Living Jackson

Benefits of cycling

How To Replace & Set Up Cleats For Clipless Pedals


– Ah, it’s only a cleat, just whack it on. How wrong can it be? Well actually very wrong, because if you have these setup badly not only will it effect
your cycling performance, and efficiency, but it
can also lead to niggles, and also injuries, and after all, if you think about it, your cleat is the only
contact point with the bike, where you’re really connected to the bike, and also where you’re
delivering your power. So today I’m gonna show you how to setup your bike cleats correctly, and also with a little bit
of triathlon advice too. (upbeat music) Well 1st of all let’s
take a look at installing, and setting up a brand new set
of cleats on the same shoe, and you can tell here, mine are very worn out,
so they do need replacing. But otherwise they do feel
great, they’re setup well, haven’t got any symptoms
telling me otherwise. So don’t fix what’s not broken, other than replacing and
making sure that we replicate that position as best as possible. And I’ve actually set them up just a millimetre or two off in the past, and that’s left me dealing with
a slight niggle in my knee, and also just feeling a little bit uncomfortable on the bike. So one way to make sure that
we do replicate that position is by using a marker like this here, and doing a line all the way
around the edge of the cleat. So you’re sort of outlining that position or just on the main corners, and then when we do take that cleat off, we can then instal the new cleat in exactly the same position. Maybe just work with a few
micro-adjustments after to get it spot-on. But what if you’re installing a new cleat on a new set of shoes. Well this is a little bit more tricky, and it is a bit of an art. Obviously if you’re installing on a like for like set of shoes, then you are at a bit of an advantage. But even then, don’t fall into the trap of solely relying on the lines
on the bottom of the shoe. Which probably hard to see on here, because I’ve walked
around in gravel so much. But you can see them a
bit more clearly here. Just these lines going across, because they can vary ever so
slightly from shoe to shoe. Even if you’re using
exactly the same brand, and the same model. So it’s much better to
set it up to your foot, and the position of your foot, rather than by using these lines. Now in the past, I’ve got to be honest, I used to just eyeball it. Id just put the shoes heel to heel, toe to toe, side to side, until I felt like I got
the cleats exactly spot on, and then I’d make some
micro-adjustments after. Not very scientific, I know, and I have learned over
the years of much better, more precise methods, and one of which is to put your shoe into, kind of a ready made template. So you put the old cleat
into a gap in this template, and we’ve got brands such as Ergon with their cleat fitting tool, and they’ve got a graph
like template underneath, and you can mark out where the shoe is, and basically you have that cleat setup, and then you instal the new
cleat into your new shoe, and you can put that in and basically get it setup exactly
the same to that template. But obviously you’ve got
to buy a tool for that. So there are other methods where you don’t have to go
out and purchase the tool. So for that you just want
to slip your shoe on, and then you want to
draw around the cleat. Locate the centre of the ball of your foot on both the inside and the outside, and mark this on the edge of the sole. (gentle music) Then using a ruler or a straight edge, line it up between the two markers, and draw a line across
from one side to the other. Across the bottom of the cleat. Now take the new shoe and put it on. Make the same markings
for the ball of the foot. Then remove the cleat from the old shoe, and place it onto the new shoe. Aligning the line of the
cleat with the two markers. Now the only issue with this method is the side to side alignment, it may not be perfectly accurate. So take a look at the
old shoe and the outline, and try to set your cleat up
as close to that as possible, and then once you’re done,
draw around it, remove it, and align the new cleat
with that outer line. Obviously it’s worth pointing out that most shoes will have
a slightly different shape, and design to their soles. So wear them if you do choose, you may have to make
some still need to make some slight adjustments after. And with that in mind, do not go installing
new cleats on your shoes the night before a big event, because you will still
need a couple of rides just to make sure that they’re perfect. Okay, but what if you’re
starting out fresh, you have nothing to compare against. Now we need to figure out your ideal cleat setup from
scratch, and to start this off, we need to take a look at
what’s called your fore-aft. Now this is a reference to how close you located your cleaters to either your heel or your toe. Now you’ll remember before I was marking up my shoe to
highlight the ball of my foot. Now I’m gonna try and explain
what I was doing there a little bit better
now, and I do apologise ’cause I’m gonna use my foot for this. Yeah, I’m really sorry. So we need to locate the boney point on both the 1st and the 5th toe, and if you imagine two horizontal lines going across our foot, and then we want to mark
out the centre point between those two lines. Now that centre point should
be the centre of your cleat, as a starting point. Now I say a starting point, I’m gonna get rid of my
foot now, I’m really sorry, I say a starting point
because it is really personal as to that cleat setup, and you will actually
find a lot of triathletes actually pushing that cleat
further back towards the heel, and that’s basically to
try and offload the calves, and save them for the run. And I’ve actually gone that
way a little bit with myself, but not to the extremes that you’ll see some triathletes who’re
going really far back into almost the midpoint of the sole. So to actually instal the cleat, we need to put the shoe on,
find those two boney points, and the midpoint between those lines. If you need to, you can draw those on, and mark them onto the sole of the shoe. Some cleats, as with the
one that I’m using today, has a removable centrepiece here that you can instal the cleat accordingly with that midpoint. Just mark up around the edge
of the cleat, then remove it, reinsert that centrepiece
before lining it back up, and screwing it into the sole of the shoe. So once the cleats are on at
a really good starting point, you wanna make sure that
the cleats are tightly on, but not so tight that we can’t move them, because now we need to take
a look at their rotation. Now this is really important, because most of us naturally
have some form of rotation. Even if it is very small, and more often than not, it’s actually for our heel to
rotate in ever so slightly. But to find out exactly what you do, good way of doing this is
to literally sit on an edge with your feet hanging over the edge, and you just want your
knees at 90 degrees. Relax and you just wanna
see how your feet are angled when they’re dangling there, and then you can set your cleat up accordingly to match that rotation. But you only wanna make any adjustments ever ever so slightly, because
it is quite incremental, and then again this is all
a case of trial and error to really find that perfect setup for you. Okay, so once you’re
happy with that rotation, one more thing to consider and
it’s a little bit technical, is the float on either side of the cleat. Now what I mean by that is when you’re clipped into the pedal you have a little bit of
movement from side to side, and you don’t feel restricted on one side, and have more play or
movement on the other side. There are varying cleats. Now here I’ve got some fixed
cleats with zero float, the idea being that when you’re clipped in you literally have no movement, and some think that maybe
this is more efficient, and you’re not wasting energy. We have these with moderate float, so somewhere between 4 1/2
to six degrees of movement from side to side. Then we have others
with even more movement. Now the moderate float tend
to be the more popular. It just allow you to
be clipped in securely, but still allow a little bit of movement, so you feel free and you’re
not maybe stressing your knee or ankles or anything in any way. Now obviously I’ve played around
with ones with zero float, so when my foot is clipped into the pedal I have no movement at all, and that is quite popular
with time trialists or cyclists that are competing
over quite short events. What I’ve found with the longer events is that I start to get quite
achy ankles or achy knees. So perhaps, probably a better idea to go for the ones with
the moderate float. Now finally before you do
crank those bolts down, there is one more big thing to consider, and that is the lateral
position of your cleats. Now this is sometimes
referred to as the Q factor, and sadly there isn’t really any solid go to method for this. It is, again, a little
bit of trial and error. So one way of doing it is
simply looking at how you stand. Do you like to stand with a wide stance with your feet wide apart
or feet close together? Do you cycle with your feet
directly beneath your knees or perhaps do you suffer from ITB issues? If you do suffer from ITB
issues then in that case you want to go with a
slightly wider stance. Now this is really personal, so do take your time figuring out your cleat position for
yourself, and again, that trial and error just
trying to ever so slightly move the cleat around to
make it perfect for yourself. And as I did mention at start, this is a little bit of an art. So if you have your own
method of doing this, then please please let us know. Drop that in the comments section below. It’d be great to hear from you. If you like this video
hit that thumbs up button, and if you’d to see more from GTN just click on the globe and subscribe. If you’d like to find out how to instal and remove your pedals, then just click up there. If you’d like to see
our comparison between clipless pedals and flat pedals
then just click down there.

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