Combating Cleat-slip on Carbon Sole Shoes

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I had a problem with my Sidi Ergo shoes. It’s not that they’re just too bling (no empirical evidence suggests that such a state exists). No, rather the cleats keep working themselves loose on the smooth carbon sole. Most irritating. A lot of carbon shoes nowadays have a high-friction surface in the cleat area to combat this problem, but if your shoes lack this, then I’ll show you how to solve this.

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First you go to the hardware store and buy yourself some all-weather adhesive floor tread such as 3M Safety-Walk. You won’t need much, of course, so you’ll probably end up with a lot of extra.

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Trace your cleat on the paper backing side, including the mounting bolt slots. Cut out the shapes with some scissors that you don’t care about, or use a box-cutter with replaceable blades. That latter will be better for the mounting slots anyways.

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This is the hardest part, when you place the Safety-Walk sticky side down on the shoe where the cleat will be. Maybe mark the position of the cleat beforehand with masking tape or grease pencil.

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Oh yeah, that looks good. Now when you put the cleat on, it won’t slip even under hard pedaling. Bonus: the cleat position is well-marked for future replacement.

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5 Comments

With my Ergo 2s this would have been even easier, since they came with some stuff similar to sandpaper for putting on the cleat mounting surface. Apparently someone at SIDI has picked up on this problem. ;)

Some may argue that the steel lux Ergo 2’s are *too* bling…but they’d be wrong.

Would carbon paste work?  I’m pretty sure there’s more than enough for a seatpost in those packs, and I like the idea better than putting sticky stuff off the bottom of my shoes or not weakening/breaking the very fibers that make the soles rigid.

Carbon assembly paste: been there, done that.  It’s like a miracle cure for tons of applications but apparently not cleats. 

But since the tape’s abrasive side faces the cleat, it won’t damage the carbon sole.

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