Stuck cleats on shoes

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  • 02-29-2004
    Dr.J
    Stuck cleats on shoes
    I have a pair of shoes, 2 years old Specialized Pro Mountain, and I need to change the SPD cleats to Crank Brothers cleats to fit my new pedals. The problem is, I can't unscrew the old cleats. I don't remember If I put some grease on the treads. I don't know if it's rust or something else (they had their share of mud and water) but I started to round the hex bolts trying to get them off. I tried putting some WD-40 in there with no use... Anybody has some magical trick?
  • 02-29-2004
    Gnarlygig
    You can try Liquid Wrench, and a Craftsman Screw Out tool...
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dr.J
    I have a pair of shoes, 2 years old Specialized Pro Mountain, and I need to change the SPD cleats to Crank Brothers cleats to fit my new pedals. The problem is, I can't unscrew the old cleats. I don't remember If I put some grease on the treads. I don't know if it's rust or something else (they had their share of mud and water) but I started to round the hex bolts trying to get them off. I tried putting some WD-40 in there with no use... Anybody has some magical trick?

    ...but you'd pay about $20 for the 3 piece screw removing tool set, and even then, the insert would probably twist to the point of gouging into the shoe sole. If you didn't grease the threads, they're likely rusted badly from the riding you've described, especially if you've left wet mud packed in the cleat area on several occasions.

    Look inside the shoe after taking out the insole and see if there is a hatch/flap that is above the cleat pocket which is for accessing the insert to replace it ( I had to do this with my Specialized Comps). There should only be some rubber cement type glue holding the flap sealed shut, as it is cut all the way through the insole. You might have to take a modeling knife like an Exacto or something to scratch along the flap's seam to break the glue's grip, then carefully pry it up. This will enable you to drill the bolts out without drilling through the flap, and you'll need the flap open to install the new inserts anyway. You can get inserts at many bike shops that sell high end shoes, just make sure you lube them this time! If the flap's edge is clean and dry enough, you can try rubber cementing it back in place, with a good quality glue like Barge, which instant shoe repair places sell, just make sure you keep it in place somehow while the glue is drying, like a C clamp, or weight.

    Note: This seemed like a daunting task for me at first, but was really quite easy. Also, you can use the stickers that come with Shimano cleats, to further seal the flap, or in place of the cement, both is best.

    It's best to use a really water resistant grease, like marine grease, which can be had cheap in grease gun cartridges at many hardware stores (like Sta Lube for instance). Another but more expensive way to go is antiseize. Also, get in the habit of taking a small scewdriver or something to scrape the mud out of the cleat area after a wet ride, then spray some WD 40 on an old toothbrush and swab the entire cleat down with it. Then take the insoles out of you shoes and stuff some newspaper in each (not a tightly crumpled wad), this will pull the moisture out of them much quicker. Insoles that stay wet a long time can contribute to cleat rust and shoe rot, as well as being a magnet for nasty things to grow, leaving your feet more vulnerable to athlete's foot and such. I keep Dr Bronner's Castile soap on hand, it's great for cleaning shoes among other things. It's 100% natural, with many oils that keep the shoe material in good shape.
  • 03-01-2004
    logbiter
    if you've got a dremel/rotary tool...
    You can use the disk cutter tool to cut a slot in the head of the bolt, so you can use a flathead screwdriver to unscrew the bolt.
    You may also want to try using some heating/cooling cycles to work some lube into the threads. I've used a mini butane torch to do this, if you've got one around. just be careful to not melt the shoe bottom. A lighter would probably be enough to heat up the bolts, if you don't have a small torch around.

    just some other options aside from drilling out the bolts.
    good luck,
    Serge

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dr.J
    I have a pair of shoes, 2 years old Specialized Pro Mountain, and I need to change the SPD cleats to Crank Brothers cleats to fit my new pedals. The problem is, I can't unscrew the old cleats. I don't remember If I put some grease on the treads. I don't know if it's rust or something else (they had their share of mud and water) but I started to round the hex bolts trying to get them off. I tried putting some WD-40 in there with no use... Anybody has some magical trick?

  • 03-01-2004
    Dr.J
    Thanks for your very good tips, but I think they will stay there for some time still. My very old shoes are almost dead so I think I'll keep these for my SPD-equipped hardtail and buy new shoes to use with my Candy-equipped dual-suspension bike. And yes, I'll grease the threads when I install the cleats...
  • 03-02-2004
    jh_on_the_cape
    good move
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dr.J
    Thanks for your very good tips, but I think they will stay there for some time still. My very old shoes are almost dead so I think I'll keep these for my SPD-equipped hardtail and buy new shoes to use with my Candy-equipped dual-suspension bike. And yes, I'll grease the threads when I install the cleats...

    I went through the EXACT same thing. those bolts are very hard, so i let them be and replaced the shoes, which needed it anyway.
  • 03-02-2004
    Mackie
    The $3 solution.
    Get a hardened drill bit from the hadware store that is SLIGHTLY larger than the threaded shaft of the cleat screws. Then drill straight through the screw heads, using the rounded hex holes as a guide. 5 minutes of drilling, and the cleats are off.
    :cool:
  • 03-02-2004
    mtb_biker
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dr.J
    I have a pair of shoes, 2 years old Specialized Pro Mountain, and I need to change the SPD cleats to Crank Brothers cleats to fit my new pedals. The problem is, I can't unscrew the old cleats. I don't remember If I put some grease on the treads. I don't know if it's rust or something else (they had their share of mud and water) but I started to round the hex bolts trying to get them off. I tried putting some WD-40 in there with no use... Anybody has some magical trick?

    May sound dumb, and you may have already done it.. But make sure the allen bolt is clean all the way to the bottom of the allen hole. Theres nothing like trying to turn a tiny bolt with only have .5mm of an allen in the bolt hole.
  • 03-02-2004
    OLAK
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mackie
    Get a hardened drill bit from the hadware store that is SLIGHTLY larger than the threaded shaft of the cleat screws. Then drill straight through the screw heads, using the rounded hex holes as a guide. 5 minutes of drilling, and the cleats are off.

    This is exactly what I did. I was worried that the Shimano hex bolts would be too hard, but they are softer than the cleats, and actually drilled out fairly easily.