is smoothed over the with the addition of the Crono, but it's evident that the buckles and laces are certainly glossed over by the thin rubberised lycra shoe covers. It would seem obvious that the aero impact of the shoes, minimal though it's likely to be, is minimised even more.
These are not really meant for the commute, as the material doesn't lend itself to keeping your feet warm, other than by blocking wind itself. Prolonged usage will impact their lifespan quite significantly. There is some reinforcement on the toe and heel but overall performance and weight seem to have been the key design concerns.
Light drizzle and spray is dealt with well, with the rubberised material doing a solid job at keeping the feet dry. Having said that however, the sole is very open, and like nearly all overshoes, if it's proper wet out then the water will come in from the tops after soaking through the tights/socks etc. Once dirty they are easily cleaned, either a good rubbing or a spray down will get them buff again.
They are very stretchy and supple, so donning them is easy and a simple velcro tab at the rear helps the zip fasten securely without applying to much pressure to the ankle area.
I must say that the whiteness certainly helps highlight your feet in the winter gloom, and with large reflective strips up the rear they provide added visibility for other road users.
If racing is your thing and you are looking to squeeze some marginal gains out then they would make a good shoe cover for your racing needs, but keep using neoprene booties for the commute.
Lightweight with few frills; smooth your shoes and add a modicum of weather protection
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Make and model: Galibier AQUA Crono overshoe II
Size tested: White, XL
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Primarily aimed at racing and time trials they are all about smoothing airflow and providing insulation from the wind and road-spray. Not really commuter-wear, but their shoe-hugging nature makes them a solid choice if you're racing in the wet.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Composition: 61%PA, 22%PU, 16%EA
Aerodynamic – PU-coated for time trial and road race use
Neat reinforcement on toe and heal area
Slippery, Stretchy blanc finish
Rear reflective trim
Hard to measure the aero benefits but they do a reasonable job at keeping the upper foot dry, too much scope for water to come in from the bottom for my liking though.
After a dozen rides in them the rubberised lycra is starting to disintegrate around the key stretching areas - doubtful I'll get a full winter out of them. Having said that, they are designed for racing not commuting so durability isn't key.
Very lightweight covers.
Tight without being overly so, and not restrictive in any way.
Not particularly weather-resistant, but if you are looking to smooth flow, and who isn't, then they probably do a solid job at shaving seconds off your PB.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Road spray is minimised but heavy rain will get through pretty quickly, they do however provide a snug enclosure for your racing shoes.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The are certainly lightweight and provide good visibility - also wash up well.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not weather-proof enough for my liking.
Did you enjoy using the product? Not especially.
Would you consider buying the product? Probably not.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? If they were looking to race with them yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Non nonsense racing covers, do a decent enough job, but not ideal in the rougher weather.
Age: 37 Height: 176cm Weight:
I usually ride: Rapide RC4, Raleigh SP Race, Hoffman BMX My best bike is: Rapide RC4
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, Adventure-packing, crossing-countries