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Thread: Numb feet.

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    N_C
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    Numb feet.

    When riding my Vision R40 after about 10 miles my feet go numb. I have tried every thing I could think of so far to correct this. From differant shoes & socks to differant reclined positions with my seat. Nothing has worked so far. When I asked a professional at a recumbent shop about it he informed that I am 1 of 2% of the population that rides recumbents that has to deal with this & that it is nothing to be too concerned about, especially since the numbness goes away. I also asked a podiatrist, an othopediadic specialist & a chiroprator about this too. They all said the same thing. As long as the numbness goes away instantly after I take my foot off of the pedal it is not a big concern, but more of a nuisance.

    But I still would rather it not happen. First does anyone have any suggestions that I have not tried yet to correct this? And second, what about trying knee savers? Maybe if my feet & legs were a little further from the pedals my feet would go numb or not as bad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by N_C
    But I still would rather it not happen. First does anyone have any suggestions that I have not tried yet to correct this? And second, what about trying knee savers? Maybe if my feet & legs were a little further from the pedals my feet would go numb or not as bad.
    I am/was one of the numb feet group although perhaps not as bad as yours. One thing that has been suggested here many times is moving your cleats (assuming you're riding clipless) toward your heel. On my Lake sandals I had moved them as far back as I could and was still having a problem. Recently, I took out my Dremel and did the necessary relieving to gain another 1/4 inch or so. This has nearly resolved my problem but I feel that another 1/4" would do it or at least get as good as it gets for me. I use two-sided pedals so I ride sometimes with flip-flops or regular sandal which minimize the issue. Also, I ride trikes so I don't ever have to unclip unless I'm getting off.

    Anyway, I think you should start here and if not relieved move on to other possibilities. Surely others will respond as well.

    Chip

    PS Knee savers move your feet outword from the crank--further apart. I don't think anyone would recommend pedal blocks which is the only way to get farther from the pedal.

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    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Anything that cuts off circulation can do it, and just to add to the list, make sure your pantlegs aren't cutting off the blood flow. I wonder how much of this numb feet problem is actually a sign of peripheral artery disease (plaque buildup in the arteries of the extremities, where aerobic exercise doesn't always help to keep them clean?) Have you had your cholesterol checked lately?

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    N_C
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    BlazingPedals my cholesteral has been around 222 for the last 3 years or so. 200 or below is where I should be. I do not think that is the problem. Especially since it never happend when I rode my wedgie road bike. This problem only started when I started riding my recumbent a little over 3 years ago.

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    N_C
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjs1948
    I am/was one of the numb feet group although perhaps not as bad as yours. One thing that has been suggested here many times is moving your cleats (assuming you're riding clipless) toward your heel. On my Lake sandals I had moved them as far back as I could and was still having a problem. Recently, I took out my Dremel and did the necessary relieving to gain another 1/4 inch or so. This has nearly resolved my problem but I feel that another 1/4" would do it or at least get as good as it gets for me. I use two-sided pedals so I ride sometimes with flip-flops or regular sandal which minimize the issue. Also, I ride trikes so I don't ever have to unclip unless I'm getting off.

    Anyway, I think you should start here and if not relieved move on to other possibilities. Surely others will respond as well.

    Chip

    PS Knee savers move your feet outword from the crank--further apart. I don't think anyone would recommend pedal blocks which is the only way to get farther from the pedal.
    When I try this will there be a differance in how much bend I'll still have in my leg? So I may have to make the proper adjustments so my knee bend is where it should be? Did you have to make any adjustments? Also what about the power used during the pedal stroke? Do you lose very much by moving the cleats back?

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    Approaching Nirvana megaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjs1948
    Knee savers move your feet outword from the crank--further apart.
    True about the knee savers. I've got em and I love em. Best darn thing I ever did with my bent. At least now my heels don't hit the crank.

    My feet still go numb however. I too have had that issue ever since I started riding a bent. I think one of the reasons my feet get numb is cause I'll go about 4 miles further on my bent than I did on my DF between stops.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
    -- Albert Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by N_C
    When I try this will there be a differance in how much bend I'll still have in my leg? So I may have to make the proper adjustments so my knee bend is where it should be? Did you have to make any adjustments? Also what about the power used during the pedal stroke? Do you lose very much by moving the cleats back?
    I don't think that the position of the cleat will cause much of a change in your leg stretch unless you ride with a toe point on each stroke. Power loss has not been an issue for me. I have to spin at a fairly high rate to protect my knees so I'm not a power stroker anyway. However, this will not keep you from pointing your toes for a burst of power. Your feet just come down more on top of the pedals at the high part of the stroke.

    Give this a try. You can always just move the cleats forward again, but I'd be willing to bet that you will find at least some improvement.

    Chip

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    I occasionally get numb feet. I find that my pedals help which are SPD one side and claw the other (made by Shimano). This means that I have the option of clipping in and the flat side means that by subtly shifting my foot position around every few minutes I can get rid of the numbness. As it starts to come back, I just slightly shift position again. Don't forget the matter of your shoes as well. I have found that soft soled trainers are just about the worst there is for numbness.

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    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N_C
    BlazingPedals my cholesteral has been around 222 for the last 3 years or so. 200 or below is where I should be. I do not think that is the problem. Especially since it never happend when I rode my wedgie road bike. This problem only started when I started riding my recumbent a little over 3 years ago.
    Well, upright riders have the problem, too; so it's not just a recumbenteur problem. My problem, believe it or not, is numb hands. In the praying hamster position my deltoids cut off circulation to my brachial artery. So I have to occasionally 'flap my wings' and lift my elbows to the side while riding. No such problem with the superman position, I just don't find it very comfortable.

    My cholesterol is 243, down from 270 in June. Still playing with meds. Lucky me, it runs in my family.

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    hmBldr
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    You might also play with the seat. Some people with feet or butt numbness get results by getting a harder seat pan. The RANS seat is kind of a love-it or hate-it deal. Most love it but there are a few that can't stand it. For an experiment without doing major mechanics, try cutting out a stiff piece of cardboard or thin plywood the same size as the seat bottom. Just strap it or tape it on the seat and go for a ride. If the numbness goes away, you can then start spending money. I believe RANS has a firmer seat pan available, it should be an easy swap.

    Darren

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    lowracer ninja master lowracer1's Avatar
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    What helped me the most on my baron was getting the pantour front suspension hub. I've found that road vibration is more than likely the leading reason for numb feet. I can go 50 miles on smooth as silk roads and have no problem without the suspension hub. Get on some chipseal and the feet start going numb within a mile. I haven't had quite as much problem with the vk-2 carbon bike, the carbon seems to absorb a bit more of the vibration, but it sure would be nice to have a pantour on the front of that bike too. Also the time impact pedals have a very large surface to distribute the pressure on the feet. Carbon soles in the biking shoes also help.
    chris@promocycle.net

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    A New Creation! Ritz's Avatar
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    One thing that really helped me with the problem was loosening the shoes. As it turns out, I was restricting blood flow to my feet. A very stiff sole will also help spread out the pressure from the cleat / pedal contact patch. WWW.TOURDEPANTS.COM .
    "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the de@d , you will be saved." Romans 10:9 NIV

    VIVA LA PANTS!

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    Junior Member VTXT's Avatar
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    I also have had the numb burning foot syndrom. Went on to google with the symtoms and low and behold-there is a condition called Morton's neuroma. Type that in and you will find a ton of info about the condition and conservative treatments all the way up to surgery. It is interesting to find out what may be causing your discomfort and that just inserting specific arch supports may relieve your symtom. And then again-moving the cletes may do it as well. It is your feet and not the bike.

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