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  1. #1
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    Heel Touching Crankset

    I've been noticing my right heel touching my crankset on my Allez as my right foot goes down in the pedal stroke. I don't think it's good, partly because it's annoying, and partly because I must be rubbing off a little bit of my power (don't snicker) each time this happens.

    Right now I'm using touring pedals (no clips), a 105 triple crankset, and I wear running shoes. I've been toying with the idea of going clipless on my Allez for a long time. Now I might have some reasons:
    • I'm thinking road shoes have narrower heels than my running shoes, which would be less likely to rub on the crankset.
    • I'm also thinking the clips will keep my feet pointed where they belong and will lessen their likelihood of "wandering" into the crankset.
    • I'd also just like to give clipless a try. I rejected toeclips years ago (after giving them several tries) and I'm not backsliding on that, but I think clipless might be a little easier to get in and out of.

    I'm leaning towards Look Keos, and I think the Sprints are about in my price range. I have size 14 feet. My LBS has some Specialized road shoes - 48's I think - that seem really comfortable but with stiff soles.

    I'm wondering about the float. I'm thinking I'll start with the normal cleats. I understand they have a certain degree of float but not as much as others. I'm thinking that the ones with more float might make my feet more likely to rub the crankset. I'm thinking the ones with no float would prevent this, but might cause me soreness, especially since I'm not used to clipless.

    Any thoughts on any of this? Are Keo's suitable for large feet? (They're not overly wide, just really big and long.) I've read that Ultegras are wider, but I've also read that they're harder to unclip from, even when the tension is dialed all the way down.

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    Hi

    HI ,
    I started with the crank brothers, on my bikes they are very easy to unclip compared to Keo and some of the other types,
    The MTB shoes are the wrong hole pattern for keo petals most mtb shoes are two holed,
    Doug

  3. #3
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    I'm a size 13 and have been using Look ARCs for a while now and am happy with them. I never had a problem with heel strike on the crank but do hit the chain stay on the drive side now and then. Not sure this will eliminate the problem for you unless you get fixed cleats but you may be able to compensate some by mounting the cleat further to the inboard side of the shoe. Just experiment and see what works.

  4. #4
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    Cycling shoes do have narrow heels and this may help.
    Don't try to force your feet to point straight ahead if that isn't natural. I have size 13 and I toe-out so I am familiar with the heel hitting the crank and the stays.
    I use Kneesavers.

  5. #5
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    You might try a ride or two where you concentrate on keeping your knees a little closer to the top tube. Your heels will rotate out a bit and......................... your aerodynamics will improve a bit.

  6. #6
    Recovering mentalist Randochap's Avatar
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    My right heel tends to brush the crankarm. I "naturally" pedal heel-in on that side. I use Speedplay pedals to allow the kind of float needed. I adjust the cleat in on that side.

    Getting rid of the running shoes is the first basic step, so to speak. But beware locking your feet into an unnatural position. This will just transfer the issue to another joint.
    VeloWeb | VeloWebLog

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  7. #7
    Old, SLOW bike rider! ;)
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    I also do that but it's kinda my fault as you see, "I'm a coward"! I've had a couple of friends hurt badly (broken bones) from not getting out the the clipless pedals, heck I won't even use clips with straps, I use the old "METAL" Christoper half clips.

    The problem seems to be that with "modern" non-clipless pedals, the only have "ONE" position where you can mount the bolts/clip and it's not far enough to the outside of the pedal, even with the little bit of adjustment spacing on the clip itself. Back in the 80's, the pedals seem to have a "open space" across the whole pedal area, (at least the one's I had on both my Univega road touring bike and my Raleigh hardtail mtb) so I could place the clip right where in need it.

    The other problem seems to be my physical build, I'm severely KNOCK KNEED, ie: my knees don't point straight, they point way to the "outside" which put's a lot more pressure on the "inside" of my knee and seems to make it so I have to have the "clip" more to the outside of pedal for it to be truely comfortable. Bummer huh I guess all I can do is keep looking for the "right" pedals.
    Last edited by bjjoondo; 04-30-09 at 06:58 PM. Reason: missing information
    Take care, RIDE SAFE, have FUN!
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  8. #8
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjjoondo View Post
    I also do that but it's kinda my fault as you see, "I'm a coward"! I've had a couple of friends hurt badly (broken bones) from not getting out the the clipless pedals, heck I won't even use clips with straps, I use the old "METAL" Christoper half clips.

    The problem seems to be that with "modern" non-clipless pedals, the only have "ONE" position where you can mount the bolts/clip and it's not far enough to the outside of the pedal, even with the little bit of adjustment spacing on the clip itself. Back in the 80's, the pedals seem to have a "open space" across the whole pedal area, (at least the one's I had on both my Univega road touring bike and my Raleigh hardtail mtb) so I could place the clip right where in need it.

    The other problem seems to be my physical build, I'm severely KNOCK KNEED, ie: my knees don't point straight, they point way to the "outside" which put's a lot more pressure on the "inside" of my knee and seems to make it so I have to have the "clip" more to the outside of pedal for it to be truely comfortable. Bummer huh I guess all I can do is keep looking for the "right" pedals.
    There is a device that moves the pedals outboard. It is a small "shaft extender" that screws on to the end of the pedal thread to make it a little longer.

    http://www.kneesaver.net/

  9. #9
    Old, SLOW bike rider! ;)
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
    There is a device that moves the pedals outboard. It is a small "shaft extender" that screws on to the end of the pedal thread to make it a little longer.

    http://www.kneesaver.net/
    Howdy and thanks, I sent them an e-mail with my problem asking if they thought their product might help with my problem, again, thanks for the link, it's very much appreciated!
    Take care, RIDE SAFE, have FUN!
    B.J. Ondo
    1993 Mongoose Switchback MTB, converted to a "comfort bike"! :)

  10. #10
    Senior Member gpelpel's Avatar
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    If your toes are pointing to the outside there's a good chance your heel will touch the crank. Some pedals offer various settings to adjust the 'q-factor', that's the technical term for the distance between the pedal and the crank. The most usual method is via the cleats, the same cleat attached to the right shoe offers a wider q-factor than if attached to the left shoe.
    Note that the cleat threads are not positioned the same way on a different shoe brand. My feet used to touch the crank when I was using Pearl Izumi Vagabond shoes, since switching to Sidi Genius 5 they don't touch anymore.
    I would advise working on the shoe and cleats before buying a shaft extender. An extender may cause an armful effect on your hips (too much q-factor) and weaken the pedal to crank link (loss of stiffness).

  11. #11
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    I admit I have this issue in anything but real cycling shoes. I have a pair of tennis-like shoes that have a narrow heal, but even then I get a bit of strike on my fixed gear with cages.

    Fortunately cycling shoes on SPD-SL pedals don't have the same issues for me. YMMV.
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  12. #12
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    Most pedalling is learned

    HI,
    I noticed that we can start to develope patterns when we ride, that feel normal but may not be in the best interest for our knee's.
    I also had problems with my left heel striking the frame, I went to mtb pedals to much drift and the pedal surface felt to narrow and my foot rocked around a little, and after a few months finally went to keo style pedals with red cleats and after another few months tried the black or locked cleats, when I installed the cleats on my shoes I adjusted the cleat to point my toes in a little this pulled my knee's in and at first it felt off, but after a while it seemed more normal.This also required a minor seat adjustement due to the extra lenght My legs had to grow muscles in new spots after the change in ridding style.any adjustment will require time to be sure its right and not new..
    Its amazing how quickly we can adjust to bad ridding habits and not realize they can be bad mechanics.
    I also found out I have leg lenght problems that tend to favor my right leg. SO I put pads under my cleats that force my foot to the outside of the pedal and lean a little to the outside of the pedal this felt off at first but soon became normal after a few rides and may prevent further problems this improved the tracking of the patella over the knee preventing pain..
    Doug
    each person has unique bones and body parts from torso lenght to arm/leg. so fit is key..

    here's some neat stuff for your bicycle shoes and cleats

    http://www.bikefit.com/products.php
    Last edited by djnzlab1; 04-30-09 at 08:15 PM.

  13. #13
    thompsonpost
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
    I've been noticing my right heel touching my crankset on my Allez as my right foot goes down in the pedal stroke. I don't think it's good, partly because it's annoying, and partly because I must be rubbing off a little bit of my power (don't snicker) each time this happens.

    Right now I'm using touring pedals (no clips), a 105 triple crankset, and I wear running shoes. I've been toying with the idea of going clipless on my Allez for a long time. Now I might have some reasons:
    • I'm thinking road shoes have narrower heels than my running shoes, which would be less likely to rub on the crankset.
    • I'm also thinking the clips will keep my feet pointed where they belong and will lessen their likelihood of "wandering" into the crankset.
    • I'd also just like to give clipless a try. I rejected toeclips years ago (after giving them several tries) and I'm not backsliding on that, but I think clipless might be a little easier to get in and out of.

    I'm leaning towards Look Keos, and I think the Sprints are about in my price range. I have size 14 feet. My LBS has some Specialized road shoes - 48's I think - that seem really comfortable but with stiff soles.

    I'm wondering about the float. I'm thinking I'll start with the normal cleats. I understand they have a certain degree of float but not as much as others. I'm thinking that the ones with more float might make my feet more likely to rub the crankset. I'm thinking the ones with no float would prevent this, but might cause me soreness, especially since I'm not used to clipless.

    Any thoughts on any of this? Are Keo's suitable for large feet? (They're not overly wide, just really big and long.) I've read that Ultegras are wider, but I've also read that they're harder to unclip from, even when the tension is dialed all the way down.
    Regardless of all that stuff, make a conscious effort to keep yor knees close to the top tube and your heels will be forced outward. Believe me, it works, even in mtb riding, which I do.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Eclectus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big john View Post
    Cycling shoes do have narrow heels and this may help.
    Don't try to force your feet to point straight ahead if that isn't natural. I have size 13 and I toe-out so I am familiar with the heel hitting the crank and the stays.
    I use Kneesavers.
    +1 Same here. If you have natural heel-in tendency, artificially torquing your knee via straight-mount cleats to clear the crank or chainstay may damage your knee. or not. You have to figure it out. Road shoes will definitely be narrower at heel, so maybe with them you can maintain current foot angle, and miss the crank as you hope.

  15. #15
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    I had a similar problem with the right foot, even with cycling shoes. (No doubt, however, that the heel will be thinner than running shoes.) I tried all manner of fixes until I found something that worked. I tried KneeSavers, but then I started having problems with my hips. The additional width they created didn't match the way my hips wanted to naturally move. I tried cleats with no float, but they were tough on my knees. It wasn't until after I had a Retul professional fitting that the solution was found. I don't know the technical term for it, but here's what was going on. When I walk I tend to wear out my shoe on the outer edge first, and this is even greater on the right leg/foot. I tend to be ever so slightly bowleged.... not so much that you can really notice it unless you're really looking hard to see it. In any event I now have a small wedge under the inside (toward the crank) of my cleat. While this seems counter intuitive, it actually allows my foot to put more equal pressure across it's width on the bottom of the shoe. My leg tracks in a straighter line (as evidenced by the Retul computer graphics), my heel no longer touches the crank arm, my output in watts has gone up, and knee, leg, and hip pain are gone.

    The lesson I learned was that there are many dynamics going into a pedal stroke and it may be hard to track down what is causing it. I found that after years of trial and error, going to a very good professional fitter using a very good fitting system helped solve this perplexing problem with remarkable ease.
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  16. #16
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I don't know about Keo cleats, but the older Look Delta black cleats (non-float) have no float at all that I could perceive. My knees could not tolerate them. The red cleats work very well for me. I would try to move my foot away from the crank by mounting the cleat closer to the left edge of the right shoe. I would also try Max's suggestion of keeping the knees closer to the top tube. Forcing the foot to an unnatural position via the cleat does not sound like a good idea.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  17. #17
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    I just got videoed from behind recently running on a tread mill during the purchase of running shoes. I run toes out, and my right foot wobbles left/right while in the air and plants with the foot tilted out. When I get knee pain, it's always the right knee.

    I'm readjusting my cleats to allow my toes to point out more and may resort to the pedal extenders as well. I may experiment with cleat wedges.

    My SPD cleats seem to allow adequate float to let my feet wander in their natural range adequately. I just need to make sure they are adjusted to the correct angle to pedal toes out.

    Al
    Last edited by alcanoe; 05-01-09 at 07:33 AM.

  18. #18
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    For road pedals, I use Speedplay Zeroes that allow the float to be adjusted. I adjust the stops so that my heel just misses the crank arm. I haven't used Kneesavers, but they would help also. Using pedals that have little or no float will force your feet and knees into unnatural positions is not good. My feet are size 13 and my natural stance is with heels together and my forefeet spread widely apart.

  19. #19
    Senior Member oldbobcat's Avatar
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    Most running shoes have flared heels so it's no wonder you're bumping them into things. At the very least, get some shoes with a stiffer sole and narrower heel.

    As for which pedal/shoe combination to use, everybody else seems to have so much more expertise than I do, so listen to them. For the record, though, I recently switched from Look Delta to Time RXS and I'm very happy with the results.

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