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  1. #1
    12mph+ commuter
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    SPD cleats grinding on sidewalk, driving me crazy

    My shoes:

    Shimano MT31
    Shimano SM-SH51

    I thought I wouldn't have any troubled with recessed cleat shoes, but these have been so annoying off the bike. The shoes are silent when I'm inside on tile or marble type floors, but on slightly rougher surfaces like concrete sidewalks they scrape and grind. I bought these shoes specifically for every day use, which means as much time on the bike as off. I'm about ready to throw in the towel and just put platforms back on my bike. Does anyone have any suggestions for fixing this problem?










  2. #2
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    You won't find a pair of cleats that "never ever" grind or click. Your expectation that you can wear them all day and never have that happen is unrealistic. Not trying to be a hardass, just a dose of reality.

  3. #3
    No plan. peabodypride's Avatar
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    It's true, there's not much you can do about clacking. I find it worst on pavers. You're also going to wear down your cleats fast -- and I mean it! I go through a pair of Crank Bros cleats every 3 months or so when I walk around in my shoes a lot.

    The only workaround is the one which you won't want to hear -- bring a spare pair of normal shoes.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
    You won't find a pair of cleats that "never ever" grind or click. Your expectation that you can wear them all day and never have that happen is unrealistic. Not trying to be a hardass, just a dose of reality.
    Agree. No matter what shoe you use, it always seems like SPD cleats end up grinding on the ground. I've always wondered if it would be possible to add some material to the sole of the shoe, so that the cleat has a few millimeters more ground clearance. Haven't tried it yet.

    FWIW, I felt like I got less grinding when I was using Crank Brothers cleats/pedals with the MT31 shoe.

  5. #5
    12mph+ commuter
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    Well, I think that does it. I tried to drink the Kool-aid, but it just didn't take. Most of my cycling is commuting/utilitarian, so clipless isn't worth it for me.

  6. #6
    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
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    what's the big deal? So your shoe makes some noise when you walk, do you yell at people that drag their feet when they walk?
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
    I'd rather ride a greasy bowling ball than one of those things.
    Bikerowave
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  7. #7
    12mph+ commuter
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    It's pretty loud and obnoxious. They consistently grind on anything that's not the smoothest of surfaces. The pedals are nice for giving me a consistent pedaling stroke, but I don't really need the retention for safety purposes (feet slipping off the pedals), and there isn't much of a performance boost for 3-5 mile rides.

  8. #8
    Junior Mint jimn's Avatar
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    You could ask a shoe repair place to add an extra small layer of rubber around the cleat recess. Just make sure you can still clip in and (more importantly) out.

  9. #9
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Or just change to clips and straps. Probably give you almost all the gain and enable you to wear normal shoes.

  10. #10
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    If they grind on rough surfaces they'll grind on smooth surfaces also, you just don't hear them.

    Is this small annoyance more important than performance?

  11. #11
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    Some hardcore offroad shoes have deeper lugs that may do a better job as they are made to work in slick muddy conditions, but they really aren't something I would want to walk around in.

  12. #12
    12mph+ commuter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
    If they grind on rough surfaces they'll grind on smooth surfaces also, you just don't hear them.

    Is this small annoyance more important than performance?
    No, but I think it's the straw that breaks the camel's back.

  13. #13
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Wait, don't toss it in yet. I have the same problem. I'm intrigued that the cleats in my sandals don't scratch my soft wood floor, and they don't grind on asphalt. They only grind on concrete (aka pavers). And for those of you who haven't experienced it, it is extremely loud and annoying.

    I just bought some Shoe Goo and will try to pad up the part of the sole behind the cleat, where the grinding occurs. I'll let you know how that goes. And if that fails, I will ask the shoe repair guy to do the same type of thing for me.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  14. #14
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Those shoes look flexible; Are they?
    My guess is then are letting the cleat make contact when they flex.

  15. #15
    No plan. peabodypride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
    If they grind on rough surfaces they'll grind on smooth surfaces also, you just don't hear them.

    Is this small annoyance more important than performance?
    Most likely the OP is commuting in the shoes and doesn't want to bring a normal pair or leave some at work, in which case having clacky shoes probably isn't acceptable.

  16. #16
    Senior Member shider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    FWIW, I felt like I got less grinding when I was using Crank Brothers cleats/pedals with the MT31 shoe.
    I have to second this comment. Crank Brothers cleats are a lower profile than SPDs and grind much less.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by peabodypride View Post
    Most likely the OP is commuting in the shoes and doesn't want to bring a normal pair or leave some at work, in which case having clacky shoes probably isn't acceptable.
    And I guess walking out in bike socks is probably unacceptable too.

  18. #18
    Peace and bicycle grease! une_vitesse's Avatar
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    wait till you get into a fight in those shoes.
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  19. #19
    Your mom
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    If I was walking around a lot in clipless shoes, that would drive me nuts too. It's like riding around with a squeaky derailleur pulley (most annoying noise in the world).

  20. #20
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    Take a flat file to the recess where the cleat mounts. My SIDI mega MTB shoes keep the cleats clear of the ground, but I wouldnt want to do much walking in them, My previous Cannondale MTB shoes were much more comfortable for walking because the sole was wider, but there was occasional cleat-surface contact.

  21. #21
    It's got electrolytes! chucky's Avatar
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  22. #22
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    I guess the bad news is - it`ll only get worse!

    Realistically - you can expect it to get worse.

    You stated that your intention was to use those shoes as much off the bike as on it. Shimano does make models targeted for that kind of usage. What you bought isn`t one of them.

    So you can expect that as the tread wears down, that the cleat will make increasinly more contact with just about every surface.

    You can try cleat covers if you want to. The ones for those cleats actually cost more than a set of cleats and they`re not designed for anything but ocassional use either.

    So the suggestion? Get yourself a pair of PD-MX30 or equivalent pedals. Or a pair of multifunctional pedals, and either wear another pair of shoes or simply take the cleats out of those ones.

    I drive with cleats, toe clips and those BMX style pedals myself. The hybrid had the BMX style and actually I kinda like them.

  23. #23
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Bring another pair of shoes without cleats to put on when you have to walk far.

  24. #24
    It's got electrolytes! chucky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    You can try cleat covers if you want to. The ones for those cleats actually cost more than a set of cleats and they`re not designed for anything but ocassional use either.
    I got mine for $9.68 shipped on ebay and I haven't been able to find a pair of cleats that cheap anywhere. Besides, an extra set of cleats won't reduce the noise whereas these will.

    I wear Shimano sandals with cleats everywhere, all the time (even when I'm gardening). You'd be surprised how many people get annoyed by the grinding sound of the cleats on concrete, especially if they know you're going to be walking on their hard wood/tile/marble floors. And although you and I know that the cleats are not going to scratch anymore floor than a pair of high heels, it's rude to be clacking around like that all the time, especially if you're not wearing a mini skirt.

    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Bring another pair of shoes without cleats to put on when you have to walk far.
    I can hardly think of a bigger hassle. Where would I put them? They certainly won't fit in my tool bag and the time it takes to change, with the possibility of getting my socks dirty, is certainly far far beyond any advantage provided by the cleats while riding...even over 100 miles.

    No thanks. Most of the time I'm not even riding with clipless pedals, but I use cleated shoes anyway because I prefer the stiff soles and I'm trying to simplify to just one pair of shoes...maybe I should switch my clipless bike to Powergrips.
    Last edited by chucky; 02-20-11 at 03:51 AM.

  25. #25
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    Recently I put a pair of SPD cleats on my MTB shoes to try a friend's new SPD pedals. I noticed they made more noise than the Crank Brothers. When I put the CB cleats back on, there was almost no noise. This is a result of a slightly thinner cleat but the noise reduction could be a result that the CB cleats are brass and the SPD cleats are steel. The SPD cleats last longer so probably would withstand more walking on.

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