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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 05-11-10, 10:41 AM   #1
Kamala
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Just switched to clipless - getting some knee pain - thoughts?

I had been dialed in on my bike with power grips. Made the switch to clipless a few weeks ago and have been getting pain in the top of my knee, more to the inside of each leg, and worse on the left than the right. Pain didn't really get worse over a 100 mile ride this past weekend, just constant annoyance. Thoughts?
Thanks!
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Old 05-11-10, 11:14 AM   #2
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what kind of pedals do you have and do the cleats have float?
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Old 05-11-10, 11:53 AM   #3
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SPD M-520 pedals and to my knowledge the cleats have 4 degrees of float.
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Old 05-11-10, 01:12 PM   #4
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That kind of pain I got because my q-factor (distance between my feet, basically) was too narrow. This was rectified by 3mm worth of washers on my left pedal spindle to move the foot out a bit to get under the knee. the amount and side of extension will depend on your anatomy. There are such things as kneesavers, but they are 2cm long, which is too much extension for me.
Another possibility is that your knees do not like the float, or they require more float than spd's can provide. No easy way to test that out, however.
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Old 05-11-10, 01:49 PM   #5
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That kind of pain I got because my q-factor (distance between my feet, basically) was too narrow. This was rectified by 3mm worth of washers on my left pedal spindle to move the foot out a bit to get under the knee. the amount and side of extension will depend on your anatomy. There are such things as kneesavers, but they are 2cm long, which is too much extension for me.
Another possibility is that your knees do not like the float, or they require more float than spd's can provide. No easy way to test that out, however.


i has the same trouble- i switched from spd to crank brothers candy's which have more float
i also put a washer on my left pedal- 3000 miles later no problems
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Old 05-11-10, 03:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamala View Post
I had been dialed in on my bike with power grips. Made the switch to clipless a few weeks ago and have been getting pain in the top of my knee, more to the inside of each leg, and worse on the left than the right. Pain didn't really get worse over a 100 mile ride this past weekend, just constant annoyance. Thoughts?
Thanks!
Sounds like you may just need to dial-in the position of your cleats. I used to think that I needed a pedal with a lot of float, but once I got my cleats (and saddle!) properly positioned I didn't have any more problems. I too use the Shimano M-520 pedals. For me, the trick seemed to be sliding the cleat as far toward the rear of the shoe as possible. Adjusting the saddle so that my knee was slightly behind the pedal spindle (at the 3/9 o'clock position) also helped. When in doubt, get help from a fitter who can actually see you on the bike; it makes a world of difference!
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Old 05-11-10, 03:59 PM   #7
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Also, remember, the saddle height relative to the pedals will be different with the clipless pedals. Try bumping the saddle up a few mm or so. Mark your current positio0n on the seatpost with a sharpie, though for easy reset if that's not the case.
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Old 05-11-10, 07:19 PM   #8
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Also, remember, the saddle height relative to the pedals will be different with the clipless pedals. Try bumping the saddle up a few mm or so. Mark your current positio0n on the seatpost with a sharpie, though for easy reset if that's not the case.
Pain on the top of the knee is a sign of a saddle too low. Your feet may be a few mm higher with the clipless as opposed to the flats/Power Grips.
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Old 05-11-10, 07:39 PM   #9
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Also, remember, the saddle height relative to the pedals will be different with the clipless pedals. Try bumping the saddle up a few mm or so. Mark your current positio0n on the seatpost with a sharpie, though for easy reset if that's not the case.
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Pain on the top of the knee is a sign of a saddle too low. Your feet may be a few mm higher with the clipless as opposed to the flats/Power Grips.
I think we have a winner. I had this same problem on my MTB last year, seat raise fixed all. How quickly we forget. I'll raise it up a little and see how we do.
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Old 05-11-10, 07:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
Also, remember, the saddle height relative to the pedals will be different with the clipless pedals. Try bumping the saddle up a few mm or so. Mark your current positio0n on the seatpost with a sharpie, though for easy reset if that's not the case.
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Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
Pain on the top of the knee is a sign of a saddle too low. Your feet may be a few mm higher with the clipless as opposed to the flats/Power Grips.
I think we have a winner. I had this same problem on my MTB last year, seat raise fixed all. How quickly we forget. I'll raise it up a little and see how we do.
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Old 05-11-10, 08:33 PM   #11
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I find myself adjusting the saddle with new cleats (Look delta).
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Old 05-12-10, 01:29 PM   #12
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When I first switched to clipless, I had knee pain on my left knee only. It never bothered me with platforms. I found that my knee was moving laterally, maybe 1.5" at the top of the pedal stroke. (Mine would push out right as I began the downstroke). I never knew it was even happening until I looked for it.

Watch your knees at the top of the stroke. If they are moving laterally at all, that will cause pain. I used the Bikefit.com wedges between my cleats and and shoes, and it fixed me right up. They eliminated the lateral movement and stopped the pain instantly.

The other suggestions may be correct also, this was just my experience when I first switched to clipless.
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Old 05-12-10, 01:34 PM   #13
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I think we have a winner. I had this same problem on my MTB last year, seat raise fixed all. How quickly we forget. I'll raise it up a little and see how we do.
If that doesn't work, get someone to follow you while you bike. I'll volunteer if no one else will - we seem to be in the same area. I went clipless because my clips started causing knee pain, and the clipless system has made it go away completely. But the pain itself doesn't sound similar, so I'm probably wrong. Still, my guess is the cleat needs to move a little bit, and is probably causing you to pedal wrong, so that you're making an oval instead of a circle, and putting too much pressure on part of your knee at one point in the stroke.
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