How to install look pedals & cleats

Written by matthew ferguson
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How to install look pedals & cleats
(Oli Scarff/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

The French bicycle components manufacturer Look launced its first automatic pedal in 1983 (reference 1). These bicycle pedals employ a design that binds the foot to the pedal. Crucial to the automatic pedal system is the specially designed cleat, which attaches to the bottom of a cycling-specific shoe. Installing the system correctly -- pedals and cleats -- ensures a proper interface between the various parts and safe use of both the pedal and cleat.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 15mm pedal wrench or 6mm Allen wrench
  • Waterproof bicycle grease
  • Flat-blade screwdriver or 4mm Allen wrench

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    Pedal Installation

  1. 1

    Observe both pedals. One is marked "G/L" and the other "D/R." "G/L" is the left-side pedal. "D/R" is the right-side pedal (reference 2 pdg pg. 1).

  2. 2

    Grab the right-side pedal first.

  3. 3

    Apply waterproof bicycle grease directly to the threads around the pedal spindle. Coat the threads entirely.

  4. 4

    Fit the tip of the right-side pedal spindle into the threaded hole at the end of the right-side bicycle crank arm. Turn the pedal spindle by hand clockwise to seat the threads.

  5. 5

    Pick up your 15-mm pedal wrench or 6-mm Allen wrench. Both tools work effectively well to attach the pedal to the crank arm (reference 2 pdg pg. 1).

  6. 6

    Fit the 15-mm pedal wrench around the pedal spindle. Alternatively, fit the 6-mm Allen wrench into hole at the tip of the pedal spindle. Access this hole through the backside of the crank arm.

  7. 7

    Turn the 15-mm pedal wrench clockwise to tighten the pedal fully. Alternatively, turn the 6-mm Allen wrench clockwise - to the front of the bike - to tighten the pedal fully.

  8. 8

    Grease the left-side pedal axle's threads thoroughly. Thread the tip of the spindle by hand into the left-side crank arm. Turn the spindle counterclockwise for the threads to seat. This pedal is reverse-threaded, so turning the spindle counterclockwise tightens it.

  9. 9

    Use the 15-mm pedal wrench or 6-mm Allen wrench to fully tighten the pedal. Turn either wrench counterclockwise to tighten the pedal.

    Cleat Installation

  1. 1

    Grab either shoe along with one of the two cleats. Included with each cleat is a set of three screws and three washers (reference 2 pdf pg. 1). On the bottom of the shoe are three threaded holes for each of the screws.

  2. 2

    Place the cleat against the bottom of the shoe so the narrow end is facing front and the oval-shaped rubber pad on one side of the cleat is face up.

  3. 3

    Note the pedal spindle mark on the side of the cleat (reference 3 pdf pg. 1). Adjust the cleat so that the mark is positioned beneath the ball of the foot, approximating the position of the pedal spindle.

  4. 4

    Place the three rectangular-shaped washers in the three rectangular-shaped recesses atop the cleat.

  5. 5

    Thread the first screw into the first hole. Use a flat-bladed screwdriver or 4-mm Allen wrench to tighten the screw fully, and then install the last two screws in turn. Tighten these, as well.

  6. 6

    Install the second cleat onto the base of the other shoe. Align the cleat to match the position of the first cleat, and then install the hardware to secure the cleat to the shoe.

Tips and warnings

  • During your first few rides with your new cleats carry a 4-mm Allen wrench to make any needed adjustments to the position of the cleats. Adjust the cleats for a comfortable position.

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