In Part 1 of this series, we looked at a basic overview of the clipless pedals types available. In this post, we’ll review cycling cleat attachment and cleat positioning.
Attaching your cleats to your cycling shoes
Cleats are attached to your cycling shoes with screws and a little bicycle grease. Some people use loctite, grease and fingernail polish, but I prefer just plain old bicycle grease because one day I will probably want to actually remove or replace the cleats. (If you live in a rainy climate, like Seattle, your cleat screws may get rusty, which can also seal them in place, though in a less desirable way.)
Inspect your cleats!
It’s a good practice to inspect your cleats frequently to make sure the cleat screws are tight. Screws can loosen, especially right after you install and ride on them. Since cleat positioning is so critical to comfort and pedal function, checking your cleats for tightness can prevent injury and keep you safer on the bike.
Attaching your cleats to your cycling shoes in the correct position requires some attention. Cleats have some variability in their positioning, which allows the cleat to work with a wide range of anatomical variations.
Irregular cleat placement with respect to anatomical variation will almost inevitably create an injury to your knee. The best way to avoid injury due to incorrectly positioned cleats is to have a qualified person help you with cleat position, particularly if you are lacking experience in this area.
If you are thinking, ‘Ah, it’ll be alright,’ you may be taking a big risk. This truly is a case were an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure (maybe even 100 pounds). Proper cleat positioning will keep you on your bike and help keep your knees happy and healthy.