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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sooo, after blowing apart a second strap on my entry-level 4 year old road shoes, I decided it was time for new ones. I ended up with a pair of specialized comp road shoes.

Do you guys have any techniques for getting the cleats in the same place? The cleats are Look Deltas.
 

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Look cleats have a little ridge on the outside approx in the center of the cleat. When I set up a new pair of shoes, I compare the location of that ridge to my pedal spindle from a pair of shoes with the correct setup and use that to set the fore/aft location. For the angle of the front of the cleat relative to sole, I use the markers on the bottom of my Sidis, but since you seem to be going to a different brand of shoe, just start by eyeballing reference to the inside of the sole and go from there. It may take a bit of adjusting, but that should get you started.
 

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It's tricky

The problem is that what you're trying to do is get the cleat in the same position relative to your foot as with the old shoes, and your foot is not going to be in the same place relative to reference points on the shoe (even if you can find truly corresponding reference points on the new shoe).

So I do something like this. First, get a new pair of cleats -- don't take the old ones off the old shoes (if you don't need new cleats yet, you'll have a spare for when you need them eventually). Attach the new cleats to the new shoes, eyeballing to get them roughly at the same position and angle as the old ones on the old shoes.

Then, put the bike on a trainer (or in a doorway where you can balance), get on, and clip in with your old shoes. Spin the cranks a few times, watching and feeling to get a good sense of the position of the ball of the foot with respect to the pedal spindle, as well as the angle of the foot. Do one foot at a time. Stop, put on the new shoe, spin and look and evaluate. If it looks/feels different, adjust the cleat position and try again. Keep tinkering until the new position feels as much like the old one as possible, paying attention also to how your knee moves and feels as you spin.

Repeat with the second shoe. Then, put on both old shoes again, spin for a bit, put on the new shoes, and see how it feels. It may take quite a bit of messing about, but if your old position was good it's worth the effort, since you'll avoid messing up your mechanics (and maybe avoid injury as well).

Remember, there are three adjustment parameters: fore-aft, left-right, angle. They all interact, and you may not be able to precisely duplicate the old position if the new shoe has a different sole shape. But you want to replicate the feel (in knee as well as foot), while actually pedaling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the tips, guys. Fortunately, on the old shoe soles the cleats have made indentations where the slots are, so I can easily throw the cleats back on the old shoes and have them in the same spot.

Both shoes are made by specialized, and both have approximately the same shape. The mounting holes are in slightly different places relative to the foot in the shoe.

I've got the cleats on the new shoes - I'm about to set the bike up on the trainer and see how badly I've screwed it up :)
 

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If you still have your old shoes and you are going to use your trainer, another thing I've done is to clip in one old shoe by itself and rotate the crank a few times with the shoe in as near the position you think you are in while pedaling to see the relationship of the heel to the crank and chainstay. Then try and relplicate that angle with your new shoe/cleat combo before you ever get on the bike. This may get you "in the ballpark" but, as noted above, only actually pedalling the bike and seeing how your legs feel with the new cleat position is the only way to get it where you need it for the long haul. After you are satisfied, crank down the bolts really tight so your cleats won't slip on the new soles.
 

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I generally take a Sharpie and with my shoes on, mark the spot on the side of my shoe where the ball of my foot is located. Next, I mark a spot on the old cleats and put the bike in my repair stand and with the pedal level, measure the distance between the 2 marks.

Mark the same spot for the ball of your foot on the new shoes, install the cleats loosely and get the same measurement and you should be all set.........

Zach
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well after a couple of hours of fiddling I think I've got the cleats pretty close.

I inadvertently discovered a pretty good trick to dialing cleat position: get the bolts moderately tight, so the cleat will still slide around with a good push. Clip into the bike and pedal for a while, then push on the cleat to get it in an extreme position, and see how it feels. This helped me get a feel for what the adjustments would feel like.

As a test, I did about an hour on the trainer (a little too nippy to do intervals outside) and did two 15 minute z4 intervals. My knees feel fine, but it quickly became apparent that the shoes need to be broken in a bit!
 
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