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Anyone know if it’s possible to buy carbon cleats?

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Canyon48 [1055 posts] 9 months ago
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For what type of pedal...?

Although, I don't think anyone makes carbon fibre cleats - mainly because it'd be pointless.

Carbon is a fantastic material for making strong, lightweight structures, such as bicycle frames and aircraft, but really would be rubbish for something like a cleat due to the amount of wear it'd have to put up with. It won't even be significantly lighter than a normal keo or SPD SL plastic injected cleat.

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Welsh boy [553 posts] 9 months ago
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wellsprop wrote:

For what type of pedal...?

Although, I don't think anyone makes carbon fibre cleats - mainly because it'd be pointless.

Carbon is a fantastic material for making strong, lightweight structures, such as bicycle frames and aircraft, but really would be rubbish for something like a cleat due to the amount of wear it'd have to put up with. 

How do you explain disc brake rotor in MotoGP being made from carbon, they are subjected to high rates of wear.

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Canyon48 [1055 posts] 9 months ago
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Welsh boy wrote:
wellsprop wrote:

For what type of pedal...?

Although, I don't think anyone makes carbon fibre cleats - mainly because it'd be pointless.

Carbon is a fantastic material for making strong, lightweight structures, such as bicycle frames and aircraft, but really would be rubbish for something like a cleat due to the amount of wear it'd have to put up with. 

How do you explain disc brake rotor in MotoGP being made from carbon, they are subjected to high rates of wear.

Ceramic carbon disc brake rotors are also used in aerospace too.

Ceramic Carbon and Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymers are totally different materials. The B (supporting) matrix of both materials is carbon fibre; however the A (carrier) matrix for carbon ceramics is Silicon Carbide with Silicon, whereas, for CFRP its a polymer resin.

The two materials have totally different properties and wouldn't be suitable for interchanging.

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matthewn5 [1222 posts] 9 months ago
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You can get aftermarket carbon Speedplay cleats if you look around.

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The Gavalier [92 posts] 9 months ago
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I was thinking like carbon composite, I mean if the pedals are carbon why can’t the cleats be? We spend loads of cash on stiff shoes, pedals, cranks but the cleats do have a fair bit of flex in them, certainly between the front bolt and the leading edge of the cleat. 

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Canyon48 [1055 posts] 9 months ago
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The Gavalier wrote:

I mean if the pedals are carbon why can’t the cleats be?

They can, they could also be aluminium, titanium, steel, chrome... pretty much whatever.

It'd just be fairly pointless because carbon composites are complex to manufacture and aren't necessarily stiffer or lighter.

The main body of a pedal takes the force from the rider and the sole of a shoe has to transfer that force. All a cleat does is keep your foot in place, it doesn't have to be super stiff. The Look Keo Carbon Blade 2's have a metal plate in the centre of the pedal as that's where all the force goes.

The neutral axis of a pedal runs through the centreline of the spindle, therefore, at the front and back of a pedal, they'll be a larger bending moment - hence the desire for pedals to be stiff. Cleats don't really undergo bending as they only have really have to put up with a force acting from above them over their entire surface (this can be simplified to a uniformly distributed load acting in only the y-axis when looking side on at the pedal - as well as the associated reaction force from the pedal). 

Providing your cleats aren't made out of marshmallow, you aren't going to lose any significant power through them. All they need to do is not compress, something which carbon composites used to make bikes is absolutely rubbish at. The plastic/resin used to make cleats is actually pretty good at not compressing, it's also light and really cheap - hence why it's used.

 

Given that carbon fibre cleats aren't manufactured by any of the big names, if you really want some super stiff cleats, you'd be best getting some custom CNC milled cleats, bolts and plates from Titanium. I could do it where I work from aerospace grade Ti-6Al-4V, they'd be super stiff, super light and really hard wearing. They'd also wear out your pedals and cost a hell of a lot - just depends on how much you want stiff cleats.

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maviczap [225 posts] 9 months ago
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You used to be able to get aluminium Look delta cleats, not OEM, I can't remember who made them, but they didn't sell well.

Problem was that metal Look cleats wore the pedal surface quicker than the plastic cleats.

Cheaper to replace cleats that are designed to wear out, rather than the pedals.

I didn't like the metal Look cleats.

Off road SPD pedal systems are different, you need a hard wearing cleat and pedal because of the dirt and grit which would kill a plastic cleat.

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The Gavalier [92 posts] 9 months ago
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Yeah makes sense I guess, they’re only really pushing on the pedals so not that critical. 

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Al__S [1293 posts] 9 months ago
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To be honest, I'm surprised Shimano etc haven't jumped on this wheeze. Carbon reinforced cleats wouldn't be any lighter (in fact, potentially they'd be heavier if the total volume of material is the same) and the addtional stiffness would almost certainly make no measurable difference, but they would be more expensive

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kevvjj [422 posts] 9 months ago
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I would think that it should be possible to make a carbon composite cleat that is somewhat more durable... I'd buy a set if they lasted ten times longer than the flimsy plastic stuff Shimano make.