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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 09-20-13, 02:07 PM   #1
copswithguns 
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Installed my clipless pedals today... Cleat wear?

Put some Shimano 105s on my Allez, attached and centered the cleats on the shoe, and did an EASY 7 miles. I mean wow. The hills were cake, my average speed went from around 14 to 17-18 mph, and best of all I didn't fall, even in traffic. Love it.


My question is: I'm trying my best to not touch the asphalt with the cleats to reduce wear, but already there is some scuffing on the back of the cleats. 1) Is that normal? 2) Better to have the wear on the back of the cleat as opposed to the front, right?

If you're on the fence about clipless pedals, GO GET SOME! Night and day.
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Old 09-20-13, 02:16 PM   #2
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It's normal. Cleat life depends in large part on how often they touch the ground.
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Old 09-20-13, 02:22 PM   #3
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it is normal to touch the asphalt, biggest wear will be from dragging your foot as you come up to a red light. But I'd rather drag the cleats ($25) oppose to dragging the heal of the roadie shoes ($200+) Minimize foot/pavement drag and cleats should last a yr or so.
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Old 09-20-13, 02:30 PM   #4
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Awesome. Thanks for the replies. Can't wait to get home and ride again. What a great pedal system.
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Old 09-20-13, 02:35 PM   #5
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Also, cleat covers (I like CleatSkins) are essential. Most of the wear on my cleats is from the time before I started using covers...
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Old 09-20-13, 02:41 PM   #6
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I wouldn't say "essential" ... but sure, they'll help if you walk a lot in them.

That said, I've got Shimano Ultegra SPD-SLs and my current cleats are going on three years. They'll be replaced over the winter, but if you take care of them you'll get plenty of life out of htem.

Scuffing is normal. Just check your cleat bolts from time to time to make sure they're snug (someone is bound to chime in with a story about a fall because of a cleat that was loose).
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Old 09-20-13, 02:46 PM   #7
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I plan on replacing my cleats each spring and saving a pair that is "decent" for times I realize I need to get some for whatever reason.
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Old 09-20-13, 02:46 PM   #8
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Also, cleat covers (I like CleatSkins) are essential. Most of the wear on my cleats is from the time before I started using covers...
These are essential... not only do they protect the cleats while you are off the bike, they just make walking easier.

BTW you will be surprised how worn and scuff up a cleat can get and still function properly. Generally I don't replace cleats until I replace the shoes...
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Old 09-20-13, 03:02 PM   #9
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Cleat covers? I'm new to the cleat game and have never heard of them. Off to google!
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Old 09-20-13, 03:04 PM   #10
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Cleat covers? I'm new to the cleat game and have never heard of them. Off to google!

Back now. Very interesting. I think I'll order some.
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Old 09-20-13, 03:16 PM   #11
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I never liked the covers. Just one more thing to carry in my pockets with my food n phone. No thanks. Just walk like a duck and your shoes will have a nice clacking sound in the stores
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Old 09-20-13, 03:17 PM   #12
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I try to use cleat covers with my SPD-SL cleats as well. I used those shoes during RAGBRAI and had to stop and walk in towns fairly often and they were getting pretty scuffed up. However, if you look at the contact points with the pedal, you'll see that it takes quiet a long time for those to get to a point where they are wearing down. Some other guys in my group were using the same cleats and there's were worn much worse than mine and they were still riding fine (I think one guy had worn one of the yellow blocks on the back completely off!)
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Old 09-20-13, 04:04 PM   #13
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I tried cleat covers with my Look KEO cleats. One would stay on one would not. I gave up trying to use them. I now use Speedplay pedals and the cleats cost even more. Nothing lasts forever other than the mean things folks write on the web.......Replace cleats as needed.
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Old 09-20-13, 04:29 PM   #14
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I tried cleat covers with my Look KEO cleats. One would stay on one would not. I gave up trying to use them. I now use Speedplay pedals and the cleats cost even more. Nothing lasts forever other than the mean things folks write on the web.......Replace cleats as needed.
Have you looked into Keep-On-Kovers for the Speedplays? I've been real happy with them.
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Old 09-20-13, 04:35 PM   #15
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I use SPD pedals/cleats (mountain bike). I'm on the same cleats I bought in '97. Now,granted, I took many years off from riding, but I am truly impressed with how long they've lasted. Howver, the design is very different. The cleats are more protected in SPD-type shoes than SPD-SL or other road cleat methods.
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Old 09-20-13, 08:19 PM   #16
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Have you looked into Keep-On-Kovers for the Speedplays? I've been real happy with them.
I have not. Which variety do you use Craig? I take it they stay on.
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Old 09-20-13, 08:34 PM   #17
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I use SPD pedals/cleats (mountain bike). I'm on the same cleats I bought in '97. Now,granted, I took many years off from riding, but I am truly impressed with how long they've lasted. Howver, the design is very different. The cleats are more protected in SPD-type shoes than SPD-SL or other road cleat methods.
funny I was going to post exactly the same thing... I got my cheapo shimano SPD's and diadora jalapeno II shoes back in '97... I still am using the cleats...

as mentioned SPD with either touring or MTB shoes will recess the cleat so you are walking on the sole of the shoe instead of a hard metal cleat...
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Old 09-20-13, 09:13 PM   #18
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Have you looked into Keep-On-Kovers for the Speedplays? I've been real happy with them.
+1 I love em
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Old 09-20-13, 09:30 PM   #19
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Shimano cleats last a long time, even if you do a little walking on them. Don't worry about it.
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Old 09-21-13, 12:49 PM   #20
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I have not. Which variety do you use Craig? I take it they stay on.
I have Zeros so I just use the basic model. I haven't had a problem with them wearing out so far, so I don't see the need (for me) for the longer-lasting model.

Yes, they stay on, by intent. They don't interfere with clipping in or out. And I haven't had one come off inadvertently while off the bike, either.
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Old 09-21-13, 05:58 PM   #21
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I haven't ever used cleat covers since I first bought a pair of Look pedals in 1987. The cleats wear on the backside from walking but you're not supposed to go on a hike with them, just put your shoes on right before you hop on the bike and take them off soon after. Don't walk from the house to the garage in your cycling shoes, put your cycling shoes on in the garage. Get a pair of soccer slides or cycling slides or hockey slides if that helps. If you have to drive to ride, get your bike off the rack, kit up, load your water bottles, stretch, then put your cycling shoes on. Doing this and riding 3 or 4 days a week, my cleats will last 2,000 miles or so. The important part of a Look cleat is the part that engages once you're snapped in, and that will wear in time as the cleat floats against the pedal-- more important wear than the bottom of the cleat.

I could see cleat covers if you're trodding around in your cycling shoes or you want to stop and have a cuppa during the ride.

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Tile+cleats = deadly. There are more really slippery combinations and you'll figure that out, hopefully by not breaking your arse.
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Old 09-21-13, 09:32 PM   #22
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I find the leave on covers for my speedplay light actions to be helpful when I stop for a red light.

I dont slide when I put my foot down, and they give me some traction when I push off.

SCHLUG I bring plenty of tools and patches w/me when I ride solo, but I have on 2 occasions needed to walk from a unforeseen breakdown to my nearest lbs/support location. Its was after the first one that I got my covers. Have you never had to face the walk of shame??
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Old 09-23-13, 10:16 AM   #23
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I have to say in all my years of cycling I have never had to make the walk of shame. I can recall having to use someone's phone in Texas (in the 80's) to have my local bike shop come fetch me and once in Donegal waiting for my mate to come back while I enjoyed the scenery. Could be stuck in worse places.
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