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Kai Rawson

I have been running midsole cleats for 3-4 years, with no plans to change them any time soon.

I started with a redrilled old pair of MTB shoes, on which I cut a clear space in the rubber, exposing the nylon midsole, and mounted the 2 bolt SPD SH51 cleat directly to that. As you mention Joe, that leaves a lot to be desired in terms of X axis (roll) stability. Swapping in the SH70 cleat with the plastic wings definitely will improve matters considerably. There is still a fair bit of free play between cleat and pedal though with that setup.

Later I swapped to Bebops too, and they were definitely an improvement at first. I had used Speedplay in the past, so the "pedaling on ice" feeling was familiar, and I re-adapted without much issue. The metal on metal cleat pedal interface does start to get a little slop in it over time, and it is more noticeable than on a traditional road pedal. They also are not a great pedal for sprinting, in that they can pre-release,especially with worn cleats, but this isn't much of an issue for steady state efforts.

My current setup is a re-drilled Shimano road shoe, with Speedplay cleats. You could probably fit the Speedplay 4 bolt drilling pattern onto the outline of these soles, as they are pretty wide through the arch area, however I have the rear forefoot area redrilled to accept the Speedplay aluminum baseplate (Part number 13330) which allow greater rearward offset to the cleats relative to the 3 bolt pattern. When used as intended, in the stock drilling holes, they wont get you to a full arch position, but by re-drilling the back forefoot area to move the adapter back on the sole, and then getting the additional offset of the cleat on the adapter, you can hit the arch with the cleat itself.

Joe Friel

Kai Rawson - The Speedily adaptor plate may move the cleat far enough aft on a very small shoe, such as a woman's, to be midsole. Thanks for your note!

Chris Bender

On reading past articles, I have taken my existing cleats and pedals and moved the cleats as far towards mid-sole as possible. That is, I have not gone so far as full mid-sole shoes or drilling of my existing shoes.

Has anyone seen, or done, studies comparing the following:
1. Regular cleats in a "traditional" position
2. Regular cleats, positioned as far to midsole
3. Midsole set up

Im trying to decide if 2 is "good enough" for me. (As an age group, semi-serious but not overly competitive tri racer)

Joe Friel

Chris Bender--The studies I've read found no difference in pedaling economy regardless of cleat position from traditional to arch (even one to the heel). The interesting thing about that is the subjects were always traditional-position adapted and yet their economy was no different in a more aft cleat position--a position to which they were unadapted.


Sidi Genius 4 Lorica road shoes might be the shoe I modified; regardless, it's an old Sidi with the removable plate on the sole. So I cut the tiny side walls, cut into the plastic at the bottom of the "crater" (it's just about mid-sole) and then I had only one predrilled hole to work with. I put on some SPD's and tightened, and they didn't move today on the trainer for one hour. Yes, I will try to reinforce it before I go outside, but they seem pretty stable even after clicking in and out many times just to test. Results? It's not life changing. NP was 319, my FTP is 320, went only 45 minutes with seat dropped an inch and moved back i forget. HR went to where I thought it would, but it seemed to take longer to get there. I had no pain, and I could pedal at 100 rpm or 90 or 80 and it seemed fine. I do adapt very well, historically. I do weirdly think I recovered faster, with same HR as other workouts. I will experiment with the seat another 1/4 inch lower. I was hoping my watts would be 10 higher, but I didn't do an FTP test just a tempo ride. I am excited, and will shoot for FTP of 330 in a month or so. I don't race anymore so no worries.

Tom Hughes

I have moved to a more midfoot cleat position over the past couple of years. About 1.5cm back from a normal shimano cleat position with re-drilling.
I find this a good compromise for the road bike.
I want to move the time trial bike back to almost fully midfoot, but I don't want to do the same on the road bike due to crossover and riding in towns etc.
Will there be any issues with having 2 different positions or am I best to stick to one position?

Joe Friel

Tom Hughes--I'd be surprised if you had any problems doing that, Tom. You should adjust very quickly once oin a particular bike. The only possible downside is if you rode one of the two bikes infreuently. But even then the change would be quite small.

Tom Hughes

Thank you for taking the time to reply Joe.
One more question. I am using midfoot cleats with Q-rings.
I understand you also do this? Have you found an optimal OCP? I had them on setting 4, but think the cleat position may work better with position 3, to maximise the engagement of the quads.

Joe Friel

Tom Hughes - Yes, I use the same combo. I have always set the Q Rings to optimize climbing so don't have experience with other settings. You may be on to something.

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