Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I switched recently from Specialized Expert to S-Works 6 shoes...same size, same cleat position fore/aft and side-to-side, but since doing so, I've been getting strong above-knee, some slight side-knee, and a little bit of patella pain. On longer rides, it's manifested itself in painful fatigue/cramp pain in the very bottom of the quad, right above the knee. I switched back to the Experts for a couple rides and immediately noticed I was using the "right" part of my quads again, and had no knee discomfort.

Is it possible two fairly similar shoes could require a different cleat position for optimal comfort/power?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,947 Posts
I believe despite what you think, your cleat position is not exactly the same on the new shoes as on the old shoes.

Also, the stack height might be different.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,347 Posts
I agree with tvad. Remember its the cleat postition relative to your foot, not to the shoe, that's important. Different design shoes, even of the same nominal size, have different shapes relative to the foot.

You could try having an assistant measure your ankle relative to the crank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
I will second the stack height comment. You may need to raise/lower your saddle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,474 Posts
Is there a way to measure the cleat-to-insole height to see if there's a difference?
If there is a difference, you can see it surprisingly well if you measure saddle height from the insole of an opened and cleated-in shoe to the top of the saddle with a yardstick. It's important to hold the shoes you're comparing at the same angle relative to the ground.

Since you're not interested in actual saddle height but are making a comparison, you can measure to a point on the the well-defined lower edge of the saddle leather to get more accurate readings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
502 Posts
First get a shoe that fits right and work from there. I find it nearly impossible to buy shoes online. Too many variations between shoes even within the same brand. I went to a bike superstore in a major city that had the largest selection of shoes I had ever seen. They had every single size and people who knew shoes working with me. Once I got the shoe right, it did not take long to get the rest dialed in. Make very small adjustments until you get it right. You might also want to look at your pedal stroke. My stroke would change as I got tired and my toes would tend to point down a little and make my feet hurt and my quads would be sore as hell the next day. A Spin Class instructor noticed this and got me to focus more on keeping my feet flat. The mental focus she gave was to imagine I was pushing through my heels. Not only did it help my feet, but I gained a good bit of power as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,658 Posts
Just for the heck of it take the insoles out of the old shoes and put them in the new shoes.

For argument sake let's say you're correct about the cleat position and size being the same. Then the only thing left that can be impacting your leg angles is the insole or support (or lack of) built into the shoe. You might be surprises at how much something like a ton of arch support vs none impacts things even when size and cleat placement are the same.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just for the heck of it take the insoles out of the old shoes and put them in the new shoes.

For argument sake let's say you're correct about the cleat position and size being the same. Then the only thing left that can be impacting your leg angles is the insole or support (or lack of) built into the shoe. You might be surprises at how much something like a ton of arch support vs none impacts things even when size and cleat placement are the same.
I hadn't thought of that...will have to give it a try.. The cleat positioning is so close between the two that I can't imagine a method of measuring them that would be accurate enough to find a difference. Would have to be a fraction of a millimeter.

For giggles, because this has been completely front-of-knee pain usually indicative of a low saddle, I raised it about 1.5-2mm this weekend. The pain is pretty well the same, and I didn't necessarily feel like I was "reaching" for the pedals or rocking my hips, but my behind was killing me...definitely changed my balance on the bike in a negative way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Spoke with Specialized tech support today and confirmed that the insoles in both shoes are the same, and while they weren't able to provide specific stack height measurements, they did share that the SWorks 6 is the lowest stack height of all their models. So, taking that into account, I dropped the saddle a mere 1-1.5 mm just to see how it'd go, and went for a ride and the knee pain was just brutal. It feels like rather than riding with my quad, I'm using my kneecap to power me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,062 Posts
Spoke with Specialized tech support today and confirmed that the insoles in both shoes are the same, and while they weren't able to provide specific stack height measurements, they did share that the SWorks 6 is the lowest stack height of all their models. So, taking that into account, I dropped the saddle a mere 1-1.5 mm just to see how it'd go, and went for a ride and the knee pain was just brutal. It feels like rather than riding with my quad, I'm using my kneecap to power me.
Put your old shoes back on for now and put everything back the way it was. Make sure it feels right and then measure all the things suggested above. Something is not right here.

Any chance you could post a profile of each shoe? Maybe we could see something.

I'm scatchin my head on this one. Of the Spec shoes I have worn, the models and size are pretty close.
 

·
Neophyte
Joined
·
2,190 Posts
How long has it hurt for? Could it be something your body might get used to?

I changed my saddle position slightly a few months ago, and the resulting change in position caused some discomfort in my knees that went away after a few rides...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
978 Posts
You could try to put small spacers between the sole & cleat to get a similar stack height. Perhaps your legs prefer the way the power is transferred from a higher stack height. This one has left me with a bit of puzzlement.
 

·
gazing from the shadows
Joined
·
27,290 Posts
Looks like the new shoe is shaped with a higher arch than the old one.

Whether or not that is true once the inside of the shoe + insole are taken into account, I have no idea. But if the arch is higher, you might consider a flat insole, with no additional arch, and see how that works.
 

·
Forever a Student
Joined
·
4,963 Posts
You've only been moving the seat height by a couple millimeters.

Try more.

When I switched shoes I had to move the seat down 8mm. 2mm would have done absolutely nothing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You've only been moving the seat height by a couple millimeters.

Try more.

When I switched shoes I had to move the seat down 8mm. 2mm would have done absolutely nothing.
The difference in these shoes is about 1-2mm....would an 8mm drop in saddle height not be excessive?

I've dropped the saddle, I would guess, about 3-4 mm, and also played with the fore/aft. Unfortunately, the minute changes have caused me the gamut in issues: terrible knee pain, butt pain, sore shoulders, and numb hands, none of which I had before changing shoes. At this point, I'm at a loss for words on what to adjust next. Because I've dropped the saddle, my saddle to handlebar angle is actually lower, so why I'm getting sudden hand and shoulder pain, to go along with the knees, is hard to understand.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top