As a beginner cyclist, you notice that there is much more to the activity than just getting a bike and pedaling. Most people are surprised by cycling equipment such as a cleat. Cleats are components of a cycling shoe that use clipless technology to link your feet to your pedals, increasing your pedaling efficiency. As a beginner, using cleats while cycling can be complicated and daunting if you don’t get it right. However, choosing the right cycling cleat will help you get the best out of your bike. So, you want to get cleats that are easy to install and unclip as well as compatible with your shoes. Here is an exclusive review of the five best cycling cleats for beginners.
5. Shimano SPD-SL Cleat Set
Shimano is a reputable brand for high-quality products, and the Shimano SPD-SL Cleat Set is no different. These cleats have high-quality guarantee and are easy to use even for beginners. If your pedals are compatible with the cleats, you have an unbeatable combination as your foot is more sturdy. These cleats are durable, lightweight, and highly comfortable. The Shimano SPD-SL Cleat Set is one of the sturdiest cleats available on the market, meaning they will cause minor damage to your pedals and shoes because they have lower chances of pulling on your shoes. And while they can only clip the pedals on one side, the pedals are weighted to make it easier.
4. LOOK at Keo Grip Road Cleats
The Keo Cleats designed by a French brand, 'LOOK,' might seem similar to Shimano's SPD-SL, but they have some minute differences, such as a slightly lesser float and smaller profile. While these easy-to-install cleats are not the cheapest list, they provide an excellent value for your money. The LOOK Keo Grip Road Cleats have been designed with high-quality materials, making them lightweight, durable, and flexible. The cost, however, varies depending on the particular version you get. The cleats are compatible with most cycling shoes, but you should ensure your pedals are compatible to be on the safe side. Generally, while the price might be a bit higher for beginners, it will be completely worth it to spend a little bit more. They will offer you excellent efficiency while pedaling and serve you for longer.
3. Shimano SPD MTB Cleat
The Shimano SPD MTB cleat is a good starting point for the new cleats. These cleats are excellent even if they ride a road bike. These 2-bolt cleats are mainly used by mountain bikers but are also the favorite among cyclists coming into contact with cleat grips for the first time. You will be semi-locked in, but they have plenty of floats and are easy to clip in and out. The cleats are perfect for beginner cyclists worried about being able to clip in the first time during traffic or junctions, as the pedals can be clipped on either side. It’s recommendable, to begin with, mountain bike pedals, perfect in them so that by the time you switch to the road pedal systems, you will have gotten better. It’s also challenging to get the cleat position wrong because there will be a tiny room for error when fixing the cleats to the bottom of your mountain bike.
With all the above cleats having a fixed amount of float, these Speedplay cleats can be adjusted to your specifications, offering you a fully custom, pro-level set-up. This is why the cleats look different on their surface. They are highly rated as they provide more adjustability than other pedal brands. Although the adaptability comes at a cost, they are more long-lasting than most review cycling cleats. These cleats feature their protectors, which can be slotted into the recessed hole, which helps in prolonging their life when walking on hard surfaces. It is worth noting that similar to other featured options, Speedplay cleats are just compatible with the brand’s pedals.
1. Thinvik Road Bike Cleats 6 Degree Float Self-Locking Cycling Pedals Cleat
Thinvik is another reputable company, and it's not surprising they have one of the best cycling cleats for beginners. The Thinvik Road Bike Cleats 6 Degree Float Self-Locking Cycling Pedals Cleats come with a 100% guarantee for a refund for unsatisfied customers. This is essential because if a company is willing to give some form of a refund, they believe in their product which is an extra point in the highly competitive market. Another excellent thing about these cleats is that they are compatible with all the Shimano Road bike SPD-SL pedals. That's not enough; they have the proper amount of play for movement. The company has also taken extra measures to ensure that the cleats are non-slip, which, when combined with the 6-degree float, you are assured to be able to ride comfortably. Even as a beginner, you will feel safer on the bicycle. Lastly, these cleats are easy to install and lightweight, so they are highly recommended for beginners.
These are the five best cycling cleats for beginners. Any of these cleats reviewed will offer you great value for money. As a beginner cyclist, it’s recommended to get cleats between 6 and 9 degrees of float to allow you to maneuver your feet for safety and comfort. If you are a beginner or feel like you need to replace your cleats, all you need is to pick your preferred option on this list.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson