20 Steps of Road Cleat Adjustment

The following video is the best information I found on cleat set up.

Be aware the diagrams are the wrong way round! Switch the 2 and 5 metatarsal diagrams and follow everything else.

The line drawing part in the vid still holds to find the central cleat position.

Previous attempts are cleat set up

I hate adjusting cleats. Touch wood, I have actually managed to find an optimal position with my new road bike cleats. The advice from the shop initially was - put them in a central position back / forth and side to side and straight. Then adjust from there.

  1. First I set up the cleats in absolute centre position on shoe and saddle middle back/forward position and flat
  2. Assess on ride - this was not optimal
  3. Try sitting on a table, letting legs hang. Both legs point out a bit.
  4. Reflected this in cleats
  5. Assess on ride - better, not optimal.
  6. Right one felt like foot too close to crank
  7. Moved cleat out
  8. Felt better but unbalanced.
  9. Managed whole ride like this (perhaps seat also slightly high0
  10. Did some research that it is better to put cleat further back (uses less of lower legs, more energy saving)
  11. Did adjust to this, felt better on that ride
  12. Next ride felt weird again, spent a load of time adjusting and couldn’t get right
  13. Read condor tips on cleat position
  14. Drew line from middle of bony protrusion at bottom of big toe down to sole and across. This meant cleats were a lot further forward, almost maximum.
  15. Immediately felt better because of more length in foot and ankle to account for clipped in position
  16. Adjusted back and more heel in on right foot.
  17. Assess on ride - so far, a good position
  18. Seems my right leg is slightly longer and wants to be more heel in but not that much away from crank. Side of my shoe is quite close to crank.
  19. Actually my right knee is quite far in and my heel, but my foot is moderately duck footed out. Tweaked cleat to be as far out as possible but also with a heel in twist.
  20. Left foot is pretty neutral, possibly slightly shorter leg.


  • Adjusting road cleats can be difficult
  • Can be achieved with perseverance
  • You need to ride to test the position
  • Adjust on the roadside
  • Try not to get frustrated
  • Make small adjustments
  • Don't tighten the bolts tight when you are just trying different positions
  • When loosening and tightening the bolts do one at a time a little bit
  • Try to follow what feels right, but accept there will be some bedding in process
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