[CR]re: shoe cleats for vintage shoes

Example: Events:Cirque du Cyclisme:2004

Date: Tue, 04 May 2004 07:24:33 -0400
From: HM & SS Sachs <sachs@erols.com>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org, dankasha@yahoo.com
Subject: [CR]re: shoe cleats for vintage shoes

Dan Kasha asks about cleats for vintage shoes that don't have slots and nuts and all that other modern folderol (if I might paraphrase). Here is a short answer from the early 60s:

1) Cleats are attached with proper shoe-makers' nails. REW Reynolds used to sell some nice twisty ones. Whatever, the nail is hammered in from the outside, and must be long enough that it turns sideways and clinches when it hits the shoemaker's anvil.

2) Larry Black has or had a nice stock of my favorite, the long Jacques Anquetil, in aluminum (curved base plate), steel? (cleat), held together with brass rivets. Larry's out of town this week, but abikie@aol.com ought to find him.

3) Setting cleats is critical. The right way to do this is to ride the bike until you see a crease from the rear of the pedal; that's where the cleat's groove goes. Trick: do this with a toe clip a bit shorter than you usually use, or (better) pad out the toe clip to protect the shoe and to make sure that the cleat is installed so the shoe clears the clip. What length clip is right for you? We were taught that the the ball of the foot should be over the center line of the pedal. Be careful how far out (lateral) you put the cleat, to be sure that your foot clears the crank arm. I always try to "tack" with a few nails, and ride a bit, "listening" for bad angle, etc.

4) You can do this at home. I use carpet nails now, and you just have to be sure that you have a backing plate inside the shoe. I actually have a shoemaker's anvil ($5 or so at a garage sale or antique shop somewhere), and had a great time last year fixing cleats on for a list member before a vintage ride above Baltimore.

For me, one key is to remember that there was much less wealth back then than now, and people needed to adapt more from the wider culture. So, bike shoes were much like regular shoes, but lighter and stronger. Brits carried their race wheels with them when they cycled to the races. Etc.

Your mileage may vary, and you may drop off the back at Cirque (I did, being nuts enough to try riding a 63 fixed downhill with the pack), but you'll get there anyhow.

harvey sachs mcLean VA

++++++++++++++++ I am not really old enough to have much experience with cleats on shoes. I used toe clips for a few years (bland neonish plastic shoes with pastic cleats), but recently have gotten a hold of some nice vintage shoes that I am using. Here are the questions, thanks in advance for answering these.

1) I have a pair of shoes with leather soles and no cleats. Were the cleats a standard shape back then? Is there a source for these style cleats today (and nails)? And finally, what was the technique to attach them? The shoes I have are Detto Pietro with leather soles, air holes and 4 large rivets visible in the sole.

2) I have another couple of pairs with plastic cleats that are attached with screws (one marresi, one diadora). The cleats seem specific to those shoes. I suspect that the cleats will wear out well before the shoes do. Was this the case? Were spare cleats easy to get? What does one do today?

And any other help is welcome of course.

Thanks in advance,
Dan Kasha
SLC utah