Hoping you guys could help me. I recently bought SPD cleats and as mentioned in this forum I've been using spinning bikes to practice unclipping.

I've noticed that my right shoe is getting damaged with the cleat. As in it is grinding into the sole of the shoe and scraping it. I am having difficulty unclipping this shoe.

Strange thin is I'm not having this issue with the left shoe. Ive tried various spinning bikes and I have the same problem.

I'm afrain I'm going to grind a hole into my sole.

Please help. :-(

  • 1
    To verify: You are using shoes intended for SPD cleats, right? And when you installed the cleats you properly re-inserted the shoe sole insert (if there was one)? And the cleats are tight and aligned the same on both shoes? Could you have cross-threaded the bolts, or bent the mounting plate? Jul 16, 2012 at 11:46

3 Answers 3


Most probably you have not screwed it in tight enough. Cleats have to be screwed to the sole really tight.

Because the cleat is so small compared to your leg, there is a huge leverage being applied to it when clipping in/unclipping. If it's not tight enough, that's just what you can expect - it will move against the sole at pressure and grind it down.

  • Hi @Ttarchala, I'm fairly sure that is not the reason, I've really tightened them, If anything I was afraid I had overdone the tightening.
    – Dipen P
    Jul 16, 2012 at 9:53
  • 1
    The cleats really do need to be tight and dig in to the shoe, are you sure they were installed properly? Are the teethy sides of the cleats touching the shoe and not facing away? Here are some good install instructions. drivemybike.wordpress.com/2009/05/23/…
    – Benzo
    Jul 16, 2012 at 12:45

Just to give you an update.

@daniel... I went back to the shop where i had bought the shoes from. The cleat on the right shoe had been put on the back set of holes. The left foot had been on the front set of holes.

So they adjusted them for me. And its clipping out quie easily now. Thanks for all your help and to all of those who responded. You guys rock!

Happy riding!

  • You might consider adding this information as a comment instead of as an answer.
    – amcnabb
    Jul 19, 2012 at 15:00
  • @amcnabb - Comments can be deleted at any time. Placing the info in an answer was the correct action, though the OP should have then marked it as the selected answer. Jan 16, 2017 at 19:04

Note that, especially in general-purpose gyms, the maintenance people do not understand SPD cleats. It is possible that the release tension is set to the maximum on the spin bike or bikes you regularly use, which would require near-herculean effort to unclip.

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