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Why tighten cleats

I have been cycling for a couple of years and have always wondered why I should tighten my cleats??? They are currently as loose as they can be. Surely it makes no difference to your speed you just fall over more often at traffic lights


  • nivaghnivagh Posts: 595
    Try bunny hopping over a pothole with loose cleats
  • My commuter is on the loosest setting in case of emergency (london commute). Personal preference I guess, but having had a few near misses in the past with my feet firmly stuck, I'm as loose as a goose.
  • nivaghnivagh Posts: 595
    I seem, unexpectedly, to be in the minority. I definitely couldn't ride with the pedals set so loose that my feet would pop out in a sprint though.
  • I misunderstood this thread initially, I couldn't understand why someone would want to cycle around with their cleats loosely attached to their shoes. Now I realise it's to do with cleat retention spring tension it makes more sense. Anyway, it's each to their own. If you;ve got very low retention then there is a greater risk of your cleats becoming un-clippedaccidentally, which if it occurs during a power phase of your pedal stroke can result in a loss of control of the bike as you swerve to correct. But then if you have them too tight, it's difficult to un-clip which can cause some distress.
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Left foot looser than right..in traffic its my get out leg/foot.
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    same here - left foot much looser. i even felt inclined to give the left pedal tension half a turn the other week to give it a bit more bite - it was starting to feel a little sloppy on unclipping.
  • Another good reason to tighten cleats , if you are triathlon racing and leaving your shoes clipped in in t1 and t2 it saves you having to pick them up off the floor like a fool as they unclip when they catch the floor when you dismount , or your elastic bands snap at t1 and the same thing happens as they drag on the floor premounting !
  • i keep mine tight, but have different amounts of float on my road shoes so they unclip easier!

    on another note, which is best to unclip - right or left? i unclip right so that i dont get caught out by the camber in the road on a hill, but i've noticed a lot of people unclip left?
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    i unclip left, but it wasn't something that i read anywhere but what feels natural to me. i learned to use cleats on an urban commute - unclipping on the left meant i could sometimes stand on the kerb and not get off the bike fully, it also meant i was leaning away from traffic if i messed it up and fell over!
  • I keep mine on the tightest setting - always have done...

    I remember cycling (triathlons as well) using 'old-fashioned' cleats and straps. In those days you had to be aware and look ahead. Reach down, loosen strap etc etc.

    They are much more secure (look at the track boys when they 'strap in'!

    It was the same with mountain biking - and there wasn't any choice.

    I guess it gives you much more sense of balance / cycling awareness. When the Look/Time cleats came in, it was a revelation of course. But I like to keep firmly clipped in. A good flick of the ankle is all it needs to get out.
  • bunongbunong Posts: 49
    Thanks for all the comments. Shame really as I was hoping someone would say it saves a few mins off 25M times - better get back on the turbo if I want to go sub 1hr.

    For the record I have mine loose and like the fact that I can rotate my feet occasionally to free blood circulation. I've never pulled my feet out of the pedals while sprinting I guess I must be a bit of a wimp
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