I recently got clipless pedals and the LBS i bought the shoes at set up the cleats for me. After practicing to make sure i felt good about unclipping, today i did my first ride with the system 25-30 miles and about 2/3rds of the way through i found i couldn’t clip in at all. When i got home, i looked at the cleats and noticed one of the bolts came off each of the cleats? Is there any reason this might have happened?
Those bolts need to be secured very carefully.
- Use a torque wrench set to 5Nm to tighten the bolts, alternating a quarter turn at a time between them.
- Use plenty of threadlocker on the threads.
- Use grease or antiseize on the underside of the bolt heads. It’s also best to put some under that “8” shaped piece so it doesn’t rust onto the cleat.
- Clean the sole of the shoe well with alcohol. Oils under the cleat will obviously help it slide around.
- I also like to apply liquid candle wax or some other lipid on the exposed parts of the cleat mounting plate to prevent rust.
This may sound excessive, but I’ve never had an issue following this approach. On the contrary, every example I’ve seen of cleats falling off starts with “I just threw the cleats on carelessly”. Treat your cleats and cleat bolts with respect: they carry a lot of load and a lot of responsibility. You’ll be glad you did all this prep work when it comes time to replace your cleats three years later and the bolts are still firmly tightened, but also aren’t frozen in place with rust.
You should definitely bring this up with the shop. They obviously failed the cleat installation. Depending on how chewed up the soles are under the cleats, you might have a case for a new pair of shoes too.