Silca’s $85 3D-printed MTB cleats: 90 kg saving per leg?

Marginal gains, weight savings, hefty price tags: Silca take on the MTB cleat.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Silca seems to find a marginal gain in almost anything. Hot off the heels of its aero socks, Silca has announced 3D-printed titanium mountain bike cleats.

Why, you ask? Well, unfortunately, there are no aero or drivetrain friction gains to report here; rather, this marginal gain is actually a marginal loss. That’s because the new 3D printed cleats are said to be 25-30 g (including hardware) lighter than stock mild steel offerings from most brands. Despite this weight reduction, Silca claims an internal lattice structure (called a gyroid) in the 3D printed titanium ensures the cleats retain the stiffness and strength of a regular cleat.

As we often hear, though, marginal gains accumulate into massive savings. Silca provided a calculation of what that 25 g might mean for a rider: “25 gm reduction x 100 rpm = 180 kg of mass not lifted per hour of riding, 90 kg per leg!”

Perhaps a somewhat questionable claim for those pedaling with two legs, and thus a second cleat countering the weight of the first.

Don’t fret. There are some marginal gains also. The 6/4 Titanium used in the new cleats is said to be much more durable than mild steel or brass. Silca claims this added toughness means the new cleats are “two times as strong as stock cleats” and that the titanium cleats are “so much harder wearing”, users can expect three to four times the life expectancy from a set of cleats.

The new cleats are available with Shimano SPD, Crank Brothers and Time ATAC compatibility. Interestingly the Time ATAC version includes a slotted bolt hole for lateral movement, not available with the stock Time cleats.

The titanium bolts feature a T25 Torx head, which Silca claims is more durable than the 4mm hex included with stock cleats.

Now, the part you have been waiting for. In the video launch, Josh Poertner, CEO of Silca, warned the cleats are “a little bit more expensive”. At $85 per pair of cleats, that certainly is a big little bit more expensive than standard cleats, so that three times the life expectancy will be expected.

The new cleats are available for pre-order now with shipping starting from November 24 and reportedly already featured in the Tokyo Olympics back in August.

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.