How long should cycle cleats last?

Cleats can last longer with no stop riding 
Most cleats should last 2,000 miles although weather conditions riding style city commuting can all affect how long they last or how quickly they wear out. 
Cleats should be changed on a regular basis, its one of the first things that need changing 
Change them at least 
Low mileage 2,000 miles = change once a year 
Medium mileage 4000 miles = change 2 or 3 times a year 
High mileage 6,000 miles= change every 3 months a year 
Cleats wear out for a number of reasons. here are the most common reasons. 
Mileage is not the only factor 
1- Repeatedly unclipping out then clipping in during city riding will wear them out very quickly 
2 – The favourite leg (The detachment leg) you unclip most often is likely to wear out first however this is based on the tightness of the cleats 
If one cleat is not set up correctly for your cycle action then this one is likely to wear the quickest irrespective of which leg you unclip the most. 
3 - Cleat covers for walking can prolong the life of the grippy rubber and prevent cleat damage 
The thin front section is the first place to wear out. Check this regularly because once its worn you may not have any miles whatsoever to continue your ride 
4 - Crashing can cause cleat to break on impact or cause split to cause cleat to snap within a dozen times of clipping in and out 
Warning Signs 
You cannot clip in as normal 
You unclip when under pressure out of saddle up a hill 
There is more than normal movement (ankle flexion) is a good indictor of cleat wear 
There is less than normal movement (ankle flexion) 
If the pedals do not disengage then its time to change them 
Health Warning 
Worn out cleats can cause sudden unexpected disengagement and even crashing 
Worn out cleats can also be responsible for causing the following 
Hamstring tendonitis, knee patella-femoral compression, tracking issues that cause illotibial band friction syndrome (ITB), tight bottom muscles 
Check cleats every week, the more you ride the quicker they can wear out 


Mark is a Triathlon & Cycling coach who has been cycling for more than 35 years and covered 180,000 miles so knows more than most

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Competitor of 1,050 events world wide coach and author of Triathlon books