Greg Minnaar 5:10 Mountain Biking Shoes Review

I’ve been banging on about it for a while, but big news folks – I’ve finally bought my 5:10s! Yip, a pair of Greg Minnar 5:10 mountain bike shoes currently grace my surprisingly small and girlish feet. Cue cheers around the world, sighs of relief, high-fives around the offices at five ten HQ. Or possibly just a big silence. Who knows. I’ll go with the first option.

In any case, let’s not beat about the bush – yep, they’re awesome.

Greg Minnaar 5 10 mountain biking shoes

A pair of well loved Greg Minnaar 5 10 shoes

A bit of background – I’ve been a clipped-in kinda guy since very early in my mountain biking days. I heard all the hype about clipless pedals and the control, power and safety they offer. After a few early jaunts to Glentress and some dicy pedal slipping moments I began to think they had a point.

Of course, this was me riding on a pair of stock standard bottom-end Specialized Hardrock pedals and a pair of running shoes. Shock horror, guess what – shitty pedals and completely unsuitable shoes equals one hell of a slippy, unsafe, ankle slicing, ball crushing ride. Not actually coming to that realisation at the time, off to the Bike Co-op I went and purchased a shiny new pair of Northride shoes and a pair of basic Shimano SPDs. And on I went through a series of shoes and cleats to my current Cannondale/Time A-TAC setup which has served me well for about 2 years.

Recently though I realised – in an amazing deduction of logic, I thought – that perhaps a decent pair of shoes might make flats a bit more useful. Again, this isn’t new to the blog, I’ve written about changing to flat pedals before. So, onto the web and a few reviews later I found that 5-10s seem to be where it’s at. Let’s do it then, I thought, and added another eye watering sum to the financial hemmorage that is my credit card.

I have to say though, they live up to the hype. I bought the Greg MInnar 5-10s, set up with the tacky-ass sole 5-10s are famous far, but including a cleat inset should you need them. Well, let’s not burn my bridges I thought…

I’ve got a nice pair of Kona flat pedals – nothing too fancy, but with a good set of pins on them – and, I have to say, they grip like a fat kid on his favourite sugar based snack. I’m amazed at how secure they feel, after the initial first shaky line of course. Finding how to ride jumps and drops with flats, sucking the bike up and slamming it down, was a fun experience, and I think, as I hoped, it’s hugely helped to improve my riding.

The tacky sole of a Minnaar 5:10 - Cleat or clipless enabled

The tacky sole of a Minnaar 5:10 - Cleat or clipless enabled

Berms are more fun now with the real option to put a foot down as needed. Technical obstacles just feel more tackle-able, if that’s a word, now that I can escape the bike so much more easily.

In case you’re wondering, I haven’t noticed any loss of power on the uphills. I’m not convinced that many people REALLY pull up with their opposite foot, or, if they do, that it makes much of a difference. I’ll take the added manouverability of being able to put a foot out on a technical up, and the growth of my riding skills thanks to the removal of my clipless crutch.

Hell, I’m even learning how to bunny-hop properly! No pulling up with my feet or anything!

I suppose this isn’t really a review of the 5-10s as I’ve no other flats to compare them to, but I can’t imagine them being any better to be honest. Take this from a near-virgin flat mountain bike flat pedaller – they stick like glue, and look pretty cool too. There, I’ve thrown in a rhyme to sweeten the deal. What more could you want?


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Colin

Colin started mountain biking in the early 2000s and has haphazardly, and with barely increasing skill, dragged his bike around the majority of Scotland's trail centres since then. Colin has oodles of hard earned experience in how NOT to do things - listen, be warned and don't repeat his mistakes...   More about Colin... Google+ Colin

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2 Responses

  1. Gavin Scott says:

    Hi Colin,

    Im really enjoying your articles on your website.
    You still riding on your flats?
    For years I’ve been riding with clipless pedals and been getting on great and there was a brief moment in my clipless career I decided to try out flats(at this point I was still riding hardtails and would only venture onto red graded trails) and I just used my normal trainers with them.
    First few outings my feet were bouncing off them all the time and I whacked my shins with the pedals- lovely painful experience.
    So it was back to clipless and couple years on my ridng started progessing and I managed to save up and by a decent long travel xc bike.
    Over the last year and half my riding has been rapidly improving and my style of riding has been leaning towards the aggresive side and I’ve wanted to do bigger stuff, but I’ve felt one thing has been holding me back- being clipped in!

    First started to notice this on some tight small tight berms when I’ve been attacking them at some speed but needing the reasurance of having a foot off the pedal, but getting clipped in again once you come out of the berm on rough ground at high speed isnt easy to do sometimes!

    Now I’ve just bought a Santa Cruz Nomad 160mm travel bike and the first thing I did was buy a pair of Five Ten’s.
    Its amazing how they stick to the pedals! Next best thing to being clipped in!

    The mistake I made a few years back was to use normal trainers that had a hard rubber compund- that was no use whatsoever!

    I think this will help transform my riding tenfold and do really recommend that people thinking about trying flats will not be dissapointed as long as they have the correct shoes like the Five Tens.

    A match made in heaven: DMR Vault Pedals and Five Ten shoes.

    To be honest I’ve only been out on my new bike twice but have had no probs in switching from clipless to flats and they are only giving me more confidence.

    If I was just doing cross country riding- I probably would stick to clipless, but for All Mountain or downhill it has to be flats for me.

  2. Colin says:

    Thanks for getting in touch Gavin, great info there, and I’m sure it’ll be useful to everyone else reading the site!

    Yep, I’m still on my flats – riding my Greg Minnaar 5:10s at the moment. I’m looking to upgrade my pedals though. I’ve been looking at a few of the ultra thin flat pedals that you get these days. It’s one of my few complaints about flats – they don’t have catch on rocks when you don’t want them to, certainly more than the more-streamline clipless variety.

    Those Tioga no-axel ones look pretty sexy…. might get myself a pair of those!

    Keep on riding those flats, and keep in touch on here – let me know how you’re getting on with them!

    Colin

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