Fitting Your Bike - how to fit for different leg lengths?
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06-25-13, 06:23 AM
Just bought a Giant defy composite road bike. My right leg is about 3/4 of an inch (about 1.5cm) longer than my left leg. I have to have my pants altered or else my left pant leg is always dragging on the floor. I have noticed that when I stand still, my pelvis is actually tilted (higher on the right side.) I am wondering whether I shall do anything to my bike to compensate for such.
I can think of a couple:
1. use a shorter crank arm on the left hand side, such that on the down pedal my left leg extends the same amount as the right. If this is the case, should I use a crank arm that is 1.5cm shorter or 0.75cm shorter? (if such is available)
2. wear a different shoe with a thicker sole on my left foot.
The LBS who did the fitting for me actually did the fitting based on my shorter leg and they suggested I tried to few rides to see how it works. so far I have ridden only less than 100km and I don't feel anything unusual. Of course I am new to road cycling so I don't even know what to look for. Before I try any of the above methods I want to hear if anyone has similar experience or can comment on whether the above two methods make sense. Thanks.
06-25-13, 01:44 PM
Hi. Scroll down a few questions on the forum and you'll find one that I started a couple weeks ago. "One leg shorter than the other" . If you are using standard/regular platform pedals, then probably nothing else is needed. (That is, if your current shoes have the necessary sole lift, as mine do.) I have the same problem as you just the opposite leg is shorter due to an accident 35 years ago. I went without altering my shoe for 30 of those years until my back finally just gave up and I couldn't walk, stand , get comfortable, work-nothing! Switched chiropractors to one using different techniques, and back in business. With the new chiropractor, measurements and weight distribution were anaylized and it was determined and verified that I needed a 17mm lift added to my right shoe. Easy for street shoes. Not so easy for cycling shoes with cleats. For the last 3 years, I have used my street shoes for cycling and have had zero issues. Now that I want to cycle more often longer distances, I wanted to switch to SPD pedals. I have done that but have not altered my shoes. I haven't noticed any issues with my back or hips for that matter either. I am riding about 100 miles per week currently. My LBS owner suggested that we drill and tap my crank arm to accomodate the shorter leg. Haven't done that yet. Custom cycling shoes were $1200-1500-not an option. I'm not a fan of addig shims to the cleat as it may correct the problem while in the saddle but once I'm off the bike the problem would actually be much worse because my toe would be abnormally up in the air and my heel severly lower, creating all kinds of strains where there doesn't need to be. Sorry to be so long winded.
06-25-13, 08:18 PM
thanks for your input, i discovered your other thread after I posted. So may I ask, have you decided on what method you use?
06-25-13, 11:05 PM
Still up in the air. When I ride our tandem, I will be with my Merrill mountain boots, or sneakers- both of which have the 17mm (almost 3/4") added to the sole of the shoe. When I ride my mountain bike which I have somewhat converted to a hybrid with smooth tires to commute daily, I use SPD A530's, which are two sided. One for cleats, the other side is flat for street shoes. I have been using the cleat side when I go out with my riding group, and when I commute. I have not had any back issues the last 6 weeks that I have been using the cleats. Those shoes are not altered. Can't figure out a way yet, but I am considering making a mold of the bottom of the shoe, then making the appropriate sole mate to slip on, and then add the appropriate shims at the cleat. As it developes, I will post. Hope this helps.
06-27-13, 06:37 PM
325897First choice would be to build up the cleat of the shorter leg. Here is some information that may be helpful as well http://www.bikefit.com/documents/0310103_LL_Keo_inst.pdf
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