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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 07-21-14, 06:39 AM   #1
mikeptocs
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SPD pedal suggestions?

While riding, I use a pair of MTB shoes with SPD cleats. I have zero beefs with my current pedals except one. When riding for longer periods of time (probably greater than 3-4 hours) I will frequently develop "hot spots" on the ball of my foot. I've tried different insoles and different socks and have tried moving the cleat here and there. I can't remember what model pedal I have, but it is a basic 2-sided entry Shimano SPD MTB pedal, similar to a PD-M520.

Does anyone in the BF universe have suggestions for SPD compatible pedals that would distribute the pressure over a greater surface area? All advice appreciated.

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Old 07-21-14, 06:44 AM   #2
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Time to visit a Foot Doctor.
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Old 07-21-14, 02:40 PM   #3
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You can buy Shimano PD-M520s with a larger plastic pedal that fits around the cleat. That would spread out the contact surface more. Perhaps you can buy the plastic surrounding pedals separately. I've been using the PD-M540s for a while, gradually switching over my fleet from Looks, and I haven't had any problems with hot spots.
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Old 07-22-14, 10:15 AM   #4
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Tarwheel, do you happen to know where I could find those plastic cages? My current pedals are M520 or something very similar.
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Old 07-22-14, 10:50 AM   #5
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Time to visit a Foot Doctor.
No, this is a common issue with SPDs and there's nothing a podiatrist can do about it. If you have hot spots, you do and that says SPDs aren't a good pedal for you. People with hot spots are better advised to go with a pedal that has a larger surface area. That will solve the problem and will be much faster and cheaper than a visit to a podiatrist.

Others have since mentioned a stiffer sole, which can be very beneficial as well. I bought a nice pair of carbon-soled shoes that I've used for years with my SPDs and have no issues whatsoever with them.

Last edited by cafzali; 07-22-14 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 07-22-14, 11:03 AM   #6
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I had hot foot using SDP-SL cleats and pedals. I switched to SPD and have not had any issues since. The difference is the Mnt bike shoe cost some $$ and has a carbon sole. I started using the 540 and had no issues then moved to the 520's. I like being able to get off the bike and walk around without the issues with the road cleats.
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Old 07-22-14, 11:08 AM   #7
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In my experience, foot hot-spots are caused by:

* Cycling shoes that have too flexible outsoles. Your shoes might be great for mountain biking and walking around on technical terrain, but for long-distance riding they are not so good.

* Cleats that are positioned too far to the front. Many successful long distance cyclists tend to have their cleats positioned all the way to the back.

The biggest issue, IMO, is your shoes. You might want to invest in new MTB shoes with very stiff outsoles (e.g., made of carbon fiber) before you invest in new pedals with a larger surface. I don't like to advertise for a particular brand, but I've found that Specialized shoes allow for cleats that can be pushed farther back than most other brands. They also have a rating for the stiffness of their outsoles. Look for "6" or above. A stiff outsole will spread the pressure while pedaling through its entire surface relieving pressure on the fore to the mid section of the foot.

Last edited by Chris Pringle; 07-22-14 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 07-22-14, 12:09 PM   #8
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Or a stiff Insole to stiffen up what ever shoe you like , otherwise.
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Old 07-22-14, 01:16 PM   #9
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I concur with Chris that you need a stiff sole, and you ought to adjust your cleat position.

The pedal itself won't make a difference, because it isn't changing the size of the cleat / contact area.
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Old 08-02-14, 11:40 AM   #10
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I used Shimano A530 for 5+ years and had problems with hot spots as well. Changed to Shimano A600 ~2 years ago and that worked pretty well for me. The shoes I have for the past ~3 years are Shimano M087.
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Old 08-02-14, 09:47 PM   #11
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Shimano PD-A600. I have used them on everything from a full serries to a 1200k. Great pedals.
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Old 08-05-14, 07:46 PM   #12
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your feet swell on longer rides. I have seen people say that the pedal contact patch makes a difference, but right now I only have carbon soled shoes with high stiffness, and I don't see that correlation. I actually had pretty good luck with some really crummy shoes with plastic soles that would bend, at least from a hot spot perspective.

One issue people don't realize is that when your foot swells, it's quite possible to have that push your nerves into the shoe and cause hot spots and neuromas. The shoes I use most often are large for my feet. I don't find that to be an issue, and it keeps the hot spots at bay
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Old 08-05-14, 08:46 PM   #13
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This is the pedal adapter [h=1]Shimano SPD Platform and Reflector Set PD22[/h]: Shimano SPD Platform and Reflector Set (100095271) at CambriaBike.com
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Old 08-05-14, 08:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Time to visit a Foot Doctor.
+1
And have said doctor make a pair of orthotics.
I love mine.
They work in any cycling shoe, and in hiking boots.
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Old 08-11-14, 01:38 PM   #15
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your feet swell on longer rides. I have seen people say that the pedal contact patch makes a difference, but right now I only have carbon soled shoes with high stiffness, and I don't see that correlation. I actually had pretty good luck with some really crummy shoes with plastic soles that would bend, at least from a hot spot perspective.

One issue people don't realize is that when your foot swells, it's quite possible to have that push your nerves into the shoe and cause hot spots and neuromas. The shoes I use most often are large for my feet. I don't find that to be an issue, and it keeps the hot spots at bay
Yep, it helps to make sure the shoes aren't too tight. I generally stop and take off my shoes for a minute or two every 100k, and that's enough to keep the hot spots at bay.

I used to use these pedals with sneakers thinking I had a pretty sharp setup, but man, on longer rides... ouch:



Oh, since this is the "suggestions" thread: I like the double-sided PD-M520L pedals, and Giro Rumble shoes with the cleats most of the way back. I don't have to think about which side is "up" with the pedals, and the Giro shoes are very walkable.
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Old 08-31-14, 02:35 PM   #16
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I used bike shoes, cleats and straps for over 50 years of road cycling. Intolerable and recent foot pains made me experiment. Try a pair of wide and flat platform pedals with Power Grip straps. I can move my feet around on the pedals for comfort as needed. I use Crocks for up to 300k brevets this year and a total 4,100 Crock miles, so far. Yes, Crocks. NO complaintz. I will switch back to SPD sandals for a 100k and see if I like them better.
Check this out before you react. http://www.bikejames.com/strength/th...h-flat-pedals/

Last edited by Rapido; 08-31-14 at 02:39 PM. Reason: additional info
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Old 09-06-14, 08:37 PM   #17
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I used to use these pedals with sneakers thinking I had a pretty sharp setup, but man, on longer rides... ouch:

I use the 105 versions and anything over 25 miles at a quick pace with hills and I am in pain. I've been looking into going SPD on all of my bikes, all I've got is cages and platforms. Time for big boy peddles.
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Old 09-07-14, 05:49 AM   #18
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try loosening the strap over the arch of your foot.
it's counterintuitive, but it worked for me.
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Old 09-13-14, 11:54 PM   #19
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My straps aren't even remotely tight. it's the back ledge thing chewing through the soles of my shoes and the marrow of my being! My SPD magic will be happening this coming week.
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Old 09-14-14, 08:51 PM   #20
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My straps aren't even remotely tight. it's the back ledge thing chewing through the soles of my shoes and the marrow of my being! My SPD magic will be happening this coming week.
Used to have those pedals back in the pre-clipless days. They are designed to be used with leather-soled bicycle shoes that had a metal cleat to receive the vertical edge of the back of the pedal. With that setup, they are fabulous pedals. With sneakers they are agony, as you've discovered.

You had to ride the leather shoes with no cleat for long enough to get a good, solid mark on the bottom of the shoe for the angle where the rear of the pedal crossed the shoe. Then you would nail the cleat to the shoe at that angle and hope it worked!

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Old 09-14-14, 08:56 PM   #21
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Time to visit a Foot Doctor.
I'm all for sending people to a foot doctor when they really need to go: You only get one pair of feet per lifetime.

But there is no indication whatsoever in the OP's post that they need to go to a foot doctor. I used to get hotfoot with SPD pedals. Switched to Crank Bros Quattro pedals, which helped. Still had foot problems, went to a foot doctor, found out how to solve the problems by putting two strips of moleskin in an open-face V under my insoles. Have ridden over 50,000km of long rides with this setup (including Specialized carbon-fiber MTB shoes) with no problems and no numbness.

But on my most recent 1000km, my pedals were developing some play so I borrowed some SPD's and cleats and rode 500 miles on them. Result: hotfoot and some amount of foot numbness, despite the super-stiff carbon-fiber soles on my shoes.

So ... the OP is using pedals that have some models that are known to cause hotfoot in some riders and for me in particular. That's not an indication that he has to go to the foot doctor, it's an indication to find a pedal with a bigger platform.

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Old 09-15-14, 03:49 PM   #22
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Used to have those pedals back in the pre-clipless days. They are designed to be used with leather-soled bicycle shoes that had a metal cleat to receive the vertical edge of the back of the pedal. With that setup, they are fabulous pedals.
I've looked into them, but I'm not sure what is wrong with my feet but if I dont' try the shoes on in person I'm sure they won't fit. My easy out just arrived an hour ago, new m540s and shoes for those are on the way too!
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