Pedal and cleat wear and tear

#1
Based off the discussion on the Today thread about clipless pedals and knee pain:

How often do you replace cleats/pedals?

My right ankle is starting to feel a little twinge on long rides and it feels like my float or connection to the pedal has changed, though not on purpose. My shoes were cheap to begin with and certainly feel softer than a year and a half ago. My pedals, also cheap Shimanos are getting fairly rusty. Clipping in and out is still no problem.

What do you look for when inspecting for too much wear and tear?

Edit: I have SPD shimano pedals and SIDI blaze shoes.
http://www.bikeradar.com/mtb/gear/category/components/pedals/product/spd-m520-12616
http://www.mtbr.com/cat/mtb-apparel-and-protection/Shoes/sidi/blaze/PRD_365936_144crx.aspx

Interesting, when I was looking for those links, one says the plastic in the shoe wears out making it harder to adjust the cleat. That could be a thing...
 

fredstaple

Speeding Up
Nov 1, 2009
198
1
38
Puerto de la Santa Maria
#2
SPEEDPLAYS

This may not be much help as I have Speedplay pedals, but will post as it will be interesting to see what different people and pedal systems do.

I replace the cleat when they begin to stick a little as you try to remove your shoe from the pedal. This is caused by the retendion system, which is round, becoming flat from wear. The more it wears the more difficult it is to quickly remove the cleat. I probably let it go a little longer than I should. I can usually get over a year out of speedplay cleats.

The other thing to watch out for is wearing the heads off the screws that hold the cleat onto the shoes. These will wear down to the point where you can no longer get a screwdriver to bite into the head of the screw to remove the screw/cleat. Replace these every 6 months or so.
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#3
I seem to go through the plastic cleats at an alarming rate.

I was running Shimano 105 SPDs, with the yellow float cleat, and have now changed to Time pedals.

If you're getting pain from float issues, have a look at the Time pedals. Much nicer and more forgiving float than the Shimano stuff (in my experience).
 

AlanW

Maximum Pace
Jan 30, 2007
1,214
436
103
Tokyo
#4
That type of cleat (SPD Mountainbike type) wears the release mechanism as you release from the pedal. Eventually they become quite hard to release and take a really hefty twist of your foot to get out.
I usually replace mine after falling in the mud twice due to being unable to unclip :cool:

There's no wear mode on these that would grossly affect the float or cleat position. So, it may be that the cleat is not quite adjusted properly. You have really built up your mileage over the last couple of years and the longer rides will bring out any niggling injuries / maladjustments. Check your feet are sitting in the "middle" of the float - you should have a few degrees movement either side of your natural position. If your foot is sitting at the edge of the float range, the cleat rotation probably needs to be tweaked. It's possible the cleat has moved on the shoe though this doesn't usually happen. You will see some gouges in the sole of the shoe if it has moved.
Another possibility is that the cleats are worn and you are stressing your knee/ankle when releasing from the pedal due to the extra force needed.

Beyond that there are various shims to align your feet, knees and legs properly but that needs a professional fit to set up.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#5
I seem to go through the plastic cleats at an alarming rate.

I was running Shimano 105 SPDs, with the yellow float cleat, and have now changed to Time pedals.
Mate if you are using iClic pedals you will go through them very fast. They are race pedals and thus the cleats are not designed to be walked in, well team bus to bike, bike to podium!

Time to replace cleats when:

  • The coloured surfaces have warn off.
  • Hard or impossible to engage/disengage
  • Cracks or warping in cleat
  • Screws are filed down
  • Damage that makes you think twice or pause
  • Engagement toe on cleat is warn thin.

Also Alan brings up a very good point, if you've had a fall or if you tend to walk a lot in yor cleats you may have twisted them slightly on the mounts so go back a double check.

Finally the screws on cleats are only supposed to be tightened to about 3Nm anymore and it will warp disfigure the cleat and can cause problems. Remember follow the torque recommendations unless there is a P which is P for plenty!
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#7
I use SPD on all my three bikes, and have two pairs of shoes. Have never had any issues, and have never exchanged anything. Sure, the cleats can clog up in ice or stony mud, but that's usually easy to clean. One of my pairs must have at least 15,000km on them, and also the most used pedals. I walk a lot in my shoes, across anything. This system seems pretty indestructible to me. Which is why I wouldn't bother with road systems...
 

yokotas13

Warming-Up
Feb 15, 2008
70
0
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33
Akirunoshi
#9
I run 105s spdsl
when i skid, and my foot comes out almost killing me, i replace the cleats. I usedt he fixed cleats though with no float. I found if i run the normal ones, i tend to unclip when i skid stop
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#10
@Yokotas - ATAC is the word! I love my ATAC's. The walkability of the SPD's, crud muncher of the eggbeaters and solid platform that WILL NOT break out when you skid. And it has more float, surprisingly, than the SPD, so a bit more comy than the SPD - especially when you are transitioning from full bore spin-out to mash.
 

yokotas13

Warming-Up
Feb 15, 2008
70
0
0
33
Akirunoshi
#11
@Yokotas - ATAC is the word! I love my ATAC's. The walkability of the SPD's, crud muncher of the eggbeaters and solid platform that WILL NOT break out when you skid. And it has more float, surprisingly, than the SPD, so a bit more comy than the SPD - especially when you are transitioning from full bore spin-out to mash.
my problem is i DONT LIKE float. I have the normal cleats on my shoes now, since they didnt send the fixed cleats i wanted with the pedals, (i had XT SPDSL that were worn out from crashes) and i hate the float. i really really really like the fixed cleats much better
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#15
How about just using std NJS track gear? I've got my ATAC's in competition setting - they are awesome - and of course, the #1 choice of cyclocross and messengers globally for a good reason.
 

yokotas13

Warming-Up
Feb 15, 2008
70
0
0
33
Akirunoshi
#16
How about just using std NJS track gear? I've got my ATAC's in competition setting - they are awesome - and of course, the #1 choice of cyclocross and messengers globally for a good reason.
like straps and those goofy lock in things? id like to be able to remove my foot at some point!!

james- i have 105 pedals.
 
#17
replaced the cleats as they did look worn down and indeed found that the right (troublesome ankle) was not as centered as I originally set it up or the (comfy) left.

Looking forward to testing them out tomorrow

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left one used (over 7500km), right one new