This latest article explores what cleats are and whether you really need them for an indoor spinning class.

You’ve seen the “committed” outdoor cyclists don cleats and sometimes in spinning class a couple of spinners have clipped themselves in. You’ve been thinking about it, but you’re not sure if you want to join the click-clack brigade. It all seems so serious, doesn’t it?

Firstly, what are cleats?

Cleats are essentially studs that attach to your cycling shoes allowing them to clip into the pedal of the bike.

There are a few benefits to wearing cleats. One of which is to help prevent injury. Clipping in to the bike means you’ve got a defined range of movement, so pedaling doesn’t place any unnecessary strain on your knees. Also, the stiff sole of the cleat can help those suffering from plantar fasciitis, it provides your feet with more stability. Not as much strain is placed on the arch of your foot.

Another benefit is that when you’re strapped in, your foot can’t accidentally slip, especially during climbs and racing sprints. Cleats give you a great feeling of control. You may find that your ride is also smoother and a little easier because you’re not just pushing down with your feet, you’re also pulling up through the revolution.

But what if your bike already has straps that clip over the pedals? Most spinning bikes have toe clips and straps that keep your foot snuggly on the pedal, so there’s no chance of slipping. The straps that clip over your shoe also provides some stability. So, no, there’s no real need for cleats on a spinning bike that already has straps and toe clips.

That said, it is a personal decision based on how much control and stability your foot needs. Why not give them a try and see how you feel.

If you are going to use cleats, you need to find the right shoe. Take a look at the bike you’ll be buying the cleat for to determine the pedal system on that bike. Yes, there are different pedal systems, so if you use a few different spinning bikes you may need to buy more than one pair of cleats. Next, you need to find a cycling shoe that not only fits your foot but also fits the cleat. One you’ve got these 3 things synched up, you’re good to go!

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