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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 09-23-11, 10:16 AM   #1
RubeRad
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Experience with pedal extenders?

One of my biggest annoyances with getting back into biking is my "duck feet". Some lucky people are pigeon-toed, but my natural, comfortable stance has about a 30deg angle between my feet. As a result, I'm never comfortable on my pedals.

When I first got my road bike (Trek 1000 with cages) back in May, my short-to-mid-term solution until I could go clipless was to take a boxcutter to some old running shoes and hack off the inner flared soles. That certainly helped me stop banging the cranks, but still I found myself always riding with my right foot half off the pedal.

Half the pedal * same force = twice the pressure = major numbness, so one day I tightened the pedal strap to pull my right foot in. The numbness mostly went away, but I went on a 50mi ride with some more athletic buddies, and 20mi in I started to feel pain in the outside of my right knee, which became debilitating by 25mi. I told my buddies to speed along without me, and limped home at 10mph, pushing only with my left leg.

The googlez told me that the right foot adjustment was certainly the culprit. Fortunately a few days' rest and my knee was all better, I loosened my strap again, and was back to before. (Since then I have bought some mountain shoes (Forte/Performance Traverse) and borrowed some pedals (double-entry SPD), and am still trying to get used to them)

BUT, just yesterday, I was trolling the BFs and discovered Kneesavers! The testimonials are amazing, but $48 ($45 + $3 s/h) for essentially two nicely machined bolts is a lot of money, so I was going to wait and research a while longer. Fortunately, my research led me to a $20 ($15 + $5 s/h) option, which I instantly ordered, and have high hopes for. Best case, no more knee pain ever (especially when I win the lottery and buy some Speedplay Frogs); worst case, I should at least feel more comfortable and natural on my pedals.

The kneesavers website says they solve problems that are "very common with larger men and women cyclists with wide hips or who weigh more than 230 pounds." Sound familiar to anyone around here?

So I just wanted to make other Clydes aware of these things, in case they might be the answer to a problem you didn't realize you had (or maybe did realize you had). And maybe get some useful info from anybody who has had success (or failure!) with these.

UPDATE: here's a pic of the pedal extenders I eventually settled on, read below for more info...

That picture was taken while my bike was on the top of my minivan, mounted to the DIY fork-mount rack I made...

Last edited by RubeRad; 10-13-11 at 11:59 AM. Reason: added pic of 18mm extenders on my bike
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Old 09-23-11, 10:45 AM   #2
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What abut a longer bottom bracket? Flat pedals?
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Old 09-23-11, 10:47 AM   #3
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Rube: Thats great. Can you report back to use and let us know how they are working? I have a friend who might need some so please let us know.
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Old 09-23-11, 11:13 AM   #4
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Rube: Thats great. Can you report back to use and let us know how they are working? I have a friend who might need some so please let us know.
You already know someone who has them, Iron Chef. I pretty much can't ride a bike without them.

Look how far my feet are from the cranks....



You can see the pedal extender in these shots:





And here's a close up on my road bike....

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Old 09-23-11, 11:36 AM   #5
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Wow Neil_B, that's really long (that's what she said!)

Are those Kneesavers brand or something else? How much extension do they give you? The standard (smallest) kneesaver size is 20mm, but it looks like you use longer.

chef, I'll certainly post my experience once I receive and install my extenders, but my hope for this thread is also for others to chime in (like Neil!)

Leebo -- longer bottom bracket? So you mean put the extra spacing on the inside of the cranks rather than the outside? Are there extenders that do that? Or do bottom brackets come in different lengths and it's OK to have them sticking out of the frame?

(I've never understood the term "bottom bracket". A bracket is not a thing, it's a thing you put another thing into or onto. So when people say "bottom bracket", all I can think of is the hole at the bottom of the bike frame into which you put the thing(s) that connect the cranks (those things being what everybody calls "bottom bracket"))
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Old 09-23-11, 11:47 AM   #6
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Why I need pedal extenders:

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Old 09-23-11, 11:53 AM   #7
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Why I need pedal extenders...
Neil, that's about the angle my feet look like, or a slightly greater angle, although we're asymmetric. It looks like your left foot deviates a greater angle from straight ahead, while for me it's the right (which I think is why it's only my right foot that wants to sit half-off the pedal)
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Old 09-23-11, 11:55 AM   #8
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Why I need pedal extenders:

Weirdest looking top tube I've ever seen
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Old 09-23-11, 12:02 PM   #9
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That is super funny!

But you know, we Clydes need to go to extraordinary lengths to achieve stronger bikes...
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Old 09-23-11, 12:04 PM   #10
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Thanks neil for letting me know. I didnt notice it before.
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Old 09-23-11, 12:59 PM   #11
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Amazon order @ 8:51am
Shipping notification w/UPS tracking# @ 11:51am

Yay for Niagara Cycle Works!!
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Old 09-23-11, 02:07 PM   #12
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Neil, that's about the angle my feet look like, or a slightly greater angle, although we're asymmetric. It looks like your left foot deviates a greater angle from straight ahead, while for me it's the right (which I think is why it's only my right foot that wants to sit half-off the pedal)
It's the right that has the greater angle. Born crooked and dislocated three times in a decade.
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Old 09-23-11, 02:10 PM   #13
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Thanks neil for letting me know. I didnt notice it before.
I'm glad you didn't. It let you form an opinion of me as a person first, not as a person needing adaptive items for the bike to ride.
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Old 09-23-11, 05:20 PM   #14
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Kneesavers work to help many ride in comfort!!

Over & out..............
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My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

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Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 09-23-11, 05:34 PM   #15
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neil: funny thing, I wouldnt have cared. You were nice enough to take me on one of my first rides, friend me, and have great conversation. I hope we can ride soon together.
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Old 09-23-11, 06:54 PM   #16
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I'm glad you didn't. It let you form an opinion of me as a person first, not as a person needing adaptive items for the bike to ride.
I was born with the opposite issue, right foot turned inward at like 15-20 degrees for some odd reason. I was able to overcome it by watching my feet and mentally placing them straight at every step, now I do it naturally. I did however pick up a nasty habit of staring at my feet while walking... heh

Anyway, during my youth, I learned that if someone is going to make fun of my physical defects, then they're not really worth getting to know in the first place. In that respect, I never saw a need to hide my defects... it makes judging a persons true character that much easier.
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Old 09-23-11, 09:01 PM   #17
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No experience with them as of yet but I had a professional bike fitting last week and was told I need them to correct the hotspot I am getting on the outside of my right foot.It was not as pronounced when I was using mountain pedals with SPD cleats but as soon as I switched to road pedals it got bad. They called me to say they are in so Ill go Tuesday and have them installed and report back.
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Old 09-23-11, 10:33 PM   #18
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I was born with the opposite issue, right foot turned inward at like 15-20 degrees for some odd reason. I was able to overcome it by watching my feet and mentally placing them straight at every step, now I do it naturally. I did however pick up a nasty habit of staring at my feet while walking... heh

Anyway, during my youth, I learned that if someone is going to make fun of my physical defects, then they're not really worth getting to know in the first place. In that respect, I never saw a need to hide my defects... it makes judging a persons true character that much easier.
Understood. I was praising the Iron Chef. I've come across too many people who here and in person who make too much of something that I worked around. Best comment in that vein was the observation that a BF poster was surprised "a person like you" could ride a bike.
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Old 09-23-11, 10:40 PM   #19
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neil: funny thing, I wouldnt have cared. You were nice enough to take me on one of my first rides, friend me, and have great conversation. I hope we can ride soon together.
I know you wouldn't have cared Iron Chef. My point was some people do.
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Old 09-24-11, 12:25 AM   #20
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Ran Kneesavers on a rather wet Bike tour of Eire and Scotland,
to gain clearance for insulated dry feet .. shoe covers.. a really solid piece of stainless steel..
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Old 09-24-11, 03:26 PM   #21
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Interesting, I wouldn't have thought of pedal extenders as a climate-control device!
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Old 09-26-11, 09:35 PM   #22
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Good news: those pedal extenders which I ordered Friday morning were shipped in 3 hours (Yay Niagara Cycle Works) and delivered today (Yay UPS)!!

Bad news: I don't own my own pedal wrench, or even the right size box wrench (my 9/16" is just that much too small, must be 15mm)

OK news: Using an allen wrench I was able to get the right pedal off (there's a hex hole on the tip of the pedal exposed through the crank), and install the right pedal extender (which is the more important one for my personal asymmetry). It's dark already, and I didn't want to try any kind of real ride with only one extender (sounds like a recipe for messing up my skeleton), so I just took it up and down the street.

It feels very good. In the past few weeks that I've had SPD clipless and MTB shoes (Performance/Forte Traverse), my right foot has been feeling very Varus or Vulgus, whichever one would mean that the outside of my foot is doing all the work, and tendons above the outside of my right ankle not feeling good. I was thinking about making a homemade wedge out of cardboard to beef up the left side of my right insole.

But with the right extender, I have an unusual, but pleasant, sensation of pushing outwards, instead of straight downwards. My whole right foot feels pretty comfortable, squarely on the pedal with even pressure. I'll try to borrow my buddy's pedal wrench tomorrow night and take a little longer test drive.

As for the extenders, they are beefy! Black metal instead of stainless steel (seems like the same kind of black metal that constitutes the wrenchy part of my pedals), they feel quite heavy, and they have (on all 4 sides) flat edges that my 3/4" box wrench works great on (maybe it's supposed to be 19mm, but the 3/4" seems plenty snug). So maybe a Weight Nazi would prefer to pay bigger money for more refined (lighter, shinier) extenders from kneesavers.com, but for a Clyde like me, an ounce or two here or there doesn't make a difference and I prefer a lower price.

Not only are they thick, they're also long (that's what she said!). They give me a whopping 28.5mm of extension! kneesavers.com recommends starting at 20mm and working up if that's not enough (and they have a $5 restocking fee exchange policy if at first you buy the wrong size). Hopefully these 28.5s work for me, because there were not size gradients on offer at the Amazon/Niagara Cycle Works storefront.

More info when I get both of them on and take a longer ride!
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Old 09-26-11, 09:46 PM   #23
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my right foot has been feeling very Varus or Vulgus, whichever one would mean that the outside of my foot is doing all the work, and tendons above the outside of my right ankle not feeling good. I was thinking about making a homemade wedge out of cardboard to beef up the left side of my right insole.

But with the right extender, I have an unusual, but pleasant, sensation of pushing outwards, instead of straight downwards. My whole right foot feels pretty comfortable, squarely on the pedal with even pressure. I'll try to borrow my buddy's pedal wrench tomorrow night and take a little longer test drive.

As for the extenders, they are beefy! Black metal instead of stainless steel (seems like the same kind of black metal that constitutes the wrenchy part of my pedals), they feel quite heavy, and they have (on all 4 sides) flat edges that my 3/4" box wrench works great on (maybe it's supposed to be 19mm, but the 3/4" seems plenty snug). So maybe a Weight Nazi would prefer to pay bigger money for more refined (lighter, shinier) extenders from kneesavers.com, but for a Clyde like me, an ounce or two here or there doesn't make a difference and I prefer a lower price.

Not only are they thick, they're also long (that's what she said!). They give me a whopping 28.5mm of extension! kneesavers.com recommends starting at 20mm and working up if that's not enough (and they have a $5 restocking fee exchange policy if at first you buy the wrong size). Hopefully these 28.5s work for me, because there were not size gradients on offer at the Amazon/Niagara Cycle Works storefront.

More info when I get both of them on and take a longer ride!
In a simple definition, Varus is for a joint angled inward, Valgus is for a joint angled outward. As far as knees go varus deformity = bowlegged, valgus deformity = knock-kneed.
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Old 09-26-11, 10:59 PM   #24
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Neil,
Question for you. I have had my extenders on since saturday. Do you feel any flex issues when pushing through a hill or standing. My left crank arm is not giving me warm fuzzies
As for the net affect so far, the fitter tried a couple variations and finally went with 20mm right side and 25mm left. Although the right side seems to have evened out the pressure on the ball of my foot, I think we went too far on the left as now (30 miles of my saturday ride was with the extenders and a 15 mile ride today) the hot spot I was getting on the outside of my foot is on the inside
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Old 09-26-11, 11:03 PM   #25
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Neil,
Question for you. I have had my extenders on since saturday. Do you feel any flex issues when pushing through a hill or standing. My left crank arm is not giving me warm fuzzies
As for the net affect so far, the fitter tried a couple variations and finally went with 20mm right side and 25mm left. Although the right side seems to have evened out the pressure on the ball of my foot, I think we went too far on the left as now (30 miles of my saturday ride was with the extenders and a 15 mile ride today) the hot spot I was getting on the outside of my foot is on the inside
I can't discuss the fit issues since I don't ride clipless. As far as flex goes, there is more than there would be with a shorter crankarm. I don't stand when climbing. I do stand from time to time, but I don't notice that much flex. Some, but not much.
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