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Old 03-18-11, 01:17 PM   #1
jppe
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Friendly reminder to make small adjustments to cleat position!

And the same applies to saddle positions as well.

After all the health issues I was finally able to get back on the bike after about a 3 months absence. I needed to replace my cleats and in doing so I noticed that one cleat was all the way towards the arch of my foot while the one on the other shoe was all the way forward. Since my preferred position was to have the cleats closer to the arch of my foot I speculated that somehow the one furtherest away from the arch had moved over time.

Then again maybe not. I moved the one furthest away from the arch back closer to the arch and within 2-3 rides I developed a severe pain in the achilles. It was very painful during the ride and would remain painful for 2-3 days afterwards. I could even feel the tendons sliding up under my skin and down as I moved my ankle due to the swelling.

After continuing to have the pain for several weeks I finally moved the cleat a little futher away from my arch and like magic..........the pain didn't resurface. I only rode 40 miles with no hills but normally it would really start hurting around 10-15 miles so I'm hoping it's fixed for good. What I did notice was that I picked up some slight additional "pain" in my right knee that still has some fluid and swelling on it. Hopefully it is just adjusting to slighting different pressure points from pedaling.

It's amazing what even slight adjustments to cleats and saddle positions can do. I've probably ridden 10,000 miles with it the previous way with minimal issues. A good lesson on "Don't mess with happy"!

On the other hand--if you're having pain start with very slight adjustments--sometimes it doesn't take much to feel the difference.
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Old 03-18-11, 09:24 PM   #2
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Good reminder to look things over and make tweaks/corrections/adjustments from time to time. I would think that is even more critical for people like you who ride hard and lots of miles. I AM kind of surprised that you hadn't noticed a cleat shift like that before, assuming it was a serendipitous "accident" that it moved. If it was a deliberate change you had made previously, I would assume you would have remembered it. In any case it is surprising how much difference a little adjustment can make sometimes.

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Old 03-19-11, 07:38 AM   #3
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Cleat position and I always have them as near the front as possible-But that is for me. However the angle of the cleats is the awkward one to get right. Toe in a bit too much on the foot and I get knee pain- but some toe in is required.

My problem came about 2 years ago when "New" shoes and "New" cleats were used. Fitted them and they felt fine. Out for the ride and first stop and a quick Trackstand and circle round before the dismount--Over the years and I had progressively tightened the tension on the pedals as they were getting tired. No they weren't but 10 year old cleats get a bit of wear in them that does require a tight pedal.

Saddle position and that is always right and only takes a couple of minutes to reset if any adjustment required-----Till one ride and I did not tighten the seat clamp bolt enough and the seat slowly lowered. Butt pain gradually came in over the next 30 miles till I was in pain. The saddle had only lowered by 10mm but that was enough to make me think I had done a double Century.
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Old 03-19-11, 08:44 AM   #4
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I always carry a multi-tool with me, for slight tweaks while riding. I don't use it much but you'd be surprised how many riders have borrowed it during rides to adjust their, cleats, saddle height/angle, handle bars, fix a broken chain, adjust their brakes, etc.

I can't understand how someone will spend $$$$ on an new bike or new shoes and not have the shop adjust them for fit. Oh well, I have a teenager and he doesn't listen to me either. I carry a small multi-tool made by Lysene and fits under my seat bag.
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Old 03-19-11, 10:18 AM   #5
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It seems a bit strange since normally one would move the cleat closer to the arch to lessen the strain on the achilles. Is it possible that the cleat position had been moved forward to compensate for a slightly shorter leg? When you moved to rearward you would cause that foot to have to go toe down at the bottom of the stroke. Anyway, don't mess with achilles tendon pain. It can really become chronic and/or slow healing.
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Old 03-19-11, 03:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
It seems a bit strange since normally one would move the cleat closer to the arch to lessen the strain on the achilles. Is it possible that the cleat position had been moved forward to compensate for a slightly shorter leg? When you moved to rearward you would cause that foot to have to go toe down at the bottom of the stroke. Anyway, don't mess with achilles tendon pain. It can really become chronic and/or slow healing.
Could be-I'm sure I've adjusted the cleat over time after a fitting to compensate for knee pain in just one knee. Anyway, I rode some good hills today and was fairly pain free. I'll take that!
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