By Rick Schultz
Mid-Foot Cycling – https://mid-foot-cycling.com/
BOLT2 (Crank Brothers, SPD) – $29.15 (€26)
ERGO3 (SPD-SL, Look, Garmin) –$31.40 (€28) – TESTED
SPIN2 (SPD) – $28.00 (€25)
SPPL4 (Speedplay, Wahoo) – $33.65 (€30)
What Did I Learn?
- It is difficult to move from a cleat forward to a cleat full-rearward position. I tried the cleat all the way back, but it felt as if I was pedaling with the middle of my inner arch.
- I changed the configuration
- Moved cleat adapter to the rear
- Moved the cleat to the front
- Adjusted cleat angle
- Dropped the saddle 8mm
- Checked my max knee extension and max knee flexion = good
- After riding for a month, this new cleat position feels much more natural than prior to installing the cleat adapters
- I can equate this to riding with Dura-Ace mechanical and moving to Di2, you don’t want to go back to mechanical
After I tightened everything up, I went on a 15 mile ride on the trainer. I stopped a couple times to tweak the cleats. After the cleats were set, the next day I went on a tougher 25 mile ride on the trainer. Everything felt normal.
Next, I did a 40 mile ride outdoors, everything felt natural. Next few rides were same 40 mile loop but bumped up the power. Still good. After this small block of riding, I went back to a pair of shoes that had the cleats in the original position. After resetting the saddle position, I rode the trainer for an hour and to be honest, I did not care for the old cleat position. I think the new position is much more comfortable.
After a month of riding, I really like this new cleat position. At first, I thought it was a gimmick, but it actually feels more natural putting the feet and calves in a more neutral position.
- LOSS OF POWER? No loss of power, same power, and heart rate as before, just a more comfortable and natural feeling cleat position.
- CLEAT PLACEMENT? This is a great solution for those with SIDI road shoes
- OVERALL THOUGHTS?
- For a full-mid-sole-mounted cleat position, at least for me, I don’t think I could get used to such an aggressive change.
- PATROCLEATS’ solution places the cleat into a neutral and safe position mid-way between where a cleat is normally positioned and full-mid-sole cleat position.
This new position seems to be the best of both worlds and for me this new position feels the most natural.
- Mandatory for SIDI road shoes. Two problems with SIDIs are
- They use cleat holes not slots
- Their holes are moved further forward on the sole making correct cleat placement impossible
- You need these adapters to get your cleats into the right position with SIDI road shoes
- Mid-sole cleat placement is best for TT, Triathlon, and any long-distance endurance event.
- Saddle needs to drop up to 1cm (for adapters and cleats moved all the way to the rear.
- Are they worth it? Yes, I believe it is money well spent and these DO WORK. 5-star rating!
Coach Rick Schultz is an avid cyclist who trains, races and coaches in Southern California. Rick is an engineer by trade, and in addition to being a coach, he’s a bike fitter and prolific product reviewer. He’s the author of Stretching & Core Strengthening for the Cyclist in the RBR eBookstore. Check his product reviews website, www.biketestreviews.com, and his coaching site, www.bikefitnesscoaching.com. Click to read Rick’s full bio.
Richard Schwinn says
This looks like a helpful tool to increase foot comfort, but riders, coaches and bike shops should consider the potential for toe overlap resulting from this or any shift of the foot forward on the pedals. Rick, to what extent can and should the crank length be adjusted to alleviate this problem issue?
Toe overlap usually comes into play when moving slowly on a bicycle. At speed, you do not turn the front wheel as much, as far so toe overlap is not an issue. Part of the USAC Skills Courses I host, we teach how to ratchet the crank since MOST road bicycles have some amount of toe overlap anyway. Hope this helps
Richard Radcliffe says
Thanks for the great article. I’m curious how much you ended up moving your cleats back relative to the ball of your foot which is the “traditional” placement of the cleat over the spindle. Steve Hogg has an excellent article on this (now over 10 years old) in which he describes three methods for determining cleat placement (https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/bikefit/2011/04/power-to-the-pedal-cleat-position/). His method 3 is full-on mid-sole. In agreement with you, that seems a little drastic. The other two methods he provides seem a little more reasonable. I’m getting ready to get some of these for my road and gravel shoes (both Sidi — my feet fit the Sidi mega last just perfectly) and I’m seeking all and any advice about their initial placement.