I put the right shoe into the left SPD pedal. (I know, you don't even need to say it.) It was not even attached to the bike at this time. Just took both out of their boxes and thought to self, 'how does this work?' My first ever attempt at cleats, and by the looks of things, this is possibly my last.

  • What kind of cleats? I mean which system (look keo, delta / spd / spd-sl / eggbeater, etc) Most of them have some sort of tension adjuster, you can back that out with a 2-3mm hex driver. – Criggie Dec 15 '18 at 8:06
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    You are not the first person to experiment with engaging a shoe and cleat into a loose pedal. All you need is a way to solidly hold the pedal (i.e., a crank arm attached to a bike), then just twist the shoe off. – Argenti Apparatus Dec 15 '18 at 14:07
  • Every rider worth their salt has something like this happen. Next on the list is the first time you stop and forget to unclip and fall over looking completely silly. The vast majority of us have been there. Welcome to Bicycles! – Deleted User Dec 18 '18 at 13:56

Do you mean it's stuck? It might not be that you've got the wrong shoe in the pedal but that it's rather stiff (the pedals seem to arrive at up with tight springs) and holding it in your hands you can't get much force. The actual cleat is symmetrical. Try putting a crank arm (or whole bike) on the pedal, and putting your foot in the shoe, then twist your foot, holding the crank or bike. It should just pop out as if it was the correct shoe.

I've got walkable SPD shoes and pedals with a cage round the SPD, which means more to get in the way. But when first setting up the cleat tension I though this would be a good idea. It's a good lesson in how much stronger your legs are than your arms.

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    I also did this my first time setting up cleats. It’s possible to disengage them by hand without an extra lever arm, as long as you don’t mind possible minor injury, but with a shaft or bike attached it should be relatively easy to detach by hand (so no need to get a foot in the shoe, necessarily). – alex_d Dec 15 '18 at 12:33
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    @alex_d quite possibly. On my pedals you can't adjust the tension with the shoe attached, and it was on max when I bought them. – Chris H Dec 15 '18 at 15:39
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    A little off topic, but amusing. When I first went clipless (1992), the store installed the cleats on my nice new titanium bike. But at home, I could not clip in no matter how hard I tried. I thought it couldn't be that hard. Looking at the cleats, I saw that they had been installed UPSIDE DOWN :-( – JKP Dec 18 '18 at 20:06

Just insert an 8mm Allen key into the pedal axle. Then grab the key and the heel of the shoe and bring both hands together.

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