/ SPD help for those with wonky feet/legs

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
gethin_allen on 26 Jul 2012
I've stated using SPDsl pedals and shoes but I'm finding it really difficult to get things set up correctly as my left foot is bigger than my right so getting the ball of my foot in the correct place relative to the pedal axle is difficult.
If I have the ball of my foot in the correct place then I get knee pain but if I have the cleat set so that my leg position is correct my foot is too far forward so my foot sits oddly/slips in the shoe.

Anyone got any ideas of a possible solution?
Dom Whillans on 26 Jul 2012
In reply to gethin_allen:

from experience, the "correct place" is when it feels comfortable. if you look at the cleats on my shoes they appear wonky, but it works for me...
mkean - on 26 Jul 2012
In reply to gethin_allen:
If you've got wonky feet or legs I'd suggest trying to find a pedal/cleat combination with a bit more float as it can make things more comfortable. If you are really having an issue with your pedal position can you get a friend to mark up your pedal position on your shoes while you are on the bike? Can you slacken the cleat bolts off a bit, find the comfy position and then get them marked so you can tighten them up in the correct position?
gethin_allen on 26 Jul 2012
In reply to mkean:
I'm using the yellow shimano cleats (8 degree float I think), I'm wondering if better fitting shoes would be a help, the ones I have aren't bad but I have low volume feet so have to tighten them significantly to get them to hold the front of my foot secure.
Frank4short - on 26 Jul 2012
In reply to gethin_allen: Have you done the whole sitting with your legs dangling thing to set up your cleat angles? As if your legs are wonky they may require different individual set ups.
gethin_allen on 26 Jul 2012
In reply to Frank4short:
I've heard about it but not found any details so not tried it.
Do you have any links of tips on doing this?
bigdelboy - on 26 Jul 2012
In reply to gethin_allen:
Check on youtube for setting up a proper riding position. I'm sure i'd seen a few videos from sports physio's on how to set them up to avoid pains etc.
balmybaldwin - on 26 Jul 2012
In reply to gethin_allen:

sounds like a fit issue, try to find a bike shop that will do a pedal only fit (assuming the rest of the bike fits and you don't want a full on bike fit).

Are your legs the same length... if you sit on a table and let them hang loose do your feet hang in the same way?

If you hang a plub line from just below your knee cap: does it transect the pedal axle? see second image here: http://bikedynamics.co.uk/fit02.htm

There are so many variables (cleat position front to rear, side to side and angle, using wedges for pitch, possibly varying crank length if your legs are also different, saddle forward/back position and height, pedal/cleat float, pedal width etc) that you can change that it's worth having an expert look at it for you. Also a lot of cycling symptoms seem to have causes a lot further away from the problem than you might think.. for example the knee pain you describe could be more related to saddle position than to the foot interface.
kevin stephens - on 26 Jul 2012
In reply to gethin_allen: I suffered from long term patella tendinitis (sore beneath kneecap) from mashing too big a gear up hill. Cleats (road Look Keo) were set up correct angle and float under ball of feet. After wasting a fortune on a sports physio I went to see a cycling orthotics maker. He said I did not need inserts, just move cleat as far back as possible (behind ball of feet). This solved the problem and my tendinitis recovered.
Frank4short - on 27 Jul 2012
In reply to gethin_allen: In simple terms you sit off an edge of a table with your feet dangling loose. Get someone else to mark out the angle off straight your feet naturally hang at. This is the angle your cleats should be pointing at as it means when you're cycling your feet are sitting at their natural angle. Here's a rough guide http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/article/beginner-technique-dont-be-scared-of-clipless-pedals-28408/
gethin_allen on 27 Jul 2012
In reply to gethin_allen: Thanks for all the replies, I may end up moving the saddle around a bit so I can move the cleats around to compensate for the wonky feet. From what I read in a couple of the links above dropping the cleats back is potentially a good thing for the legs so I may try that a bit, but my normal style is quite high heels.
ads.ukclimbing.com
nniff - on 27 Jul 2012
In reply to gethin_allen:

For the foot dangling thing, which worked for me BTW, the other tip is to stick a straw to the cleat so that it sits parallel to where the pedal axle would be.

Dangle your feet and really relax. You then need to adjust the cleats so that the straws are both aligned as the axles will be.

That will give you the angle of the cleats. You then need to check the forward and back position.

You might find that you need more float to one side than another, so stick the straw back on to give you a mental reference point and an indicator of how much you've turned it and whether or not it's going the right way (which is the bit that does my head in).

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.