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I'm in a bit of a dilemma here. I've been dealing with some knee issues for almost 4 months now and I wonder if switching to Speedplay pedals might be the answer. Right now I'm on Look Keo pedals and am using Sidi Energy shoes. It looks as if I have Patellar Tendonitis and/or ITBS. I've been to the doctor, had physio therapy, and had active release therapy. I've had two professional fittings, which included getting LeMond Wedges added to correct the cant of my foot. I tapered back my riding, increased cadence and watched the hills. All this stuff has resulted in an improvement, but not perfection...As in being pain free...My legs are now where as tight as what they were before, but the knees still complain.

I can ride pretty well now without much discomfort, just a few twinges here and there. I'm putting in decent mileage right now (1000km's in June), but I know things were better last year. I usually run into issues with the burning pain the day after riding (outside of left kneecap, inside of right kneecap). Again, the pain is not as bad now, but I wonder if switching pedals would take care of things.

Last year I was riding my road bike using my Time ATAC mountain pedals and everything was pretty good...Mileage was good too, averaged about 1000km's a month...The reason I wonder about Speedplay is the friction free float. I know the Keo's have float, I have the red cleats, but it is self-centring. The Time ATAC pedals had gobs of rotational float and lateral float and I wonder if maybe my knees need that.

Now I've been reading articles that basically state that 8-12deg of float is all you should have so that makes me wonder if the Speedplays will make things worse. I know I could go out and just get a pair, but I've got the Keo's set-up to the point where everything feels great except the annoying pains I get the next day.

Also, if I did make the switch should I got for the Zero's or stick to the 'X' series...

Thanks,
Rich
 

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I don't know if speedplays will fix your problem, but if you DO decide to give 'em a try, almost definitely go for the Zeroes. The adjustable float will do you good -- I fixed some knee problems by allowing about 8 degrees of heel-out float, but no toe-out. Most doctors now beleive that the large amounts of free float offered by Speedplay X's aren't the best idea for most people.
 

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Similar experience. Winter of 2001-02 I was riding Looks with Sidis. I rode the bejeezus out of the turbo-trainer and--bang!--patellar tendonitis in left leg. Very painful. I had PT, electro-stim, etc. and *took about three weeks off the bike.* I switched to Speedplays with full-float and had no knee problems the rest of the season.

Forward to late winter 2003 and I ramped up training too fast. Bang! Problems with left kee again. This time dx'd as tendonosis. I had PT, electro-stim and took about *four weeks off the bike.* I had no problems the rest of the season.

Late 2005 I got tired of Speedplays non-centering float. They just got to feeling a little bit too squirrely under my feet, especially on hard seated climbs. I switched to Time RXS pedals, which have much less float, a nice platform and a relatively tight spring--at least how I have them set up. I love my Time pedals. I've also been smarter about doing too much too soon during the winter. So in 2006, no knee problems.

So in my limited experience, *time off the bike* and listening to my body have helped my knees. Maybe the Speedplays helped a little bit.

My advice: find some cheap Speedplays on eBay and try them. Everybody is different.
 

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a cheaper suggestion

I might suggest trying new cleats with the Keo
I think it is the red that has 9 degrees of float, they also have 4.5 and 0 cleats (gray and black respectively) probikekit.com has all 3 for $12/set

That might give you what you are looking for w/o a new set of pedels, that said I noticed Performance had the CroMoly Zeros for about $125...which is about what I paid for my x/5s 3 years ago.

FWIW, I just ordered a set of Keos to replace my x/5s. I just never felt totally comfortable out of the saddle on the x/5 speedplays, of course I had 2 years with no knee pain with them and this year have IT Band Friction or some such...(but since it is my third year w/ the same pedals I can't really blame them.)
 

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I suffer from patellar tendonitis as well. Went through fittings and such with no positive results. Finally I decided to start playing some with positioning and such. I found lowering my seat 5mm took me from not being able to continue riding to riding pain free. Myabe give that a try, it's a pretty cheap try. I run speedplay pedals also BTW.
 

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I have a genetic kneecap alignment problem and have found Speedplays to help a lot. My wife and I both ride X-1 pedals and I see little or no reason to limit float. The X-1's have shorter and lighter spindles for less "Q" angle and more ground clearance in turns. I've also had 5 knee surgeries so far. Would also agree with kpcw about developing your vastus medialis muscle, my doctors have always advised me to do that. Stretching your leg muscles, especially the hamstrings before and after riding can also be a big help.

Al
 
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