Cycling Shoes & Cleats Guide

Find the Perfect Cycling Shoes & Cleats

The right cycling shoe can make a good Spinning® class great. Make the switch from athletic shoes to cycling shoes to create a more efficient, powerful and safer ride! As the creators of the indoor cycling category, we’ve asked our cycling experts at Spinning headquarters about everything you need to know to find the right shoe. We understand it can be overwhelming to shop all the different bikes, cleats and cycling shoes, so we’re here to help.

Enhance Your Experience

Increased efficiency, performance and safety are just a few of the many benefits custom cycling shoes can add to your Spinning® experience. Cycling shoes are made of light, breathable materials and conform closely to the shape of the foot to enable a secure fit and ventilation. They also feature Velcro straps and clips instead of laces, keeping your feet secure and ensuring nothing loose gets caught in the moving parts.

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The Basics

Using cycling shoes involves three key parts: the pedals, the shoes and the cleats. The cleats are attached to the bottom of the cycling shoes over the ball of the foot, which then simply clip into the pedals. Many riders may not use the same bike with their favorite pair of shoes, so they tend to swap out cleats in order to ride a particular bike—that’s why shoes and cleats are often sold separately. Wearing both cycling shoes and cleats helps you feel connected to your bike to generate maximum power.

Find the Right Shoe for Your Ride

  1. Determine which pedal system your indoor cycling bikes use.

  2. Find the cycling shoe that fits you best.

  3. Choose cleats that will attach to your cycling shoes and enable you to clip into the pedals on your favorite bike.

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Select a Style That Meets Your Needs

Different cycling shoes are compatible with different cleats and different designs can found on the bottom of them.

Mountain Bike Shoes (MTB)

Compatible Cleats: SPD® cleats.
  • Both durable and light, allowing for comfortable outdoor rides.
  • 2-hole with 4 screw holes that slide forward and backward so the cleat can be positioned under the balls of your feet for the most powerful and comfortable pedal stroke.
  • MTB cycling shoes have more traction, so it’s easier to walk and avoid slipping on slick studio floors. The cleat is also protected by the rubber outsole so you won’t damage the cleat or the floor.

Road Shoes

Compatible Cleats: LOOK® Delta or any cleat with the right adapter.
  • Specifically designed for road cyclists they’re even lighter than MTB shoes.
  • Featuring a very rigid sole designed to endure long rides.
  • 3-hole design is universal for most road cleats and offers the most stability.

Road & Mountain Bike Shoes

Compatible Cleats: SPD® and LOOK® Delta cleats.
  • Also known as the "universal mount," they are designed for both road or MTB cyclists.
  • These modified road shoes, are lightweight with very stiff soles for maximum efficiency.
  • The 2- and 3-hole design are compatible with almost all cleats. If you enjoy road and mountain biking, these are the shoes for you!

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Using Clipless Pedals

If you want the most out of your Spinning® experience, you’ll want to feel connected to your bike and pedal as strongly and efficiently as possible. That’s why we equip every commercial Spinner® bike with clipless pedals. Also called "clip-in" or "step in" pedals, clipless pedals allow riders to securely attach their shoes and cleats to the pedals.

  • How to clip in: Place the cleat on your shoe into the clip and push down, until you feel yourself clip into the pedal.To release the clip, simply twist your heel away from the bike.
  • How to release the clip: Simply twist your heel away from the bike.

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Check Your Pedals Before Buying Cleats

Before you buy cleats, you’ll want to first make sure they are compatible with the pedals on the bike(s) you most commonly ride. Check the pedals on your home bike or ask the staff at your studio what type of pedals they have on their Spinner® bikes.

Here is a quick breakdown of each pedal style and what cleats work with them:

  • All Spinner bikes have pedals that are compatible with SPD® cleats.
  • TRIO® pedals are compatible with LOOK® Delta cleats.
  • Dual-sided Trio® pedals are compatible with both SPD® cleats and LOOK® Delta cleats.

Cleat Styles & Benefits

If you want to attach your new pair of cycling shoes to the bikes at your local studio, you will need to attach cleats to your shoes. There are a variety of different cleat styles and designs, and they are sold separately from cycling shoes. You can read more about the different kinds of cleats and how they attach to your cycling shoes and pedals below.

  • SPD® Cleats:
    Designed to be small, simple and easy to clip into. Nearly all indoor bikes, including Spinner® bikes, have adopted this cleat design for their pedals.
  • LOOK® Delta Cleats:*
    Featuring a 3-hole arrangement that is adjustable for ultimate stability. TRIO® pedals support the use of Delta-style cleats.
  • LOOK® Keo Cleats:
    Designed to improve the LOOK® Delta line of cleats. Keo cleats have the same 3-hole and bolt design but are slightly smaller. Keo cleats will not work with Delta-compatible pedals, so be mindful which LOOK® cleats you use.
  • SPD-SL® Cleats:
    Not to be confused with standard SPD® Cleats, theses are very different! The SPD-SL design is intended for pedals on road bikes instead of mountain bikes. They have the same 3-hole, triangular design as the LOOK® cleats but this design is not compatible with every pedal on your indoor cycling bike.
*Note: LOOK® has gone to new and smaller design called Keo. LOOK® Delta cleats will not work with LOOK® Keo-compatible pedals, nor will Keo cleats work with Delta-compatible pedals.

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How to Setup Your New Cycling Shoes

If you’ve never put cleats onto your cycling shoes before, we recommend you bring them to your local bicycle shop. However, if your local shop is closed or isn’t so local, here is a step-by-step guide to help properly attach them on your own.

  1. Put your shoes on and align your cleat just under the ball of your foot. This allows for maximum comfort, performance and natural movement in your ankles, creating a fluid pedal stroke which helps prevent injury.

  2. Make sure your cleats are screwed in as tightly as possible. They should sit nice and snug against the sole of the shoe so they do not shift or rotate while in use.

  3. Clip in and slowly start pedaling slowly. Cycling shoes with cleats are adjustable, but it can be difficult to find the perfect position on the bike. We recommend clipping in and pedaling slowly so that the cleat placement allows for the ball of your feet to be at the center of the bike pedal.

What is float and why is it important?

Float refers to the amount of rotation your foot has when it’s clipped into the pedal. It is built into each cleat or pedal and is measured by how many degrees your feet can rotate left and right. It’s important to remember that your cleats should be snug and secure to the sole of your cycling shoe. If your cleats are twisting back and forth on your shoe, this is not a sign of float; it’s a sign that your cleats are not bolted in properly. So double check and make sure those cleats do not rotate when they are screwed into your shoe.

Consult with the staff of your local bike shop if you would like to learn more about float and how it relates to your cleats. Small differences in float can greatly impact your experience, so complete a few rides with your feet some different degrees of rotation to see how much is best for you.

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