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  1. #1
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    What to do? Knee Pain with Clips - No Pain Without Them

    I became "addicted" to cycling about a year ago and really appreciate all the helpful info on this site I'm hoping you all can help me with my knee pain. Here goes:

    I ride a hybrid on paved paths 2 times a week, usually for 25 - 35 miles. Whenever I ride with toe clips I get pain in the outside of my knees after about 10 miles and they stay mildly sore for a few days. I just tried Powergrips (kept them fairly loose) and experienced the same knee pain.

    When I ride with no clips (just a basic pedal), there's no pain.

    I'm a tall guy with a size 15 shoe and I do notice that when I ride without clips, my foot sits toward the outside of the pedal away from the crank and slightly toed out. It seems that the clips and Powergrips may be forcing my feet to stay too close to the cranks and that's what may be causing the pain. Does that self-diagnosis seem to make sense? If so, any suggestions what to do?

    I was thinking Pedal Spacers to extend the pedal out from the crank: http://www.pacelineproducts.com/menu...dalSpacers.htm

    Any other ideas or thoughts?

    Thanks in advance for the help :-)

    Postman

  2. #2
    Senior Member glenghillie's Avatar
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    Sounds like you are hitting the problem on the head. If you toe out a bit and the foot is farther out it is more in line with your knee. That is what is probably eliminating the pain factor.

    I don't know a thing about a pedal spacer, but sounds like giving it a shot is not a bad idea.

    My question is do you feel safe/comfortable without the clips? If you don't need them and do not lose ability/speed/speed and don't have slippage, go without for a while. If you decide you do need them, get the spacers and try them.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenghillie
    My question is do you feel safe/comfortable without the clips? If you don't need them and do not lose ability/speed/speed and don't have slippage, go without for a while. If you decide you do need them, get the spacers and try them.
    I feel like I need the clips for added speed/control as well as to enable me to spin rather than push on the pedals. Funny thing, when I ride without the clips, my toes often go numb. I'm guessing that has to do with me pushing too hard rather than spinning. With the clips, I never had numb toes but I get the knee pain...can't win either way

  4. #4
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    Ever consider clipless pedals? Maybe something with a lot of float ... I find toe clips to be too rigid and they may be binding your foot in a position that your knee doesn't like.

    Also, have someone check out your saddle position, it's usually more to blame. Perhaps you are too far forward in your saddle, so that when you are out of the toe clips your feet take a different position on the pedals than they do strapped on there. By tilting it back, you might fix everything (hint: bike fit ...).

  5. #5
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    The toe clips definitely feel too rigid (especially when jamming size 15 shoes in them). The Powergrips on the other hand feel surprisingly good and offer flexibility -- I do like them. I've been thinking about clipless but holding off due to the cost.

    Since the pain is on the outside of the knees, could it be saddle position? I thought it was only tied to front or back knee pain.

  6. #6
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Yeah, try the spacers. The distance between the pedals is called Q.
    Too narrow (or wide) and your legs are bending in ways nature never intended. Personally, I feel Q should be adjustable, or at least come in Med, Narrow and Wide.

  7. #7
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi again,
    I had forgotten there was a pedal that had adjustable Q.
    I think I'd go with the pedal spacers first. But down the road, it might be something to consider.
    http://www.coloradocyclist.com/commo...373&TextMode=0

  8. #8
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Post42K
    I became "addicted" to cycling about a year ago and really appreciate all the helpful info on this site I'm hoping you all can help me with my knee pain. Here goes:

    I ride a hybrid on paved paths 2 times a week, usually for 25 - 35 miles. Whenever I ride with toe clips I get pain in the outside of my knees after about 10 miles and they stay mildly sore for a few days. I just tried Powergrips (kept them fairly loose) and experienced the same knee pain.

    When I ride with no clips (just a basic pedal), there's no pain.

    I'm a tall guy with a size 15 shoe and I do notice that when I ride without clips, my foot sits toward the outside of the pedal away from the crank and slightly toed out. It seems that the clips and Powergrips may be forcing my feet to stay too close to the cranks and that's what may be causing the pain. Does that self-diagnosis seem to make sense? If so, any suggestions what to do?

    Postman
    Based on your post I'd suggest a vist to a orthopedic doctor
    to check the alignment of your foot & legs. The body will
    compensate for natural alignment problems when we walk but
    is unable to when you harness your feet in clips or on pedals
    The pain or numbness is your body telling you there is a
    problem it can't compensate for so please listen to it's
    warnings. If nothing is really wrong at least you'll know
    what/how to fix the problem from a professional point of
    view.

  9. #9
    Serotta
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    I am no doctor, but this sounds like you need to be fit to the bike. ie pedal fit. I use the speedplay's and they also have adjustable Q. They have 15 deg of float. I was using the Dura Ace SPD-SL pedals, but my knees did not like these. I got pain in the same area of the knee. I am the opposite of you, I am duckfooted when I ride. My knees rub the crank.

  10. #10
    Are we having fun yet? Prosody's Avatar
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    You're correct that the cost of clipless pedals and the shoes for them is pretty high, but the longer term cost of damaged knees is higher. Basic SPD pedals for about $60 and good, stiff shoes for $130 or so ought to last for years. Though it's a lot of cash out of the pocket up front, over the course of two or three years it's not much per ride: $200 divided by 2 rides a week, 8 months a year (36 weeks), for two years--144 rides--a little less than $1.40 per ride.
    You're east of East St. Louis
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