BicycleSource Newsletter

Improper cleat adjustment can completely undermine the advantages of cleats. If the ball of the foot is not over the pedal spindle, or the leg is forced into an unnatural twist, you not only compromise performance but risk knee injury.

The first step in adjusting your cleats is to grease the cleat bolts and tighten them moderately. Mount the bike, click or strap in, and adjust the position so that the ball of your foot either directly above or slightly behind the pedal axle. Keep in mind that cleats positioned too far forward on the shoe will generate excessive ankle movement, and can cause in Achilles strain.

Make a note beforehand of the direction your feet point naturally when riding without cleats. Try to duplicate this arrangement if it differs substantially by from simply leaving a centimeter between the ankle and crank arm. If your pedal allows some rotational freedom, be sure that you don't center it too close to the crank and allow your shoe to come to close.

Now, fully tighten the cleat bolts and go riding. Cleat positioning is often an iterative process, so keep making small adjustments until it feels just right. If you have a hard time getting your cleats, or your bike in general, adjusted just right, then try to track down a bike shop which uses the Fit Kit, which is particularly well recommended for setting cleats.
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