SPD cleats life expectancy

Apr 3, 2012
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Tama Center <-> Otemachi
#1
How long do SPD cleats typically last before wearing to the point where it's difficult to disengage?

After only a few months, my left shoe is becoming difficult to disengage. This the foot I usually put down at lights. This being my first experience with cleats, I don't know what a worn out cleats look like.
 

GSAstuto

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#2
Usually it's just the opposite. As the cleats wear they become a little sloppy. You are using the SPD (steel) cleats, right? And not the SPD-SL (plastic) ones? If they are getting hard to disengage then clean your pedal well and put a couple drops of dry lube on the spring bits and pieces. Also clean your shoes and make sure there is no gunk and build-up around the cleat area. If you've got some dirt and muck packed in there, it will jam up when you try to twist out.
 

Mike

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#3
How long do SPD cleats typically last before wearing to the point where it's difficult to disengage?

After only a few months, my left shoe is becoming difficult to disengage. This the foot I usually put down at lights. This being my first experience with cleats, I don't know what a worn out cleats look like.
Depends on how much one rides I suppose, but generally I go through a pair in 2-3 months. You can keep riding them until the front section becomes so thin it looks like it's going to break off. Depends on your risk taking threshold:D But yeah, I understand what you're saying....2 months isn't long at all!
 

Yamabushi

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#4
How long do SPD cleats typically last before wearing to the point where it's difficult to disengage?

After only a few months, my left shoe is becoming difficult to disengage. This the foot I usually put down at lights. This being my first experience with cleats, I don't know what a worn out cleats look like.
It depends on frequency and type of usage, but even under harsh conditions, a few months definitely doesn't sound right. Just FYI, I've been using the same SPD multi-release cleats on my city bike for years! It shouldn't make much if any difference, but are you using the multi- or single release?
 

Yamabushi

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#5
Depends on how much one rides I suppose, but generally I go through a pair in 2-3 months. You can keep riding them until the front section becomes so thin it looks like it's going to break off. Depends on your risk taking threshold:D But yeah, I understand what you're saying....2 months isn't long at all!
You go through a pair of metallic SPD cleats in 2-3 months? What the hell are you doing with them?
 
Apr 3, 2012
401
98
48
Tama Center <-> Otemachi
#6
I am using the single release steal cleats. For my use, they go through a lot of cycles with all the urban traffic lights. They are mounted in touring shoes and the cleats are protected, but not quite enough for negotiating stairs.

I'll try cleaning, light lube, and adjusting the engagement. If it doesn't clear up, I'll pick up a replacement set.
 

Aron B

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#7
Cleats are one of those things where you're ripped off on a regular basis. I mean 2000-3000yen for a piece of plastic, that's not even a little bit durable? Come on.

Anyway, I have Look Keo pedals with plastic cleats, and I use cleat covers all the time, because:
- my cleats will last twice as long;
- walking is much easier and much safer.
Learned this by carrying the bike up and down three floors for every ride.

For regular use without covers, 3 months does not sound so strange to me, but I have no experience with metal cleats.
 

FarEast

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#9
I am using the single release steal cleats. For my use, they go through a lot of cycles with all the urban traffic lights. They are mounted in touring shoes and the cleats are protected, but not quite enough for negotiating stairs.

I'll try cleaning, light lube, and adjusting the engagement. If it doesn't clear up, I'll pick up a replacement set.
There is something wrong then - noramlly those metal ones last for bloody ever! Even if you are doing serious off road stuff they will last a year or so.

Post some photos - what you might also want to check is to make sure that the pedals are correctly set to release - some SPD pedals have a hex bolt the adjusts the spring tension - have a play with that and see if that sorts the issue out.
 

Yamabushi

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#10
My SPD cleats are still fine after 8 months / 5000 km. I do all my grocery shopping and other errands by bicycle, walking into supermarkets, banks, etc. with my MTB shoes. No problems!
There is something wrong then - noramlly those metal ones last for bloody ever! Even if you are doing serious off road stuff they will last a year or so.

Post some photos - what you might also want to check is to make sure that the pedals are correctly set to release - some SPD pedals have a hex bolt the adjusts the spring tension - have a play with that and see if that sorts the issue out.
Yep, this has been my experience as well, they damn near last forever!
 

Gunjira

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#11
Spd lasts forever. I picked up the only set I'll likely ever need used for like 200Yen.
My look keo cleats about 5000k with using Shoe covers sometimes. Since I'm using keo on three pair of shoes, I mix and match according to wear.
 
Oct 15, 2010
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#12
I have over 10,000km on my steel SPD cleats, and still going strong. My guess is that they get worn walking on stairs/concrete a lot more than dis/engaging. They are as cheap as chips and should last you years.
 

Mike

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#13
You go through a pair of metallic SPD cleats in 2-3 months? What the hell are you doing with them?
Mine are the plastic ones Pete. LOOK KEO cleats wear out damn fast! I very rarely stop for breaks these days when I'm riding but even so 3 months would be pushing it I reckon! Very clever marketing ploy by the people at LOOK, buy their pedals and your locked into their fast wearing cleats. A bit like the printer business these days, get the printer for dirt cheap only to find out later the ink will cost you an arm and a leg!
 

Yamabushi

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#14
Mine are the plastic ones Pete. LOOK KEO cleats wear out damn fast! I very rarely stop for breaks these days when I'm riding but even so 3 months would be pushing it I reckon! Very clever marketing ploy by the people at LOOK, buy their pedals and your locked into their fast wearing cleats. A bit like the printer business these days, get the printer for dirt cheap only to find out later the ink will cost you an arm and a leg!
You're talking about your road bike cleats, everyone else is talking about Shimano SPD metallic mountain biking cleats. Apples and oranges, with love and respect I don't understand what your post has to do with the original question and topic? :confused:
 

FarEast

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#15
Mine are the plastic ones Pete. LOOK KEO cleats wear out damn fast! I very rarely stop for breaks these days when I'm riding but even so 3 months would be pushing it I reckon! Very clever marketing ploy by the people at LOOK, buy their pedals and your locked into their fast wearing cleats. A bit like the printer business these days, get the printer for dirt cheap only to find out later the ink will cost you an arm and a leg!
Cleat covers Mike - oh and if you thought Look cleats wore out fast try TIME! They fall apart if you give them a funny look. :eek:
 
Apr 3, 2012
401
98
48
Tama Center <-> Otemachi
#16
My issue is resolved.

Adjusted the spring tension to an easier setting and adjusted the cleat to be a more toe out position.

Not too sure what changed though. The cleats were clean, with minor wear in pointy bit that engages first. The pedals were clean and still had a film of grease.

I tried just adjusting just the spring tension, trying both hard and easy. That alone didn't make disengaging any easier. Played around with the cleat position until I found a more toe out position more to my liking.
 

GSAstuto

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#18
Nice - but zero in stock. My spd (steel) cleats have never been replaced in more than 3yrs. My TIME ATAC's as well - never replaced. I think the ATAC's are better for the street, btw. And don't suffer the inconsistanies that the spd has in terms of 'grip'. Also - the ATAC's platform is a bit wider, allows more float without disengagement and better for muddy / gritty situations.

If you're looking for an upgrade for your CX, City or Touring - I'd recommend the ATAC's or the Crank Brothers.

Mike, try these:
http://www.wiggle.co.uk/wellgo-rc-7b-pedal-cleats/

Look Keo pedal compatible but half the price of Look cleats.:cool:
 
Dec 4, 2008
169
3
38
Tokyo
#20
I also have a left cleat issue, though mine disengages at will, sod's law of course dictates at the least convenient time. is it the pedal or the cleat that wears?

left pedal illustrated below