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Check your cleats!

figbatfigbat Posts: 680
edited May 2018 in MTB general
I usually do a cursory once-over of the bike before riding; pinch the tyres, spin the crank, pull the brakes and so on to make sure it is rideable. I use SPD pedals and cleats on all my bikes (road and MTB) and have two pairs of shoes with the cleats on. One is a venerable old pair of Shimano MT-51 high-ankle shoes that I have been using for over 10 years with the same cleats, no issues ever. Another is some M065 which I use for summer use and on my road bikes (and have done for around 2 years).

The other day I leapt on my road bike, clipped in and started to pedal. My right foot felt a bit odd, making me think I hadn't engaged the cleat properly so I went to pull it out and try again. I quickly discovered that my right foot could not be removed from the pedal so I stopped to investigate. I took off the shoe (still attached to the pedal) and found that one of the two securing bolts had come undone, meaning the cleat was now free to rotate about the remaining bolt, meaning it wouldn't unclip. I tried unscrewing the whole shoe but the design of the sole and clearance to the crank meant this was a no-go. I was around 25 miles from home (I had been taken to a start point and dropped off for a ride home) with one shoe on. I decided to put my foot back in the errant shoe, figuring that it was going to stay attached to the pedal regardless and then set off for my planned ride home, with the very prominent thought to always unclip the left foot if I had to stop. This worked fine - I made it home unscathed and actually the bad pedal didn't really cause any issues along the way (aside from one forgetful out-of-the-seat climb where my foot rotated and I caught the crank arm with my heel on the down-stroke, but I stayed on).

Once home I managed to wrestle the cleat off the pedal and the loose bolt was still captured in the pedal (it fell on the floor). I refitted the cleat (as tight as I could) and checked the other shoe, which was also a bit loose (enough to need a nip-up but not enough for the cleat to move). I then checked my old shoes (remember, 10 years of use) and these were solid.

So, added to my regular routine maintenance and checks now is the cleat security. I wonder if this is news to you, or whether this is a normal thing to check? Do you Loctite these? I had never thought of it before.
Cube Reaction GTC Pro 29 for the lumpy stuff
Cannondale Synapse alloy with 'guards for the winter roads
Fuji Altamira 2.7 for the summer roads
Trek 830 Mountain Track frame turned into a gravel bike - for anywhere & everywhere

Posts

  • Chunkers1980Chunkers1980 Posts: 8,035
    I can't even get a Allen key in mine to check.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    Think the screws usually come with blue threadlock already on the threads. Never had one come undone. TBH it's usually the reverse, so I put a bit of copperslip on them so I can undo them again if they ever wear out
  • figbatfigbat Posts: 680
    I can't even get a Allen key in mine to check.

    I had to clear my old ones out with a fine screwdriver to get an Allen key in to discover they were still tight.
    Cube Reaction GTC Pro 29 for the lumpy stuff
    Cannondale Synapse alloy with 'guards for the winter roads
    Fuji Altamira 2.7 for the summer roads
    Trek 830 Mountain Track frame turned into a gravel bike - for anywhere & everywhere
  • 02GF7402GF74 Posts: 1,294
    It's a good idea to use stainless steel hex bolts as they can rust in place, stops them undoing but not so good for removing. Also the original non stainless steel bolt have a larger hex socket.

    The bolts should be replaced at regular intervals as the hex sockets get deformed due to walking on hard surfaces.
  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    Multi release cleats are better than stock SPD, if this happens.
  • Neilio1978Neilio1978 Posts: 9
    The mud stops mine undoing! But good shout anyway!
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