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What is a Bike Cleat?


What is a Bike Cleat?

Mountain bike cleats are mounted to the underside of shoes designed for use with clipless pedals.

mahmut via Flickr
Definition: Mountain bike cleats are hardened metal plates mounted to the sole of special mountain bike shoes by two bolts. They work together with clipless pedals to connect the shoe securely to the pedal. To lock the cleat onto the device in the pedal, push down and forward on the pedal with a mountain bike shoe designed for use with clipless pedals. To unlock, simply twist your foot outward.

Riders who have never ridden with clipless pedals before may not remember their cleat is locked to the pedal the first few times on the trail, resulting in slow speed falls. But don’t get discouraged, clipless pedals are, perhaps, the most highly-efficient way to attach the foot to the bike, as they allow riders to pedal upward, downward, forward and rearward. If you ride a lot, you’ll be happy you invested the time in learning how to use a clipless pedal system.

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