The 2nd most popular question I get (the first being about my disco ball) is about shoes and cleats. For the first couple of years after purchasing my Sunny I just wore my running sneakers and slipped my foot into the toe cage. It seemed fine and I was content but I did have a lingering curiosity. After 525 rides on my Sunny I upgraded to a Keiser M3i which, like the Sunny, had toe cages on one side of pedal but also allowed me to “clip in” on the other side. I finally took the plunge and bought some cycling shoes but holy smokes, the whole process was very confusing!! Only certain shoes are compatible with certain cleats that are only compatible with certain pedals. In fact, I initially even bought the wrong type. Ugh. It was like learning a whole new language!
I thought I would share what I learned:
Cleats. If you are going to clip in to your bike’s pedal, you need (1) special cycling shoes; and also (2) cleats to attach to the bottom of the cycling shoes. The cleat is what allows your shoes to “click in” to the pedal. Shoes and cleats are generally two separate purchases but sometimes they are sold in a bundle. There are two types of cleats: SPD and Look Delta. Clipping into the pedal takes some getting used to. I was VERY frustrated at first but after a week or so I was able to do it with no problem. No idea how professional riders can do it without falling over.
SPD. If you have a Sunny, Keiser or most any other non-Peloton bike, you need SPD cleats to attach to the bottom of your shoe. SPD cleats are certainly the most popular and universal. I bought these Shimano SPD cleats and easily attached them to the shoe with an Allen wrench. Pretty straightforward although you will need to tighten occasionally. SPD cleats are designed for the 2-holes on the bottom of the shoe, although shoes allow you to use either the 2-hole SPD cleats or 3-hole Look Delta (more on Look Delta below).
Look Delta Cleats
Look Delta. Here is where I made the mistake I referenced earlier. I initially bought these fancy Venzo cycling shoes with Look Delta cleats. The description said that they were SPD compatible. Not knowing any different at this point (hence this post), I found my size and clicked “buy” and ended up with Look Delta cleats which didn’t fit into my Sunny or Keiser M3i pedals. Bummer. In hindsight I could have purchase SPD cleats but I just returned the whole thing. I just didn’t know enough at that point .
Interestingly, I learned that all Peloton bikes come with Look Delta pedals installed (which require the3-hole delta cleats) and that many people prefer SPD pedals and swap out their Peloton pedal with a SPD pedal like this:
Toe Cages. I slipped our sneakers into toe cages for years just like I used to do at the gym. Are cleats better? Yes. Are they necessary? Absolutely not. You can still get a great workout with regular old sneakers. But the idea of flipping the pedal over and using the cleats always intrigued me. Here is a picture of a Sunny B1579 which shows both sides of the pedal (toe cage and SPD clip-ins):
Shoes. Well, you would think that if I bought Shimano cleats that I bought Shimano shoes too, right? Well, I didn’t. I masked up, went to a bike store and found that these Gavin cycling shoes fit me better. To each, her own. Many of the options out there have Velcro – mine use a combination of Velcro and a mechanism much like a ski boot to get them really tight.
Any questions? Feel free to drop me a line!
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