Boa Warranty Joy

Over the last year I have been struggling with the Boa lace fasteners on my Lake cycling shoes. One of them will do up, undo, but then require disassembling and reassembling for it to work again.

For those who have no idea what I am on about - the concept is simple enough. A single, high strength plastic coated braided steel lace makes its way around pivot points on the shoe, before making its way back into the fastener. The fastener is a round disk or dial that clicks in very small increments to shorten and fasten the lace, and then, to release you pull the dial out - with a pop - and the tension on the lace is released. As the 'lace' makes its way around its captive turning points it has a lot lower friction than a conventional lave in an eyelet - and it moves easily. Reducing tight spots, and allowing tension to be provided across the reach of the laces evenly. Magic.

Well okay - maybe not magic, but a well thought out and executed concept.

Right up until one breaks and is irritating, and then the other one gives in. Oh. Fail.

Somewhere in the back of my head I remembered that they had a lifetime warranty. Which was quickly confirmed at their website. I contacted them with a picture of the broken fastener and the rest of the system - they identified the type in use (correctly) and sent me out - no questions asked (short of postal address) two COMPLETE REPLACEMENT KITS - with choice of laces, screwdrivers, reels, and ratchets... along with some re assuringly simplistic instructions.

img_3664ABOVE: The kit as delivered - as promised within 4 days.

img_3672ABOVE: A bad picture of how these differ - the design has clearly changed. I am not talking about the fact the original had a softer grip edge, I am talking about the retention of the mechanism... which is what has failed in both cases here - the top comes off exposing the retention spring and the ratchets (seen here from the other side). *14oz selvedge denim model's own.

img_3673ABOVE: A comparison of the old unit and the new one. No, I have not changed anything else - despite what it may seem like to the casual observer I am not in the habit of making my life more complex than it needs to be. I have the laces and the means to do this if necessary at a later point. Yes, they are nitrile gloves, yes I dislike getting filthy hands when it can easily be avoided - so what ;)

In conclusion - I guess what I am trying to say is if you have a set of slightly less than optimal boa laces on something - drop them a line - my experience has been nothing less FABULOUS. If the use of a system like this has ever made you hesitant - it is going to be far from the weakest point in the garment.

The one thing I would say however - is as with anything - if you have long, narrow feets .... like me... then while they can result in super comfy fit (and do not get me wrong, closest fitting, most comfy cycling shoes ever, and I have had Carnac, Specialized, Sidi in the past... if they need to do up too narrow they can look a bit arse. Seriously, crease into the front of the shoe thing... not a good look. But hey that is a fault with my bio mechanics as opposed to the  lace system or shoe design of the Lakes I guess.

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