Even experienced cyclists get freaked out at the thought of wearing cleats. What do you mean your feet are attached to the pedals? Are you INSANE? As a cyclist, I’m prepared to accept that I’m a little bit crazy, but let me assure you – there’s nothing crazy about cleats. Let me tell you some secrets…
Cleats automatically detach in an accident
I’m willing to bet good money that those of you who’ve never worn cleats have had accidents riding a bike. You approached a curb at the wrong angle, you took a corner too fast, a wheel went into a drain – so having accidents isn’t the preserve of people wearing cleats. But that doesn’t stop you worrying.
What you notice from most of these videos is that people fall in cleats when they’re coming to a stop and forget to clip out. Ironically, once they start to fall, the magic anti-clip device in cleats allows their feet to move free of the bike so quickly, they’re often detached before they hit the ground!
You can walk in cleats
Not only can you walk in cleats, you can do so with dignity thanks to a little invention called “cleat covers”. Check out this video which shows you how to put them on your shoes. They’re made of a rubbery non-slip material, and they provide a flat surface for you to walk on comfortably.
While you might not want to go cross-country hiking in this get up, you’re much less likely to roll an ankle walking from the bike rack to your office desk – and the tip-toe is less pronounced. One additional bonus is that covers protect your cleats from wear, saving you even more money on your commute.
Cleats are good for your mental health
There is one unexpected side effect of cleats that takes many first-time users by surprise. Cleats stop you obsessing about where to place your feet on the pedals. Cleats force you to commit to a position, and then hold the balls of your feet in place. Here’s a rough guide to get you started:
Sure, it takes a little time to get that position right, but when you do – oh boy. You will fly. Long journeys seem effortless, climbs become a joy, and the horizon moves towards you quicker than ever before. The biggest secret about cleats is that they make life less complicated. Give them a try.