How to Put Cleats on Bike Shoes

Written by rocco pendola
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How to Put Cleats on Bike Shoes
(bici image by from

If you would like to take your bike-riding experience to the next level, using clipless pedals allow for a secure connection with your shoes and improves your power and control on the bike. Clipless pedals also enhance indoor cycling, known as spinning. To ride clipless, however, you need special cycling shoes that accept cleats that attach to clipless pedals.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Allen wrench (size varies)
  • Bicycle grease
  • Pocket knife (optional)

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  1. 1

    Turn your cycling shoes upside down. Locate the holes on the bottom of the shoe. The cleats attach to these holes. On some shoes, particularly mountain biking shoes, you need to cut out a small, square rubber portion of the shoe's sole to access the holes. A pocket knife works well. The position of the holes varies by manufacturer and model.

  2. 2

    Position the cleat over the holes on the bottom of the shoe. Typically, the slots in the cleat where the screws fit allow for you to change the position of the cleat forward or backward. Begin by centring the cleat over the holes.

  3. 3

    Dab a pea-sized amount of bicycle grease on each screw that comes with your cleats. Using an Allen wrench, tighten each screw into the sole of the shoe by turning the wrench in a clockwise direction. Do not over-tighten the screws, but go several turns beyond hand-tightening.

  4. 4

    Go on a few rides. Take note of your cleat position. If you repeatedly miss the pedal when attempting to clip in, assess whether the cleat is too far forward or too far back on your shoe. Make the necessary adjustments to get it right. Loosen the screws holding the cleats in place. Slide the cleat to the correct position and re-tighten.

Tips and warnings

  • Don't be intimidated by clipless pedals. On most types of pedals, all you need to do is pivot your foot to disengage.

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