How to Attach Cleats to Cycling Shoes

How to Attach Cleats to Cycling Shoes
The modern cycling cleat first appeared in the 1980s, when Bernard Hinault employed them in his bid for victory in the 1985 Tour de France. The new cleat was not only safer, but also allowed for greater pedaling efficiency. With his feet bound to the pedals, the cyclist could now exert power through the full pedal stroke.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Allen key (usually 3 mm.) or flat blade screwdriver
Step 1
Lay the back of the cleat against the bottom of your cycling shoe. Align the holes in the cleat with the screw holes in your shoe.
Step 2
Adjust the fore/aft position of the cleat. The cleat should be positioned so that the balls of the feet will be directly over the center of the pedal.
Step 3
Insert the hardware and screws into the holes on the cleat and tighten the screws just enough to maintain the established fore/aft position.
Step 4
Adjust the angle of the cleat. A good starting point is to angle the cleat so that an invisible line running through the center of the cleat bisects the tip of the shoe. Tighten the screws.
Step 5
Put the shoes on your feet and clip in to your pedals. Looking down, you should see the axle of the pedal passing beneath the center of the ball of your foot. The angle of your cleat should give you about 2 cm clearance between the inside of your heel and the crank arm.

Tips & Warnings

Give your new cleats a short test run before venturing too far on your bike. You'll want to be close to home to make any needed adjustments.

Article Written By Matthew Ferguson

Matthew Ferguson is a writer living in Savannah, Ga. He has been writing for over 10 years and his work has appeared on various online publications. A collection of his short stories was published in spring 2010. He is a graduate of Appalachian State University.

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