Installing cleats on cycling shoes is one of the simplest and most rewarding thing to do. Firstly, you should wear you cycling shoes and mark the metatarsal- phalangeal joints of your first and fifth toe on the shoes using a marker pen. After doing this, grease the cleats and screw them right below the position of your third metatarsal joint (third toe) on your shoe. Then sit down on a high chair and leave your legs hanging so that you can get the alignment of your leg and adjust your cleats accordingly.
Cleats are one of the most important parts of cycling shoes. This is because they allow you to lock in your foot on the pedal which enables you to have great stability throughout. In addition to this, they also reduce your chances of getting an injury which shows you how important they are. Therefore, you should always ensure that you install your cleats in the right position of your cycling shoes, otherwise they won’t serve their purpose effectively. Let’s have a look at the steps that you should follow to properly install and adjust the cleats on your cycling shoes.
Steps you should follow to install cleats on cycling shoes
Mark the metatarsal- phalangeal joints on your cycling shoes
This is one of the most crucial steps of installing cleats on your cycling shoes. Firstly, put masking tape around the front sole and top part of your cycling shoes then wear them. Once you have done this, mark the metatarsal- phalangeal joints of your first and fifth toe using a marker pen. For sure, the masking tape plays a major role in this process as it allows you to accurately mark the metatarsal points without worrying about the fabric of your shoes.
Marking this point on your shoes will give you a clear guideline on exactly where you should install your cleats. It is also important to note that you should mark these points as accurately as possible.
Draw the midpoint on your cycling shoes
After you have successfully marked the metatarsal- phalangeal joints on your cycling shoes, flip your shoes and draw parallel lines across your sole. This will allow you to trace the mid- point of your cycling shoes, which should be right below the metatarsal joint of you third toe. You should ensure that you get the accurate mid-point, so that you can place the cleat at a position that will not flex your foot when you wear the cycling shoes.
Locate the middle of your cleat and install them on your cycling shoes
Once you have gone through the first two processes, you should take your new cleats and have a look at their physical structure including their mounting points. This will allow you to know exactly how the cleats should be installed on the sole of your cycling shoes. However, most cleats usually have a similar design and are normally installed by screwing them to the sole of the cycling shoes. Therefore, this shouldn’t be a problem for you.
After you have identified the design of your cleats, you should grease the screws and install the cleats on the mid- point of your cycling shoes. It is recommended to grease the screws before you install the cleats so that they don’t get ceased and difficult to remove the next time you remove the cleats. In addition to this, it is also important to note that you shouldn’t put the cleats ahead of the mid- point of your marked mid- point. This is because it will increase the chances of flexing your foot and also make the shoes uncomfortable when you wear them.
Get the perfect alignment for the cleats on your cycling shoes
We all have different standing postures, which means that you have to personally adjust the angle at which your cleats will sit on the sole of your shoes. Therefore, you should sit on a high chair and let your legs hanging in the air so that you can see the alignment of your legs. If your foot faces slightly right when your knee is straight, you should slightly adjust the cleats and rotate them to the right. If your foot faces slightly to the left when your knee is straight, you should adjust the cleats and rotate them to the left.
After doing this, tighten all the cleats on the soles of your cycling shoes and go and test your shoe set- up by cycling around. If you are comfortable with the feel of the shoes on the pedal, it means that you have successfully installed and adjusted the cleats.
The table below is a summary of the problems you may encounter when installing cleats and how to solve them.
Inaccurate position of the cleats on the sole of the cycling shoes
You should ensure that you mark the metatarsal- phalangeal joints of your first and fifth toe. Then mark the mid- point which is the metatarsal- phalangeal joint of your third figure. Once you mark these points, you’ll be able to install your cleats in the right position.
Wrong angle of the cleat on the sole of the shoes
You should sit on a high chair that allows your legs to hang in the air. This will allow you to see the alignment of your legs which will guide you on the angle which you’ll install your cleats.
For sure, installing cleats on your cycling shoes is quite simple especially if you have done this before. However, you have nothing to worry about if it’s your first time as all you have to do is follow these few simple steps that we have given you. Once you follow these steps, you’ll be assured of cycling shoes that have cleats on your most comfortable and preferred position which will increase your performance when cycling.
How do I mark the metatarsal- phalangeal joints on my cycling shoes?
You should put masking tape around the front sole and top part of your cycling shoes, then wear them. Once you have done this, mark the metatarsal- phalangeal joints of your first and fifth toe using a marker pen.
What happens when I don’t install the cleats at the right position on the sole of my cycling shoes?
If you fail to put the cleats at your calculated mid- point, you may flex your foot when cycling as there won’t be that perfect balance. In addition to this, you will also be uncomfortable cycling with those particular cycling shoes.