A good bike fit is known to increase power transfer and endurance because it balances our muscle groups. Interestingly, bike fitters often recommend moving the cleats back to put less load on our calves.

Wouldn't it be better to move our cleats forward to train our calves more? Stronger calves can improve running through increased stride length and reduced injury risks. https://www.runnersworld.com/training/a20863322/strong-calf-muscles/

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    There is a risk of overloading the muscles, the Achilles tendon and the foot structure if you put the cleats ahead iof the ideal position. You'll effectively put the load on the big toe.
    – Carel
    Jun 20, 2019 at 10:27
  • Are you asking whether it makes sense to move the cleats in order to enhance running despite it having no effect on cycling?
    – R. Chung
    Jun 20, 2019 at 15:30
  • @R.Chung Yes. Even though you don't see the ankle flexing or extending very much, it doesn't mean the gastrocnemius isn't lengthening. That muscle group plays a role in flexing our knees too when they're nearly extended.
    – Brian
    Jun 24, 2019 at 6:20

1 Answer 1


There's no point. Calf muscles do not provide significant power in cycling:

Further down the chain into the lower leg the gastrocnemius and soleus haven't been found to add much power to the pedal stroke but their main role is to stabilise the lower leg to enable an efficient transition of the force generated by the upper leg to the pedal.

The final part of a stride while running is the calf muscle extending the foot to get a final push off the ground - and this happens when the leg is just about straight, so the force that gets transmitted pushes directly on the center of mass and helps propel the body forward.

The power stroke when pedaling occurs with the knee bent. Any force the calf muscle exerts just gets transmitted through the knee to the quadriceps, which still have to do the work to push the knee down and provide power to make the bike go.

Lengthening the lever arm the calf muscles have to work against by moving the cleat forward on the foot just makes the calf's muscles work in stabilizing the ankle and foot while pedaling harder without generating any more power.

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