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Tech Talks: A Cleat Story, Presented by Park Tool – Video

Nov 30, 2017
by Pinkbike Staff  
Tech Talks Presented by Park Tool

Tech Talks Presented by Park Tool is a monthly video series hosted by Park Tool's own wrench whisperer, Calvin Jones. The series covers the A to Zs of some of the most prevalent repair jobs, with the seventeenth episode telling the story of a mechanic versus a troublesome cleat.

Your cleat bolts get the short end of the stick. Not only are they constantly in the mud and dirt, but they're also out of sight and out of mind on the bottom of our shoes... until one of them becomes loose, that is. It's only then that we see how one seemingly small issue can put an end to an entire day. Calvin is here to explain how to keep that from happening.

A Cleat Story

Views: 6,810    Faves: 9    Comments: 2

Need more Calvin in your life?

Episode #1 - Tubeless tire installation and conversion
Episode #2 - Saving that bent disc rotor
Episode #3 - Derailleur hanger alignment
Episode #4 - Shimano and Crankbrothers pedal service
Episode #5 - Trailside wheel repair
Episode #6 - Trailside chain repair
Episode #7 - Derailleur limits and cable tension
Episode #8 - Derailleur setup
Episode #9 - Fork wiper seal replacement
Episode #10 - Clipless pedal setup
Episode #11 - New cleat setup
Episode #12 - Top 5 next level shifting issues
Episode #13 - Fixing cassette play
Episode #14 - Gearing hacks
Episode #15 - Fixing sticky pistons
Episode #16 - Lubing fork seals

Stay tuned for more mechanical how-to videos with Calvin returning on the last Thursday of every month to show you the easiest way to get the job done. Want to know more? Park Tool's how-to section has you and your bike covered.

www.parktool.com / @ParkToolCompany

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Member since Jul 22, 2013
3,498 articles

  • 60 1
 Nope, keep the beer for later.
  • 23 3
 How bout hading the open beer back to the racer or putting it in the fridge/cooler for later?

Pour out beer = Find new mechanic.
  • 8 2
 Do not worry I am tall enough to put my head in a garbage can of these dimensions and can consume the contents despite my human's insistence that I should not consumer the contents. All is well.
  • 51 1
 Unexpected hard left there at the end...
  • 37 2
 I was like: if he lights up a joint now I am throwing money at the screen, I buy 1k worth of your tools!
  • 2 1
 Is drinking beer really this big a scourge on the race mechanic circuit?
  • 10 3
 I don't trust people who don't like dogs and people who turn down a beer. I am with WAKIdesigns if he had lit up a big ol' chonger that video would be epic. Instead I forgot everything he mentioned as I was so disgusted by his rude behavior when presented with a friendly gesture.
  • 8 2
 Wow! That was an unexpected ending. Beer is a form of currency, I've been paid in beer and have paid others with beer. The only other substitute would be coffee. No better way of saying thank you to someone then a nice COLD beer.
  • 2 1
 @bikerj603: I now trust you.
  • 6 1
 Sober until the race is over. After that, win or lose we're on the booze! If you're doing neutral support like Calvin, its easy to indulge in one or ten thank you beers unless you draw the line hard and fast
  • 1 0
 @bajajody: I'm fully triggered by this
  • 30 3
 Devastated to see a beer poured out. Unforgivable.
  • 13 0
 so many stories of mechanic can't function because alcohol in blood level is too low...
  • 11 2
 I get the point he's trying to make, and I know Calvin has kind of a quirky style to his videos. But I don't think there's anything more unprofessional that a mechanic could do at an event than pouring out a gift beverage right in front of the gifter.
  • 3 1
 Yup, total dick move.
  • 2 0
 Would of been more effective if he just stabbed the guy offering the beer with the Park Tool UK-1 Utility Knife.
  • 18 7
 What the hell was that drink part all about? Take ya preaching to the church pal.
  • 9 0
 It's impossible to weigh in on Calvin's drinking comment without sounding like either a huge nerd or an alcoholic. Nothing in between.
  • 12 0
 I'm in the huge nerd camp, for the record. I catch a lot of flak for not drinking on the job, which is a ridiculous thing to say.
  • 11 0
 @fullfacemike: I get where Calvin is coming from, and being a lightweight I will definitely say I'm not as good of a mechanic after a beer or two. Obviously I won't pour out a perfectly good beer, I'll just save it for later! I like to think Calvin did that for effect
  • 8 0
 @BigLips93: I think you might be the first person to acknowledge his hyperbole outright.
  • 1 3
 @fullfacemike: A lot of flak for not drinking on the job? Hahaha. I don't know, I never wanted to drink, but there's literally nothing to do as an adult. Life's cool until you're like 20. Everything's designed around women, and children.
  • 16 6
 Okay, I'm done, no more park tool videos after watching this.
  • 12 4
 If you can’t wrench and drink beer at the same time, your not a real mechanic! You’re just another sales guy!
  • 5 2
 a have a buddy who is a military medical first responder. his view on this, "If you can't do your job drunk, you can't do your job"
  • 1 1
 @michael-polei: glad he's doing his job overseas then, but there's only one reason I have an extra fridge in the garage.
  • 12 4
 I just witnessed the unnecessary death of a perfectly good beer!
  • 5 2
 If you lose a cleat bolt mid ride, take out a rotor bolt and use that. Just make sure not to be dragging your feet against the ground or you will grind the hend off the rotor bolt as the heads don't sink into the cleats like cleat bolts
  • 3 0
 Don't tell Peaty no beer in the pits! I've been working in bike shops since the beginning of SPD and it's variants. I've seen dozens of missing bolts and twisting shoes. It typically is on a bike that hasn't been well maintained. I do like the split link tool removal method, I typically use Channel-locks, but worry about marring the pedals. As far as cleat bolts are concerned, add them to your maintenance check, simple items like that will save your day. Customers don't typically bring their shoes in for a tune up, but I'll put a note on the receipt to check your cleat bolts semi-annually.
  • 4 1
 Beer is a good lubricant. I recall a guy coming in on a Saturday in June when we were super busy asking if we could true his race wheels for the next day. Then he placed a dozen beer on the floor. I asked head mechanic if we had room for a wheel true and he looked at me like I was daft. Then I put the beer down. Moment of silence. 3 o’clock. Tell him to come back then.
  • 4 1
 wow so many focusing on the beer! the flipping cleat removal technique was a great tip that could save my ass at races in the future!
and he's right, yes beer is good but not whilst you are doing a professional job then driving a big van/truck home. let's face it if you were a pro and your mechanic f*cked up because he was half drunk you would be super f*cked off.
  • 6 3
 In 25 years of riding, I have never had a loose cleat bolt. Not even half-loose. So how do people lose cleats? Oh, and I never use thread locking compound on my cleat bolts either.
  • 6 1
 Same here. I just use grease, helps prevent them from seizing in there!
  • 7 0
 Happened to me twice. Always with new cleats on new shoes.
  • 2 0
 I have broken the threads out of the retention plate before and lost a screw. That one kinda pissed me off.
  • 1 0
 I lost one in extreme muddy conditions once
  • 4 0
 Yeah, had a couple of issues with new cleats on new shoes when i switched to clips. Just re-tension them after the first 2-3 rides and you should be set for the lifetime of the shoes.
  • 1 0
 I've seen one come loose and cause a season ending OTB. New cleats on old shoes.
  • 6 0
 I've never lost a cleat bolt either. But its probably because I use flats
  • 4 2
 If I just podiumed in a race and handed my mechanic a beer because I'm all jazzed up, I'd be pissed if they gave me a lecture on drinking. FFS, sip it, pretend or just be an adult and don't get intoxicated on the job. Sheesh.
  • 6 3
 He just put glass in the paper recycle bin... This is why china won't buy our recyclables anymore, people cant sort their own shit...
  • 4 0
 Don't drink and fix, you will get busted.
  • 11 2
 I want to see a bike mechanic on extasy... must be using waaay too much lube
  • 3 4
 I went to work tripping on mushrooms once...
  • 11 1
 A long time ago, hell another lifetime early in my home wrenching career I had drank many many beers while working on my 1997 Santa Cruz Heckler. I accidentally or drunkenly threaded the cup of my BB on backwards and reversed the threads. Anyway flash forward 10 years and that MTB was my town bike. It was stolen from work. I found it on ebay 2 years later quite a few states away. Contacted the seller and told him about the reverse threaded BB. Low and behold he returned the bike to me. So sometimes drinking and wrenching can be a good thing.
  • 2 0
 @spunkmtb: what a story!
  • 5 1
 That beer was a GIFT! You monster..
  • 1 0
 how about how to get those little suckers out when you wear out your cleats! they never seems to fall out but rather get smashed all to hell and seized into the shoes. $0.10 bolt causing me to drill out $200 shoes. haha
  • 2 0
 So say no to a depressant drug like beer but say yes to a stimulant drug like coffee? Oh wait, one of those doesn't count? Right, that old story...

  • 2 0
 I've lost a cleat on a ride due to a loose bolt. Definitely a good idea to check those bolts regularly!
  • 1 0
 Fair enough, but what if you can’t get your shoe off.. I had my foot stuck once for about 20min before I found a mate to help me....
  • 2 0
 Always had the exact opposite problem have seized cleat bolts when coming to change them or my shoes...
  • 5 0
 been there 3 times... you know the drill...
  • 3 0
 Take your beer and get off my lawn ya dang kids!
  • 1 0
 When dude started telling me to be the DD in the pit I couldn't keep making eye contact with the video. ...I would totally drink that beer.
  • 7 4
 Beer has a time and place, I agree with Calvin.
  • 4 0
 Yeah, all the time and everywhere.
  • 3 2
 This lamo can’t even handle one beer... lmao weakling maybe drink a couple so you can buy some pants that actually fit your leg haha. Paragon of nerds haha
  • 5 3
 Am I the only one who had an urge to punch this guy in the nose when he poured out that beer!?!
  • 2 0
 later this mechanic was found with his head in the solvent tank huffing the fumes.....
  • 1 0
 Had this happen to both shoes in the span of an hour on the trail last weekend! Thanks! Remember to always tighten your cleats before heading out!
  • 4 4
 (Troll mode on) Yeah, right, maybe just use flats when you do not race? Problem solved, you can PM me and I will tell you the address to send some beer.
  • 2 0
 Kind of a flat story here. Big Grin
  • 1 1
 Haven't ridden as long as some of the older members of this community...but in 10yrs I've both never seen this or had it happen to me...
  • 5 3
 Ride flat peddles and problem solved!
  • 4 1
 Ride flats :-)
  • 3 1
 Well, we know he's not a Canadian.
  • 2 1
 thread locker FTW on cleat bolts
  • 5 3
 Alright dad.
  • 2 1
 Pretty sure the local Kona shop only works on bikes drunk...
  • 1 0
 Calvin you should say "Tranquilo mijo" love this videos !
  • 1 1
 In the shop the beer goes in the fridge. In the pit or on the trail beers only facilitate the fixing ????????????
  • 2 1
 Nice video as usual Big Grin
  • 2 1
 That was alcohol abuse !
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