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How to put SPD cleats on road cycling shoes?

 How to fit SPD cleats on your cycling shoes

  • When purchasing new cycling shoes, always insert the cleats yourself. While putting cleats may appear to be a simple task, incorrectly placed cleats might damage your cycling experience.
  • Fortunately, changing and fitting your cleats is a simple process. You don't need many tools aside from new cleats. You can get started straight away if you already know where your new cleats should go.
How to put SPD cleats on road cycling shoes?

What Are SPD Cleats and How Do They Work?

  • These cleats link to the underside of your cycling shoes' soles and subsequently to the pedal itself, physically securing you to the bike. This implies that every action of your leg is transmitted directly to the pedal, resulting in enhanced power and efficiency from your legs' energy.
  • SPD cleats are one of the most common types of cleats. SPD-style shoes, on the other hand, do not arrive with the cleat already placed, and the instructions can be perplexing for those unfamiliar with the sport. So, to follow, here's a quick tutorial on how to put SPD cleats on your mountain bike shoes.

The difference between cycling cleats for road bikes and MTB

  • It's important to understand that road bike shoes and mountain bike shoes require different cleats. Also, make sure the cleats fit properly on both your shoe and your pedal. The procedure for replacing cleats on a mountain bike or a road cycle is very similar, so you may use the same steps.
  • Three bolts are nearly always used to fasten a road bike shoe cleat to the shoe. This includes cleats from Shimano SPD-SL, Look Keo, and Time, among others. Speedplay cleats contain four bolts but come with a 3-hole cycling shoe adaptor.
  • MTB bike shoes always have two bolts to secure the cleats. Mountain bike cleats are available from Shimano SPD-PD, Crank Brothers, Time, Ritchey, and Look, to name a few. For mountain bike shoes, the cleat is substantially smaller than for road bike shoes.

Placing new cycling cleats

  • If you're unhappy with the location of your cleats and want to change them, or if you're wearing new cycling shoes, there are three positions to consider. We'll list them here and then teach you how to put them in each position.
  • Foremost, the position of your foot's ball with respect to the pedal axle is critical. This affects how far your foot will move forward or backward on the pedal. As a result, how far forward or backward your cleat should be determined.
  • When you stand in a relaxed stance, do your toes point inwards or outwards? This impacts where your cleat should be placed.
  • Second, pay attention to the angle formed by your heel and the crank arm. Do you want your heel to be closer to or further away from the crank?
  • Third, note how far your bicycle shoe is from the crank arm. How near to the crank arm do you want your shoe to be?
Placing new cycling cleats

1. The position of the ball of your foot in relation to the pedal axle

  • The ball of the foot should be directly above the pedal axle for most road and mountain bike riders. This is a decent place to put the cleat for the average biker.
  • If you have trouble feeling the ball of your foot, tape a small bolt to the ball of your bare foot using a piece of tape. After that, put on your cycling shoe, which will make it much easier to locate the ball of your foot through the shoe.
  • Use a marker to record the location of your ball of the foot, which is much easier than having your finger there all the time...
  • Draw a small line on the sole of your cycling shoe once you've found the ball of your foot. The first measuring point has now been marked. When you've finished installing the cleat, the line should be directly above the pedal axle.

2. Feet inward or outward?

  • Human feet rarely point directly ahead. With your toes pointing inward or outward, your feet can either point towards each other or outward. It is critical that you consider this when adjusting your shoe cleats for your comfort.
  • Stand steady in an upright stance for a time to see how to install your cleats. Look down at your toes. Is it straight, with the toes turned inside, or straight, with the toes turned outward?
  • Are your feet in a straight line? Then, as straight as possible, install the cleats. Is it possible that your toes are pointed outward? Then, while inserting your cleats, turn them slightly inward. Are your toes pointing inside or outward? When adjusting the cleats, turn them slightly outward. There's no need to correct your full foot misalignment, so don't go overboard!
  • When cycling, do you experience any pressure or pain in your knees? Then make a minor adjustment to the cleats. Is the sensation still there? Then it's a good idea to double-check your saddle height, as an inappropriate saddle height can cause knee difficulties.

3. The distance between your cycling shoe and the crank arm

  • A cleat can also be moved from left to right. As a result, the heel or side of your shoe will not rub against the crank, and you will be able to apply pressure to your pedal as straight as feasible.
  • This, too, varies from one person to the next. When pedaling, make sure your shoe does not come into contact with the crank arm.

How Do SPD Cleats Work?

  • For your riding, a clipless pedal system with SPD cleats has a lot of benefits:
  • a stable pedaling platform that eliminates the risk of foot loss from the pedals
  • Once you get the hang of it, entering and leaving the clip is simple.
  • shedding mud It goes without saying that there will be times when you have to walk when mountain biking and the cleat's shape is intended to reduce the amount of muck or dirt that gets packed inside the mechanism.
  • Additionally, compared to regular shoes, mountain bike shoes feature a considerably more stiff sole, which helps to uniformly distribute the force of your pedaling and gives you more power with each pedal stroke.
  • Position your shoe on the pedal so the cleat is lined up with the pedal's clip, then press down firmly until you feel the clip engage to "enter" the cleat. Twist your heel away from the bike frame to release the cleat and get "out" of the pedals.
  • Gaining confidence and speed when moving in and out of the pedals will require some practice. I advise using the wall to support yourself while maintaining balance on your bike. Repeat the move on both sides repeatedly until you feel confident in it.

How Can SPD Cleats Be Adjusted for Greater or Less Gripping Force?

  • Take a few shorts, simple rides to become familiar with your new pedal system once you've put your SPD cleats in your mountain bike shoes and practiced enough to feel comfortable. Even after all your practice, you can discover that it requires too much effort to rapidly release the pedal from the cleat. If you want the cleat to grip less, you might wish to tweak it.
  • You probably want more gripping force in the cleat if you're riding and the clips release at odd times that you didn't expect.
  • By placing pins or spacers on the pedal, you can adjust it. The bottom of the shoe can grip the pedals thanks to the pins on them. You have more grip the more pins you have. Longer pins also have a stronger grip than shorter pins. Therefore, to improve the grip on your pedals, add more pins or lengthen the existing pins by removing spacers.

Knee problems and the position of your cycling cleats

  • If you have physical issues, such as knee pain, it's possible that the location of your cleats is to blame. It's beneficial to learn more about this topic first.
  • Go to Steve Hogg's website to learn more about how to change your cleats. He is one of the most well-known bike mechanics. Additionally, has a wealth of information about cleat installation and bike fitting.

Tools Needed for Installing SPD Cleats

  • goog_600481764mm Hex Wrench for attaching the SPD cleat in the shoe
  • 4mm hex torque wrench for tightening the SPD cleats
  • 3 mm hexagon wrench
  • 8 mm hexagon wrench
  • 7 mm spanner
  • 8 mm spanner
  • 10 mm spanner
  • 17 mm spanner
  • Screwdriver
  • Hexoglubular #15
  • TL-PD33
  • TL-PD40
  • TL-PD63
Tools Needed for Installing SPD Cleats

Can You Put SPD Cleats on Road Cycling Shoes?

  • Road bicycle shoes can support SPD cleats. In fact, many spin bikes need this configuration.
  • Essentially, the cleats must work with the pedals rather than a specific pair of shoes. While some mountain biking shoes come with a generic SPD cleat, typically the cleats are packaged with the pedals. For details on how to put your SPD cleats in road cycling shoes, go to the directions above.

How to install a cleat for road bike shoes?

  • Let's imagine you are setting up or changing a 3-hole system. Your cleat's three holes match the three holes in your sole.
  • You have mountain bike shoes if the sole of your shoe contains four closely spaced holes. You only use two of the four holes on mountain bike shoes, either the two on the front or the two on the back. Do you have four holes in a big rectangle spaced far apart? They are then road bike shoes made specifically for Speedplay.

Replacing your cleats in 10 steps

  1. Begin by unscrewing the bolts
  2. Remove the old cleat
  3. Give the shoe sole and the holes for the bolts a good cleaning
  4. Grease the new bolts with assembly paste or Loctite
  5. Put the new cleat in place
  6. Turn in the bolts by hand
  7. Put the cleat in the correct position
  8. Tighten one bolt a bit, then the second one, then the third one; repeat
  9. If you have carbon shoe soles, use a torque wrench for the last turns
  10. Remove any remaining assembly paste

How to Install SPD Cleats on Mountain Bike Shoes?

  • You can see a cutout with two bolts in the center when you flip over the soles of your mountain bike shoes. Use the hex wrench or bike tool to remove this bottom plate. The cleat is fastened to this. You can skip this step if your shoes already have the bottom plate removed.
  • You can now install the base plate that comes with the cleat after removing the plate. The base plate should be inserted into the shoe's slots. Leave this step out if a base plate is currently there because it is specifically designed for your shoe model and will function better than an attachment. The plate is attached with the protruding screw holes facing the bottom of the shoe, underneath the replaceable sole.
  • Choosing whether you need a spacer between the shoe and the cleat is the next step. A spacer is needed if, when clipped in, the rubber sole of the shoe hooks on the pedal cage and makes it difficult to clip in and out. It will provide you a little more separation from the rubber bottoms of the shoes by setting the cleat further away from the shoe's sole.
  • Place the cleat's body over the metal plate and safety plate.
  • Aligning the interior of the cleat with the holes in the base plate and shoe, insert it now.
  • The cleats included bolts should now be inserted and tightened with a hex wrench such that they are snug but still manageable by hand. Once it is fastened to the base plate, you can arrange it so that your feet are in the most helpful and comfortable position when pedaling (the next section covers potential positions).
  • You can use the hex wrench to make the final tightening once you've found the position that works best for you. It needs to be tight due to the amount of twisting and lateral movement required in the activity in order to prevent further damage and to make it simple for your feet to twist out of the pedal. If it's too loose, you'll go to twist out and get stuck with your foot, which will require a whole new process that can be both laborious and embarrassing.

How to Position Your Cleats for Mountain Biking With Clipless Pedals

  • Cleats have the capacity to glide and adapt on your shoe, which is one feature. This gives you the flexibility to choose where your feet are placed and allows you to choose the position that will allow you to use your leg muscles the most effectively.
  • A widespread misconception holds that the cleat should be put very far forward, under the foot's ball, and that doing so is a good idea if you want to move quickly. However, stability and endurance are equally crucial for mountain biking, and changing the cleats can significantly affect these factors.
  • When cycling, having the cleat further back relieves less tension on our calf muscles from a biomechanical perspective that takes into account our muscle anatomy. As a result, you can pedal more effectively and for a longer period of time because you aren't putting extra strain on your legs. Additionally, it will increase stability because cycling uses your quads more than your calf muscles altogether, making the quads more crucial for the sport.
  • Does this imply that you need to fully reposition the cleats? Your heal will naturally sink down if the cleat is placed further back, increasing your bike's stability. When cycling on steeper, trickier terrain, it will be especially noticeable.
  • But as was already mentioned, everyone cycles a little bit differently. You might not be as effective with cleats to the rear. Increasing these factors won't help you if you already have good natural stability and endurance. For this reason, while you aren't wanting to give up anything for speed, it is most advised to keep the cleats anywhere from the middle to the back. To discover the ideal setting for you, experiment with various modifications.