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How to Set-Up Your Bike Cleats

man setting up bike cleats

Did you just purchase your first cycling shoe and clipless pedal system? Awesome! Now it’s time to get your cleats set-up. Watch our tutorial for easy to follow instructions on how to do just that!

Watch this video to learn how to set-up your cycling shoe cleats:

The set-up instructions below place your cleats in a basic starting position. You may need to adjust the fore / aft position or the angles of your cleats to match your unique physiology. For best results, consult a professional bike fitter.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

1. Put a piece of masking tape on each side of your shoes for marking purposes.

Step #1 on how to set up your bike cleats

2. Put your shoes on.

3. Feel for the bony protrusion on your left foot and indicate its location on your tape.

4. Feel for the bony protrusion on your right foot and indicate its location on your tape.

where to find the bony protrusion on your right foot and indicate its location on your tape for setting up bike cleats

5. Take the shoes off and flip them over.

6. Find the mark on the right side and draw a line all the way across the bottom of your shoe.

7. Find the mark on the left side and draw a line all the way across the bottom of your shoe.

8. Find the spot directly in the center of those two lines. This is your ideal, neutral position.

neutral position for setting up your bike cleats

9. Apply a dab of grease to the threads on each of your bolts.

10. Position your cleats so that the spindle of your pedal falls at that neutral position.

11. For 2-bolt cleats: place the bolts in that neutral position.

12. For 3-bolt cleats: determine if there is a mark indicating the center of the cleat or compare where the cleat falls on the pedal and mark the center point on the cleat.

Position your bike cleats so that the spindle of your pedal falls at that neutral position.

13. Tighten your cleats until they don’t move (but don’t fully tighten).

14. Adjust the angles of your cleats to replicate your natural foot angles.

Adjust the angles of your bike cleats to replicate your natural foot angles

15. Give them a try! If you experience discomfort adjust as needed to find your perfect setting.

Keep learning…

If you want to learn more about the cycling shoe and pedal system check out our Cycling Shoe Buying Guide.

It’s chock-full of useful information that will ultimately help you improve your pedaling efficiency, gain more stability while riding, eliminate unnecessary stress on your hips, knees and feet, and ride faster exerting less effort! Check it out here.

Now get riding!

While you’re out riding and getting a feel for if your cleats are set correctly for your body — swing into your local ERIK’S. Check out our awesome selection of cycling shoes, pedals, bike socks, cleats and more. Our expert staff can answer any questions you may have! Or, shop for everything you need online with us at shopERIKS.com.