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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering if anyone out there has knee problems and can recommend a good pedal with lots of float. I'm a MTB'er at heart and have recently started road riding on borrowed rigs, I've got good friends. Anyhow I've been offered a deal too good to pass up, so I'm gonna get a roadbike to do some crosstraining on. I experience no pain on the MTB running Time ATAC pedals, but both roadbikes have caused me to experience pain. One bike had a set of Look pedals, not sure of the model. It wasn't as bad as the previous setup though, not sure of the pedals on it, I'll have to find out. Any recommendations? Thanks.:)
 

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Speedplay

Sure, get Speedplay X series.
I have some really bad knees, 5 surgeries to correct kneecap tracking problems. Speedplay X-1's have made a big improvement in my cycling enjoyment. Plus they are the quickest to engage and release which is a big safety factor.

Al
 

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Jay04cobra said:
Just wondering if anyone out there has knee problems and can recommend a good pedal with lots of float. I'm a MTB'er at heart and have recently started road riding on borrowed rigs, I've got good friends. Anyhow I've been offered a deal too good to pass up, so I'm gonna get a roadbike to do some crosstraining on. I experience no pain on the MTB running Time ATAC pedals, but both roadbikes have caused me to experience pain. One bike had a set of Look pedals, not sure of the model. It wasn't as bad as the previous setup though, not sure of the pedals on it, I'll have to find out. Any recommendations? Thanks.:)
Speedplays are the kings of float. Most any pedal nowadays has enough, if the right cleats are used, and they're aligned to your foot properly - unless you've got a serious misalignment in your body. Depending on the what's and where's of the pain, it might not have anything to do with float, anyway - might be saddle height or position, for example.

If you like your ATAC's, why not move them over to the road bike for starters? Takes half a minute, it's free, and will allow you to rule out other items first rather than throwing money at the wrong problem (if things work out that way.)
 

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Knee pain can be a function of many things and, as pointed out above, float isn't necessarily the answer.

Road cycling is probably stressing your leg muscles in new ways, and some of the pain could be associated with this, especially if you're pushing gears that are a too big and without adequate warm up. Try going to an easier gear than usual with high cadence and doing the first 20-30 mins easy.

Knee pain can also result from improper leg alignment, and there are a number of ways of dealing with this. Q-factor and angle of pedals/cleats can have a significant impact. Q-factor (the distance between the pedals) can be varied using some Time pedals and Look CX-6 and CX-7 pedals. The CX-7s can also tilt +/- up to 3 degrees. This pedal tilt can be a big factor in reducing knee pain. I used CX-7s until recently (still use them on my second bike) because of this. They are expensive, but there are other ways to achieve the same result. Custom orthotics, Lemond Wedges (angled shims under the cleats - which I now use on the Keo pedals on my main bike), Specialized shoes (which have a built-in angle) and Specialized Body Geometry footpads and shims are also desigend to do the same thing.

I would strongly suggest seeing a sports medicine professional or podiatrist with a good knowledge of cycling. But in the meantime, you could just try easing off the big gears, doing a proper warm up, and then maybe experimenting with some LeMond Wedges under your cleats, which are quite inexpensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'll try to explain the source of the problem. I spent 8 years in the Army. Lots of running on concrete led to degeneration of the cartilage in my knees. I lost 3/4" off my overall height, and 1/2" off my inseam. About 1 year before I got out I had more problems, was experiencing pain on the outside of the right knee, was told it was due to tendons rubbing together on the outside of the knee. Anyhow, after I got out most of the problems have gone away. Been almost 5 years and I started MTB'ing and recently road riding. Knee pain reappeared with the road riding. By nature I'm a low cadance more of a power rider being 5'11" and 230lbs. But the pain doesn't occur when I'm pushing a big gear, it comes on gradual after extended time in the saddle, which lead me to believe it may be a float issue. Now I'm about to buy pedals for my new bike, and seeing as they can be pretty expensive, I'd like to do it only once. Thanks for the help.
 

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Something to consider.

First if your going to get new pedals get the X2's since X1's have a 185 limit on them and the X2's do not. Are you 100% positive your saddle height is correct? An incorrect saddle height or even being more forward or backward than your position on your MTB will stress the knees differently and can aggrevate old injuires. You might just need to acclimate to the road bike by going shorter distances at first or riding every other day.
 

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ITBS maybe?

The pain on the outside of your knee may well have been illio tibial band syndrome, and the fix for that is stretching, not different pedals. Maybe if you were more specific about where the pain is and what type of pain it is, it would help identify the problem. Your height and weight have nothing to do with whether you have learned how to properly pedal at higher RPM. Pushing low cadence and big gears is one of the surest paths to knee pain and injury.
 

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If all of the road bikes you have ridden were borrowed, it's a sure bet that none of them fit. (There's no reason they should have!) Fit is pretty important for any kind of bike, and a road bike is no exception. That could do bad things to any of your moving parts, so be sure to take it into account.

Otherwise, Speedplays are great!
 

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Pedal Extenders

I have two artifical knees use Speedplays plus a set of pedal extenders. It is about 9/16th's long and sets the pedals out just a hair. I find it really makes a difference on the knees. Others I have put on to them say they are very beneficial and their knees are just junk, not replaced like mine. Website below:

http://www.bikescor.com/product/knee.htm
 

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I like Speedplay Zeros

For me, I solved my knee problems with a combination of bike fit, Speedplay Zeros, and Specialized BG shoes and shims. None of these worked alone without the others, but I give the Speedplays a good deal of credit I like the Zeros, since whether your problem is too much float (as with me) or not enough, you can dial it in. Release tension is very easy compared to Look or Shimano, but for completely effortless release tension, Speedplay X beats Zeros, if that's a problem for you.

Cheers,
Ari
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the responses guys. I'm gonna try a set of Speedplay pedals from your recommendations and a few others I have gotten. Once I have both bikes side by side I'll do some measuring to determine if it maybe a problem with the q-factor. And thanks for the link to the extenders, that may be just the thing.
 

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I would get the Speedplay pedals regardless of whether the pedals are the root cause of your pain or not, because they can only help someone with knee issues. And since you need to buy pedals anyway....
 

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Nothing outfloats platforms...

As a couple of other people have pointed out, float may not be your problem. If it is, though, there are always platform pedals, with or without loose toe clips. I still do more than half my riding with them (for several reasons--I have a big stock of size 15 pre-clipless "touring" shoes I don't want to throw away, it's comfortable, and I like wearing shoes I can walk in). Over four or five years of doing all my regular routes in every possible combination of pedals on my Atlantis and Rambouillet, I can't spot a significant difference in any aspect of performance between clipless and toe clips. Clipless may feel more secure under certain circumstances, but I don't go any faster with 'em.
 

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Jay04cobra said:
Once I have both bikes side by side I'll do some measuring to determine if it maybe a problem with the q-factor. And thanks for the link to the extenders, that may be just the thing.
Speedplay spindle lengths vary and I've heard that they have some extra long spindles if it turns out that you need a wider Q factor. My knees prefer a narrow Q and I ride X-1's with the shortest spindle.

Al
 

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Agree with SDizzle - bike fit is #1

SDizzle has the right idea - make sure the bike fits first before doing a lot of experimentation with parts. Your local LBS is stocked with guys who can get you pretty close. Without doing that nothing is going to feel right.
 

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Marketing float.

Just wondering if anyone out there has knee problems and can recommend a good pedal with lots of float.
If your desire for "lots of float" rests on a self-diagnosis, consider that you may have reached the wrong conclusion. I agree with others who have said that more float may not be what you need - and could actually make things worse.
 

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Did nobody mentione time impact/vxs ..? These pedals adjust after a couple of hours to your natural setting.. They follow your foot.. (dunno how to explain very good in English)
There's only one way to put the cleats on your shoes, the RIGHT way... Your pedal does the rest..They helped me out great, I also had a knee problem untill I started using Time Impact (my new bike has Time VXS, almost the same, but lighter)..

Good luck..
Deoxy
 

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I rode LOOK for years - swore by them. The last three years I had some knee pain, even with a "pro" fitting. It was pretty discouraging. I bought new bikes, and with them, new pedals - Time RXS Carbons. Knee pain is GONE! Just to head off the next question - yes, my bike measurements were identical. I'll stick with them until I have problems again, which hopefully I won't...
 
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