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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 05-05-14, 07:25 AM   #1
Smokehouse
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Strange shoe fit issues..any advice? HELP!

-So long story short...ran a pair of Specialized Road comp shoes last season with zero issues. The problem is they are too big for my feet and a bit floppy, especially in the toe box.

-Late 2013 I decided to get "serious" and get a pair of Sidi Wires. They fit like a glove and I immediately fell in love...EXCEPT for the fact that after just one month on the trainer in Nov, my knees were shot to hell to the point where I could barely walk. I'm talking SERIOUS pain in the front area of my knees (tendon right underneath my knee cap). It took a month off the bike to get things even close to "normal" again.

-In Jan I went in for a full fit and I though he got me dialed in. The severe knee pain subsided but I was constantly having some knee issues from that point on.

-I take to the road beginning of April and noticed that rides of 1.5-2 hrs killed my knees when I was done. So bad that I was having to ice them down after each ride and it took days for my knees to settle down and stop hurting.

-This weekend, for the hell of it, I put on the old sloppy pair and POW! No knee issues.


So...I know most of you will just say "wear the old set" and that's what I'm going to do for now. The problem is...they fit poorly...very poorly. Also, I'm going to need to replacement sooner or later. Add to that the $400 shoes I have sitting on a shelf at this point and it brings me to the conclusion that I need to do something.

I'm guessing that the Sidi's fit so well that alignment is becoming a big issue. They're not overly tight but they have zero slop to them and I'm guessing this is the problem. My Specialized shoes allow a ton of foot movement...side to side, up and down inside the shoe. The Sidi's do not. I contemplating taking a hit on the Wires and selling them but I'm guessing that any fit shoe will give me the same headaches.

Either way...I'm going to call my fitter and schedule a followup. At this point I'm looking for any pointers on this...anyone here have similar issues?

*EDIT*

I'm running Shimano SPD-SL 6800 pedals with yellow cleats on both pair of shoes...

I mentioned this on another forum...perhaps I should go with something like Speedplay?

Last edited by Smokehouse; 05-05-14 at 07:37 AM.
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Old 05-05-14, 09:35 AM   #2
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Shoe fit should have minimal impact on your knees - unless you made a major change in your cleat position. Did you? Did the fitter confirm your cleats are currently in the proper position?
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Old 05-05-14, 09:42 AM   #3
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Look at the cleat on the Specializeds side by side to the Sidis. Look at rotation of the cleat. Also, shoe thicknesses are different, so it may be as simple as a seat height tweak.
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Old 05-05-14, 09:48 AM   #4
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As mentioned before I'd look at the cleat setup. What pedals are you running? Do they have much float?
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Old 05-05-14, 11:29 AM   #5
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Once you get your cleats set up correctly and your problem is still there, there are a few more things you can do. Pain below the knee cap is also very typical for somebody with a saddle that is set up too low. Because of the already mentioned different thicknesses of the soles, something might have changed. But because you had a bike fit done I don't think that's the problem. My guess is on the tilt that specialized has built in in there shoes. What this means is in there shoes the soles are angled (1.5°) to compensate a very common tilt in the forefoot. Sidi doesn't do this and because of that your knees move inwards. When this happens there's a chance that while pedaling you're pulling your knee cap off centre a bit. My advice, take the old pair for a spin and pay attention to the position of your knees. Than do the same for the sidis and you might already see that your knees are closer to your top tube. In my case it was quite noticeable. If this is true for you as well, it might be worth trying some cleat wedges. A single wedge like the ones below, offer 1.5° of tilt as well so one on each side should mimic your spesh shoes. Good luck.
Bike Fit Systems Cleat Wedges for Look Pedals | eBay
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Old 05-16-14, 08:52 PM   #6
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Ok…spent the last few weeks wearing the old shoes and my thoughts are 100% confirmed. Yes, it is the shoes (rather the shoe alignment) causing the issue. I bought some bike fit wedges and added 2 degree of varus tilt to each shoe.

Ran the bike on the trainer and found my L leg to feel fine…my R leg (the one with the larger problem) was still a bit stiff and I was feeling pressure on my knee. I added a BG insole wedge (and additional 1.5 degree) and i=now it seems to be fine under load.

I'm going to run 30-40 miles tomorrow and I'll see where I sit then…thanks for the help so far!
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Old 05-17-14, 05:01 AM   #7
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My GF and I both had bike fits recently. The guy who did the fitting started by measuring our feet and watching us walk. In my GF's case he noted that her feet were two different sizes which explained some numbness she was having on rides. She went to the larger size shoe with insoles and wedges in the smaller foot and all is well. He explained that his fits always start with the feet since that is one of the most important impact points to the bike. You'd be amazed how foot/cleat position as well as saddle position can cause all sorts of issues you wouldn't think were related.
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Old 05-26-14, 11:49 AM   #8
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I thought I'd bump this thread.

Turns out my problem was varus alignment. I bought some shims and added +2mm of shim under the cleat and used some BG Fit +1.5 undersole inserts inside the shoe.

Since Last Monday I've ridden 130 miles on this setup with zero problems what so ever. I can finally wear the SIDIs!

Either way, it seems things are solved and I was able to solve the, myself...which is a big plus figuring I'm going to be riding for years and I needed to learn what "wrong" felt like. Thanks for advice guys/gals!
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