Originally Posted by FraAngelico
Can anyone provide me with some info on the how to set-up my sidi dominators with SPD cleats? Should I have the cleat towards the front, middle, or back of the shoe? Is there an optimum anatonmical relation between the cleat and the foot? At present, I have it set to the rear positioin, my right foot hurts on the bottom so I'll be moving it forward.
Here's how I fit mine:
1.) Install your cleats neutral...being centered and straight ahead.
2.) Sit up on the kitchen counter and let your legs dangle 6 inches apart. See how your feet are angled? Make a mental picture of the toe-in/toe-out orientation of each foot.
3.) Get down from the kitchen counter and stand up straight. Look down at your feet and locate the first metatarsal joint (the first joint of your big toe). Make the shape of an "L" with your thumb and forefinger, kneel down and place that "L" directly over the ball of your foot...being the thumb on the first joint of the big toe, and whatever finger can reach the first joint of the pinky toe. Pretend your hand is a lobster claw and grab your foot in this position. Practice until you become familiar with the first metatarsal joint of your big toe of each foot. You can let go of your foot now.
4.) Put your shoes on, mount your bike (lean up against a wall) and clip-into your pedals.
5.) First check the angles. Check each foot one at a time in the 6 o'clock position. Are your feet pointing in the same direction as how you saw them while dangling your legs from that kitchen counter? If not, then adjust the cleats so that each foot is as close to that angle as possible.
6.) When you have the angles correct, now check the ball of each foot. With your cranks held in the 3 and 9 o'clock positions, check the foreward foot. Make an "L" with your thumb and forefinger and lobser-claw your foot at the first joint of the big toe. You should be able to know what it feels like with the shoes on because you practiced in step 3.
7.) Got the lobster-claw grip on your foot correct? OK, now this part is a bit tricky if you're doing it by yourself, but it is doable: holding that lobster-claw grip over the ball of your foot while holding the position of your cranks, carefully lean forward and down so that you can get a good look at the inside of the forward crank arm. See your thumb holding onto the first joint of your big toe? The whole object here is to get your thumb to line-up with the center of the crank spindle. The way to do this in step 8.
8.) Dismount, and adjust the cleat forward or backward, while maintaining the correct angle you established in step 5.
Repeat steps 7 and 8 until your thumb is centered above the crank spindle.
Note: this needs to be done while holding your foot in it's natural gait.
What I actually do is make the initial adjustments in-doors, then take the bike out and fine-tune the adjustments while out on the road (find yourself a bus stop, parked car, or garage door to lean up against while you make your assessments, then with a handy 4mm allen wrench that you've brought along with you, find yourself a park bench or curb to sit down, remove your shoe, and adjust your cleats). Passers-by may look at you funny, but pay no mind. You're on a mission for pedaling perfection and cannot be bothered.
I've been riding clipless back when Look only had the black fixed cleats, and messed-up my knees pretty bad when the LBS guy set them up incorrectly. I ride SPDs now because of the off-the-bike convenience and safety.
Simple rule: if it feels wrong, then it is wrong. There's no such thing as "your knees wil break-in after a few miles", especially with floating clipless pedals being the standard nowadays.