How to Install Bike Cleats?

Are you ready to take your cycling game to the next level? Installing bike cleats can transform your ride, giving you more control and power as you pedal. But if you’ve never done it before, the process might seem daunting. Don’t worry – we’ve got your back! In this post, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about how to install bike cleats like a pro. From picking out the right pair of shoes to adjusting them for maximum efficiency, read on for all our top tips and tricks!

What are Bike Cleats?

Bike cleats are small metal or plastic attachments that clip into the pedals of your bicycle. They provide a more secure and efficient connection between you and your bike and can help you ride faster and with more power. The most common type of bike cleat is the three-bolt cleat, which is compatible with most road and mountain bikes.

There are also two-bolt cleats, which are generally used on BMX bikes and some mountain bikes. When choosing bike cleats, it’s important to select the right type for your bike pedals and shoes. You will also need to make sure that the cleats are installed correctly in order to achieve optimal performance.

How to Install Bike Cleats?

How to Install Bike Cleats?

Here’s a guide on how to install bike cleats with proper headings and steps:

  1. Gather necessary tools: To install bike cleats, you will need a few tools, including a hex key (also known as an Allen wrench) that fits the bolts on your cleats, a screwdriver, and a torque wrench. Make sure you have the appropriate tools before beginning the installation process.
  2. Prepare the bike shoes: Before installing the cleats, make sure your bike shoes are clean and free of any dirt or debris. Remove any existing cleats, if applicable, and clean the shoe sole with a damp cloth.
  3. Determine cleat position: To determine the correct cleat position, sit on your bike and pedal until one of the pedals is at its lowest point. Place your foot on the pedal, and then locate the ball of your foot. Mark this spot on the shoe sole with a pen or marker. Repeat the process with the other foot.
  4. Align cleats with a ball of foot: Place the cleats on the bottom of the shoes, aligning the holes in the cleats with the marks you made on the shoes in the previous step. Make sure the cleats are centered over the ball of your foot.
  5. Adjust cleat position: Adjust the cleat position as necessary to ensure a comfortable and natural foot position. Make small adjustments until the cleats feel comfortable and aligned with the ball of your foot.
  6. Install cleats: Once you have determined the proper cleat position, use the hex key to attach the cleats to the shoe sole, tightening the bolts to the appropriate torque as recommended by the cleat manufacturer. It is important to not over-tighten the bolts, as this can damage the shoe or cleat.
  7. Test and adjust: After installing the cleats, test them by clipping them into the pedals and pedaling for a short distance. If they feel comfortable, you are good to go. If not, adjust the cleat position as necessary until they feel comfortable and natural.

By following these steps, you should be able to successfully install bike cleats onto your bike shoes. It is important to take the time to properly align and adjust the cleats to ensure a comfortable and efficient riding experience.

Why Install Bike Cleats?

There are many reasons to install bike cleats. Perhaps you’re an avid cyclist who wants to improve your pedaling efficiency. Or, you might be new to cycling and want to give it a try. Either way, bike cleats can give you a significant boost when it comes to cycling performance.

When installed correctly, bike cleats can help you transfer more power from your legs to the pedals. This results in increased speed and smoother pedaling. Additionally, bike cleats can also improve your comfort while riding by preventing your feet from slipping off the pedals.

If you’re interested in installing bike cleats, the first step is to purchase a pair of compatible shoes. Make sure to buy shoes that fit well and offer good support for your feet. Once you have your shoes, you’ll need to attach the cleats. This typically involves screwing them into the bottom of the shoe using screws that come with the cleat set.

Once the cleats are attached, you’ll need to adjust them so that they’re positioned correctly on your feet. The final step is to practice clipping in and out of the pedals before hitting the road or trails. With a little practice, you’ll be able to do this quickly and easily without missing a beat.

Types of bike cleats

Here are some types of bike cleats:

  1. SPD Cleats: Shimano Pedaling Dynamics (SPD) cleats are a popular type of cleat used in mountain biking and some road biking shoes. They have two bolts and are recessed into the sole of the shoe for easier walking.
  2. Look Cleats: Look cleats have a three-bolt system and are commonly used in road biking shoes. They are not recessed into the sole of the shoe and are generally more difficult to walk in.
  3. Speedplay Cleats: Speedplay cleats have a four-bolt system and are used in both road and mountain biking shoes. They have a small profile and are recessed into the shoe sole for easier walking.
  4. Crankbrothers Cleats: Crankbrothers cleats are used in mountain biking shoes and have a two-bolt system. They are recessed into the sole of the shoe and are known for their easy engagement and disengagement.
  5. Time Cleats: Time cleats have a four-bolt system and are used in both road and mountain biking shoes. They have a large platform for added stability and are known for their durability and ease of use.
  6. Flat Pedals: Flat pedals are not technically cleats, but they are a type of pedal commonly used in mountain biking and BMX riding. They do not require any special shoes and are designed for use with regular athletic shoes.

Necessary tools for installation

In order to install bike cleats, you will need the following tools: a Phillips head screwdriver, a hammer, and a drill. You will also need to purchase some bike cleats (we recommend Shimano SPD cleats) and screws.

First, use the Phillips head screwdriver to remove the old cleats from your shoes. If they are stubborn, you can use the hammer to lightly tap the screwdriver and loosen the cleats. Once the old cleats are removed, take a look at where they were attached to your shoes.

Next, use the drill to make pilot holes for the new screws. We recommend drilling two holes per cleat, just like the ones that came with your shoes. Be careful not to drill too deeply – you don’t want to damage your shoes!

Finally, attach the new Cleats using the screws provided. Again, be careful not to over-tighten them – just make sure they are snug. That’s it! You’re now ready to ride with your new bike cleats!


How do I know which type of cleats to use?

The type of cleats you should use depends on your pedals and riding style. Consult with a bike shop or manufacturer to determine which cleats are compatible with your pedals and which type is best suited for your riding style.

How often should I replace my cleats?

Cleats should be replaced periodically as they wear down. The frequency of replacement depends on factors such as riding frequency, the type of riding you do, and the conditions in which you ride. Check the condition of your cleats regularly and replace them when they show signs of wear or damage.


Installing bike cleats can be a bit intimidating at first, but with the right tools and proper technique, it can be a straightforward process. It’s important to take the time to properly align and adjust the cleats to ensure a comfortable and efficient riding experience. Following the steps outlined above should help you install your cleats with ease.