I’ve been working diligently to click into my pedals without looking. I can do it about two-thirds of the time now, and I’m hoping to get even better at it. Imagine my surprise Sunday then, when I didn’t seem to be able to do it at all.
Every time I put my foot down, I was unable to click back in smoothly. It took three — even four — tries before I heard the satisfying click. Finally, when I took a break about 20 miles into the ride, I discovered the problem.
I clip on my right foot (dominant side) 98 percent of the time. That has put excessive wear on the right cleat.
Excessive use of the same cleat has caused more wear than on the other cleat.
The cleat is ripped at the front, which makes clip-ins very difficult. Once I started disengaging the left cleat and keeping the right one in the pedal, things improved right away. Although the left cleat’s looks are little better than the right one’s, at least it’s still all in one piece, and works the way it should.
The left cleat. Yeah, I could probably keep them cleaner. The left one still works, though.
It’s awkward for me to use my left side to do anything, but I forced myself to disengage from the left pedal for the rest of the ride, and when re-engaging the cleat, I was able to do it on the first attempt without looking down about three out of four times.
These are Shimano SPD-SLs, and I’ve had them for about three-and-a-half months. I’ll be making a trip to the LBS this week to get replacement cleats, but from now on, I’ll alternate the foot I click into and out of. With any luck, equal use will mean longer life.