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  1. #1
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    Clipless pedals question

    I'm a new rider, been riding a Trek hybrid for a couple months.
    I just bought some SPD type pedals and went on my first ride, about 15 miles. My ankles are killing me, I suspect I don't have the cleats in the right position? They are parallel to the shoe bottom, in the farthest forward position. Any ideas?
    Regards,

    Bill

  2. #2
    Dances with Rocks Dirtgrinder's Avatar
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    Mine are all the way back with my heels slightly inward. When I tried them straight, my knees hurt. With them all the forward as you have them, I would think that would put a lot more strain on your ankles. Try moving them back and see if that helps. DG
    If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough...

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    Firstly, dont ride so far in an untried position or you will hurt yourself. Dont ride hard in a new position either.

    Everybody has different feet, the point of rotation and the natural angle of alignment vary, so you have to find what works for you.

    Try finding your foots natural point of rotation. The pedals should have some free rotation or float, that may be adjustable by changing cleats. Also the release pressure is adjustable.

  4. #4
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    I find clipless pedals to be a great improvement. With the right position your feet can float over the pedals, due to the fact you can pull them up and takes pressure off your heels.
    My suggestions. Allow some free play so your feet can rotate and use them to pull up and not always downward pressure. One suggestion, note how your feel position themselves when you are sitting vis a viz the floor. Duplicate this position as related to how you screw your cleats to your shoes. Also the best contact point is below the metatarsal bones. This hard surface seems to difuse the pressure across the feet.

  5. #5
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    Hi Billgear,
    Most people I have run across have their cleats in the center position with a 3 position shoe. I have my cleats in the back most position because it feels better to me and seems to balance my foot better over the center of the pedal. I think the formost position you used put too much leverage on your ankels.

    Ride Safe...Dudley *S*

  6. #6
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Billgear,

    My first clipless pedals were Shimano M535. I now have them on my commuter bike.

    I have the cleats positioned so my foot is in a "natural", comfortable position regarding the heel in/out position. The cleats are positioned so the ball of my foot is slightly forward (1 or 2 millimeters) of the pedal axle.

    Try sitting on your bike with it mounted in a trainer or with someone holding it and move your foot around (forward, back, in, out) until the position of your foot feels comfortable.
    Then try riding a short distance and see how it feels. If necessary make minor adjustments until you are happy.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2011 Felt Z4

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  7. #7
    It's the fight in the man Rich's Avatar
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    I'd agree with Ron,

    Just let your foot relax over the pedal, and notice how it hangs, be it to the right slightly, or left.

    The ride it a short distance and see how it feels.

    Good luck!

    Rich
    Making New Zealand a safer place :)

  8. #8
    Ich bin ein Lowlander! toolfreak's Avatar
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    You can waste your knees and ankles, with SPD`s not right ajusted, as said above

    1: get on the bike with normal shoes, look at the natural position of your feet on flat pedals

    2: try to imitate, as far as possible this natural position on your SPD shoes, by moving the cleats.

    3: pay extra attention with a new position on pain in the joints.

    4: If it fits, grease and tighten your cleatbolts for the second time, these screws may come loose.

    Good luck with this improvement on your bike

    Mark







    Dancevalley 2th of august 2003 -> JXL, Laidback luke, Sasha, John Digweed, Monica Krusse.....and on!

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all the repleys, I moved the cleats back to the middle
    position and my ankles felt better. The right one still is giving me
    a slight problem (it been broken twice). My knees allways hurt for
    the first 5 miles or so, so it's hard to tell. I'm thinking about going to my LBS and getting fitted. I suspect my seat height needs to be changed also. I did have a nice fall today when I forgot about
    the new pedals, I had a intersting look on my face as I fell on my side *G*. Didn't hurt to bad...
    Regards,

    Bill

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    Sorry to hear about your fall Bill but don't feel bad. I'm sure everyone has done that at least once. I've done it twice!
    I was looking in a catologue and noticed that the chart gives a "Float" number. These numbers range from a 4 all the way to 26. Just what exactly does the number mean? Is it degrees of rotation? If so, maybe you need a pedal that gives you more freedom?

  11. #11
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    I got the Shimano spd-536, it had 5 degrees of float. I don't see
    my foot doing much moving or twisting during riding. After reading
    some of the posts I'm worried I'm going to mess my self up. Riding with regular shoes and transfering the info to the bikeing shoes is easier said then done!
    Regards,

    Bill

  12. #12
    Senior Member pat5319's Avatar
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    Make sure the Ball of your foot/rear joint of your big toe- is over the pedal axle. (I'm surprised no one has mentioned this)

    Align your cleats so your can keep your knees very close to the main tube easily, this will give you a straighter up and down stroke that willl reduce the likelihood of injury and also will give you more power. You may need may need to align your feet a little differently than your walking position. Many people mount their cleats so their heels are too far inboard which throws their knees outside of the pedals at the top of the stroke, which often leads, ( over time), to injury and also reduces your power. It is very important , especially to those with joint problems, that the knee is directly over the pedal throughout the stroke, have a friend ride behind you to check it. It is a very good idea to find a shop with a "Fit Kit" to do the initial adjustment as well.
    Ride Aligned
    Pat
    Pat5319


  13. #13
    It's the fight in the man Rich's Avatar
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    Heheh, I had to laugh about the fall..

    When I first got SPuD's on my bike, I fell off about 5 or 6 times, luckily none of them were at traffic lights...I can safely assume that I had a simular look on my face as you had!

    Take it easy out there!!!

    Rich
    Making New Zealand a safer place :)

  14. #14
    Those that can do, do do
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    Another thing to bear in mind is that the fit and subsequent tweak process takes time. I recently got a new bike and tranferred the measurements from a previous bike that I had been riding for years. Even though it appeared that everything was the same from one bike to the other the result was that the first 15 miler nearly killed my knees and back.

    The Moral, make the changes in small increments and give them an easy/moderate ride and see what happens especially if you are experiencing pain from a previous ride. Trying to determine if the pain is residual or induced from the new changes can often be difficult if you do not give yourself time to heal. It took several weeks, rides and some minute tweaking to finally get things right.

    A point to remember that is a common mistake and always gets people in trouble!
    Seat position is ONLY adjusted to alter the bodies relation to the pedals and NEVER to alter the relationship of the body to the handlebars (or 'reach' as it is sometimes called). After the seat position has been determined the 'reach' is altered by adjustments of the stem and handlebar combination.
    JAPH

  15. #15
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    26 degrees of float??? Holy cow!!!! You could do the twist while clipped in with those pedals!!:dance:
    Je vais à vélo, donc je suis!

  16. #16
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    The pedals with 26 degrees of float are Frogs. Is that much float a good thing (freedom) or a bad thing (sloppy)?

  17. #17
    Those that can do, do do
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    Originally posted by Pat O'Malley
    The pedals with 26 degrees of float are Frogs. Is that much float a good thing (freedom) or a bad thing (sloppy)?
    Been using Frogs for a long time. Love them, with a history of knee injury (football) I would say it's freedom.

    Every other system I've tried kills my knees. Have yet to try the Times, hear they are pretty good.

    From my experiences the foot does not 'wallow' around because you have the additional float it tends to just naturally use the amount it needs.

    Try 'em you'll like 'em!
    JAPH

  18. #18
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    I went to the LBS, my seat was aprox 2" to high. It wasn't a problem with the old style pedals. I guess i was riding with my foot pointed down. They gave me some good pointers about
    body/leg position. I felt much better on my ride today. I have alot
    more power with the new SPD's and a didn't fall over!! Life is good... I would like to thanks everyone for the help, It is appreciated!

    Regards,
    Bill
    www.289mustang.com
    Regards,

    Bill

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