Wedging MTB cleats

Hi. Has anybody out there successfully wedged MTB cleats? I’ve started having knee pain after riding my gravel bike this summer using MTB shoes. My road shoes have a 2 degree cleat wedge installed.

It’s not a great option because of the small surfaces and desired shoe interface with the pedals.

Have you looked into using “in shoe” shims that control forefoot angle?

Specialized offers varus and valgus angle shims that impact that forefoot angle. They also solve some knee issues with their insoles via proper arch support.

Neither is an exact copy of the external wedge to alter total shoe angle, but I’ve had decent luck addressing most knee issues with the internal options.

Thanks - I’ve tried the internal shims but they seem to accelerate the numbness I get in my left foot. It’s almost as if my foot doesn’t like to twisted in the shoe somehow. Typing this I wonder if I could somehow find a way of canting my whole foot over rather than just the front of it.
It’s only the left foot I’ve had problems with in the past. I’ve got higher support insoles, It’s canted over by 2 wedges. Both improved the situation. Increasing my left stance width by 2 washers actually made a lot of difference. It’s just the wedges I’m lacking on my MTB shoes.

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Yeah, maybe you can bodge a full length insole with some thin plastic or hard cardboard. Can’t hurt to try.

That’s what I do for my right foot. Have insoles and front + rear wedges to rotate foot slightly inwards/ankle outwards. Alleviates pressure on the area of cartilage damage in my ankle. No knock-on knee or hip issues.

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Did you make the wedged yourself or buy them?

I’ve taken one of the Specialized insole wedges and cut and drilled it to see it works. Same angle as the normal wedge and presumably if the shoe sole is stiff enough it may do the job.

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The bolts are not very long. I don’t know if you can get longer bolts, easily, without going to a specialty place. Not getting enough threads in might result in stripping the bolt of the plate.

I’m only loosing 2 mm from one of the bolts so I think it should be OK​:crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers:

A decent hardware store will have metric screws for you to find finger ones.

A bike shop may also have longer screws in their shop stash.

Bought them. They’re 5 degree wedges. Not idea for cycling, but I use the same ones in all my shoes. I stick them to the underside of the insoles to tilt the insloes.


I use these - they have 1 degree of tilt built in and you can wedge further with the plastic shims:
Bike Fit cleats

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What issues have you seen with SPD cleat wedges specifically? I’m contemplating switching over to SPDs on my next build, but I require 2-3 degrees of varus wedging on my right foot. I’ve had great success with the Bike Fit brand wedges on both Speedplay and SPD-SL in the past and it honestly never occured to me that this might be an issue with SPDs.

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Depending on the particular pedal, some rely on the sole of the shoe for contact with the pedal body to add stability. That’s because the cleat/pedal interface is much smaller than a road setup.

In some cases, when you add spaces (wedges or flat ones) between the shoe and cleat, you may be opening the gap between the pedal body and shoe. This can vary between the various pedal designs, and not all are effected the same way.

So, the shoe/pedal stability might be compromised with some setups getting shimmed.

Edit to share a reference pic, of a SPD version road shoe (not SPD-SL) that shows the pedal and shoe contact. This is essentially the same for the typical double-sided SPD pedal.

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10-4. That makes sense. I’ll have to research this a bit more, because no cleat wedge would be a deal breaker for me.

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I added a reference pic above to show the “ideal” connection. If you add height above the cleat, you’d get a gap on the shoe. I guess you could add something to the shoe, the same height, but that might be a bit tricky too.

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Speedplay Syzr’s don’t rely on the pedal interfacing with the raised bits on the shoe. I’m road cycling in Spain at the moment but when I get back I’ll report on how successful my DIY wedge was (photo above).

2 Likes sells SPD cleat wedges. They are 1 degree each and 8 in a pack, and they come with longer screws. I haven’t used their SPD wedges yet, but I can vouch for their road wedges.

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