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Fitter Q: Shim v Wedge?

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Fitter Q: Shim v Wedge?

Old 08-23-18, 09:52 AM
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Fitter Q: Shim v Wedge?

So let me first apologize for the length of this. I’ve got two warring factions in my head and could use some could advice:

I have one bike that I ride: road, commuting and gravel. I’ve started to get into longer distances, trainers and nutrition.

I recently upgraded my shoes and saddle and afterwards my knees and ankles grew very angry. Doc ordered me some rest and said I had tendonitis in the knees and some mild inflammation in the ankles. So this plus too many years of trying to fit all this stuff myself have led to a state where I’ve really fouled things up: over-developed quads, weak glutes, knee and ankle pain, etc. I assumed it was like building wheels – I could figure it out myself without a pro – WRONG.

Had my first appointment with the fitter and he made a series of adjustments I was happy with. He was professional, courteous and very knowledgeable. He seemed to immediately understand the roots of the problems I had been wrestling with for a long time.

He diagnosed me with a leg imbalance. Although I’m not really sure how he did this – just by gaging my stroke on the trainer? He took no measurements. He said he wants to shim my right foot so the weight distribution is equal between legs. He gave me a shopping list to hunt for on my own: new Lake road shoes, new 172.5 cranks, new road pedals.

After having done a basic adjustment to the saddle height, for/aft and stem/bar location which really helped out ŗ I was pleased at this point although the sticker shock from the stuff he wanted me to get was a hard hit: 300 for shoes, 125 for cranks, 100 for pedals on top of 300 for the fit, yikes!

So he wants me to get a pair of Lake Road shoes to replace my (almost new) Sidi Dominators. I didn’t think too much of it until I got home and started looking at road shoes and I realized I really like MTB shoes. I didn’t realize how much I like the convenience of MTB shoes until I started thinking about the prospect of commuting on a fall/wintery mix with road shoes or going into the grocery store on road shoes, etc etc.

So I emailed him and asked if I could get a Lake MTB shoe. His response was that he cannot correct my leg imbalance with an MTB shoe – that it’s not possible to shim MTB shoes: the cleats/pedals are not designed to have material between the cleat and shoe (shim). If I’m worried about walking on bike shoes I should just get some speedplay zeroes.

You can’t shim a MTB shoe? So he’s I think saying you can’t shim the outside of a MTB shoe like you can a road shoe – that if you want to achieve this effect with a MTB shoe you need an inside wedge? Are wedges inherently less effective than out side shims?
One side of my brain is like forgettaboutit – just go with the guy – he’s well reviewed – and the benefits I’m going to reap far outweigh the inconvenience of having road shoes. I’ve been riding far too long on a bad fit and had to take a month off in the middle of summer because I’m cheap and never wanted to get a fit in the first place.

The other side of my brain is like – F road shoes – I don’t know a single rider who commutes on road shoes and I’d be investing 400 bucks into something I really loathe and doesn’t fit my style. I rarely ride over 40 miles these days and I’m not putting out big wattage. Although this guy may be awesome he should be able to make this work with MTB shoes and the fact that he’s making this a point is a bad sign for the future.

Thanks for your advice here folks.
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Old 08-23-18, 10:34 AM
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Basically, in terminology; a shim is equal in thickness across its width ,
a wedge, obviously, is not ..
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Old 08-23-18, 12:06 PM
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Your fitter can adjust your foot position by either inserting a shim or wedge underneath your shoe between your cleat and the shoe or by inserting a wedge (or a whole new insole) inside your shoe between your foot and the shoe, The larger 3-bolt road-bike cleats give the fitter a lot more options for shims or wedges outside the shoe. The small 2-bolt mountain bike cleats don't give them a lot of space to work with and the metal cleats can chew up the plastic shims. A shim or wedge inside the shoe is going to be limited by how much space you have inside the shoe and how much adjustment you need; a big adjustment may not be possible.
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Old 08-23-18, 12:18 PM
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You might drop a note to another bike shop in your area with your concerns. Some bike-fit techs can get kind of set in their ways of problem-solving. I don't know enough about fitting to actually offer any opinions on road vs MTB shoes and how to adjust them. However, another bike-fit tech may be better versed in that.
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Old 08-23-18, 01:17 PM
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fwiw: just added 3 shims to this Lake MTB shoe ...

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