Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Replacing of the Cleats (OR Something Simple is a Pain in the Ass)

The cleats on my bike shoes were wrecked. They haven't been replaced since I started riding, which makes them over two years old. That means that they've had plenty of time to wear down. Way down. Which is bad. You see, dear readers, the part of the clip that wears down is also the part that clips in to the pedal. You're starting to see my problem, aren't you? As the clip wears down it becomes more and more difficult to clip in. This is a real problem on inclines. Or stop lights. Or when you don't want your ride to be populated with minor pains in the ass.
My clips looked like this.

Yeah, not great. They look like the Terminator's face after getting dragged my a Mac truck. They needed to be replaced.
See a problem with that? Notice the screws. Worn down like a Buffalo Bills fan after yet another disappointing season. There isn't an Allen wrench in the world that is going to get purchase in there. Plus the rust (alllloooooohaaaa!) and all the dirt and mud caked in there, this is going to be one hell of an operation.
To the professionals! I went to Island Triathlon and Bike for my new clips because support local business, I like them, I had a gift certificate for them, and I knew their customer service was good enough to replace the clips for me. Well, try to replace the clips for me. Oh, you should have seen the look on the poor girl's face while she fought with those things. She tried so hard, she really did. But in the end she said it would take replacing the inner plates to get the screws out. I really didn't want to buy more stuff right at that moment so I said I'd give it a try at home and went on my merry.
A few texts back and forth with Diesel later and I had another plan. Drill them out. I wasn't sure what that meant but he promised to show me so to his house I went I went.
To drill out the screws you take a power drill...and you drill at the screw head until it is clear. Then you pound another tool who's name escapes me at the moment so we'll go with magic chisel bit, into that clean drilled hole with a hammer. Then you use a wrench to turn the magic chisel bit, therefor unscrewing the unscrewable. How hard could it be?

Well, kind of a pain in the ass. Diesel, honestly, did the majority of the work. But that wasn't all my fault. You see, as I was working on the shoe he noticed something else. 
Yep. Totally flat. Big giant hole in it. Passenger side rear tire of Super Awesome Wife's car, which I commandeered for the short drive. Change of plans. I, using a ton of Diesel's tools, changed the flat and put on the spare, while Diesel continued removing screws from my shoes. He had to drill the heads off all three in the second shoe, but a pair of pliers made the removal of the threading easier.
Then it was home to watch the strangest Super Bowl I've ever seen and be bummed about the Niners losing. If they didn't spot the other team 20 points to start the game I bet they'd have a better chance.
After the game I finished the cleating process by screwing on the new cleats. This is the easiest part, but also the part with the most bug the crap out of me potential. You see, the cleats can be adjusted and if I know anything about myself it's that if something can be adjusted I'll want to adjust it. Then I'll think it doesn't feel quite right. So I'll fix it. Over and over. I'm going to try not to think about all of that.

Much thanks to Diesel for the use of his garage and all his tools. 
Just for fun, let's compare the old cleat and the new one, side by side.


  1. Impact driver? Did you put a bit of WD40 in the holes before screwing them in? Found it sorta helps in the long run.

    1. Impact driver! Yes! That's the tool. Gracias. And we did put in lubricant. They used some at the bike shop and then we used some more later. It was lubed up like a sports reporter at Dan Marino's house.