I like to stay up on top of what’s new in the market, especially when it comes to bike fitting equipment, so I got excited when I saw Ergon’s TP1 DIY Cleat-Fitting Tool. Having been trained in correct cleat placement and having fit hundreds of cyclists, this review is based on what I have experienced over many years of bike fitting.

TOOL TESTED: ERGON TP1 Shimano SPD – SL Cleat Tool
RATING: see below

Products that can be used with the cleat fitting tool (5):

  • SPD – SL (tested)
  • SPD
  • Look KéO
  • Speedplay
  • Crank Brothers

MSRP: $24.95
Where to Buy: Ergon website, bike shops, Amazon
Supplied by: Ergon Bike

THE HOT:
  • Materials used – Heavy duty polypropylene.
  • The choice between 5 different ‘sizes’ that cover most cleats (SPD, SPD-SL, Look KéO, Crank Brothers, and Speedplay).
  • Holds cleats firmly.
  • Open bottom allows access for easy loosening/tightening of cleats.
  • Detailed Instructional Booklet.
  • Great tool for bike fitters and DIYers who have already had a precision bike/cleat fit.
THE NOT:
  • This tool might get you somewhat close to an OK cleat position, but the only guarantee is to visit a bike fitter who has education in performing pedal/cleat adjustments. In my opinion, this tool is best used after having your cleats fit by a qualified bike fitter.
  • Detailed Instructional Booklet – lacks key information for a DIY cleat fit.

INSTRUCTIONAL BOOKLET INCLUDED:

A free 80 page detailed and easy to follow instructional booklet is provided with each TP1. This booklet is divided into multiple sections with each section in a different language. The 23-page English section includes a picture on one page and text instructions on the other. Each text description is an easy to understand set of why’s and how-tos. The chapters are:

1. Ergonomics for Cyclists
2. Introduction
3. Basic Biometrics
4. Fore/Aft cleat position
5. Q-Factor – width of stance
6. Angle of foot (rotation)
7. Symmetry of the feet
8. Quick installation guide
9. Fine adjustments
10. Glossary
11. Measurement tables
12. Maintenance/Warranty
Things missing? Yes, we’ll discuss below.

THE GOOD:

  • Detailed Instructional Booklet (included) – The instructional booklet is easy to follow along and has lots of great tips to help the average cyclist get a lot closer to optimal than by just having your bike shop mechanic slap on your newly purchased cleats.
  • It’s easy to set up your cleats using this tool. With grid patterns and rulers on the top, rulers on the side and easy access to the cleat screws via underneath, the TP1 makes it easy to adjust the cleats quickly and accurately.
  • Pricing – For less than the price of a new pair of cleats, this is a smart purchase.
  • Great education for the first timer – A high-level learning experience of how to adjust your cleats.

A highly recommended tool for the professional bike fitter, and the cyclist who has previously had a bike/cleat fit from a certified bike/cleat fitter.

THE NOT SO GOOD:

  • In the detailed instructional booklet, there were some blatant errors and omissions. For example; under “Basic Biomechanics”, correctly mentioned are (a) Fore/Aft Position, (b) Q-Factor, (c) Angle of the Foot (rotation) – but, missing is (d) determining Valgus or Varus of the foot.
  • With regards to the adjustment of the foot angle (rotation) the booklet states “the basic position of the feet should be parallel to each other.” and this is incorrect. Since every human body is asymmetrical, some people’s feet are aligned with their heels pointing inward, others are pointed outwards, and some are a mix. This should be considered when adjusting cleats.
  • Another statement that should be corrected is,  “Asymmetrical positioning of the cleats is important for equal power transfer and a balanced loading of the muscles.” Again, with respect to symmetry, this is incorrect. Everyone’s body is asymmetric. If people were symmetric, there would be no need for bike fitting since you would be placing a symmetric machine (human body) onto another symmetric machine (the bicycle).

The process is complex. Correctly setting up cleats is not only the foundation of the overall bike fitting process but, correct cleat placement is the foundation of your attachment to the bicycle. Fitting cleats correctly is a complicated and involved process. There are numerous things to consider when setting up cleats. Not only can incorrect cleat placement rob the cyclist of power, it can also cause major injuries. Due to these issues, I do not recommend this tool for the first time do-it-yourselfer.

RATING:

I scored this product in 2 different categories. As a consumer DIY tool, I rate this product 3 out of 5 stars.
• Rationale: Not only are there cleat adjustment steps missing but also, some of what is said in the booklet are wrong.

  • Rationale: Not only are there cleat adjustment steps missing but also, some of what is said in the booklet are wrong.

As a professional bike fitter tool, I rate this product 5 out of 5 stars.

  • Rationale: I have not only gone through the BikeFit.com Pedal/Cleat/Foot course but also taken the Trek Level 2 course from Cyclologic where we spent considerable time going through correct cleat placement. For those bike fitters who understand the how-to’s, this tool actually helps with getting the initial cleat placement exact.

I place the IP3 on my ‘RECOMMENDED BUY’ list for the professional bike fitter.