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MTB Cleats – For a Secure Hold on All Bike Adventures

The cool kids may ride with flat pedals, but let’s be honest: mountain-biking is much more effective with clipless pedals. And that’s simply because: with clipless pedals you have more control and will enjoy better power transmission. However: the best clipless pedal does nothing without the right pedal plate. But which MTB cleats fit my clipless pedal? And which pedal plate fits under my shoes? On this page we’ll give you the answers to these questions. And we’ll explain everything else you need to know about MTB pedal plates. Read more

MTB Pedal Plates – These Are the Systems

Pedal plates (also called cleats) are the right complement for clipless pedals. They are screwed on to the sole of your cycling shoes, before you can click into the mechanism of the pedal with the pedal plate. Basically all pedal plates for MTB clipless pedals are 2-screw plates. Very simply because MTB shoes have two holes in the sole for fixing the MTB cleats. Each MTB pedal plate thus has two suitable openings for screwing into the sole of the shoe. The good news is that every cleat for MTB shoes fits every MTB shoe.

So that the cleats fit into the clipless pedal both must use the same system. The SPD system is the most widespread for mountain bikes and e-mountain bikes (nerd knowledge: SPD stands for Shimano Pedaling Dynamics). Alongside Shimano, many other manufacturers also offer pedals and/or pedal plates that meet the SPD standard. However, experience shows that for optimum functioning of the MTB clipless pedal and the MTB pedal plate, they should come from the same manufacturer. Combinations from different manufacturers generally work well, but it can get fiddly.

To be sure, Shimano is the top dog, but not the only alternative when it comes to MTB cleats. The eggbeater pedals from Crank Brothers are especially popular among weight-bound cross-country and marathon riders. This system uses its own pedal plates. The French supplier Look has been offering its own Atac pedals for mountain bikes since the 1990s – Look also uses its own pedal plates. There are also small brands with their own complete systems, but compared to SPD etc., they tend to be exotic. Naturally, in the MTB cleats range at BIKE24 you’ll also find these brands.

The Most Common Mountain Bike Pedal Systems at a Glance:

  • SPD: The most widespread system, that numerous manufacturers rely on. SPD pedals and SPD pedal plates from different manufacturers are compatible with each other, but for perfect functioning the pedal and pedal plate should come from the same manufacturer.
  • Crank Brothers Eggbeater: System popular with racers with their own pedal plates. Impressive because of its particularly light build.
  • Time Atac: Classic MTB clipless pedal with its own pedal plates.

Buying Advice – What’s Important with MTB Cleats?

With the SPD system, but also with the Crank Brothers and Time Atac systems, the freedom of movement, i.e. the play when you are clicked into the pedal – and the release angle, are determined by the pedal plate. So pay attention to this information when buying: the higher the value, the greater freedom of movement you have in the clipless pedal. And the further you have to turn the shoe to the side, to get out of the click mechanism. On top of this there are so-called multi-release pedal plates, where getting out works not only with the sideways turn of the shoe, but also by tilting the foot to the side.

There are also pedal plates with counter plates (or screw inserts). You need these if there is no plate or thread in your MTB shoe, to screw the pedal plates tight. For some shoes you need special screws in another length, or additional spacer plates under the pedal plate to compensate for a higher sole. You’ll get these parts from the manufacturer of your mountain bike shoe.

Buying Criteria for MTB Cleats at a Glance

  • The release angle: with most common mountain bike clipless pedals, the pedal plate determines how far you have to turn your foot to the side to get off.
  • Freedom of movement: the pedal plate also defines the freedom of movement in the clipless pedal.
  • Accessories: pedal plates are supplied with the right screws. Depending on the shoe, however, you’ll need special screws, additional spacer plates to compensate for the sole, or counter plates with a thread. At bike24 we always tell you which parts are supplied with your new cleats.