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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 07-22-14, 09:18 AM   #1
ISPringle
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Toe Clips and Toes

Not sure if I should have put this in the road bike forum or here, I figured here because more people use toe clips with single speeds than regular road bikes...

For the last week or more my toes have been sore when I ride and afterwards. Last week I began to notice discoloration under my toenails. Yesterday I went on an 80 mile ride and my toes really started to hurt me. Today my big toes have large black spots under the nails and the toes next to them are starting to grow black spots too. Anyone ever encounter this before? It's sort of like the running toes long distance runners get, maybe the same reason is causing it?
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Old 07-22-14, 09:41 AM   #2
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Dude, you have gangrene. Go to a doctor.
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Old 07-22-14, 09:54 AM   #3
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Fairly certain this is just a good old bruise. No numbness, no coldness, it feels like a bruise, and I think it is exacerbated by my foot sliding forward during hill climbs, which I do a fair amount of.
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Old 07-22-14, 11:49 PM   #4
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Fine, maybe it isn't gangrene. But you're developing BLACK SPOTS ON AN AREA OF YOUR BODY THAT IS CONSTANTLY COVERED AND SWEATY. Go to a doctor. Not the internet.
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Old 07-23-14, 01:03 AM   #5
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Not bike related OP. Go see a doctor.

Chances are you have a toenail fungus.


~~~~~On second thought, what size are the cages? What's your shoe size? What's the shoe?

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Old 07-23-14, 01:19 AM   #6
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And your foot should not be sliding forward into the clips. You don't need the old fashioned cleats (poor solution anyway) but you do need a shoe with a sole that doesn't encourage slipping eg, smooth leather. If your feet are moving inside your shoes, it's your technique that's wrong. Think about it, you get power pushing down on the pedals which isn't going to happen if your feet are sliding forwards. On the down stroke, you shouldn't need foot retention of any sort. I'd be checking the foot fungus concern first though, maybe those shoes are for the bin (before your feet join them).
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Old 07-23-14, 08:11 AM   #7
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Sadly I don't know if a doctor is in my near future. I called last week to make an appointment for a physical, because I haven't had one in five years, and they said that there was a 7 week waiting period. I said well that's ridiculous and explained that I am also experiencing odd dizzy spells and she said that I could register with them to become a patient and they'd be able to see me after some approval process in four weeks (what drove me irrate was that this woman sounded like this was a great offer). And this was for the local cheap-o doctor office down the street where you're almost as inclined to get sick as you are to get better.

Anyways, I asked my mom, she's a nurse and works in a hospital, does ER stuff plus all sorts of other floors. She looked at it for a few minutes, played with my toenail, and then discovered it's bruising from blood. Now it looks a whole lot worse than it did before and my nail is going to fall off any time now, but at least it looks to be the same thing as a runner gets. She said she'll look again once the nail falls off, but it doesn't look like any case of gangrene shes seen and fungus doesn't involve blood.

Anyways, I'll post after work and go and try to see if I can duplicate the cause, I'm fairly certain its from my foot moving. The problem is I only see it on very long rides, so far only 100 miles and 80 miles have triggered the pain. I think perhaps I'm getting sloppy, but think back I can't actually recall much about it during the ride, other than always feeling it on uphills, which would explain why it has to be with me being sloppy, these 5+ mile hill climbs are killer on the energy banks.
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Old 07-23-14, 08:46 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ISPringle View Post
Sadly I don't know if a doctor is in my near future. I called last week to make an appointment for a physical, because I haven't had one in five years, and they said that there was a 7 week waiting period. I said well that's ridiculous and explained that I am also experiencing odd dizzy spells and she said that I could register with them to become a patient and they'd be able to see me after some approval process in four weeks (what drove me irrate was that this woman sounded like this was a great offer). And this was for the local cheap-o doctor office down the street where you're almost as inclined to get sick as you are to get better.

Anyways, I asked my mom, she's a nurse and works in a hospital, does ER stuff plus all sorts of other floors. She looked at it for a few minutes, played with my toenail, and then discovered it's bruising from blood. Now it looks a whole lot worse than it did before and my nail is going to fall off any time now, but at least it looks to be the same thing as a runner gets. She said she'll look again once the nail falls off, but it doesn't look like any case of gangrene shes seen and fungus doesn't involve blood.

Anyways, I'll post after work and go and try to see if I can duplicate the cause, I'm fairly certain its from my foot moving. The problem is I only see it on very long rides, so far only 100 miles and 80 miles have triggered the pain. I think perhaps I'm getting sloppy, but think back I can't actually recall much about it during the ride, other than always feeling it on uphills, which would explain why it has to be with me being sloppy, these 5+ mile hill climbs are killer on the energy banks.
If by "post after work" you mean a picture, please, dont.
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Old 07-23-14, 09:09 AM   #9
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go to urgent care
it's worth a couple hundred bucks to keep all of your toes
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Old 07-23-14, 10:16 AM   #10
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go to urgent care
it's worth a couple hundred bucks to keep all of your toes
Exactly what I was going to say - there are quicker ways to get treatment than making a traditional appointment, even if it's a bit pricey. It's worth it to have complete, functional feet if you plan to ride long term. Good luck, and I hope it gets better quickly.
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Old 07-23-14, 03:29 PM   #11
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Ride your bike to your Doctors office, so he can see and smell you feets
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Old 07-23-14, 03:39 PM   #12
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Today my big toes have large black spots under the nails and the toes next to them are starting to grow black spots too. Anyone ever encounter this before?
Sounds like frostbite. How fast are you pedaling? If you get going too fast, the wind chill at your feet can drop below freezing and start causing problems. There are medicines that can help bolster peripheral circulation to reduce the issue.
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Old 07-23-14, 05:46 PM   #13
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~~~~~On second thought, what size are the cages? What's your shoe size? What's the shoe?
^^
Perhaps a misfit?
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Old 07-23-14, 07:42 PM   #14
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If by "post after work" you mean a picture, please, dont.
No, no, I was going to go do some HIIT on a hill and let you know what made the pain come.

Anyways, my nail came off. It honestly looks like a runner's nail, I've had those before. But my mother set me up tomorrow with a doc from work, so I'll go see him and it won't cost a dime.

It occurs to me, and I know this is going to sound stupid, that the shoes I wear aren't tied... So that could very well explain why this is happening. The reason behind them not being tied is the shoes I use are my converse and I set them up for easy on/off, loose enough to get on but tight enough that it'd take effort to get them off. I'll go fix that tomorrow too with some new laces.
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Old 07-23-14, 09:29 PM   #15
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I've never had my nail fall off(!) but I definitely have experienced some bruising and discomfort from my steel toe clips. My shoes have a toe cap that is too soft for wearing with toe clips and the cutout on the front of the toe clip and can wreak havoc even just riding my normal 5-10 miles in commuting a day if I am riding hard. For some reason, I have lately developed a tendency to point my toes downward when pedaling hard and that shoves my foot up against the toe clip. I have also heard that Chuck Taylors (assuming those are what Converse you meant) run really narrow, so maybe the toe box is also compressing your toes too much? Try smoothing your pedal stroke out, not just mashing, and run platforms for a little while 'til things heal up. And maybe get either some more cushioned shoes or something with a much stiffer toe cap. Old school Diadoras would be pretty rad. With perforated uppers, of course. Good luck.
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Old 07-23-14, 10:26 PM   #16
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You first ask an Internet bike forum about black spots of death growing under your toe nails instead of asking your nurse of a mother?

No offense bro, but holy ****ing **** that is some next level stupid.
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Old 07-23-14, 10:39 PM   #17
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I've lost three toenails and a thumbnail, never from riding in clips or even in flipflops, though.. For me, it's gotta be black pretty much all the way across the lunula to lose the nail. Black out by the tip only then NBD.

Got pics?
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Old 07-23-14, 10:47 PM   #18
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As for avoiding bruised nails while riding try some running shoes. They're progressively thicker farther back on the foot so you get the strap tight around the thicker sole behind the ball of your foot your toes will have a little room. Goal is to attach foot to pedal at that point, not to jam yer toe all the way in the clip.

Try concentrating on pulling back from 4 o'clock to 6 oclock. Also try heel down at the bottom of the stroke.
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Old 07-24-14, 05:58 PM   #19
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I've never had my nail fall off(!) but I definitely have experienced some bruising and discomfort from my steel toe clips. My shoes have a toe cap that is too soft for wearing with toe clips and the cutout on the front of the toe clip and can wreak havoc even just riding my normal 5-10 miles in commuting a day if I am riding hard. For some reason, I have lately developed a tendency to point my toes downward when pedaling hard and that shoves my foot up against the toe clip. I have also heard that Chuck Taylors (assuming those are what Converse you meant) run really narrow, so maybe the toe box is also compressing your toes too much? Try smoothing your pedal stroke out, not just mashing, and run platforms for a little while 'til things heal up. And maybe get either some more cushioned shoes or something with a much stiffer toe cap. Old school Diadoras would be pretty rad. With perforated uppers, of course. Good luck.
I've been messing with my pedal strokes lately, trying both flat and toe down, seeing which feels more comfortable and if either gain more power. I've also been doing one legs and on long up hills I alternate between pushing and pulling on my strokes, trying to strength less used muscles. I think you may be onto something about both the pedal technique and also the shoe. My chucks have almost no toe cap, actually someone opened a door and cut through my toe cap on this pair of shoes.

Nagrom - She works nights, so I rarely see her during her 3 to 4 days of working.

Lester - I'll try out my old running shoes in a few weeks when I get back to school and have access to them, it might be a good pair to use because honestly I was just going to throw them out since they have no sole left.
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Old 07-24-14, 08:05 PM   #20
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Clipless FTW. There is a reason that the rest of the cycling world has moved on...

I mean, clips are hip and cool and great for piddly around town trips where you want to wear regular shoes. But for serious cycling (80-100 miles) you would be much better off wearing something other than chuck Taylors
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Old 07-24-14, 10:04 PM   #21
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+1 to above biking 80+mi in Chucks sounds like torture...

There are biking-specific shoes out there that do not have cleats and will work with properly fitting toe clips (properly fitting shoes is important too) so I would go with that route before shelling out for pedals and shoes. Maybe get clipless shoes and ride them in the clips, you can always upgrade pedals later.
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Old 07-25-14, 09:46 AM   #22
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I actually own clipless pedals and everything. I just don't have the funds for the shoes at the moment. But I will switch over sometime. I have Look pedals and I like them a lot and as a bonus, for pedaling around campus, I can just suck it up and use the backside of them with regular shoes.
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Old 07-26-14, 12:19 PM   #23
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It would appear that my hand has been forced. I broke my right pedal today, so I need new ones. The cheapest route is honestly going to be clipless because all I need are the shoes. Debating between a $30 pair of Sette and a $70 pair of Giro, both are marked way down, I think last year's model, because MSRP is up in the $150s.
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Old 07-26-14, 02:23 PM   #24
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It would appear that my hand has been forced. I broke my right pedal today, so I need new ones. The cheapest route is honestly going to be clipless because all I need are the shoes. Debating between a $30 pair of Sette and a $70 pair of Giro, both are marked way down, I think last year's model, because MSRP is up in the $150s.
If either model is in stock at a LBS, see if they will let you try a pair on for sizing. Buying a pair of cycling shoes sight unseen seems like a bad idea for someone with foot issues IMO.
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