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Can clipless pedals make your legs sore?

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Can clipless pedals make your legs sore?

Old 06-29-22, 09:22 PM
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robertj298 
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Can clipless pedals make your legs sore?

This past week I've been riding late at night. Cooler, quieter and next to no traffic here in farm country.
I ride a 10 mile loop at a casual pace, Lots of deer out here and I don't want to hit one. Anyway I noticed when
I ride my Ironman that has clipless pedals my legs get sore. This doesn't happen with my other bikes that
have clips and straps. Is it just a fluke or could it be the clipless pedals?
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Old 06-29-22, 09:37 PM
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Do your cleats allow rotation? There are some cleats that have very limited rotation and that could probably cause problems due to misalignment. As long as I'm not wearing old-fashioned slot cleats I can rotate my feet in a pedal equipped with clips/straps so there is no knee strain from that setup.
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Old 06-29-22, 09:43 PM
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Also check the pedal width (Q). Is the gearing significantly different?
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Old 06-29-22, 10:09 PM
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Clipless pedals can 100% make your legs sore (but it could also be something else entirely). Cleat and shoe adjustments are very important. Float, wedges, cleat placement and rotation, and insoles all help relieve stress, to get you closer to your neutral position.
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Old 06-29-22, 11:56 PM
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Robert:

The pedals don't make your legs sore. If your cleat setup on the shoe/pedal is wrong, you may then develop problems.

As other have mentioned, front to back placement of the foot on the pedal, the angular alignment, and the stance width all matter.

I'm extremely fussy on my cleat setup, out of necessity. I have a pair of shoes for each of my two bikes, since the stance width (Q factor) of the crankset is different between the two bikes by about 2mm. Both cranks are the identical brand and model.

If there is a fitter who is reasonably local to you and has a good reputation, engaging his/her services may be worth the effort to save time from trial and error.

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Old 06-30-22, 02:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew_G View Post
I'm extremely fussy on my cleat setup, out of necessity. I have a pair of shoes for each of my two bikes, since the stance width (Q factor) of the crankset is different between the two bikes by about 2mm. Both cranks are the identical brand and model.
Put a 1mm thick pedal washer each side of the narrow bike.
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Old 06-30-22, 04:41 AM
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To my mind, for casual cycling, platform pedals make more sense.
I rode with clipless pedals religiously for about a decade, and had knee problems in spite of highly regarded professional fittings. Ditched the clipless for platform pedals with pins and my issues disappeared. I don't miss clipless one bit.
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Old 06-30-22, 05:33 AM
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Thanks guys I think I'll put the original Shimano 105 pedals with clips and straps back on the bike. I
think I prefer them either way.
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Old 06-30-22, 08:23 AM
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I can't imagine how riding "a 10 mile loop at a casual pace" could make your legs sore, so it's either a shoe/pedal problem or some sign of another physical issue.
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Old 06-30-22, 11:56 AM
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I wouldn't put it past them. When I gave clipless pedals a try back in the early 2000s the experience was excruciating for my feet, despite trying three different pedal brands and a perfectly-fitting pair of Genius III shoes. I've stuck with conventional pedals since.

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Old 06-30-22, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
I ride my Ironman that has clipless pedals my legs get sore.
Use protection.
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