With click pedals, it’s easy to get on, click in and start your bike ride. However, click pedals can only be used with cleats. This is because the cleats are the connection between the shoe and the pedal.
The color of the cleats
Cleats are distinguished by their colors. There are three colors of cleats. Red cleats have no clearance. Yellow cleats have 6 degrees of front and rear cleat play. The blue cleats come with 2 degrees of play front and back. For people with leg length differences, there are pad cleats, which provide 1 to 5 mm difference in height. Always choose cleats with clearance. Choose no clearance only if knees that move too freely cause injury.
SPD-SL cleat variants
There are three variants of SPD-SL cleats, which offer your foot different degrees of lateral clearance relative to the pedal. These SPD-SL cleats have an adjustment range of 11 mm front-to-back and 5 mm left-to-right. Removing the plate nut stopper (plastic) on the sole of the shoe increases the front-rear adjustment range to 22 mm.
SPD cleats and pedals
SPD plates and pedals are made specifically for mountain biking and cyclocross. It snaps out more easily and mud and dirt have less of an impact. There are two types of SD cleats. The SHM51, which you click out by moving your heel sideways and the SHM56, which allows you to click out in multiple directions. This, by moving your heel to a direction you choose.
When buying click pedals for your mountain bike or road bike, these actually always include cleats. These cleats need to be replaced from time to time. And then it’s nice to know which cleats fit your pedals. When purchasing the cleats, you should first make sure you pick a two-hole or three-hole design. If you have a two-hole pedal then you also need two-hole cleats. The same goes for three-hole designs. Next, you choose the right brand. Finally, you can choose cleats with or without clearance. Cleats with no clearance are often more efficient, while cleats with clearance require less precise adjustment because you can still turn your knees a bit.