Shimano SPD Pedals: Cleat Oilers

Here’s the solution to creaking SPD pedals due to hardened shoe cleats gritting on hardened pedal latches:

Shimano SPD pedal - cleat oiler

Shimano SPD pedal – cleat oiler

Those are carefully shaped snippets of open-cell foam tucked around the springs under the movable latches, loaded with a few drops of penetrating oil, and ridden for several months. Nary a squeak or grinding sound has emerged: far better than the results after I added a drop of oil whenever either of us heard that sound.

Similar snippets tucked under the forward latch fell out without affecting the results, from which I conclude:

  • The front latch doesn’t squeak
  • The foam on the other side is Close Enough
  • Penetrating oil oozes into a thin film over the whole pedal

The cleats don’t quite touch the ground when we walk, so we’re not leaving oily footprints.

Should I ever install new pedals, I’ll see if a larger foam block can span the gap between the front latch on the top and the movable latch on the bottom.


  1. #1 by Daniel B. Martin on 2014-11-25 - 08:36

    Instead of foam consider one large piece of felt secured at the middle with a dab of Gorilla Snot. After the adhesive cures saturate the felt with oil.

    • #2 by Ed on 2014-11-25 - 12:16

      When those fall out, felt goes in…

      At this late date, I wonder if I can clean the metal enough that it will grip any adhesive. Maybe that old can of carb cleaner will finally come in handy?