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SPD pedal cleat difference

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SPD pedal cleat difference


Old 03-17-19, 06:44 AM
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SPD pedal cleat difference

Over time I have accumulated four different sets of SPD pedals and five sets of cleats. Recently bought a second bike and noticed minor difference clipping in. Have no idea which pedals/cleats go together - some cleats still in original sealed package. Does it make any difference. If it does, do the markings on cleats tell me anything?
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Old 03-17-19, 09:59 AM
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I'm guessing you might be referring to the 51, 55 and 56 numbers on the cleats. I had the same question, and this is what I found from web searches.

The 51 cleats only disengage by moving your foot sideways, the 56 disengage both sideways and vertically, so the 56 have more disengagement options and might be better for beginners and/or for road use when you might need to disengage more often or in an emergency. The 55 cleat is an older multidirectional model that was replaced by the 56, so the 55 is not compatible with some newer pedals that specify either 51 or 56 cleats. On trails the 51 might be better to avoid unintended release.
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