How to Adjust SPD Cleats

Updated November 21, 2016

System Pedal Dynamics -- SPD -- is a design of integrated pedal and shoe system manufactured by Shimano Cycling. The cleat attaches to the bottom of an SPD compatible shoe. The cleat then locks into the binding on top of the pedal platform, creating a solid interface between the foot and the pedal. Learning to adjust the cleats allows the cyclist to customise the cleat-to-pedal interface to suit personal comfort.

Turn both shoes over and note the triangle-shaped SPD cleat toward the front. There are two screws attaching each cleat to the shoe.

Use a 4mm Allen wrench and loosen both screws. There are two sets of holes for each set of screws. The holes closest to the toe of the shoe allow the cleat to be adjusted up to 10mm forward. The rear holes allow the cleat to be adjusted up to 10mm backward. Both sets of holes allow the cleat to be adjusted up to 5mm to the left or right.

Slide the cleat forward or backward, or to the left or right, as desired. If the amount of adjustment proves insufficient, remove the screws entirely and reposition the cleat in the second set of holes.

Position the cleat on the second shoe to match the position of the cleat on the first shoe.

Use the 4mm Allen wrench to tighten all screws. Well-tightened screws are crucial to prevent the cleat from slipping during engagement with the pedal.

Take your bicycle for a ride to test the adjustments to the cleats. During the ride, engage and release the cleats from the pedals at each stop to determine whether the adjustment proves satisfactory. Bring your Allen wrench with you to make any needed adjustments.


Cycling cleats wear out with use. Replace your cleats once they become difficult to disengage from the pedal or when the cleat disengages with noticeably more ease.

Things You'll Need

  • 4mm Allen wrench
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