This article is from the Bicycles FAQ, by Mike Iglesias with numerous contributions by others.
From: Roger Marquis <email@example.com>
[note: You may also want to consider going to a bike shop that does
Fit Kit and have them do the Fit Kit RAD to adjust your cleats. Many
people recommend it.]
[More up to date copies of Roger's articles can be found at
1) Grease the cleat bolts and tighten moderately. NOTE: it can be
*difficult* to tighten the bolts so they are loose enough to allow
cleat movement but tight enough to stay in one place while
clipping-out. Depending one the pedals it may be easier to have
someone mark the cleat position with a pencil before dismounting.
2) Sitting on the bike, put your feet in the pedals and adjust
2B) The ball of your foot is directly above or, more commonly,
slightly behind the pedal axle and,
2C) The inside edge of your ankle is approximately parallel
with the inside edge of the ball of the foot. This position
should feel natural and comfortable when first tried out.
Cleats positioned too far forward (on the shoe) can cause excessive
ankle movement and result in Achilles strain. When positioned too
far back they will be ergonomically inefficient and can cause knee
3) Tighten the cleat bolts fully and go out for a ride. If the
position just doesn't feel right repeat steps 1 and 2 with small
Consider also finding a bike shop that does Fit Kits. Many people
recommend it for problematic shoes and pedals.
Roger Marquis (firstname.lastname@example.org)