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Cleat Positioning

by Aram Goganian January 04, 2011 0 Comments

If you're like most cyclists, you are probably aware (sometimes painfully so) that there are only three main contact points between your body and the bicycle. Hands and handlebars, butt and saddle, as well as feet and pedals.Since the comfort and output of the rider is often governed by these contact points, problems in any one of these areas can have massive implications. For the purpose of this article, we're going to focus on the last point—feet and pedals—specifically, cleat placement and position. When most people think about riding a bicycle, they immediately think of the pedaling motion. For example, in sign language, the sign for bicycle is made by making the pedaling motion with your hands. When we perform a bike fit, our basic goal surrounding the feet is quite simple; create less pressure on the foot, find the optimal leverage to spin, and get the foot, knee and hip all in one line. It sounds really simple on paper, but in reality there are only about four inputs a fitter can change on a rider's feet—including custom insoles and/or custom shoes. Cleat position and placement is one of the most important steps in the fit process as it affects the other areas of bike fit quite dramatically. So much so, in fact, that our staff here at Predator always sets the rider's feet up as the first step of the fit. Cleat position can drastically change the rider's fore and aft positioning on the saddle. Proper cleat placement also helps the cyclist pedal more efficiently, often times generating an increase in power while reducing fatigue and potential for injury. Below I've listed four basic variables that we as professional bike fit specialists can change to catch and correct potential problems:

  1. Fore/Aft Adjustment of the Cleat - There are three major considerations when determining the fore/aft positioning of a rider's cleat. BBPS (Ball-of-foot Behind the Pedal Spindle): When the axle of the pedal is behind the ball of the riders foot, it gives the cyclist an easier ability to spin higher RPM's. BOPS (Ball Over Pedal Spindle): This is a "neutral" position in that the axle of the pedal is positioned directly under the ball of your foot. Many fitters use this position as their "go to" or starting point. Finally, the BAPS (Ball Ahead of Pedal Spindle) position: The ball of the rider's foot is behind the cleat. This provides the rider with more leverage to generate power on the pedals, but taken to an extreme can also cause "hot foot" or an aggravation of the Achilles tendon.
  2. Left/Right Adjustment of the Cleat - Lateral adjustment has a lot to do with an individual rider's hip measurements. This adjustment is used to line up the rider's foot, knee and hip.  In most cases both right and left cleats are adjusted the same. However, occasionally some riders require more adjustment. In these cases we can add a spacer between the pedal spindle and crank arm to add an additional 20mm in width if needed.
  3. Rotational/Float Adjustment of the Cleat - There are a wide variety of pedal systems available today. The adjustment that they offer is often as widely varied as the systems themselves. Some systems allow rotation of the cleat, where others allow only an adjustment of the float on the pedal. Occasionally, we run into a pedal that has no adjustment—in this case, you get what you get (as fitters, we're not big fans of this last one!). Float or rotational adjustment is used primarily to ensure that the knee is tracking straight up and down. This adjustment can get tricky as a small change can move the heel right or left several millimeters, which dramatically changes how the rider's knee will track throughout the pedal stroke. There have been a lot of discussions about whether float in a pedal system is a good thing. Personally, my own pedal system has no float at all—something that I've been doing for years and have had good results.  However, I believe this topic is something that each individual cyclist should explore with their fitter, as each case is different. In general, based on what I have seen over the years, an experienced cyclist with good form can often transition to fixed cleats and see a large change in SpinScan™ performance and power output.
  4. Wedge Adjustment of the Cleat - Often the least considered adjustment to a rider's cleat position is "wedge". Wedges are simply plastic or carbon shims that a fitter will add to correct variations in varus or valgus. Once again, we're shooting for proper tracking of the knee through the pedal stroke and the obvious goal is to keep the foot, knee and hip in one straight line. There are many theories about the use of cleat wedges and whether or not they should be used. Through our years of experience and the extensive data that we've gathered, we look at it like this: without question, cleat wedges work. If the rider needs it, we use it! As I've mentioned in other articles, bicycle fit is a dynamic process. When a rider comes in for future adjustments, cleat wedges are an area that we reexamine to determine if any changes need to be made. Age, injury, changes in equipment are all factors that may require an adjustment to the amount of wedge used on that particular rider. If  you want to get you hands on some Wedges click on the link here for each style: Look Speedplay SPD
As you can see, once you begin to examine cleat position, it's not as easy as it looks at first glance. Whatever you do, seek the assistance of a trained fit professional when setting up your cleats. I've heard all kinds of crazy theories over the years, the most common being: "Just put the cleat in the center of the shoe and ride it. If it bothers you, then give it a little twist." While this may work fine for 1% of the population, for the rest of us it's really important to make sure that we are properly fit to our machines! It's my hope that this article has taken some of the mystery out of the cleat positioning process. As always, if you have any questions pertaining to fit or cleat position, we invite you to give us your thoughts in the comments area below. If you've enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

Aram Goganian
Aram Goganian


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Predator Cycling Refund or Exchange Policy


Our return policy lasts 30 days from your date of purchase. After that time, we unfortunately cannot offer you a refund or exchange.
To be eligible for a return, your item must be unused and in the same condition that you received it. It must also be in the original packaging. Carbon Repair Kits must be returned unused and sealed. All items within the kit must also be returned sealed and unused. We are not responsible for any mailing or shipping charges associated with any return.
To complete your return, we require an original or copy of your receipt or proof of purchase to accompany the return, an explanation of why your item is being returned as well as an email address we can reach you on.
Please do not send your purchase back to the manufacturer and note that there are a number of non-returnable items such as downloadable software products.

Refunds (if applicable)

Once your return is received and inspected, we will send you an email to notify you that we have received your returned item. We will also notify you of the approval or rejection of your refund.
If you are approved, then your refund will be processed, and a credit will automatically be applied to your credit card or original method of payment, within 30 days.

Late or missing refunds (if applicable)

If you haven’t received a refund yet, first check your bank account again. Then contact your credit card company, it may take some time before your refund is officially posted. Next contact your bank. There is often some processing time before a refund is posted. If you have taken all of these steps and you still have not received your refund yet, please contact us at info@predatorcycling.com.

Sale items (if applicable)

Only regular priced items may be refunded or exchanged. Unfortunately sale items cannot be refunded or exchanged.

Exchanges (if applicable)

We only replace items if they are defective or damaged.  If you need to exchange your defective or damaged item for the same item, send us an email at info@predatorcycling.com with a detailed explanation, including photos or video, of the defect or damage.  Please wait for us to respond to you with further details.


Once Predator Cycling informs you that you should return your item, please mail your product to: 8335 Winnetka Ave. #180 Winnetka, CA 91306. You will be responsible for paying for your own shipping costs for returning your item. Shipping costs are non-refundable. If you receive a refund, the cost of return shipping will be deducted from your refund. Depending on where you live, the time it may take for your exchanged product to reach you may vary. If you are shipping an item to us, you should consider using a trackable shipping service or purchasing shipping insurance. We do not guarantee that we will receive your returned item.

Carbon Repair Lifetime Warranty

Carbon repairs performed by Predator Cycling qualifies for a non-transferable, lifetime warranty for the original owner of the bike frame in the exact area that the repair was made.

Warranty Guidelines

-Only covers the original repair work performed on frame. Does not cover future damage on un-repaired parts of the frame.

-Valid for the lifetime of the bicycle original owner as listed on invoice, non-transferable to new owners.

-Invalid if repair has been tampered with or altered in any way.

-Invalid if original repair has been damaged due to accident, crash, theft, or other event caused by outside elements.

Privacy Policy


When you purchase something from our store, as part of the buying and selling process, we collect the personal information you give us such as your name, address and email address.
When you browse our store, we also automatically receive your computer’s internet protocol (IP) address in order to provide us with information that helps us learn about your browser and operating system. Email marketing (if applicable): With your permission, we may send you emails about our store, new products and other updates.


How do you get my consent?

When you provide us with personal information to complete a transaction, verify your credit card, place an order, arrange for a delivery or return a purchase, we imply that you consent to our collecting it and using it for that specific reason only.
If we ask for your personal information for a secondary reason, like marketing, we will either ask you directly for your expressed consent, or provide you with an opportunity to say no.

How do I withdraw my consent?
If after you opt-in, you change your mind, you may withdraw your consent for us to contact you, for the continued collection, use or disclosure of your information, at anytime, by contacting us at info@predatorcycling.com or mailing us at:
Predator Cycling
8335 Winnetka Ave. #180
Winnetka, CA 91306


We may disclose your personal information if we are required by law to do so or if you violate our Terms of Service.


Our store is hosted on Shopify Inc. They provide us with the online e-commerce platform that allows us to sell our products and services to you.
Your data is stored through Shopify’s data storage, databases and the general Shopify application. They store your data on a secure server behind a firewall.


If you choose a direct payment gateway to complete your purchase, then Shopify stores your credit card data. It is encrypted through the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). Your purchase transaction data is stored only as long as is necessary to complete your purchase transaction. After that is complete, your purchase transaction information is deleted.
All direct payment gateways adhere to the standards set by PCI-DSS as managed by the PCI Security Standards Council, which is a joint effort of brands like Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.
PCI-DSS requirements help ensure the secure handling of credit card information by our store and its service providers.
For more insight, you may also want to read Shopify’s Terms of Service (https://www.shopify.com/legal/terms) or Privacy Statement (https://www.shopify.com/legal/privacy).


In general, the third-party providers used by us will only collect, use and disclose your information to the extent necessary to allow them to perform the services they provide to us.
However, certain third-party service providers, such as payment gateways and other payment transaction processors, have their own privacy policies in respect to the information we are required to provide to them for your purchase-related transactions.
For these providers, we recommend that you read their privacy policies so you can understand the manner in which your personal information will be handled by these providers.
In particular, remember that certain providers may be located in or have facilities that are located a different jurisdiction than either you or us. So if you elect to proceed with a transaction that involves the services of a third-party service provider, then your information may become subject to the laws of the jurisdiction(s) in which that service provider or its facilities are located.
As an example, if you are located in Canada and your transaction is processed by a payment gateway located in the United States, then your personal information used in completing that transaction may be subject to disclosure under United States legislation, including the Patriot Act.
Once you leave our store’s website or are redirected to a third-party website or application, you are no longer governed by this Privacy Policy or our website’s Terms of Service.


When you click on links on our store, they may direct you away from our site. We are not responsible for the privacy practices of other sites and encourage you to read their privacy statements.

Google Analytics:

Our store uses Google Analytics to help us learn about who visits our site and what pages are being looked at


To protect your personal information, we take reasonable precautions and follow industry best practices to make sure it is not inappropriately lost, misused, accessed, disclosed, altered or destroyed.
If you provide us with your credit card information, the information is encrypted using secure socket layer technology (SSL) and stored with a AES-256 encryption.  Although no method of transmission over the Internet or electronic storage is 100% secure, we follow all PCI-DSS requirements and implement additional generally accepted industry standards.


Here is a list of cookies that we use. We’ve listed them here so you that you can choose if you want to opt-out of cookies or not.

_session_id, unique token, sessional, Allows Shopify to store information about your session (referrer, landing page, etc).

_shopify_visit, no data held, Persistent for 30 minutes from the last visit, Used by our website provider’s internal stats tracker to record the number of visits

_shopify_uniq, no data held, expires midnight (relative to the visitor) of the next day, Counts the number of visits to a store by a single customer.

cart, unique token, persistent for 2 weeks, Stores information about the contents of your cart.

_secure_session_id, unique token, sessional

storefront_digest, unique token, indefinite If the shop has a password, this is used to determine if the current visitor has access.

PREF, persistent for a very short period, Set by Google and tracks who visits the store and from where


By using this site, you represent that you are at least the age of majority in your state or province of residence, or that you are the age of majority in your state or province of residence and you have given us your consent to allow any of your minor dependents to use this site.


We reserve the right to modify this privacy policy at any time, so please review it frequently. Changes and clarifications will take effect immediately upon their posting on the website. If we make material changes to this policy, we will notify you here that it has been updated, so that you are aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we use and/or disclose it.

If our store is acquired or merged with another company, your information may be transferred to the new owners so that we may continue to sell products to you.


If you would like to: access, correct, amend or delete any personal information we have about you, register a complaint, or simply want more information contact our Privacy Compliance Officer at info@predatorcycling.com or by mail at:

Predator Cycling

8335 Winnetka Ave. #180 Winnetka, CA 91306

Attn: Privacy Compliance Officer