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It's not easy being green
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Does anyone have any success with any homemade wedges for leg adjustments? My problem is that my right leg is about 1/4 inch longer than the left due to a broken femur. After many saddles, shoe inserts, and a pro bike fit, I need to raise my cleat/foot to level out and stop rubbing my other leg. I thought about getting longer cleat screws and adding a series on small stainless washers to get the proper length? Stupid? Those wedges look like a pain and noone around here carries them or knows how to set them. Thanks.
 

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Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
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If you're just looking to adjust for height, and not worried about actual wedging (to tilt the shoe, etc.), you can use just about any material.

You're kind of at an advantage, needing 1/4 inch of boost, since it's relatively easy to find materials that are that thickness. If you needed like 2mm or something thin like that it's harder.

If you can get your hands on some delrin sheet, that would be ideal--easy to machine, relatively non-compressible, and it's available in black. But I'd guess even plywood would work, if you got that high-grade thin-ply no-void aircraft stuff. You can get lots of plastics in sheets and blocks and whatever from McMaster-Carr (www.mcmaster.com), though some of it's pretty spendy.

All you need is a piece of whatever that's the same general shape as your cleat, with holes (or ideally slots) where the holes in your cleats are, and longer bolts. If your pedal system depends on the sole of the shoe for support, your plate may need to be larger than your cleat. Any reasonable woodworking hobbyist should be able to knock you out something pretty easily, if you can't do it yourself. A keyhole or jig saw, a couple of files and a drill would be all you'd absolutely need.

A pal of mine had to make a 1/2 inch spacer for himself out of aircraft-grade plywood recently (bad motorcycle wreck a year or two ago did a number on his hip--he's just getting back on the bike), and it's working out great for him. Doesn't look great, but if he sprayed it black you'd never know.
 

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no shim needed???

I just got Andy Pruitt's new book. He doesn't recommend a shim for leg length discrepencies less than 6mm, which is about 1/4 inch. If a shim is used, he does not recommend adjusting for the full amount, only about 1/2 or less.

Rather than shim, he prefers to move the foot forward (cleat back) on the long leg and move the foot back a bit on the short leg.

Lemond wedges are only about 1/32" thick, so four would do the trick. They are all tapered identically. To creat a non-tapered shim, all you do is put two together in opposite directions.

http://www.excelsports.com/new.asp?...e+for+Cyclist&vendorCode=BOOK&major=3&minor=1
 

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C-40 said:
I just got Andy Pruitt's new book. He doesn't recommend a shim for leg length discrepencies less than 6mm, which is about 1/4 inch. If a shim is used, he does not recommend adjusting for the full amount, only about 1/2 or less.

Rather than shim, he prefers to move the foot forward (cleat back) on the long leg and move the foot back a bit on the short leg.

Lemond wedges are only about 1/32" thick, so four would do the trick. They are all tapered identically. To creat a non-tapered shim, all you do is put two together in opposite directions.

http://www.excelsports.com/new.asp?...e+for+Cyclist&vendorCode=BOOK&major=3&minor=1
Sort of. I'd recommend getting your spin evaluated by someone in tune w/ such things to see how your body has adapted, if at all, to the leg length discrepency. I initially got shims to account for a 3/8" leg difference from a leg remodeling I decided to spontaneously do. Initially 3/8" shims seemed to work, but then other issues started developing. I had someone look at my spin, from my arse side, with a more critical eye and found that 1/4" made my spin (and specifically movement of my hips) much better. On the road, it's made a huge difference.

Personally, I'd suggest finding out exactly what your leg length difference is, by asking your orthopod or by getting measured by a PT. Then you'll have a pretty accurate range in which to make adjustments, or in which a good fitter can make adjustments.

If the leg length discrepency is new, your body may not have made any adjustments, yet, so you might, indeed, need the full 1/4".

Whatever you do, do it carefully. From experience, I've found that leg length differences can at best cause a sore crotch and at worst cause back or knee issues.
 

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I made my on shims using Trex (man-made decking material) cut to the right thickness with a chop saw. The Trex material is weatherproof and dimensionally stable. You may be able to get a piece of scrap from a local building supply company.
 

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johnny99 said:
What is the advantage to shimming your cleat vs. a shorter crankarm on one side?
1. you don't have to buy another crankarm
2. You don't lose the leverage that a longer crank gives
3. With shims, at the top of the pedal stroke, left and right legs will be in the same position.
With one shorter crank, that leg will be forced to pedal a smaller circumference than the other.


On the other hand, shimming can create all sorts of variables. If you change shoes, you have to swap over the shims, leaving lots of room for error. Plastic shims can compress over time. Once screwed down, the shims can distort adaptor plates and possibly the sole of the shoe. Shims also increase the sole-to-pedal distance, making the leg work harder to stablize itself.
 

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It's not easy being green
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everybody

So this morning I tooks C-40s advice and tried the easiest fix first. Put one cleat all the way forward and the other all the way back. I think it might do the trick. No significant rubs on one side and it didn't feel as weird as I thought it would. I'll give it a longer ride tomorrow when I've got more time but thanks to all.
 
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