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cleat worked its way loose on my commute, what should I do?

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cleat worked its way loose on my commute, what should I do?

Old 03-20-11, 06:05 PM
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himespau 
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cleat worked its way loose on my commute, what should I do?

So I'm new to the world of clipless pedals (probably less than 50 miles). I have Shimano M086 pedals (with the spd-51 cleat) and SPD 520 pedals. On my commute in to work today I was on the MUP near my work and suddenly my right foot (the one I rarely unclip - I'm always a left unclipper except for the rest of this ride) had a lot more play than it should have. I looked down and saw the cleat was in the mechanism and not in my shoe. I just kept on to work putting down my right foot at the intersections and leaving the left clipped in.

When I got to work, I couldn't get the cleat out even after I loosened the tension all the way with my multitool (and couldn't pry it out). Finally, I unscrewed the front part of the mechanism that the point of the cleat clips into and got the cleat out. Couldn't get the metal piece back in so I just made sure the other side was up and rode home without unclipping that side.

Once I got back home in the warm, I was able to muscle the part back on so now I can use both sides of the pedal again, but I'd prefer not to do it again.

So two questions, how do I prevent the cleat from working out again and what do I do if it does?

Obviously, I should regularly check the cleats to make sure the screws are tight, but should I use some sort of locktite or something?

Is there an easier way of getting a cleat out of the mechanism if it does get out of my shoe or do I just need to get some upper body strength which appears to be lacking?

thanks for your help.
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Old 03-20-11, 06:32 PM
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Tightened sufficiently, a cleat bolt should never work loose. I've ridden tens of thousands of miles using Shimano SM-SH51 cleats on shoes from several different makers and not one has ever come loose and i've never used Loc-Tite or any other thread treatment. It's not a chronic problem.

Check the bolts and mounting plate inside your shoes to be sure the bolts and threaded holes are in good shape and neither has damaged threads. I suppose it's possible you overtightened the bolts initially and stripped the threads or cross threaded them when you installed the bolts. Replace any part that isn't in good condition.

Getting a bare cleat out of a pedal is always a real fight and there is no easy way but brute force. You could try to stick a couple of long bolts or metal rods in the mounting holes and stick a screwdriver between the protruding shanks to twist them out. Best way is to not let them come off the shoes.
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Old 03-20-11, 06:40 PM
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Sounds as though it wasn't tightned when installed.

+1 for Hillriders advice
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Old 03-20-11, 07:56 PM
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1) Use a very small amount of loctite on the bolts
2) Use a torque wrench when installing said bolts
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Old 03-20-11, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
1) Use a very small amount of loctite on the bolts
2) Use a torque wrench when installing said bolts
I use grease on the threads, and a torque wrench. Grease so they don't seize with all the water, grit, road salt, etc.. they see. They don't come loose when properly torqued.
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Old 03-20-11, 08:36 PM
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thanks guys. I don't have a torque wrench, so I just did them pretty tight with the allen on my multitool. When I got home, I did them tighter with my L shaped allens. Hmmm, maybe it's time to buy a new tool...

Don't have any loctite on hand but do have a new tube of park polylube that I just cracked into to grease the threads of the pedals when I put them on last weekend. Might put a little of that on the threads.
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Old 03-20-11, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
I use grease on the threads, and a torque wrench. Grease so they don't seize with all the water, grit, road salt, etc.. they see. They don't come loose when properly torqued.
Yeah, I grease the bolts too. The only problems I've ever had with them isn't loosening, it's rusting into place and having the hex round out when I want to remove them.

After having to drill the heads off a couple of them, I started copiously greasing them and filling the hex socket with grease also.
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Old 03-20-11, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
I use grease on the threads, and a torque wrench. Grease so they don't seize with all the water, grit, road salt, etc.. they see. They don't come loose when properly torqued.
Too bad loctite also functions as an anti-seizing agent. It also prevents them from coming loose should the cleat move with respect to the shoe.
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Old 03-20-11, 08:59 PM
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I had a very similar experience on Friday. I'm new to clipless too. I've been trying to get them adjusted properly and have been having a tough time at it. The cleat seems to be either angled too far in or too far out. In any case, I tried to unclip and couldn't. I almost went through my rite of passage, but was able to unclip my other foot and stabilize myself. I tried to get my foot out and still couldn't do it. Finally, I wrenched it hard and it came out without the cleat! I had to pry the pedal pretty hard to get the cleat out, but was able to do it.

The only thing I can think of is that the last time I adjusted them, I decided that I would ride them a bit the next time before I tightened them down. I them promptly forgot that and during the next ride it came off. I'm pretty thankful that that lesson didn't cost me a new pair of shoes, pedals or cleats! Tighten them down the first time!
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Old 03-21-11, 01:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
I use grease on the threads, and a torque wrench. Grease so they don't seize with all the water, grit, road salt, etc.. they see. They don't come loose when properly torqued.
Well, it depends upon the shoe as well. I've seen numerous shoes where there's very little threads on the inserts. In which case, they don't hold even then tightened to the proper torque and grease just makes it worse. Loctite and torque-wrench works 100% of the time to ensure cleats stay put.

Also a good idea to replace the bolts every once in a while.
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Old 03-21-11, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
Too bad loctite also functions as an anti-seizing agent. It also prevents them from coming loose should the cleat move with respect to the shoe.
If your going to use locktite, why not use the correct one for the job, the have threadlockers like 221 low strenght or 270 high strenght, get the right tool for the job!
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Old 03-21-11, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by eddubal View Post
The only thing I can think of is that the last time I adjusted them, I decided that I would ride them a bit the next time before I tightened them down. I them promptly forgot that and during the next ride it came off. I'm pretty thankful that that lesson didn't cost me a new pair of shoes, pedals or cleats! Tighten them down the first time!
I think this might have been my problem too. Especially since it was the foot I rarely unclip. Still not 100% sure where I want the clip placement. There aren't really threads on the shoe insert, just holes the bolt gets screwed through, but if I'd tightened it properly, this shouldn't have happened so soon.
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Old 03-21-11, 06:03 AM
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I have a variety of Loctite thread locker products at my disposal and use them as I deem appropriate. However, grease is my choice for cleats.

Too bad?
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