I wrote a piece a while back about the importance of checking the screws in your bike shoe cleats to ensure they weren't getting too loose. Well, I'm writing again about this, but this time it's to prevent the other side of this problem: essentially the screws getting fused into the soles of your bike shoes.
The most common cause of this is when the screws literally rust to the point that they get frozen in place. The primary reason this happens is when people aren't as diligent as they perhaps should have been about applying some grease to the threads when first installing them.
In any case, these screws can rust in place over time even with the initial application of grease. This happens since it's almost inevitable that your shoe is going to get wet now and then, allowing moisture can get in there and start working its evil. It's a given each time you find yourself riding in the rain or in wet conditions, and there is really not a lot you can do to avoid this, other than just not ride your bike, I guess. For most of us, that is not a viable option.
My own pair of Louis Garneau Carbon T-Flex mountain bike shoes got absolutely soaked this summer when, overtaken with a sense of my own awesomeness, I jumped into a swimming pool wearing them during the brilliantly fun Urban Assault Ride that New Belgium Brewery puts on in a bunch of U.S. cities each year. And of course they get wet just in the course of normal mountain biking going through puddles, crossing creaks, etc.
So, when I went to change out the brass cleats on them (the ones that go with my Crank Bros Eggbeater pedals) over the weekend, the screws absolutely would not turn. They had rusted in place. I worked at them with an Allen wrench and ended up stripping the head on the bolt, making the situation all that much worse. Doh!
After gathering up a whole bunch of cuss words then setting them all free, ultimately I was able to get the screws out. After trying several things, what finally worked was to bang a star-shaped Torx bit down into them with a hammer, which then allowed me to back them out with a screwdriver. But I had to fight with them a while though and that really wasn't how I envisioned this whole thing going. Stripping the heads on the bolts (for which I'll need to now find a replacement) and then pounding on my bike shoes with a hammer could have been avoided in the first place. Had I been better about putting grease on the screws initially and then just remembered to once or twice a year back the screws out to keep them loose --and as a part of that, apply more grease as needed--would have prevented this whole deal.