New Garmin Rally XC Pedals, Loose Cleat/Pedal Interface

I know this is going to sound weird, but I have been using clipless pedals since '93, and have never, ever, owned SPD compatible, until today. My Rally XC conversion kit finally arrived (ordered on the day it released), and the conversion was easy. When I mounted the cleats to shoes, and stepped in, I noticed that they are both loose/rattle, and have substantial play. With Time, Crank Brothers, and Onza (yes, I said Onza), I have never had any play (they all had float, but not rattly play in an up/down direction). The manual indicates the adjustment screw only impacts release tension.

Any suggestions to tighten the interface?

Sidi MTB shoes, don’t remember the model, the cleats are the pair that came in the box, see below picture, not sure if they are genuine Shimano. They rock left to right and front to back, without any resistance.

correct, it is a crank bros protector, the one that came with the cleats is much smaller.

Running eggbeaters for the last 15-20 years they always were tight. I pulled the protector off, and its about half better, but still loose. I’ll see if I can order some genuine shimano cleats, that hopefully arrive sooner than everything else. Thanks for the suggestions!

As redlude said above, the pedal works by pulling the cleat tight against the outer lugs of the shoe sole. This only works with a very specific height difference between cleat and the lugs of the sole that stick out. By using a thicker spacer plate, you have made this distance smaller and thus the lose feeling.

The same thing happens when the sole becomes worn and the lugs wear down. Have a couple of shoes that are fine apart from that problem.

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yeah, that feeling is from the cleat being too exposed or the lugs to the L/R of the cleat being too worn. The lugs give “rocking” stability; the cleat provides the hold. That or the pedals mechanicals aren’t dimensioned correctly.

I’d replace the shoe’s lugs in any case -

I had the exact same problem with the Rally XC and almost brand new Bontrager Cambion shoes. It was driving me nuts. If you diligently search on line you will find 3-4 other people (it doesn’t seem to be common) with the same problem with SPD cleats and their shoes.

I ended up cutting up an old tire. I settled on using a 1" piece of the tire bead and super glued it onto the bottom of my shoe and it made things much more solid. The hack lasted thru Unbound Gravel, but I have no desire to deal with this kind of issue long term so I’ll be selling the pedals once I get around to cleaning them up. Normally I just use my road shoes and pedals (Favero Assioma) on my gravel bike.

For comparrison I have a pair of Crank Bros Candy pedals on my MTB bike and switch Bontrager Cambion and Rally shoes. With the Rally shoes I can use the Crank brother sole protector plate, but with the Cambion shoes I can’t or I’ll get that loose feeling. The Candy’s come with some rubber spacers you can swap out on the pedals, but I don’t want to hassle with that depending on the shoe so I just don’t use the sole protector on the Cambion shoes.