Thursday, November 15, 2007

Eggbeater Shoe Shields for Carbon-Fiber-soled Shoes

[Updated 18/11/2009]

A follow up to an older post, "Crank Brothers Eggbeater Damaged Cleat Bolt Removal":

When I first switched to Crank Brothers Eggbeaters, I installed them with a pair of Beater Blockers to protect my carbon-fiber-soled shoes. (The "wings" of Eggbeater pedals tend to wear a rut through the carbon fiber.)

After a year, the "wings" of one of the pedals wore through the shields. This is supposed to happen as the shields —like the brass cleats —are sacrificial. I.e. you won't want the pedal retention mechanism to wear away instead.

Beater Blockers no longer seem to be manufactured, and the Eggbeater Shoe Shields are not yet available locally.

A rough sketch of the Beater Blockers.

So I decided to fabricate my own.

Disclaimer: the following information is for illustrative purposes only. If you should choose to follow them, you do so entirely at your discretion and your own risk. I am not liable for anything that may happen to you.

1. Xerox 2 copies of the old Beater Blocker shoe shield.

2. Cut them out and put them aside.

3. Cut apart a steel soda can. E.g. Pocari Sweat or Jia Jia Liang Cha. (Note: do not use a regular aluminum soda can as the 0.2 mm thick aluminum sheet won't even last a hundred miles). Wear a pair of leather gloves as sheet metal can be sharp.

4. Glue the paper copies of the shoe shield on the sheet metal and use them as templates.

Use a pair of metal shears to cut out your new DIY shoe shields. They are also called aviation shears. Aviation shears are almost always color-coded: green, right cut; yellow, straight cut; and red, left cut [Thanks, Corn :-P ]. You only need a straight cut (a left cut would offer neater curves though).

Tip: never make a cut which results in the jaws of the shears closing completely, or else you would dimple / warp the edge of the sheet metal.

Use a paper punch for the cleat bolt holes (hat tip: crufty). A typical paper punch has a hole diameter of 6 mm, the same as the shoe shields'. Nice, eh?

Left, the DIY 0.3 mm thick steel shoe shield. Center, Crank Brothers Eggbeater Premium Cleat. Right, Beater Blocker 1.3 mm thick CNC stainless steel shoe shield. There's no need to do the smaller cut-outs: at 0.3 mm, the metal is thin enough to conform to the raised dots on the Eggbeater cleat.

DIY shoe shields installed. Leave the paper templates on, they will wear off after one ride.

DIY shoe shields after 397 miles (636 km), or about 2 weeks worth of riding.


'Finally got my hands on the Crank Brothers Shoe Shields:

On the rear, "Made in China" is blacked out.

The hardware. At 8 grams a pair, and made from stainless steel (grade unknown), they feel robust, even hefty. The side facing the sole (right) is crosshatched to reduce slippage. Cleat bolts are to be tightened to 40 - 50 inch-pounds (4 - 5 Nm). Compatibility: Crank Brothers MTB cleats. No mention of Shimano SPDs.

Thickness: 0.8 mm.
Width: 34 mm
Length (note that cleat is curved longitudinally): 38 mm
Mounting holes: ellipsoid
7 mm & 11.5 mm

Alongside the Beater Blocker. At 0.8 mm, the Crank Brothers Shoe Shield is 0.5 mm thinner than the Beater Blocker.


gaff said...

you can try hup leong at chin swee road in s'pore... they should have the shoe shields...

-ben said...

Oh, I spoke to Gilbert from Hup Leong 2 weeks ago. The Crank Brothers Eggbeater Shoe Shields were supposed to be in, but are not. And there is no ETA for them. Hence the DIY route.

Thanks though :-)

Corn said...

Got yer shears mixed up mate.
It's just like boat/airplane navigation lights.
Green is right cut
Red is left cut

-ben said...



Many thanks, dude!

'Will fix that in a bit.