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For cleat’s sake!

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For cleat’s sake!

Old 12-17-21, 07:41 AM
  #1  
Cramic
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For cleat’s sake!

Bought my first ever pair of clipless shoes and cleats at end of September (as well as first bike in about 15 years) and have worn them out already having cycled 1,500km.

I noticed them looking very worn within a week or two (the yellow grippy parts almost entirely gone). I thought I was probably having some extra wear as not used to clipless, but the left shoe failed completely after ten weeks. Luckily was close to a mate’s house who had a set to replace them with.

The new set (also Shimano) already look really beat up after about a week.

I went out and bought four new pairs of cleats (thinking it must be routine to replace them every quarter), but have since found out four pairs of cleats should last me a decade! Haha I know now that they should last at least two years/up to 5,000 miles.

So what am I doing wrong?

In terms of walking in them I do maybe 50 metres from the bike shed to changing rooms at work, four or five times a week. The 50 metre return involves walking down three flights of stairs. Are they so fragile that that amount of walking is the problem?

Attached are pictures of my first set of cleats after ten weeks and the new set after one week.

Thanks!


Original

Original

One week old
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Old 12-17-21, 08:27 AM
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My experience was similar. After years of SPDs, I tried SPD SL and road shoes earlier this year. I never got comfortable with them and didn't see an advantage over SPDs and A600 single sided pedals. I went back to the SPDs in a few months when the first set of cleats wore out.
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Old 12-17-21, 08:31 AM
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They aren't for walking, at all. Carry a pair of cleat covers.
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Old 12-17-21, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
They aren't for walking, at all. Carry a pair of cleat covers.
+1. Rubber covers are cheaper than 1 pair of name brand cleats.


I walk in mine for short distances if I don’t have covers with me and my cleats do not wear-out so fast. Maybe my choice of the older Looks are thicker and potentially more durable. A case of ‘old tech’ being more durable than comparable ‘new tech’? IDK.

edit: cleat covers go just above the leg band on cycling shorts when riding.

Last edited by Wildwood; 12-17-21 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 12-17-21, 09:04 AM
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Switch to a system where you can you use recessed cleats.
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Old 12-17-21, 09:28 AM
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I am baffled that your cleats are wearing that fast. I use the same system on my road bikes, and see nothing like that.

Even though you have already invested in SPD-SL, you should switch to SPD pedals and shoes. The recessed cleats last a long time, even if you are doing much walking on them. Oh, and they're easier to walk in.
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Old 12-17-21, 09:44 AM
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If you walk much at all in them, then get covers or SPD cleats. I've been exclusively SPD on my road bikes since 2010 and haven't had a cleat wear out yet before it was time for new shoes which come with their own shiny new cleat.
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Old 12-17-21, 10:11 AM
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Dragging one foot when coming to a stop? Walking and drafgging your feet? I used SPD SL for years on the road and racing on the track. I don't ever remember actually wearing out a pair of cleats. That includes walking in them. It looks like you're trying to wear them out.
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Old 12-17-21, 10:36 AM
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The cleats on my SIDI shoes have at least 14,000 miles on them. (New in early 2020, still riding with them.) I’ll try to remember to get a pic. They’re not even close to the OP’s pics, though.
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Old 12-17-21, 10:56 AM
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Might they be fake Shimano cleats?
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Old 12-17-21, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Cramic View Post
Bought my first ever pair of clipless shoes and cleats at end of September (as well as first bike in about 15 years) and have worn them out already having cycled 1,500km.

I noticed them looking very worn within a week or two (the yellow grippy parts almost entirely gone). I thought I was probably having some extra wear as not used to clipless, but the left shoe failed completely after ten weeks. Luckily was close to a mate’s house who had a set to replace them with.

The new set (also Shimano) already look really beat up after about a week.

I went out and bought four new pairs of cleats (thinking it must be routine to replace them every quarter), but have since found out four pairs of cleats should last me a decade! Haha I know now that they should last at least two years/up to 5,000 miles.

So what am I doing wrong?

In terms of walking in them I do maybe 50 metres from the bike shed to changing rooms at work, four or five times a week. The 50 metre return involves walking down three flights of stairs. Are they so fragile that that amount of walking is the problem?

Attached are pictures of my first set of cleats after ten weeks and the new set after one week.

Thanks!


Original

Original

One week old
Wear looks way excessive. I usually replace my yellow SPD-SLs every couple of years/12000 miles and, while I don't hike in them, I don't obsessively avoid walking in them either - and no cleat covers. The yellow feet don't contact the pedal when riding, so it must be the walking.
First thing I would do is do the cleat cover experiment - get some covers and use them for as much of your walking as possible for a few weeks - it's likely that this will solve the problem.
The other possibility is that they're lower quality knockoffs. Where do/did you buy them? There are any number of "SPD-SL-compatible" cleats on-line - some clearly not Shimano, but I imagine that some are actual knock-offs. The fact that a pair of the real thing can cost up to $30, there's real incentive for knockoffs. I'm happy to buy most things online, but I'm always willing to pay the LBS premium for real cleats.
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Old 12-17-21, 11:21 AM
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14,000 miles.

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Old 12-17-21, 11:41 AM
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"These boots aren't made for walking..."

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Old 12-17-21, 05:53 PM
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what the hell are you walking through that would cause that much wear, a shredder? I used SPD-SL's for a few years and outside of a little wear on the front pads, they looked practically brand new after 5-6K miles. If you are seeing that much wear, I would wear a pair of slip on shoes to where you park your bike, they will run maybe $10 and last a long time, or move to a MTB pedal system like Time ATACs or SPD types.
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Old 12-17-21, 06:06 PM
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Get a pair of these. Kool Kovers Cleat Covers Products
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Old 12-17-21, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
+1 Not only will your cleats last a lot longer but you less likely to slip and park your butt on the convenience store linoleum.

I carry my Kovers on a carabiner hung from a seat rail. (The small, cheao REI carabiners.) Looks dorky but a good place for an item that might have stepped in ????.
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Old 12-17-21, 07:44 PM
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It does not take many steps to ruin the spd-sl pedals. I like those and the spd's, both used on road bikes. I use the spd type much more these days. I stop more often and walk more steps than I used to. I have the covers for the sl, which work well, it is just easier to use spd style. I don't prefer one over the other for clipping in or out; or foot stability, comfort or heat spot issues. I keep spd-sl on my Airborne Zeppelin with cleat covers in a top tube bag.

I do not know if this is normal, I suspect not, but both of my pairs spd-sl shoes are wider in the toe box than any of my spd shoes. I do like that.
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Old 12-17-21, 08:34 PM
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Use platform pedals with non-cycling shoes.
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Old 12-17-21, 09:39 PM
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Are you a very large, heavy person, or is the (likely) concrete that you're walking on extremely rough?

I don't walk a ton (more than 20' I'll get on the bike) but I don't baby the cleats either, & they seem to last a couple of years.
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Old 12-17-21, 10:54 PM
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I've done a hike through like half a mile of sharp gravel that was a ~15% uphill grade and I still didn't even wear my cleats 10% that bad. You're either *very* heavy or you're dragging your feet like crazy.

make sure to walk primarily on your heels. I could see stairs doing this if you're slipping the cleats on the stairs. I usually walk sideways on stairs to reduce this.
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Old 12-18-21, 11:30 AM
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I’m just reiterating what others have said above…that cleats aren’t made for walking, and that you should keep some cleat covers with you for when you do have to walk in them (i.e. flats, breakdowns mid-ride). From from the pics you posted it’s clear that you’re walking in them way too much. The screws and washers/plates securing them to the shoe aren’t the least bit rusted or tarnished yet. And also word of advice…if you end up getting cleats that don’t have the softer rubber parts…walking on tile or smooth cement floors can be hazardous…like walking on ice.

Dan
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Old 12-18-21, 07:14 PM
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My guess is I only got 3,000-4,000 miles before most of the yellow was gone from my left (down foot) cleat. I'm close, but not quite, a Clyde. Usually put a foot down two or three times in a 60 mile ride. Maybe a few yards in and out of a convenience store. Obviously I was rough on them somehow. I never thought to be careful with them. Most of my friends use "road" pedals, either SPD SL or Look, I haven't heard much chatter about cleats wearing out. Maybe squirrels got in the garage and gnawed them....
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Old 12-18-21, 07:14 PM
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Regular SPD pedals are fine. After using Time, Look, Speedplay, and other types, I eventually gravitated to ordinary SPDs. They are the longest-lasting and most economical, not to mention giving you a much wider range of shoe options. Cleat covers do work, but are one more thing you have to carry, and they are easily lost.

Last edited by 50PlusCycling; 12-19-21 at 01:47 AM.
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Old 12-18-21, 07:51 PM
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you're supposed to use athletics shoes when participating in those marathon , & then swap the footwear when hopping on the clipless pedals.

as it has been posted, try some protective covers.
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Old 12-18-21, 09:20 PM
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Thanks for all the replies! Seems mystery isn’t quite solved, but will certainly get myself a set of covers.

To address a few comments:

I’m 100kg/220lb, so heavier than many cyclists no doubt. I do tread lightly though and don’t drag my feet. When running you can’t hear me coming (except the laboured breathing!).

To my knowledge the cleats are genuine Shimano products. First set came with my new shoes and were fitted in the Giant store.

So will start with the clear covers and see if that solves the problem! Thanks again!
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