Mountain Bike Cleat Position Tips
from Jared Graves
“Today’s #protiptuesday I wanted to talk about cleat position. Now if you want to get super technical about power transfer, then [there are] hundreds if not thousands of very detailed online articles that go into minute details about all that. But I wanted to keep it much more mtb and in particular descending specific.
Basically, it’s not something you need to stress about too much but it’s still something a lot of people get very wrong and it can cause all sorts of issues.
It’s probably important to note as well that all shoes aren’t the same and have vastly different ranges of positions, so please don’t just take this pic of my shoe and setup your the same.
So my cleat position is fairly neutral in my @girocycling chamber 2 shoes, and it’s a combination [of] the position that gave me maximum power transfer ( through some detailed testing many years ago) with a touch of Compromise for long descents that are pretty standard issue for EWS stages. I produce a tiny bit more power with my cleats about 3-4 mm further forward from where they are. But I also suffered significantly more pain and burning in the arch of my foot during long descents, so moving the cleat back just a few mm put more weight over the center of my foot and took the majority of the arch burning away.
Anyone who had suffered burning arches on long descents knows how debilitating it can be. Everybody is different but a slightly more rearward position is generally more natural for descending too. Getting the middle of your foot closer to the pedal axle will also stabilize your ankle due to less leverage, and also take [the strain] away from your calf muscles.
Also, a good tip is to experiment with flat pedals. If your focus is on descending using flat pedals will naturally bring your foot to where it is most comfortable for descending, and you can adjust your cleat position to replicate that.” – Jared Graves
Keep your eyes open for more pro tips every Tuesday from Jared on his Instagram – Link to Jared Instagram