How to Adjust the Tension on Bicycle Cleats

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Bicycle cleats, used in combination with clips on the bottom of bicycle shoes, secure your feet to the pedals. Adjust the tension on your bicycle cleats to engage and disengage your feet to and from the pedals without difficulty. Adjust to light tension on the cleats when learning how to use the clip and cleat combination. Light tension lets you disengage your feet without struggling and saves you from toppling over when you come to a stop. Tighten the adjustment to keep your feet secure as you learn to use the system.

Find the tension set screw on the bicycle cleats. Todd Downs of "Bicycling" magazine says you can typically find the adjustment screw on the back of the cleat.

Insert a hex key into the adjustment screw on the cleat. Depending on the brand and model of your cleat, use either a 2.5 or 3 mm hex key.

Turn the hex key to adjust the tension in the direction indicated by a plus or minus sign on the cleat. Turning to the right should increase the tension and turning to the left should decrease it.

Check the spring tension visual indicators at the back of the cleat. The indicators ensure you have equal tension on both cleats.