Hong Kong based Bike Energy Lab Ltd is crowdfunding for the Cleat Key; a new bike fit tool designed to make road cleat rotation angle setting easy and repeatable. Mechanical Engineer Anthony Pringle, is the Cleat Key’s designer, an avid road cyclist with 35 years of bike fitting experience. Having watched a multitude of cleat fitting tools come and go over the last few decades, Anthony decided none of them were quite up to scratch, and so he set out to create his own.

Cleat Key

cleat key road cycling cleat setup tool

The Cleat Key is designed to work with two of the most popular road cycling cleats on the market; the Shimano SPD-SL and Look Keo. Designer Anthony Pringle says it is the only tool he knows of that tells you quickly, clearly and accurately what the cleat rotation angle is.

The Cleat Key is made of PMMA OM92 acrylic, and aircraft-grade 6061 aluminium alloy. The alloy portion clamps the Cleat Key to the shoe cleat, allowing you to roate the loosely fitted cleat to its correct rotation angle relative to the mid-point of the back of the shoe, before tightening the bolts to finish the instalation.

cleat key rotation angle setup tool

Along with the Cleat Key comes a specific protocol that riders can follow to determine exactly what the correct heel-in or toe-out angle is for them; you don’t have to use it of course, but it could be a useful starting point if it’s your first time doing this. Once you’ve decided what the correct angle is, the Cleat Key tool can help you set it correctly, and in an easily repeatable manner, taking away the eye-balling guess work.

cleat key rotation angle setup tool

Riders who already know their preferred cleat position can also use the tool to measure the roation angle on their current shoes, so they can easily reproduce that angle when they come to need new ones.

On Kickstarter, the Cleat Key has already massively overshot its crowdfunding goal of £3,960, with the amount backed now totaling £35,598 at the time of writing. They are still accepting backers, however, but only for the next 50 hours! Pledge $89 USD to secure one Cleat Key.

Cleat Key on Kickstarter

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Sean
Sean
21 days ago

If this was available for standard SPD and Crank Bros cleats, I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

Troy
Troy
20 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Ergon TP1… they make it for pretty much everything but speedplay, it’s cheaper, and more useful.

cleatris
cleatris
21 days ago

I don’t see where it addresses stance width or lateral placement of cleats? If you’re replicating the angle of the cleat you’ll also need to replicate the lateral placement of the cleat based on metatarsal location in order to properly support knee tracking throughout the ROM. This device may be helpful for moving to an identical shoe but even then you’ll need to mark/measure the lateral cleat position prior to use so that this very important position isn’t lost. Moving to a different model shoe will be a challenge.
Additionally the ‘testimonials’ on the Kickstarter page are not at all about the product, they’re about receiving an excellent bike fit (good job supporting those athletes and getting them in a healthy performance focused position).

Antony Pringle
20 days ago
Reply to  cleatris

Hi Cleatris, we answer questions in detail about the 5 degrees of freedom of a cleat in our FAQ.

You are totally right that this tool doesn’t have markings on it for lateral and longitudinal like some other tools, because we’ve found that those tools don’t work better than a simple ruler. We think those measurements should be done right on the shoe itself, and no single tool can provide an easy way to guide all 3 (or 5) axes at the same time. That would just make for a really cumbersome, overly complex, and impractical solution. We do think the tool will do one thing really well, and that’s quantify cleat rotation. You can do that in seconds with the Cleat Key. You can’t do that easily at all with a ruler and pen. This tool can be useful to both individual cyclists who want to quickly set up their cleats after watching a 4-minute YouTube video, or professional bike fitters doing complex fittings.

We couldn’t put testimonials on the tool itself because it has never been sold or marketed prior to the Kickstarter campaign, and we are transparent about that in posting the testimonials. That said, the Cleat Key or a prototype was used in those fittings for which a testimonial was provided. We’ve fitted around 600 people with the tool or prototype so far, they all seem happy with the result ;-).

Jakker
Jakker
20 days ago
Reply to  cleatris

Took the words out of my mouth. Fore/Aft – great, Angle – great, Lateral – crickets.
I’m also always leery of anything Kickstartered, nice way for people to score some free cash. If an idea is good enough to stand on its merits, back yourself….

Jim E
Jim E
21 days ago

So, a paint pen and a cheap set of measuring calipers won’t work anymore?

Troy
Troy
20 days ago

Ergon has made this for both SPD and SPD-SL in a more functional and cheaper version for years.

Marco
Marco
19 days ago

Este assunto é importante. Eu qd coloco novas calhas fico sempre preocupada com o ajustamento que tenho.
Acabo por márcar com um lápis o lugar das antigas.