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Northwave started a new partnership supporting the Cape Epic and its Epic Series of multi-stage cross-country marathon mountain bike races last year, and is now celebrating with a special edition pair of Rebel x Epic XC shoes. Picking from their second-tier of XC race shoes, the Northwave Rebel 3 offers a premium 2-dial fit, a race-stiff carbon sole that you can still hike-a-bike in, and now a striking black & orange look…
Northwave Rebel 3 x Epic Series XC mountain bike shoes
Billed as a mix of long-distance comfort and enduring high performance, the new Northwave Rebel 3 x Epic Series edition cross-country marathon mountain bike shoes get their debut this week in South Africa at the Cape Epic on the feet of Andreas Seewald and Martin Stošek. But we also have a pair too, and they strike a solid balance of performance stiffness, light weight, walkability, and a price that’s not astronomic.
The Rebel 3 x Epic Series gets Northwave’s second-stiffest XC12 carbon mountain bike sole with a combination of overall carbon composite structure reinforced with a full-carbon insert around your cleats, then over-molded with TPU protection, replaceable toe spikes, and non-replaceable rubber lugs. The Rebel 3 XC12 sole is internally rated by Northwave as a Stiffness Index 12, compared to the SI 14 of their range-topping Extreme XC 2 MTB shoes.
The Rebel 3 features a 1-piece seamless synthetic microfiber upper with laser-perforated side & toe vents, a mesh vented tongue, two Northwave SLW3 dial-wire adjustment, and heat-welded TPU toe & heel reinforcement. The special Epic Series edition gets a unique matte black finish, with amber yellow (orange) NW logo and Epic Series graphics on the outer side of each shoe. They also get a special edition matching black & amber foam insole/footbed, as well.
We’ve just received a set of the special edition Northwave Rebel 3 x Epic Series shoes, and the seem to strike a good balance of fit & performance. Unlike the top Northwave XC shoes, the Rebel 3 upper & tongue configuration provides a bit more fit adjustability to cyclists with low to medium volume feet. And the shoes feel very stiff on the bike, but still do have a little front-to-rear flex, mostly feeling in the mid-foot to heel on the bike. Off the bike, a little toe flex makes walking up steep inclines a bit easier.
The compromise that cuts 1/3 of the price off the Extreme XC2, is the more basic upper, the slightly less stiff but still carbon sole, less fancy wire lacing, and in-house rubber that’s probably going to wear longer but is not as sticky as the more expensive Michelin lugs. In fact, they are even 50g lighter than the Extremes, with my EU43 pair without cleats weighing in at a respectable 709g.
Northwave Rebel x Epic shoes – Pricing & availability
The new Northwave Rebel 3 x Epic Series shoes retail for 210€. They are available in EU whole sizes 36-48, and half sizes from 39-46. Get a pair now in-person at the Cape Epic or any Epic Series race villages, direct from Northwave’s website, or through any of their regular retailers.