This week was the Toronto International Bike Show. I love attending and looking over the latest technology. Of course looking at the sweet, shiny new bikes is also fun. Shopping list in hand I managed to find what I was looking for, a new pair of cycle shoes I can use indoors for my classes. My current shoes have seen many hours on the bike and all the sweat associated with indoor cycling. All that sweat has left the cleats worn and rusted. Unlike outside where the wind generated by forward movement tends to keep you somewhat less than wringing wet, indoor cycling is hard on the shoes.
I often get questioned by participants about why they start to feel pain in their feet and a feeling that their shoe is slipping in the pedal. My first question back to them is to ask how old are their shoes and when the last time they changed their cleats was. Usually the answer is the shoes they have are the first ones they bought 10 years ago and so are the cleats. When I look at the cleats they are usually smooth as butter. Sometimes the shoe soles and heel cups are failing apart. Sometimes when I look at the cleats I see one screw holding it on. Yikes! When asked about it the participant usually hasn’t even noticed. Mostly participants don’t realize that cleats wear and should be changed every now and again.
Shoes and cleats are like any other equipment and should be checked regularly to ensure a safe and comfortable ride. When giving the safety speech at the beginning of a ride I like to also remind riders to check all their equipment including their shoes to ensure the cleats are tight and in good repair. You wouldn’t go out on the road without checking all your equipment is in good working order so why not also make a habit of checking all your equipment before you start your indoor cycling session.
Buying new cleats are a small monetary investment, that when changed, ensure a safer ride, a stronger shoe to pedal connection which provides a more focused mental state.