Tighten Your Cleats!

On a recent ride, I turned into the parking lot of one of those stand-alone Walgreen’s drug stores that seem to have cropped up on every other corner, when something didn’t feel right.  My right foot was looser than it usually is.

I stopped at the edge of the lot, used the opportunity to drink from my water bottle, and then I sat on the curb to take a look at my shoes.

The cleat on the right shoe had come loose.  Not catastrophically – I could move it a little with my hand – but the constant pressure in the pedal had loosened it up.  A few quick turns of the screws with my 4 mm Allen wrench, and it was solidly back in place.

I hadn’t been experiencing the same feeling on the left shoe, but decided to take a look anyway.  Sure enough, I could tighten those screws about a half-turn each as well.

I do periodic checks of the bike between rides, making sure the tires are in good shape, that everything moves smoothly.  I guess I’ll have to add a non-bike equipment check, too, and look at those cleats every couple of months.  It could save some headaches down the road.

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4 thoughts on “Tighten Your Cleats!

  1. I’ve actually had a cleat get stuck in the pedal because it was too loose. I had to take my shoe off while still attached to the bike… not an easy task since it was a lace-up!

  2. Craig hit the nail on the head, a dab of blue loctite on the screws does wonders to keep them in place. This is one of the biggest problems with speed play cleats – the screws have a way of backing out unless they’re locktited in place.

  3. My SPD type cleats have screws that come into full contact with pedal. This means I have exactly the opposite problem. The screw heads and the face/body of the cleat get ground down into one solid piece, and getting them to “let go” is hard part. Otherwise I’d +1 the loctite too. Thanks for the post!

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