Positioning the cleats

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by Nick1979, 13 Jun 2008.

  1. Nick1979

    Nick1979 New Member

    London (SW11)
    I recently went clipless with SPD on my hybrid and I'm delighted with the pedals, so easy to use and so more efficient than flats!

    I'd like some advices on how to best adjust the cleat position on the shoes. The forward/backward setting has quite a wide range, I tried different positions and found that I'm pushing with a different part of the foot each time. So what is better? I mean what part of the foot should push on the pedal to be the most efficient?

    I know you will tell me to use the most comfortable position but the problem is I find all positions comfortable... just different. Obviously I had to adjust the saddle height up when pushing with the front of the foot. So what is generally recommended?

  2. piedwagtail91

    piedwagtail91 Über Member

    usually the ball of the foot over the pedal spindle.
  3. byegad

    byegad Guru

    NE England
    Try each position for a week or two. I find fairly well forward works well, except for winter, when I need to mo ve them back as my feet go numb from the cleat forward. That is unless I move the cleat backwards.
  4. Joe24

    Joe24 More serious cyclist than Bonj

    The way i did it was to leave the cleats off. Put the pedals on the bike and push down on them. Get someone to mark where about the pedal axle is on the foot and where the middle of it is. The centre of the cleat goes here. The get which way facing, its best to go for a ride, stop and tweek it. Go for a ride again and stop and tweek it.
    I found that this way got the cleat near enough spot on and i just had to turn the cleat slightly.
    The ball of the foot is ment to be over the axle.
  5. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    back and forward to find what feels right

    in and out to stop sore knee
  6. OP

    Nick1979 New Member

    London (SW11)
    OK, I think I've got this one, it's near the back of the rails for me.

    Interesting as my left knee was hurting yesterday after 50 miles or so. Do you mean I should adjust the lateral position or the angle? so in or out? (it's roughly in the middle at the moment)
  7. OP

    Nick1979 New Member

    London (SW11)
    I've researched the subject a bit more and found this very interesting article: http://www.valleybicycle.com/cleat adjustment.htm

    To summarize:
    - Ball of the foot (as others here suggested) directly over the spindle when in the 3 o'clock position is usually the best position.
    - From here, the cleat can be moved back up to 1/4in if it feels better, or if it's easier to clip/unclip. There is no reason to move the cleat forward.
    - Angle should be carefully adjusted to avoid knee pain. The foot should sit on the pedal with the same angle it naturally uses when walking.
    - The RAD (part of the fitkit) helps the shop to set this up perfectly. Would be good to find a LBS that uses it.

    I took photos of my feet when walking normally and discovered I walked 8-10 degrees toes out. I replicated this angle on the cleats and it feels great. I'll let you know if my knee likes the new setup on my next long run!

    Hope it helps others in the same situation!
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