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  1. #1
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    Moving cleats back on shoe?

    OK...I know "ball of the foot" is supposed to be the "correct" way to pedal, but it's never felt natural to me. I tend to push from a little further back. Sometimes even on the arches.

    Until I got clipless pedals. Now, because of the cleats, my feet are locked into the "correct" position. But it still doesn't feel natural to me. I've done at least a hundred miles this way including my Friday commute, 32 miles each way.

    I noticed on the bottom of my shoes there is another set of holes the cleats can be screwed into, a little further back than the ones the LBS guy installed my cleats too. I took off the cleats, and while there are clearly markings on the sole indicating that the forward set of holes is to be used, they attach to the rearward set of holes just fine. I installed them there and took a quick test ride. It feels better to me.

    So what are those other holes there for if not for an alternative cleat position? Does anybody else do this? Is there a good reason I shouldn't?

  2. #2
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    I guess you don't know that the whole plate (with the holes) can be moved forward or back. This movement and 2 sets of holes on the plate should help you get the best position for cleats.
    Last edited by ttopaz; 07-01-07 at 06:01 PM.

  3. #3
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    Here is some information on cleat placement from a website devoted to ultra long distance cycling.

    I moved my cleats back and have been riding them that way for several years. I think it is more comfortable.


    http://www.ultracycling.com/equipmen...onneuring.html

    "The text book location for cleat location is under the ball of the foot, but many long distance cyclists have gained from the wisdom of Lon Haldeman by moving their cleats much further back."

  4. #4
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    I guess you can try all the way back like http://www2.trainingbible.com/joesbl...-position.html.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttopaz
    I guess you don't know that the whole plate (with the holes) can be moved forward or back. This movement and 2 sets of holes on the plate should help you get the best position for cleats.
    [SMACKS FOREHEAD]

    I thought it had a little bit of "give", but I didn't want to break anything.

  6. #6
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    I know that this is not obvious in some shoes that are not exposing the plate under the liner.
    Usually, after attaching the cleats and before tightening them up, you can move the cleats with the plate forward or backward.

  7. #7
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WesMorrison
    So what are those other holes there for if not for an alternative cleat position? Does anybody else do this? Is there a good reason I shouldn't?
    My Specialized mtb shoes have a front and rear set of holes (in addition to fore/aft adjustment). Because of foot size and leg length discrepencies, my right cleat is in the rear holes and my left in the front. Do what works!

  8. #8
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    My cleats are placed almost as far back as they can go ... helps prevent 'hotfoot'.

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    What about left and right, as in to bring you closer to the crank. Also what about angle?
    someone told me that if you walks a bit a like a duck (toe out) then you should keep that stance on the pedals?!

  10. #10
    Senior Member tntyz's Avatar
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    I've moved mine back a bit a few weeks ago. Still getting used to the new ride, including which muscles are now my limiting factor. Coincidentally, noticed that the latest Bicycling Magazine addresses this same issue.

  11. #11
    foolishly delirious RatedZeroHero's Avatar
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    mine are forward...

    and just a little bit 'toe in' i tried and tried straight and other positions but that just hurt my knees...

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    Some shoes will place your cleats further back on the foot by themselves; my Answer shoes do that, compared to the 661's and Sette's I had previously.

    Personally, I prefer the cleats further forward, but that's me. Do what works, that's why most SPD shoes are slotted.

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    I went for a 25 miles ride today. Yesterday I spent some time adjusting my cleats. I ended up moving them a bit to the front (from the original placement all the way back) and also toe-ing out my one foot a little bit (the of the knee that hurt). I have to say that I felt very confortable on the bike today and no extra pain. Just a little soreness form the day before but I was not further hurting my self.

    In short, cleat placement has a lot to do with knee pain. I am going to try to adjust my cleats so that my legs are as close to the inner tube as posible. I think this is going to give me a little more power and make it even more confortable.

  14. #14
    Senior Member shouldberiding's Avatar
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    My cleats are pretty far back, probably still have 1/4" left. I never could fathom how having the cleat on the front holes pushed anywhere near the front would work for anyone. That's not anywhere near the ball of the foot. You'd think shoe manufacturers would bias the slots more towards the rear of the shoe than they currently do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shouldberiding View Post
    My cleats are pretty far back, probably still have 1/4" left. I never could fathom how having the cleat on the front holes pushed anywhere near the front would work for anyone. That's not anywhere near the ball of the foot. You'd think shoe manufacturers would bias the slots more towards the rear of the shoe than they currently do.
    Don't know your physical dimensions, but speaking as a Clyde, I can tell you -- my cleats are as far forward as the shoes will allow. Too far back, it gets into the arch of my foot -- PAINFUL! As I said earlier, the type of shoe can affect that, as well. Tried my old Sette's yesterday, with the cleat 'near the front of the ball of my foot'; I feel now that it could be about 2-3mm back, but that's all, and that still isn't anywhere near where the Answer shoes place them. If I could get the Answers to mount the cleat about 4-5mm forward, I'd be in hog heaven.

    I'm guessing your shoe size (Euro) is less than about 40 or 41.

  16. #16
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    There's an article in the latest Bicycling mag about cleat placement. Pretty decent little writeup. For the most part it said that for most people the cleat will actually be behind the ball, how much depending on shoe size ranges.

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    What you are considering doing (moving cleats back) is good for recreational cyclists that are not worried about sudden acceleration and want maximum comfort. As you move them forward you get more power. There is a very good article on this in the most recent Bicycling magazine that I just received in the mail.
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

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    scan and post is

  19. #19
    Senior Member shouldberiding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
    Don't know your physical dimensions, but speaking as a Clyde, I can tell you -- my cleats are as far forward as the shoes will allow. Too far back, it gets into the arch of my foot -- PAINFUL! As I said earlier, the type of shoe can affect that, as well. Tried my old Sette's yesterday, with the cleat 'near the front of the ball of my foot'; I feel now that it could be about 2-3mm back, but that's all, and that still isn't anywhere near where the Answer shoes place them. If I could get the Answers to mount the cleat about 4-5mm forward, I'd be in hog heaven.

    I'm guessing your shoe size (Euro) is less than about 40 or 41.
    45, actually. And wide. Different shoes is all. With the cleat all the way forward it would be just in front of the ball of my foot. Pretty much in line with the front of my pinky toe, actually. I can spin more easily with them nudged back.

    Quote Originally Posted by dekindy
    What you are considering doing (moving cleats back) is good for recreational cyclists that are not worried about sudden acceleration and want maximum comfort. As you move them forward you get more power. There is a very good article on this in the most recent Bicycling magazine that I just received in the mail.
    You can also develop nasty, nasty achilles pain if you have your cleats too far forward. Many people are more prone to hot spots as well with the cleats pushed forward.
    Last edited by shouldberiding; 09-12-09 at 11:04 PM.

  20. #20
    Velocommuter Commando Sirrus Rider's Avatar
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    I think foot placement is correct either way: Traditional ball-of-the-foot or Arch. Ball of the foot when harnessed to proper seat height mimics bipedal sprinting whereas Arch mimics the stride of a distance runner..
    Riding 19 Years of Specialized Sirrus Tradition.
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  21. #21
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    Funny this should come up right now. The new issue of Bicycling Magazine has a story about moving your cleats back:
    http://bicycling.com/article/0,6610,...0565-1,00.html
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  22. #22
    Senior Member FlatSix911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
    Funny this should come up right now. The new issue of Bicycling Magazine has a story about moving your cleats back:
    http://bicycling.com/article/0,6610,...0565-1,00.html
    Here is the full text from the article in the September 2009 issue of Bicycling:

    Put extra power in your pedals by repositioning your cleats
    By Selene Yeager

    Two years ago, Joe Friel, author of The "Training Bible" Series, decided to follow the advice of Goetz Heine, a former pro cyclist and shoe designer who'd recommended he push his cleats all the way back to the arch of his shoe. (He actually punched holes in the sole of his Shimano shoes to do so.) Friel improved his sustainable power-to-heart-rate ratio by a stunning 9 percent. "That's obviously an extreme example," says Steve Hogg, a renowned expert on cycling fit. "But it happens. I have one elite customer who, after major changes in cleat position, improved his personal best over a 43-kilometer time trial by three minutes. Most riders can make a difference in their performance with a change in cleat position." Here's Hogg's advice for shifting your cleats to pick up a little easy speed.

    MOVE TOWARD THE AFT Your calves work hard to stabilize your foot on the pedal as you ride; cleat position affects just how hard. The farther forward the cleat, the more effort your calves expend. "I've found over many years that the great majority of riders perform better with the ball of the foot in front of the pedal axle on a conventional shoe," says Hogg, who recommends the following as starting placements. (Note: Mark your old position in case you experience knee pain or other discomfort.)

    SHOE SIZE - MOVE CLEAT BACK
    • 36-38 7-9mm
    • 39-41 8-10mm
    • 42-43 9-11mm
    • 44-45 10-12mm
    • 46-47 11-14mm
    • 48-50 12-16mm

    DIAL IT IN Placing your cleats toward the front of your shoe does offer a benefit: You can apply higher peak torque to your pedals. Your ideal cleat position should provide the torque you need without the calf fatigue you don't. Depending on what kind of riding you do, adjust your cleats accordingly: PURE SPRINTER (TRACK) Move the cleats forward from the recommendations above. Endurance isn't a major factor in sprinting, so calf fatigue isn't an issue.

    ROAD RACER (CRITS, DAY RACES) Move cleats as recommended in the chart above, so that the pedal axle sits a bit behind the ball of the foot. Rearward cleats allow your big muscles to work better and keep your calves fresher over the long haul.

    DISTANCE, TIME-TRIAL AND RECREATIONAL RIDERS If you have little need for sudden acceleration, move the cleats even farther back toward the midfoot. An added benefit: Some find this position helps them eliminate "hot foot" and other painful conditions that arise from pressure on the feet.

    REMEMBER: If you move the cleats any meaningful amount, you will need to adjust your saddle height, says Hogg.

    SET THE CLEAT ANGLE Your heel shouldn't hit the crank when you turn it inward, but you do want some rotation. Mount the cleats so there is about a finger-width of space between the heel of the shoe and the crankarm. To set the cleat angle, Hogg recommends the following procedure:

    While riding at a solid pace, stop pedaling and coast. Try to move your right heel toward the crank arm. If you can't, angle the front of the cleat toward the inner edge of the shoe, and then retest until you can wiggle your heel inward. Then, repeat the pedal-and-coast test, but this time, try to turn your heel away from the bike. If it's stuck, angle the nose of the cleat farther toward the outside of the shoe. Retest until you even the amount of heel movement in and out of your natural rotational angle. Repeat the process with your left foot.

  23. #23
    Senior Member bismillah's Avatar
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    I know this is an old thread. But I was having a little bit of left calf pain. So, I moved my cleats all the way back. Now the pain has moved from the left side of my calf to right behind my knee.

    Any ideas?
    Last edited by bismillah; 11-08-09 at 02:33 PM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bismillah View Post
    I know this is an old thread. But I was having a little bit of left calf pain. So, I moved my cleats all the way back. Now the pain has moved from the left side of my calf to right behind my knee.

    Any ideas?
    Well, that's a pretty large move if the cleat was up pretty far before. Big moves on your cleats like that can cause serious injury.

  25. #25
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I've always put my cleats all the way to the rear of the slots. Once I even elongated the slots by 1/4 inch so I could move the cleats back further. I believe, regardless of what the 'experts' might say, that the pedal axle shoud line up just *behind* the balls of your feet.

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