Years ago; when I rode exclusively in pan flat Chicago, I incrementally adjusted the cleats backwards for pushing bigger gears at slower cadence.
When I moved to an area with hills and mountains and joined faster groups I found myself adjusting cleats slightly forward. I found the further forward position helped me hang onto (the back of) group rides going much faster than my abilities. (Rose bowl rides at 30+mph). It just seemed to help during that last minute of pain before being spat off the back of the group.
Now I’m in an area with steep gravel pitches and I started tinkering with cleat position. Riding up 12-14% dirt and gravel sections was causing the back wheel to spin out to cause me to unclip
I found that the forward position helps me get up the steepest gravel sections. I’m better able to focus on a smooth pedaling technique to avoid spinning out.
I don’t ride with power and don’t have the ability to analyze pedaling efficiency. But that kind of data would probably be useful for determining cleat position.
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