I have been adjusting my cleats a bit and stripped the threads on one of the cleat plates / bolt of an SPD-SL (the forward-most bolt on the left shoe). I'm guessing that if I stripped one, that the others probably aren't too far away from failing.

I haven't loosened it to see if it is the bolt or the bracket / plate itself. The shoes are in good shape, granted they're 7 years old and faded, but otherwise, functional. Over the course of 7 years, I used Shimano for 6 and have been experimenting with Look for the past year and am planning to go back to Shimano once the pedals are shot.

What are my options? I don't feel like I'm dialed into my setup even though I've have been using SPD-SL for 7 years now. I also don't feel like they're be an adhesive that'd be strong enough that I'd trust to hold the cleat in place whilst also giving me the option to adjust it in the future.

  • 1
    Not an answer as I don't know the shoes, is the plate replaceable (I know usually is in 2 bolt MTB SPD). If not, it may be possible to retap the thread with the next size up bolt.
    – mattnz
    Sep 23, 2023 at 22:01
  • I contacted Louis Garneau, but highly doubt it, the sole is carbon fiber and there isn't any way to fish that out without breaking the sole.
    – John Doe
    Sep 23, 2023 at 22:18
  • I think on my road bike shoes they use thread inserts glued into the carbon fiber sole. You might be able to drill it out and install a new one or maybe there is enough “meat” to drill and cut new threads with a bigger diameter (i.e. going from M4 to M5 or so).
    – Michael
    Sep 24, 2023 at 5:28
  • @Michael the problem with going up a thread size is that you also have to drill out the cleat, and make room for the bigger screw head. There isn't really enough material in plastic road cleats to do that. Installing new inserts seems more likely, but that means working from inside the shoe
    – Chris H
    Sep 24, 2023 at 7:48
  • Other idea: Can you glue a threaded rod (e.g. screw with the head cut off) into the remaining threads of the insert and use a nut on the cleat side?
    – Michael
    Sep 24, 2023 at 8:44

2 Answers 2


I removed the cleat recently and found that only the bolt was stripped, so I lucked out. It would make sense that bolts are made from a softer material than the nut since the bolts can be easily replaced and the nuts cannot.

I took a bolt off of another shoe until I replace the bolts. In the future, I will torque down the cleats as I normally have and not overdue it like I recently did.


I had good luck by inserting a little bit of steel wool in mine. Wrap a bit around the threads on screw or poke a few strands in the stripped hole.

  • Hi, welcome to bicycles! How long did this last? It didn't make the problem worse?
    – DavidW
    Oct 26, 2023 at 13:50

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