Cleat position

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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Cleat position

Postby ndwgolf » 5 Feb 2019, 7:54am

Okay, I’ve got a new pair of Shimano Road Bike Shoes coming and from what I can remember you put the shoes on without socks and get someone to feel for the bones illustrated below.
Once you got those positions what do you do with that information. Do you mount the clear on the shoe and twist it so that the bottom part of the triangle lines up with the marks or what???
Sorry confused as my current shoes have the cleats already fitted and they feel fine.

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Re: Cleat position

Postby pwa » 5 Feb 2019, 8:02am

No. The marks on the pic indicate roughly where you want the centre of the cleat to be, centrally between those two marks. But the angle will be determined by how your feet naturally rest on the pedals without cleats. My own feet, just as an example, naturally have the heels slightly out, toes slightly in. So I put the cleats on to allow that. And if I get it right first time I know because I don't feel that either foot is constantly pushing against the limit of rotation. Bear in mind that one foot may have a different requirement to the other. We are not made symmetrical.

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Re: Cleat position

Postby ndwgolf » 5 Feb 2019, 8:10am

You mean center being here

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Re: Cleat position

Postby pwa » 5 Feb 2019, 8:18am

Yes, but that really is just a starting point. Positioning the centre of the cleat so it is beneath the centre point of a line drawn between those two points on your foot is simply a guide, not a rule. I like my cleats a tiny bit behind that, but that is just me.

Others may disagree, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I can adapt to a range of cleat positions and have no single "perfect" position.

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Mick F
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Re: Cleat position

Postby Mick F » 5 Feb 2019, 8:49am

ndwgolf wrote:Sorry confused as my current shoes have the cleats already fitted and they feel fine.
I can only tell you my experience and methods.

I used to use trainers and when I fitted Campag Victory pedals, the back plate of the pedals dug into the soft soles of the trainers. No issue really, but when I bought real cycling shoes, I used that groove dug in the sole to set the cleat position.
Some fine tuning, but it was just about bang on.

Now, I'm on my umpteenth pair of shoes. In fact I have three pairs and a pair of sandals at the moment, and they are all set the same as my original trainers even though they are used on different clipless pedals on two different bikes these days.

Put on a cleat approx correct with the screws loose. Put your old shoe into the pedal and measure where it sits. Replace with your new shoe and turn and move it so it's the same. Remove it, and tighten the screws. Do the same with the other shoe.

Also, put an old shoe sole-to-sole against the new shoe and see how the cleats look back-to-back. This works with any combination of pedal/cleat.

Another check, is to remove both pedals and fit an old shoe to one, and a new shoe to the other. Put the pedal axles so they touch and in line, then you'll see that the shoes are correct.

Repeat all the above until you're happy, then go for a ride. If it feels weird, go back to square one and check everything.

All that has worked for me for nearly 40 years with five different pedal systems.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Cleat position

Postby althebike » 5 Feb 2019, 12:43pm

I get an approx. position but then do a few micro adjustments depending on the actual feel on the road. I check my feet are fairly parallel and the greatest proportion of the cleat is running across the middle of the pedal. As indicated in earlier posts, if the band from the base of little toe to big toe does not run along the line of the pedal spindle, my feet soon let me know, I find I am scrunching my toes or getting tension in my feet that need not be there

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Re: Cleat position

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 5 Feb 2019, 3:03pm

So centre of cleat is where on the pedal, for and aft?
"The cleat should be positioned as far back as possible on the shoe to allow the ideal rider-specific compromise between foot stability, calf muscle energy input and sprinting ability."
"a) The further forward the cleat position, the more the body will recruit the calf muscle to stabilise the foot on the pedal due to the leverage effect of the cleat moving away from the ankle’s pivot point. This muscle activity is not directly used to propel the bike forwards – unless you are sprinting or pushing HARD in a short burst. As the rider fatigues, the heel almost always drops as the calf disengages and is “sacrificed” as one of the very first muscle groups to have its metabolic energy delivery curtailed. The calf’s high-speed, fast twitch muscle fibres are huge energy sappers – they are great at delivering burst energy at high intensity but not so useful for long, slow stability work. Hence, it is worthwhile to minimise calf muscle recruitment unless you are sprinting hard or changing speed regularly (ie crit racing for example)." ... -position/
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
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Re: Cleat position

Postby petelucas » 5 Feb 2019, 9:45pm


Looking at the picture in the first post - your red mark on the left side of your foot is nearly right.

Position the bone (about one cm below your mark) directly in line with the pedal spindle.

That's a good starting point for fore and aft position, as the sole of the foot gets most power into the pedal.

Then, as others have said, establish whether your feet splay out, in, or are neutral. To do this either:

1. Sit on a high surface, e.g. kitchen worktop, and dangle the feet without shoes over the side - they will adopt their natural position.

2. Again with no shoes on, stand with feet shoulder width apart and jump in the air off both feet. Check their position on landing.

Probably best to do both.

Twist the cleat slightly from the straight ahead position if necessary to get the correct "splay". If the feet splay out, move the rear of the cleat towards the outside of the shoe and vice versa.

Ride A SHORT DISTANCE and adjust if required. If you want to encourage a knee injury ride a long distance in new cleats without proper fitting!

Hope this helps.

Please PM me if you need any more information.