Cycling Cleats for Beginners – The Best Options?
When you just start cycling, you start to learn that there is a lot more to it than just getting on an indoor or outdoor bicycle and pedaling your way forward. One thing that surprises people is the equipment that you can get for cycling. In today’s article, we are going to talk about the best cycling cleats for beginners.
If you are a beginner cyclist you want to get cleats that have between 6 and 9 degrees of float. This allows you to maneuver your feet for comfort but also for safety. You also want to get cleats that are easy to install and easy to unclip. Also, make sure they are compatible with your shoes.
For the rest of this article, we are going to go through the best cycling cleats for beginners. A lot of research has gone into this list and a lot of these items have been tested first hand. Once we get through that list, we will talk about a few important things that you need to remember about cycling cleats. So, let’s get into it.
Make Sure That Your Cleats Are Compatible With Your Shoes And Pedals
Look, I don’t want you to waste money so before we get into the best 8 cycling cleats for beginners, I just want to say that you need to make sure that your pedals are compatible with the cleats. Don’t worry because we will mention the compatibility of each of the cleats that we mention in this article. You just need to make sure that your pedals are compatible.
Then you need to make sure that your shoes are also compatible. However, you shouldn’t worry too much about this because most shoes are compatible with most cleats. You should just double-check to make sure.
If you do all the necessary checks before buying any of the cleats that we mention you will prevent yourself from spending money unnecessarily. So, with all of that out of the way, let’s get into the 8 best cycling cleats for beginners.
8 Best Cycling Cleats For Beginners
Please note that the prices in this article were taken at the time of writing this article. They are obviously subject to change depending on the seller.
Also, remember that “more expensive” doesn’t always mean better. Just keep that in mind while going through this article.
SHIMANO SPD-SL Cleat Set: $23.00 – $36.00
- Choose between o degree float or 6-degree float.
- Made from lightweight synthetic materials.
- Compatible with Shimano PD-7810, Shimano PD-6620.
- Easy to install.
When it comes to Shimano products, you can be assured that you are getting quality. The company has built its brand and its reputation over a very long period of time. These cleats are first on the list due to the reputation of the company and also the ease of use. Check what pedals you have.
If they are compatible with these cleats, you have a winning combination. Not only are these cleats comfortable, but they are also lightweight and durable.
Oh, and they are easy to install. Finally, these cleats are one of the sturdiest cleats on the market. This means they cause less damage to your shoes and pedals as they are less likely to pull on your shoes.
LOOK Keo Grip Road Cleats: $25.00 – $35.00
- Customizable according to the LOOK Keo system.
- Compatible with the LOOK Keo system.
- Three float options from 0 degrees to 9 degrees.
- Compatible with most shoes.
- Easy to install.
These easy to install cleats might not be the cheapest on this list. However, they are still great value for money. They are made from high-quality materials which means they are durable, lightweight, and flexible. In terms of pricing, this can be different depending on which version you get. As we mentioned, there are three options.
Please make sure that your pedals are compatible with the LOOK Keo system. Other than that, These cleats are compatible with most cycling shoes currently available on the market.
The reviews for these cleats are extremely positive and in my experience, these reviews are accurate. In terms of price, they may not be the best for beginners. However, if you’re willing to spend just a little bit extra, these cleats will last you a long time and will give you good efficiency while pedaling.
Thinvik Road Bike Cleats: $14.00
- Compatible with most road cycling shoes including Shimano.
- Compatible with LOOK Delta.
- 9-degree float.
- Made with durable and lightweight nylon plastic.
- Efficient pedaling.
- Great value for money.
The Thinvik road bike cleats are some of the best that we have seen especially at their price point. They are compatible with almost any shoe that has a three hole design. They also have a 9-degree float. This gives you comfort and also a lot of movement which only adds to the comfort.
These are compatible with the LOOK Delta system. In terms of quality, the nylon plastic used makes these cleats lightweight, efficient, and durable.
When receiving your cleats, you will get one pair of cleats which means one for each shoe. You will also get all the screws and gaskets that you will need to install the cleats. What’s great about these is it comes with the Allen wrench needed to install the cleats. That is a nice little touch as you can keep this for future use.
CyclingDeal (9 Degree) Bike Cleats: $15.00
- Compatible with spin bikes.
- Compatible with Peloton bikes.
- Compatible with the LOOK Delta System.
- Not compatible with Shimano systems or the LOOK Keo system.
- Ultimate flexibility.
- 9-degree float.
- 2-year warranty.
These cleats are compatible with most spin bikes. What is great about these is they are also compatible with Peloton bikes. This means that you don’t always have to pay a premium price to get Peloton specific cleats.
It is important to remember that these cleats are not compatible with the LOOK Keo system or the Shimano systems.
The cleats are your typical three-hole design. However, they offer a maximum amount of flexibility as they are adjustable. The materials used in the construction of these cleats are durable and lightweight.
In fact, they are so confident in the quality of their product that they offer you a two-year 100% money-back warranty.
Thinvik Road Bike Cleats 6 Degree Float Self-Locking Cycling Pedals Cleat: $13.00 – 18.00
- Comes with all the tools necessary to install the cleats.
- Compatible with all Shimano road bike SPD-SL pedals.
- 6-degree float.
- Lightweight and efficient.
- 100% refund
Here we have another product from Thinvik.
Again, we are taking a look at cleats that come with a 100% refund if you are not satisfied. The reason why this is so important to me is because I know that if a company is willing to offer some sort of refund, they often have faith in their own product and that is very important in such a competitive market.
These cleats are compatible with all Shimano road bike SPD-SL pedals. Not only that but, they also have the right amount of play in terms of movement.
Think has taken some extra effort in making sure that these cleats are non-slip. That combined with the 6-degree float, you can be assured that you will be able to ride in comfort and also feel a bit safer being hooked into your bike.
Finally, the cleats are lightweight and easy to install. And so, I recommend these cleats as a great way to get real value for your money.
BV Bike Cleats Compatible with Look Delta: $17.00
- Compatible with the LOOK Delta system.
- Not compatible with the Keo system.
- Not compatible with the Shimano system.
- Efficient pedaling.
I understand that some people might not know what we are talking about when we mention things like “efficient pedaling”. That is ok, we just assume that some people are starting out. You can’t know everything especially when you are starting out.
Efficient pedaling will be best explained towards the end of this article. So, once you have gone through this list, be sure to keep reading. For now, BV bike cleats do a great job at making the pedaling feel efficient.
These LOOK Delta cleats are lightweight, durable, and adjustable. Because they are adjustable, you can seriously find the comfort zone that suits you which makes these cleats one of my favorites, especially for beginners.
MARQUE Bike Cleats: $15.00
- Compatible with Look Delta.
- Compatible with the Peleton.
- Not compatible with the Keo system.
- 9-degree float.
- Compatible with most standard cycling shoes.
The MARQUE bike cleats start at only just $15. That is a huge bargain especially when you consider what you are getting. First of all, the cleats are compatible with almost any standard cycling shoe. This is great for beginners because you are still getting used to all the technical stuff about cycling shoes, pedals, and cleats.
These cleats are also great for anyone who owns a Peloton. Look, Peloton bikes are great but sometimes the accessories that people buy for them are just unnecessarily expensive and you don’t have to be one of those people.
The cleats are also compatible with the LOOK Delta system which means that you shouldn’t have a problem with most bike pedals as the LOOK Delta system is one of the most popular systems out there.
As for the quality of the cleat, because they are lightweight, this means that they aren’t going to feel heavy on your calves and on your thighs. This is something that you need to consider when buying any shoes or cleats for cycling. Finally, the cleats are also very durable.
Inkesky Bike Cleats SPD-SL for Road Cycling: $14.00
- 6 Degree float system.
- Easy to clip in.
- Compatible with all SPD-SL pedals and shoes.
- Full 45-day refund or exchange
Last on this list is the Inkesky bike cleats. These are compatible with the Shimano SPD SL pedals and shoes. If you are looking for cleats that are reasonably priced while still being durable, lightweight, and flexible these are the cleats for you.
The ease of use is really something that I appreciate and the 6-degree float system is the perfect balance for beginners and those with some experience.
Finally, they offer a 45-day full refund or exchange program. So, if they are that confident in their product, you should be too.
Look Delta Vs Look Keo: What Is The Difference?
Both of these cleat systems are suitable for road cycling and indoor cycling. However, LOOK Delta is compatible with more indoor pedals such as the Peloton while the Keo system is most suitable for road bike pedals.
The holes in the LOOK Delta cleats are wider than the holes in the Keo cleats. The Delta system is also thicker than the Keo.
You can’t really say which system is better. This is because both systems are designed by the same company and both have their pros and cons.
Do Cycling Shoes Make A Difference?
In an article all about cycling cleats, it would only be fitting to talk about whether or not cycling shoes make a difference.
The simple answer to this question is yes. Cycling shoes make a massive difference and one of the biggest reasons why this is can be due to the cleats.
A good pair of cycling shoes will be more resistant to damage than other shoes. They are also designed with the fact that you might be cycling long distances. So, they offer comfort in those regards.
Do Cleats Make A Difference?
Yes, cleats make a massive difference. I am going to try and explain something in the simplest way that I can and it has to do with how you pedal with and without cleats.
When you cycle without cleats you rely solely on pushing down on the pedals. While it may feel like you are pushing down and pulling up, this is not true. In fact, while you push down on one pedal, the other one pushes your other leg up. This doesn’t sound like a big deal right?
Well, when you are wearing cleats, not only can you push down on one pedal, but you can also lift the other one up. This creates a more efficient and more balanced way of cycling.
Are Cycling Cleats Dangerous?
Cycling cleats will take some time to get used to. I highly recommend that as a beginner, you get cleats that have a higher float degree. This gives you more freedom to move your feet and your legs. Now, let’s take a look at why cleats might be dangerous for some people.
See, when you lock your feet onto the pedals, falling can become a lot more dangerous than if your feet are not clipped in. This is because you cannot easily fall to the side of the bike but instead, you fall as one with the bike. Falling with your bike can cause injury to your legs and also gives you less control over how you land.
This should not scare you off. In fact, it should help you understand that as a beginner, you should take things easy at first when you first start wearing cleats. Try and get as experienced as you can before taking on challenging cycles with your new cleats.
That brings us to the end of this article. Each of the cleats that we chose to list in this article will give you great value for money. In terms of the things that we spoke about after the list of the best cleats, hopefully, you found this information as helpful as possible.
Don’t forget that you can bookmark this page to keep as a reference. When you feel like you are ready to buy new cleats, all you have to do is simply come back to this page and find the ones that you are interested in.