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Technical Question: Cleat Positioning(13 posts)

Technical Question: Cleat PositioningKristin
Oct 24, 2001 6:28 AM
Okay, I tackled my cleats yesterday. My goal was to adjust them 1/8 of an inch forward and angle them 1/8 of an inch out (pronated). I have plenty of side to side "play", and the result of rotating the cleat out just slightly was that my heal could strike the chainstay. Is there a way I can limit how much play I have in Ultegra SPD's (very similar to 6500's)? Other creative solutions welcome.

Also, what does the term "float" refer to? Side to side free movement or free movement under the cleat?
Shimano adjustability...Cima Coppi
Oct 24, 2001 6:38 AM
It appears as thought the only adjustability on the Ultegra SPD's is the spring tension for releasing from the pedal. The float in not adjustable (someone please correct me if I am wrong).

Float refers to the side to side allowable movement on the pedal platform, and was designed to remove strain from the knee. This allows your knee to remain in a neutral position throughout the 360 degree pedal stroke.

As far as proper cleat placement on the pedal, the ball of your foot should be directly above the pedal axle. Also, I always align the cleats on my shoes to run parallel with the long axis of the sole of the shoe.

Hope this helps.

Correction, perhaps...Cima Coppi
Oct 24, 2001 6:54 AM
The Ultegra 6600 pedal does have float adjustability, from 0 float, to 6 degree (stock setting), and 10 degrees.

Specs shown here:

The 6600 would be niceKristin
Oct 24, 2001 7:03 AM
These are the original Ultegra SPD's (pre 6500). They only have a spring adjustment on them as far as I can tell. I've never been able to get online information on these pedals because they're discontinued. Thanks though, for the other info.
Float adjustment, SPDChen2
Oct 24, 2001 7:26 AM
The SPD float adjustment is by replacing the cleats with different cleats. Shimano has offered several different SPD cleats with various amounts of float, but the float also varies with the pedal model - cleat combinations. The cleats are stamped with a number as to model. Bike shops usually have various SPD cleats stock piled, new and old. Most models have been discontinued. I think you can still buy SH51's new. I think the SH71's may have the most float. The Dura-Ace 7400 series were the best SPD pedals IMO, but were discontinued about 3 years ago. If you want good float get Speedplays.
Informational UpdateKristin
Oct 29, 2001 6:42 AM
Al...thanks for the info, which was quite helpful. I thought I'd post this incase you're building a knowledge base or something. We poured through books at a local shop on Saturday, and there are only 2 cleat choices for this particular pedal. The pedal is (1999) Ultegra SPD's--not SPD-R's.

* SH71 - 8 degrees float
* SH70 - 0 degrees float

I decided, given my existing knee problems, to stick with the 71's.
Oct 24, 2001 7:28 AM
Float is basically how much you can rotate your foot without it clicking out. Some float is considered good for the knees. Too much feels like you are walking on ice.

1/8 inch outward sounds drastic. Have you investigated your Q-factor? That's essentially the distance (width) between the frame and the pedals. I know of only one pedal that allows you to adjust the Q-factor, but there are some other tricks you can use.
Different Q-factor?Cima Coppi
Oct 24, 2001 7:33 AM
I have never heard of the Q-Factor the way you describe it. According to Sheldon Brown, the Q-Factor is this:

Now, according to your description of the Q-Factor measurement, where on the frame is the measurement taken from? The downtube, seat tube, chainstay? Please elaborate.

Very differentmr_spin
Oct 24, 2001 7:36 AM
I don't know where Sheldon Brown got his terminology. Try this:

The Q-Factor Page
Oct 24, 2001 7:49 AM
The Q-Factor term comes from the Fit-Kit system. Its what the guys use at the shop that was fitting me. Q-Factor is basically what determined the DeBernardi is not a good geometry for me. I have quite long femurs (on already long legs). I require a quite shallow STA to get KOP "right".
Q-factor vs Q-anglebrider
Oct 24, 2001 7:50 AM
The Q-factor is a reference to the Q-angle, which is the angle between a line extended through the femur and the tibia. Women tend to have a larger Q-factor due to several anatomical considerations (wider hips being primary). The actual Q-factor would be a result of the Q-angle and leg length.
Oct 24, 2001 8:22 AM
My knee problems are partly due to my high Q angle.
re: Technical Question: Cleat Positioningbikerider
Oct 24, 2001 1:33 PM
Kristin, most of the questions you have about fit and bikes in general are answered in Greg Lemond's book on bicycling. I had mentioned this way back when you where in the process of buying your bike. It is a great book that is still quite relevant today. Float is the amount of foot movement around the center of the pedal. It's the same foot movement you use when you mash a cockroach on the floor,I know it's a strange comparison but I couldn't think of anything else. As far as your heel hitting the chainstay you can adjust your cleat laterally so the it is farther away from the crank. Most cleats have side to side adjustment and I know yours do too. Q factor can mean two things, the relation between femur and the tibia or the distance between your pedals, this can be changed by installing a shorter or longer bottom bracket and that can be another option if your feet keep hitting the chainstay: getting a wider bottom bracket. Hope that answered most of your questions and make sure to get that book, you will be glad you bought it.