Photo from the collection of Rustybicycle. If you think you know what these are, post your answer in ‘comments’ – the answer will be posted there on Tuesday!

To send in your own Mystery Pic to be considered for the Monday feature, click here and attach your photo with all pertinent information.




  1. That’s the shoe cleats from a set of Cinelli M71 (I think that was their name) pedals. Basically, the first ‘clipless’ pedals although you couldn’t snap in and out of them like the Look pedals they predated.

  2. Nick is right; these are the M71 “death cleats”. The originated around 1970, and were intended to be nailed to the hard soles of cycling shoes. They were activated not by a spring-loaded gate, as per Look and others, but by a slider that locked on a peg. To exit, the rider had to reach down and push the slider in to release the pin. The cleats had no float, but the leather uppers of shoes in those days (“which we called ‘Watermelon Stompers’ or ‘Pinhole Cameras’; and cigars were a nickle!”) had lots of stretch.

    I never knew anyone to ride them on the road, but they were somewhat popular on the track.

    Here are some photos:

  3. It is called the “Skid Mark”. it is an apparatus that is placed between the ole bung hole and the riders chamois to protect your chamiois from unwanted soiling. It didn’t have too much popularity in the US, but was a big hit some European countries from the late 70’s to early 80’s.

  4. Used them for one season on the track. The business of reaching down to release was no more of a pain then reaching down to release a toe strap but you had to pull out just so or they’d get stuck. Still have them in my clippless pedal collection.

  5. Olyoop- thanks for the info, this new Monday tidbit has been a lot of fun. I have worked in the bicycle industry, primarily as a mechanic, for all of my working career. It’s fun to challenge the memory and learn something new.
    I don’t believe I had ever seen these before.

    Last week’s Avocet magnet on the other hand, I would be fine never seeing again.

    Thanks BikeRumor!

  6. Are those the pedals Ole Ritter wore in his 1973 (?) attempt at the Hour Record, as recorded in the film “The Impossible Hour”?
    I remember the narrator mentioning that he was wearing cleats “nailed to his shoes” but the exact model was not stated.

  7. You guys are correct, they’re Cinelli cleats from some of the first clipless pedals.
    From our source: “When engaged, short of ripping the shoe from the cleat, you were in!”

What do you think?