How often do you check the state of play of your cleats? Probably not all that often, and if you're anything like me you'll wait until the quality of clipping in and out deteriorates to such an extent that you're forced to change them.

My Shimano SPD-SL cleats, I discovered, were badly showing the signs of much use,[they were a disgrace - ed.] so a trip to my nearest bike shop for some new ones was hurried up. There's something strangely satisfying about removing tired cleats and carefully positioning new ones, and the results back on the bike were startling. I'll be making sure to check my cleats more regularly. When was the last time you checked?

Clipping in and out of my pedals has become gradually worse recently: these worn out cleats are the reason. I really should pay more attention to them
Before I removed the cleats, I've gently scored around the edge to make positioning the new ones easier

Old cleat on the left, brand new on the right. [You don't say - ed.]Quite a difference don't you think?

Five minutes later, and my new cleats are in place. About 10 minutes work all in but time, and money, well spent as the result is quite dramatic.