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Hermia commutes
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I do most of my riding on my commute, and my husband has been trying to get me into clipless pedals, largely so that I can be comfortable enough in them to mountainbike with him. Also because he's convinced that platforms suck. I've been riding platforms for 8 months quite comfortably.

My problem is this:
When I'm clipped in, my left leg doesn't feel right. It feels as if it is being gently twisted. If I wiggle around enough to get it lined up comfortably, I end up clipping out. It also feels about as efficient as walking in heels (which I don't do.) When I ride platforms I keep the pedal under the ball of my foot, not the center, but clipped in felt even further up than that, as if I was riding on tiptoe. I did not enjoy the experience at all.

How much of this is an adjustment issue, how much of this is I'm crazy, and does any of this have to do with hip width to knee width ratio?

thanks...
 

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Shirtcocker
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chatterbox said:
I do most of my riding on my commute, and my husband has been trying to get me into clipless pedals, largely so that I can be comfortable enough in them to mountainbike with him. Also because he's convinced that platforms suck. I've been riding platforms for 8 months quite comfortably.

My problem is this:
When I'm clipped in, my left leg doesn't feel right. It feels as if it is being gently twisted. If I wiggle around enough to get it lined up comfortably, I end up clipping out. It also feels about as efficient as walking in heels (which I don't do.) When I ride platforms I keep the pedal under the ball of my foot, not the center, but clipped in felt even further up than that, as if I was riding on tiptoe. I did not enjoy the experience at all.

How much of this is an adjustment issue, how much of this is I'm crazy, and does any of this have to do with hip width to knee width ratio?

thanks...
get speedplays.
 

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Hermia commutes
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
collinsc said:
Stupid answer.

Take the time to adjust everything. Different pedals have different adjustment ranges, different feels, and different action.

You didn't say what sort of clipless you were using.
speedplay I think. The pedals are Mallets by crank brothers. I'm not sure how to adjust these so that they don't pull at my knee. And would the feeling of being on tiptoe mean that they're somehow too far forward? And should I crosspost this to general or somewhere else?
 

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Deliciously Ironic
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???

chatterbox said:
speedplay I think. The pedals are Mallets by crank brothers.
Speedplay and Crank Bros are not compatible.

Cleat alignment does sound too far forward, and you should be able to angle the cleat to 'toe in' or 'toe out' to accomodate your leg motion. A minor adjustment can make a world of difference.
 

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It's an adjustment issue.

Because a clipless pedal system locks your foot on in a fixed position, the cleat on the bottom of the shoe needs to be positioned very carefully.

Here's how I do it. First, I place the cleat so that the ball of my foot is over the pedal axle. I generally just guess. Hold the shoes up with the cleats and heels touching to make sure that both are set to the same position. It's ok to set the cleats so that the pedal axle is a little bit back on your foot (towards the arch) but I wouldn't move it forward past the spot where the ball of your foot is over the pedal axle.

Now, set the foot angle. Clip in and ride a bit (I use a trainer but you can do it on the road too, just bring the appropriate tool for the cleat bolts). If you want to move your heels in from where the cleat position puts them, then you need to rotate the cleats in. Keep at it until you have the cleats positioned so that your legs feel completely natural when you pedal.
You may find that you want to rotate one foot differently than the other. That's ok, not everyone is exactly symmetrical.


Once you are happy with where your cleats are, make sure the bolts are tight and take a magic marker and outline the cleats on the sole. That way if they slip, you can put them back to the right spot.
 

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I gave clip-ins a 3 month try and hated them. I was going to give them another try but then I read what Grant had to say on rivbike.com. What he says convinced me to just stay with my platforms. While platforms aren't right for everyone, neither are clip-ins. IMO. I mtb just fine with my platforms as well.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Sashana:)
 

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Frog Whisperer
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the problem sounds like a "float" issue.....which is the amount of "twist" your foot can make. Watch your feet carefully when you walk up a set of stairs...whichever way your toes point when walking up stairs is the direction and angle you should try to strive for in the cleat and pedal adjustment. Otherwise it can put a LOT of strain on , your joints in the knee, ankle and foot. Stairs reasonably approximate the action of pedaling without the bike or pedals.

If I am not mistaken spd pedals generally have more float.
 

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Touch0Gray said:
If I am not mistaken spd pedals generally have more float.
Good advice except that spds generally don't have as much lateral float as, say, Speedplays. These are often recommended for people w/knee and hip alignment issues.

Chatter, would you consider having a customer-friendly LBS evaluate and adjust your pedals and cleat position? Good luck!
 

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Frog Whisperer
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KayTee said:
Good advice except that spds generally don't have as much lateral float as, say, Speedplays. These are often recommended for people w/knee and hip alignment issues.

Chatter, would you consider having a customer-friendly LBS evaluate and adjust your pedals and cleat position? Good luck!
Sorry I guess I am not understanding what you mean by lateral float.....not saying you're wrong...what I was referring to was the ability to "twist" the foot to either side without "clipping out"

my old worn spd's let me twist my foot close to 10 degrees, maybe more. Might be the wear on them...
 

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Touch0Gray said:
Sorry I guess I am not understanding what you mean by lateral float.....not saying you're wrong...what I was referring to was the ability to "twist" the foot to either side without "clipping out"

my old worn spd's let me twist my foot close to 10 degrees, maybe more. Might be the wear on them...
TOG, you understand lateral float correctly. Speedplay's literature says their X series (original style) road pedals provide 37 degrees of lateral float.
 

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Frog Whisperer
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KayTee said:
TOG, you understand lateral float correctly. Speedplay's literature says their X series (original style) road pedals provide 37 degrees of lateral float.
wow...37 degrees...holy crap, If I turn my leg that far, I'm going to need an orthopedic surgeon...lol

That's good to know....I use spd with no problems but one of the reasons was the float issue.
 

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Frog Whisperer
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KayTee said:
It was my orthopedic surgeon who put me in 'em! :D
aha....so it is a "chick" thing.....lol....cause I am not a "chick..."

I have use the "stair" thing to gauge cleat alignment for a LOT of people. it is very accurate and simple....for the best results, the leg should maintain their natural position for maximum comfort.

Chatterbox, it is possible that your cleats ARE too far forward...I started with mine directly under the ball of my foot but ended up, over the years, moving them back almost 2 cm..I can ride 50 miles without getting out of the saddle and I am probably old enough to be your........uh......dad........
 

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Touch0Gray said:
aha....so it is a "chick" thing.....lol....cause I am not a "chick..."
Hey, on behalf of us chicks I resemble that remark! :wink5: The orthopod put my (male) SO in Speedplays, too! Your "stair thing" is a nice, handy indicator though.
 

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Frog Whisperer
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KayTee said:
Hey, on behalf of us chicks I resemble that remark! :wink5: The orthopod put my (male) SO in Speedplays, too! Your "stair thing" is a nice, handy indicator though.
I LIKE "chicks" I got 4 of my own......LOL......hmmm, that sounds bad huh?
(3 daughters and a wife) (not that I profess to understand the fairer of the species)
 

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Cat 6 rider
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collinsc said:
Stupid answer.

Take the time to adjust everything. Different pedals have different adjustment ranges, different feels, and different action.

You didn't say what sort of clipless you were using.
I don't think "Get Speedplays" is a stupid answer, but it does need some explanation. The OP says she feels like her leg is being twisted by the pedal. This could be a problem with adjustment, or it could be a problem with her physiology if she's at the limits of adjustment. If it's the latter Speedplays are good because they are one of (or perhaps the only) major pedal system that doesn't have a centering spring trying to pull your leg into the center position. They really float and let your leg follow its natural path. If she's trying to get comfortable for mountain biking in clipless, she should at least consider trying the Speedplay Frogs. I use these on both road and mountain bikes- really simple with lots of non-centering float.
 

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With CrankBros cleats, you can swap the cleats (L vs R) to select the amount of float. I think in this case, even the Speedplay float will not resolve the problem--since it sounds like it is a for-aft positioning problem.

If you have a bike shop that you're a regular of, they should be willing to help you for minimal cost--or you can spend $100+ and get a full-on fitting.

Here's Crank Brothers instructions for selecting amount of float:
For a 15 degree release angle (earlier release) on both feet, place the cleat with the two dots on the right shoe. For a 20 degree release angle (later release) on both feet, place the cleat with the two circles on the left shoe.

http://www.crankbrothers.com/tech_mallet.php
 

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Hermia commutes
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
thanks, all.

Yes, songo, those are indeed my pedals. I think that I had frogs on my roadbike years and years ago when I rode it, hence my confusion.

Sashana, thanks for the encouragement that I might be ok hanging out with platforms. I'll give the clipless a fair shot first, though.

My husband can probably do the adjusting part for me, it will just take a few rounds, I guess. Riding home tonight I had no problems with my right leg, just my goofy left leg.

Again, thanks for the input. I had thought that since my knee issues are related to my wide hips (the chick part) that this problem might be, too. But it would appear that I'm just temporarily maladjusted.
:p
 
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