how to attach cleats to bike shoes

The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Attaching Cleats to Bike Shoes

Bike cleats are attached to the soles of your cycling shoes in order to connect your shoe to the pedal on your bike, giving you more power and control over the bike’s motion. It’s quite easy to attach bike cleats to cycling shoes as long as you have the correct equipment and know what you’re doing, so let me show you how it’s done below. It takes less than five minutes, but it makes a big difference on your ride!

Why You Need Cleats

Cleats give you an extra connection point with your bike pedal, which is important for efficiency and power transfer. They also allow you to walk around on slippery surfaces without slipping. Different shoes have different cleat systems, but the two most common are SPD and Look Delta. If you’re not sure which one you need, consult with a specialty bike shop or contact the manufacturer of your shoe before buying cleats. Since they can be expensive, consider looking for used cleats if possible. When attaching them to your shoes, always start from the inside and work outwards so that nothing is visible from the outside. For example, install the cleat in the left shoe first then install it in the right shoe last. You should never attach your cleats directly onto the sole of the shoe because this will reduce traction and make walking difficult. You’ll want to attach them about halfway up on either side of the shoe. Make sure there is enough space between the ground and where you’ve attached the cleat–too close will cause discomfort when walking, and too far will result in sliding off your pedals. It’s also important to check how much room you have between both sides (left/right) when positioning each cleat. There needs to be enough room for both feet so that it won’t interfere with pedaling motion.

how to attach cleats to bike shoes

What Type of Cleat Do I Need?

This is the first question you’ll need to answer before you buy cleats. The type of cleat you need will depend on your shoe and pedal system. There are three types of pedals: clipless, platform, and hybrid. Clipless pedals work with two-bolt cleats, platform pedals work with one-bolt cleats, and hybrid pedals work with a combination of one-bolt and two-bolt cleats. For clipless pedals, you can choose from Shimano SPD or Look Keo-style cleats. For platform and hybrid pedals, it is important to match up the bolt pattern of your cleats with the pattern on your shoes.
It’s important to remember that when installing a new set of cleats, it may take some time for your body to get used to them. You may experience soreness or discomfort at first as the muscles in your feet adapt to their new positioning.

How to Attach the Cleats

Place the shoe on a flat surface and insert the cleat into the opening at the heel of the shoe. -Push firmly with your thumbs against both sides of the opening until it clicks into place. -Use a screwdriver or another similar tool, such as a hex wrench, in order to tighten down each side of the cleat. Be sure not to over-tighten them, as this may cause damage to your shoes. -After you have tightened the cleats, remove any dirt or debris from between them by using a small brush.
Wipe off any excess oil from the bike pedals before inserting your foot into your shoe.
Finally, adjust the position of the cleat so that it sits securely within the shoe without rubbing against your ankle bone. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that when you press down on the pedal, your toes are pointing straight ahead, rather than being angled toward the ground. Once adjusted, put your weight onto one pedal and carefully walk around for a few minutes while checking for any potential rubbing. If necessary, readjust the angle of the cleat so that it is comfortable for you while still providing optimal power transfer through pedaling.

how to attach cleats to bike shoes

Tips for Newbies

If you are new to cleats, there are a few things you should know before attaching them. Make sure your shoes have the loops for cleats, then get the right size cleat for the shoe. Look for the bolt pattern on your shoe and find a corresponding bolt pattern on a set of pedals. This will help you make sure that when you attach the cleat, it is correctly positioned on the pedal so that your foot can clip in when riding. Remember not to tighten the screws too tightly; they only need to be snugged tight enough to keep the cleat from moving around while pedaling. You also want to make sure that your bike shoe has enough room between the ball of your foot and the end of the shoe or boot before installing a clipless system because clipless systems won’t work if there is no room for them! A little bit of wiggle room is better than pinching.
It might take some time to figure out the best position for your cleats but it doesn’t take much time at all to install them once you’ve done it a couple times. Once you’re clipped into your bike, put both feet down on the ground and rock back and forth with the balls of your feet resting on the ground.


Check that you have the correct cleats for your shoes. If you’re not sure what kind of cleat you need, contact a bike shop for more information.
Make sure the holes in your shoe are big enough for the cleat screws. If they’re not, use a drill bit or nail to make them larger, and then re-assemble your cleat. You might have overtightened the screws on the inside of your shoe – this will put pressure on the top of your foot, so try loosening them just a little bit and see if it feels better. When tightening the screws on the outside of your shoe, don’t forget to tighten both sides evenly. Some people find that wearing two pairs of socks helps their feet feel less cramped when cycling – experiment with different types and thicknesses until you find something that works best for you.

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