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Clipless shoes/pedals with foot alignment

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Clipless shoes/pedals with foot alignment

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Old 08-09-13, 07:14 AM
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Clipless shoes/pedals with foot alignment

I've been riding several weeks now and am getting into longer (for me) distances. My right knee is reminding me I'm no longer in my twenties. I wear orthotics; my right foot pronates (?) out about five more degrees than my left. I've been trying to compensate but the heel of the Merrill shoes I wear is too wide and impinges on the crank. I suspect my foot is just far enough out to be causing the imbalance.

For this reason I'm considering going clipless. From the literature I can't see if you can set in a specific angle in the clipless shoes/pedals? As my avatar ares shows I own a hybrid and don't expect to go over 20 miles a day. Would anyone know whether a particular brand/model of clipless pedals offers a rotatable mounting? Any suggested brand/model of shoes or pedals for a fairly active, but not competitive biker?

Thanks, Rich
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Old 08-09-13, 07:43 AM
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Some clipless cleats allow more adjustability in mounting than others. I use the old Look Delta cleats and they are very adjustable. I toe-out a lot so I also use Kneesavers, a pedal extender which helps keep my heel from hitting the crankarm.

Once riding, the Look cleat allow 9 degrees of rotation, or "float", meaning you can move your heel in and out a bit. Some pedals allow a lot more rotation.
Some people need this movement and some don't, as long as they get the right cleat position to start with.

It took a lot of trial and error to find the set-up that works for me but my knees are happy most of the time.
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Old 08-09-13, 08:00 AM
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The Shimano SPD-SL cleats have 3 float offerings: Black=0 float, yellow=6, grey =4, not sure about the SPD. The SPD for the MB style shoes are probably your best bet. Bikey Mikey has a good recent thread about his choices and deciding on the SPD Specialized model that works for him, do a search or, maybe he will see this thread and let you know what he found. Speedplay has a lot of play and can be adjusted, also. The Look pedals John is talking about are good products as well.

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Old 08-09-13, 08:01 AM
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Rich, it sounds as if you have a good knowledge of your particular physical issues. If you have a number of good shops near you, it might be worth the money to see if you can find a bike fitter who knows about how to fit people with such specific issues. Such a person may not exist, however.
You may benefit from a single Kneesaver on the appropriate side.
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Old 08-09-13, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by CrankyFranky View Post
Rich, it sounds as if you have a good knowledge of your particular physical issues. If you have a number of good shops near you, it might be worth the money to see if you can find a bike fitter who knows about how to fit people with such specific issues. Such a person may not exist, however.
You may benefit from a single Kneesaver on the appropriate side.
+1

http://www.kneesaver.net/ecommerce/k...tenders-3.html
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Old 08-09-13, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
The Shimano SPD-SL cleats have 3 float offerings: Black=0 float, yellow=6, grey =4, not sure about the SPD...
Are you sure about this, Bill? Is it something new? I've been using SPD-SL pedals and cleats the past several years and as far as I know, when you purchase a set of pedals, they come with the 6 float yellow cleats. Since I came from "rat trap" pedals, I feel insecure with float and purchased the zero-float cleats, which are red in color, (The nibs that is. All of them have a black base). I have about six pairs of yellow cleats that I should probably put on eBay because I'll never use them. I've never heard of, or have ever seen 4 grey cleats.

Rich, the attachment of a cleat to a shoe is pretty much infinitely adjustable. This is where a shop can really help you. A good starting point is to position the cleat so that the ball of your foot is over the base of the pedal and your foot is parallel to the crank and longitudinal axis of the bike. Then, adjust as your physiology dictates. You'll need to get new shoes also.
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Old 08-09-13, 01:51 PM
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It's not an issue of float the OP is referring to, or one of heel-in or heel-out, or Q-factor. It's a matter of pronation--the foot is tipped inward. It's not level, in other words. I have the same issue.

There are shims that go under your cleat for certain styles of cleat--Look and SPD-SL come to mind. The shims tip your shoe outwards. See a bike shop with a good fitter for these.

For other reasons, I use plain old mountain bike style SPDs. For these, I have to put shims in my shoes under my insoles, and I use orthodic insoles on top of them. Specialized dealers have under-insole shims. (I hear Trek dealers can get them too.)

Find a good running store for orthodic insoles. I'm fortunate that the distributor of PowerStep insoles is right on my commute.

It took a bike fitter to tell me I needed orthodic insoles. My fitter recommended I see Jim Dalberth and get the ones with the most correction. Jim recommended the the PowerStep Pinnacle Maxx. They have a hard base to firmly support the foot. You could probably drive nails with them. (We're not talking squishy, floppy, Dr Sholls here.) I liked them so much in my cycling shoes, that I wear them in all my shoes now.
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Old 08-09-13, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by tsl View Post
It's not an issue of float the OP is referring to, or one of heel-in or heel-out, or Q-factor. It's a matter of pronation--the foot is tipped inward. It's not level, in other words. I have the same issue.....
My apologies, my explanation was incorrect. it IS a matter of heel in. Looking down, if I come to a stop from walking and look down a line drawn between my legs going straight forward would show that while my left foot is angled about 3 degrees outward, my right foot is almost 5 degrees further out.

Today I did 12 miles and wore a pair of Mephisto walking shoes which have a heel which is significantly narrower than the Merrills I've been using. This way I was able to keep the shoe centered over the pedal while angling the heel inward just clear of the crank. Once I did that the irritation subsided. Keep in mind I'm new at this and have to almost NOT try and concentrate on what I'm doing. If I think too hard about it I mess up. It's three hours after the ride and there is no irritation.

What I'm looking for is a way of keeping the right foot angled outward at (more or less) a constant setting. I went to a LBS today (I won't name them) and the gent first of all corrected me that there is no such thing as a clipless pedal. I popped out bikeforums and did a search on my Galaxy and showed him the numerous clipless hits. He knew better. Then he showed me a pair of Bontrager MTB Mountain shoes, size 11. They were verr narrow (crimping my toes) and the tip of my longer foot touched the inside front of the shoe. "Biking shoes need to be snug" he said. I'll try somewhere else next visit. What I actually need is a piece of steel which curls up around the inside and outside of my shoe where the pedal is and then angle it and bolt it to the pedal...hmmmmmmm.

I do wish to thank all of you more mature geezers for the cheerful and flame free assistance. You folks are a gold mine of experience and I've benefitted greatly from your assistance.

Thanks, Rich

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Old 08-09-13, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Rich Gibson View Post
My apologies, my explanation was incorrect. it IS a matter of heel in. Looking down, if I come to a stop from walking and look down a line drawn between my legs going straight forward would show that while my left foot is angled about 3 degrees outward, my right foot is almost 5 degrees further out.

Today I did 12 miles and wore a pair of Mephisto walking shoes which have a heel which is significantly narrower than the Merrills I've been using. This way I was able to keep the shoe centered over the pedal while angling the heel inward just clear of the crank. Once I did that the irritation subsided. Keep in mind I'm new at this and have to almost NOT try and concentrate on what I'm doing. If I think too hard about it I mess up. It's three hours after the ride and there is no irritation.

What I'm looking for is a way of keeping the right foot angled outward at (more or less) a constant setting. I went to a LBS today (I won't name them) and the gent first of all corrected me that there is no such thing as a clipless pedal. I popped out bikeforums and did a search on my Galaxy and showed him the numerous clipless hits. He knew better. Then he showed me a pair of Bontrager MTB Mountain shoes, size 11. They were verr narrow (crimping my toes) and the tip of my longer foot touched the inside front of the shoe. "Biking shoes need to be snug" he said. I'll try somewhere else next visit. What I actually need is a piece of steel which curls up around the inside and outside of my shoe where the pedal is and then angle it and bolt it to the pedal...hmmmmmmm.

I do wish to thank all of you more mature geezers for the cheerful and flame free assistance. You folks are a gold mine of experience and I've benefitted greatly from you.

Thanks, Rich
FIND ANOTHER STORE QUICK.

This guy is far out and does not know what he is talking about. One of the most common problems in the 50+ (and other) groups are shoes that are too tight. His whole spiel about "no clipless" is not in accordance with accepted terminology.
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Old 08-09-13, 05:19 PM
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Like I said earlier, I toe-out a great deal on the right side. When I started riding as an adult, I used "touring" shoes. These were stiff under the ball of the foot and had a very narrow heel. As I put a lot of miles on them I could see a wear mark on the shoe showing me where my foot needed to be.
When I switched to clipless I had to drill my own holes in the soles to mount the cleats because of my massive toe-out. Finally, I had a machinist make me a pair of "kneesavers" before they were available on the market and I could go back to using standard mounting holes in shoes.

I have used SPD mountain bike shoes and pedals on the road bike but in my experience the SPD cleats don't have enough adjustment to get the amount of toe-out I need.
I haven't tried Speedplay pedals but I hear they have a lot of potential toe-out.

So I use extreme toe-out adjustment with Kneesavers and some shoes require shims under the ball of my right foot. At 205 pounds and climbing at least 300,000 feet per year my knees are still happy.
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Old 08-09-13, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
Like I said earlier, I toe-out a great deal on the right side. When I started riding as an adult, I used "touring" shoes. These were stiff under the ball of the foot and had a very narrow heel. As I put a lot of miles on them I could see a wear mark on the shoe showing me where my foot needed to be.
When I switched to clipless I had to drill my own holes in the soles to mount the cleats because of my massive toe-out. Finally, I had a machinist make me a pair of "kneesavers" before they were available on the market and I could go back to using standard mounting holes in shoes.

I have used SPD mountain bike shoes and pedals on the road bike but in my experience the SPD cleats don't have enough adjustment to get the amount of toe-out I need.
I haven't tried Speedplay pedals but I hear they have a lot of potential toe-out.

So I use extreme toe-out adjustment with Kneesavers and some shoes require shims under the ball of my right foot. At 205 pounds and climbing at least 300,000 feet per year my knees are still happy.
I'm confused a bit. I understand re drilling the attachment points for the shoes to compensate for extreme toe-out (rotating the right shoe clockwise as you look down). However, after looking at the kneesavers it's clear they are spacers which move the pedal away from the crank. How does this help if your attachment point is further out but the angle is back again closer to the axis of the bike? (the shoe rotates back counter-clockwise.)

Rich
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Old 08-09-13, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Rich Gibson View Post
I'm confused a bit. I understand re drilling the attachment points for the shoes to compensate for extreme toe-out (rotating the right shoe clockwise as you look down). However, after looking at the kneesavers it's clear they are spacers which move the pedal away from the crank. How does this help if your attachment point is further out but the angle is back again closer to the axis of the bike? (the shoe rotates back counter-clockwise.)

Rich
All the pedal extenders do is to move your ankle out so it doesn't rub the crank and allow you to turn your foot out a little more.

Some really good LBS should have a "fit kit" for determining the right angle for cleat adjustment. You would have to make an appointment and take your bike in for it. The reason I haven't gone clipless just yet (besides being a Luddite) is that the toeout on my right side is so radical that I don't think the 15 deg. compensation that some of them offer would be enough. So I'm just going with MKS Touring Pedals on my next build. My lifetime toeout on the right has worn a callus from the protruding part of caged quill road pedals.

If you go to clipless be sure to mark the bottom of your shoes so that if the cleat loosens you'll know where it goes back to.
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Old 08-09-13, 06:11 PM
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If you are not going to go clipless, you could consider the MKS GR-10 Alloy Road Pedals

with Velo Orange Chrome Plated Steel 70mm Deep Half Bicycle Clips


Together, you can orient your foot as appropriate/needed, get retention benefits, and have a larger platform/more ball of the foot support than with the MKS Touring Pedals suggested above. I have a pair of these GR-10s and I've never gotten hot foot with them.

If you look around you can get both pedals and toe clips for around $50 shipped to you.
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Old 08-09-13, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
FIND ANOTHER STORE QUICK.

This guy is far out and does not know what he is talking about. One of the most common problems in the 50+ (and other) groups are shoes that are too tight. His whole spiel about "no clipless" is not in accordance with accepted terminology.
LISTEN TO THIS GUY, Rich. Find another shop. This "expert" is blowing smoke up you know where. You really need a certified fit technician. Trek dealers are usually not the best place to go for a pro fit, (I have a Trek too, and he "fitted" me by having me bring in my old 30-year old bike to take the measurements from).

I found the best fit people are at Specialized shops. And, they really don't care what type of bike you have. (disclaimer: after deciding that you need a specific sized something-or-other, they will want to sell you it. You don't need to purchase it from them. I was fitted with my Pinarello and wanted to keep it Italian, so I took the measurements and purchased my stuff elsewhere.) It will cost you a C-note plus, but is well worth the time and effort . . . and it will "fix" what's wrong.
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Old 08-09-13, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by volosong View Post
Are you sure about this, Bill? Is it something new? I've been using SPD-SL pedals and cleats the past several years and as far as I know, when you purchase a set of pedals, they come with the 6 float yellow cleats. Since I came from "rat trap" pedals, I feel insecure with float and purchased the zero-float cleats, which are red in color, (The nibs that is. All of them have a black base). I have about six pairs of yellow cleats that I should probably put on eBay because I'll never use them. I've never heard of, or have ever seen 4 grey cleats.

Rich, the attachment of a cleat to a shoe is pretty much infinitely adjustable. This is where a shop can really help you. A good starting point is to position the cleat so that the ball of your foot is over the base of the pedal and your foot is parallel to the crank and longitudinal axis of the bike. Then, adjust as your physiology dictates. You'll need to get new shoes also.
The 4 float are new, I was trying to type that and answer the phone, teach me to try to walk and chew bubble gum at the same time, the colors I gave a partially incorrect, thanks for the catch, the new intermediate floats have been out for a few months now. The 0 float are red and the 6 are yellow (as you said, they come with the pedals,) the new 4 cleats I think are grey but, I may be wrong. All the bodies are black as you said. A few shops and online sellers have then, my LBS has them on the wall. SM-SMH-11 is the standard yellow 6 float cleats, SM-SH-10 and SM-SH-12 are the two optional cleat product numbers.

Rich, the Shimano cleats are adjustable where they are mounted to the shoe, SPD are 2 screws and SPD-SL are 3 screws. The SPD-SL are usually road shoes and the SPD are referred to as mountain bike models. Lots of guys and ladies here use and like the SPD a lot, the mountain bike shoes are easier for some to walk in. I have no problems with them, but I am a strange case. And, as the others said, leave that shop guy that told you the BS line to his own devices and find a better shop. I agree with the Specialized shops for fitting shoes and shoes.

My LBS is a Specialized dealer, they have a couple of guys BG fit certified. A good shop will help you get the correct shoes for your feet and your riding of they are doing. I just bought new insoles for my Adidas shoes yesterday, the guy did a shoe analysis for my feet, got the correct insoles and showed me the various shoes they had in my size if I wanted to buy them later. They make a tremendous difference in the old shoes fit and feel.

Bill
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Old 08-09-13, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Rich Gibson View Post
I'm confused a bit. I understand re drilling the attachment points for the shoes to compensate for extreme toe-out (rotating the right shoe clockwise as you look down). However, after looking at the kneesavers it's clear they are spacers which move the pedal away from the crank. How does this help if your attachment point is further out but the angle is back again closer to the axis of the bike? (the shoe rotates back counter-clockwise.)

Rich
When I drilled the shoes I was using the old Time pedals which had enough adjustment to get the toe-out I need, but my heels hit the crankarm, so I drilled to move the cleat toward the inside/arch side of the shoe to get the heel further away. When I started using the spacers I didn't need to drill anymore.

Over the years I have also found certain cranksets have more clearence than others as do certain frames. I had a Cannondale CAAD5 frame and my right heel hit the chainstay and polished the paint off of it. I have a Gunnar Sport and I have never hit the stay on that frame, but it has a longer wheelbase and thin stays.

I have a Seven Axiom frame with a Fulcrum racing crank and the edge around the center hole of the crank is slicing off the inside of the heel of my shoe, little by little.

I was sprinting on an old touring bike with clips and straps and my heel got hung up on the top side of the crank and I almost fell. It ain't easy being me.

Looking at the pictures of the toe clips I remembered I used to modify the clips, too. I used Christophe XXL Clips and drilled holes to mount them further to the outside of the flat pedals, my knees couldn't stand it if my feet were straight ahead, and I bent and reshaped the clips to provide more room for my size 13s. That was more than 20 years ago.

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Old 08-09-13, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
When I drilled the shoes I was using the old Time pedals which had enough adjustment to get the toe-out I need, but my heels hit the crankarm, so I drilled to move the cleat toward the inside/arch side of the shoe to get the heel further away. When I started using the spacers I didn't need to drill anymore.

Over the years I have also found certain cranksets have more clearence than others as do certain frames. I had a Cannondale CAAD5 frame and my right heel hit the chainstay and polished the paint off of it. I have a Gunnar Sport and I have never hit the stay on that frame, but it has a longer wheelbase and thin stays.

I have a Seven Axiom frame with a Fulcrum racing crank and the edge around the center hole of the crank is slicing off the inside of the heel of my shoe, little by little.

I was sprinting on an old touring bike with clips and straps and my heel got hung up on the top side of the crank and I almost fell. It ain't easy being me.

Looking at the pictures of the toe clips I remembered I used to modify the clips, too. I used Christophe XXL Clips and drilled holes to mount them further to the outside of the flat pedals, my knees couldn't stand it if my feet were straight ahead, and I bent and reshaped the clips to provide more room for my size 13s. That was more than 20 years ago.
I feel your pain, lol.

I've had to mill the slots longer on the old slotted cleats for caged quill pedals to get them angled enough. And I've had to grind the slots wider on the bottom of the old Avocet 20 touring shoes too. I use plastic toe clips with different length homemade aluminum spacers so they'll angle out. My Shimano 105 crankarm looks like I've taken a belt sander to it on the right side. That's why I'm leery of investing in clipless just yet.
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Old 08-09-13, 10:08 PM
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I tried filing and grinding the slotted cleats but eventually gave up on them. Never found plastic clips that didn't put too much pressure on my feet. I always had pain from the straps, especially when it was cold, and I was much happier with clipless, once I figured out the set-up.
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Old 08-09-13, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
The 4 float are new, I was trying to type that and answer the phone, teach me to try to walk and chew bubble gum at the same time, the colors I gave a partially incorrect, thanks for the catch, the new intermediate floats have been out for a few months now. The 0 float are red and the 6 are yellow (as you said, they come with the pedals,) the new 4 cleats I think are grey but, I may be wrong. All the bodies are black as you said. A few shops and online sellers have then, my LBS has them on the wall. SM-SMH-11 is the standard yellow 6 float cleats, SM-SH-10 and SM-SH-12 are the two optional cleat product numbers...
Thank you for correcting me, Bill. I didn't know they sold a 4 float cleat. Learned something new today. Sorry to others if I mislead you.
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Old 08-10-13, 04:47 AM
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I'm going to go worse than 9 deg. I'd be lucky to go as little as 15 deg. on my right. My left foot might work with red Look Deltas. My posture is so sideways I can twist a Cinelli stem out more than 15 deg. before I'm 15 blocks away from the house.

The guy who fit me to my first slotted cleats was clearly amazed. So if I ever try to go with clipless it would have to be Speedplay for the 15 deg. maximum float....And that might not even work out for me.

Last edited by Zinger; 08-10-13 at 05:13 AM.
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Old 08-10-13, 06:55 AM
  #21  
ThatBritBloke
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People are still confusing alignment and float ...

Alignment : cleats are adjustable fore and aft, laterally and radially. Further adjustment can be effected with cleat wedges and spacers.

A competent bike fitter will measure and optimise all those planes to set the most comfortable/efficient attitude for your foot/knees/hips.

Once this position is set float is the angular displacement by which the cleat must be rotated/twisted before disengagement. The cleat will naturally locate your foot on the mid-position - set by the alignment - when pedalling normally. If you're pedalling with your foot constantly straying into the float zone then your cleat alignment is wrong.

The degree of float does not necessarily contribute to the degree of comfort/security you may experience.

Alignment is everything. A bike fit should start from those fixed points.
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Old 08-10-13, 07:31 AM
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big john
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In my case I rotate the cleat as far as it will go and that combined with the float gets my foot into position. That is, I'm at the inward limit of the float while pushing down.
It is impossible for me to use clipless pedals without the Kneesaver spacers or redrilling the shoes to move the ball of the foot away from the crankarm so I can toe-out.
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Old 08-10-13, 08:16 AM
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mkane77g
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Sounds to me like Speedplay frogs would fill your needs.
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Old 08-10-13, 08:26 AM
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Rich Gibson 
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Originally Posted by mkane77g View Post
Sounds to me like Speedplay frogs would fill your needs.
So...the pedals themselves are fixed when they are manufactured. I understand float describe a few posts back but alignment eludes me. Fore/aft..fine lateral/radial? Question can the cleats be adjusted so that when clipped into place the shoe can point some number of degrees clockwise or anticlockwise when looking down at them? Thus the float would be judged from that 'clipped' position.

Thanks, Rich
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Old 08-10-13, 08:55 AM
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Float on Speedplays is not fixed. There is a max. After that's reached your clipped out. For and aft adjusted by platform position. Your feet do what they need to do.
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