Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cleat Defeat

So I feel like everything is falling apart. Sometimes literally.

I've needed new cleats for my bike shoes for a really long time. These are the first cleats I bought 6 years ago, and they've spent a lot of time clipping in and clipping out and scuffling through parking lots. I knew 3 months ago I should replace my cleats. I knew 6 months ago. I knew a year ago. But I waited until 3 days before I ship my bike of to Hawaii to swap them out.

It's very important to fit the cleats to your shoes properly. So I was meticulous with marking the exact position of the screws on each shoe. I wrapped scotch tape around the shoes and carefully marked the center of each of screw from every angle. Then I removed the cleats.

That's when I realized that since the screws screw into the shoe, they never move. It's pointless to mark them; it's the cleat that slides and twists around the screws. So all of my measuring was for nothing and there was no way for me to match my previous settings. Tonight I went out for a short ride, stopping every now and then to tweak the cleats. And it was driving me crazy. Every little twitch I felt in my legs, I worried "is that just a regular twitch? Or is that something caused by my shoe being slightly twisted?" And it kind of feels like I'm pedaling on my toes, but again I don't know if that's just because the new cleats simply feel different or if they're in the wrong position. Even now, 2 hours after the ride I THINK I can feel...something... in my right leg. Did I actually subtly twist it? Or is it just psychosomatic? I'm second-guessing everything

And there's another strange thing: I brought my bike in for a complete strip-down/rebuild tune-up, and it felt great afterwards. Except for one little thing: I feel like I'm always leaning to the left. I can't explain it. If I look at the bike, everything looks normal and even and balanced but when I'm riding, I feel ever-so-slightly twisted. Maybe I'm physically asymmetrical and when I had my bike-fitting last year, the guy compensated for it and these new people didn't put the bike back in the exact same configuration.

I don't know, it's just weird. In 3 days I am shipping my bike to Hawaii and it doesn't feel like my bike. Great.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, waited too long to get new cleats (until my feet would pull out unintentionally). But I did dutifully trace and mark the cleat position. Yet still the new cleats feel wrong. Because the old ones were so worn, & ground into a certain position, it feels like the new ones cannot be set right. So I am with you—riding & tweaking, wondering about every foot & leg sensation.

No worries though, the good long bike leg will break those in.

11:23 AM  

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