With the start of the 2015 season, most of us will get new shoes and a fresh pair of cleats. We follow a few simple steps to properly install the crankbrothers premium cleats with the Ergon TP1 cleat alignment tool. If you’re not familiar with this, you should be. It’s a great gauge that helps eliminate guess work.
1 : FIND THE CENTER OF YOUR BIG TOE JOINT
Take a few minutes to locate the center of your toe joint. The Ergon kit includes some stickers to place on the shoe to mark this spot. This will be the centerline of your cleat. This is an important step, so don’t rush it.
2 : PREPARE THE BOTTOM OF THE SHOE
Our fi’zi:k M3 shoes have a carbon sole. We made sure that all bolt holes were accessible (some shoes have set screws installed), and that the treaded plate in the shoe could slide easily as we adjusted the position of the cleat on the bottom of the shoe.
3 : ASSEMBLE THE CLEAT TO THE SHOE
We know from experience that the M3’s do not require shims to raise the cleat off the shoe (which makes it easier for the cleat to engage into the pedal with shoes that have deeper tread). We also prefer not to use crankbrothers shoe shields, which help protect the carbon sole. The M3’s have a shallow tread and we find that raising the cleat with a shoe shield or shim brings the cleat out too far and we end up walking on it. Finding the right combination of shims or shoe shields might take some trial and error with new shoes if they’re a brand you haven’t used before.
If you look closely, you'll notice that one cleat has a little dot on it. Installing the dot on the right shoe will give you a 15 degree release angle (for a quicker release), while having the dotted cleat on the left shoe will be a 20 degree release angle (requiring more ankle movement to release from the pedal).
Once the cleat is assembled, snug up the bolts so they don’t move easily, but can still be adjusted.
4 : CHECK ALIGNMENT
Using the Ergon guide, put the cleats into the cleat-shaped holes. Align the center of the heels with the straight line of the guide. Use the grid on the guide to check that both shoes have the same fore / aft position.
5 : TIGHTEN THE BOLTS
Tighten the bolts slowly, giving each bolt about a half turn at a time. It’s a good idea to check the position with the Ergon guide during tightening to make sure that the cleats hold their position.
You can further adjust the premium cleat with a few millimeters of side-to-side adjustment. We suggest centering the cleats at first, and working with a fit expert in your area for further fine tuning.