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montana_cyclist 11-05-04 07:02 AM

Riding with an ankle brace

I've searched and read some of the messages about cycling specific orthotics and LeMond Lewedges, but I'm curious if anyone has experience riding with an ankle brace. After many years I'm going to get orthotics. An in-shoe orthotic will work on my right foot, but the left is in worse shape and will require a polypropylene brace which will fit in the shoe and go up the leg. I have high arches and for many years have suffered with chronic left ankle sprains. As I tire when cycling, my left heel swings outward and puts pressure on pedal, etc. I had one pedal blow apart at the end of a week tour and feel this undue pressure was a big part of the problem. I am seeking information from others with knowledge in this area, as to what to expect and any suggestions that might help me adapt to the situation. I think the brace and orthotic will make a big improvement in my every day life, but I am concerned about cycling. I'm 5'8" tall, weigh 152 lbs, and ride a road bicycle 1500 to 2000 miles a year. I mainly commute, but have ridden on two 450 mile week long tours. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.


shmanz 11-05-04 07:28 AM

I have ridden with an ankle brace after I had sprained my ankle. It is really no different and actually helps by keeping your ankle straight. I felt more power with it on than without it.

KrisPistofferson 11-05-04 07:40 AM

I completely blew out my right ankle a few years ago, and it randomly sprains now and then. Basically, if I know I'm going on a longer ride that day I wear a support brace, (not the wraparound bandages but the dr. scholls velcro style,) or if I'm going to be spending a lot of time on my feet. An ounce of prevention is SO much better than a sprain because sprains take at LEAST 2 weeks to get back to normal. Just stick the brace somewhere in your backpack and forget about it until you need it. But discuss your situation with your physician, most importantly, I'm just an idiot! I'll tell you one thing, I used to be an mtb'er, and I've gotten head trauma, dislocated my shoulder,etc, but having an effed up ankle is the absolute worst, so take good care of it.

montana_cyclist 11-06-04 08:19 AM

Hi, Thanks for the positive responses and suggestions. I picked up the orthitic and brace yesterday, so I'm in the break-in mode of 1-2 hours on and 1-2 hours off. Looks like the weather will be good today, so I will try a ride if I can get the shoes closed over the brace. It has really helped my walking so I have hope for it helping when cycling.


Stannian 11-08-04 08:33 AM

I use an ankle brace sometimes when I ride. I sprained my ankle from BMX a few years back, now I can pop it out of place anytime I want. It usually doesn't hurt, but it will get sore every once in a while. I have noticed that the ankle brace helps a lot, but on longer rides my toes start going numb. Other than that I feel stronger with it on.

Dang 11-08-04 08:53 PM

Hi MC'
Im a Montana native trapped in California. Born and raised in Billings. Folks out here just arnt a nice as they are back home. I left Billings back in '87. Those Rims around the town would have been a great place to ride a mtn bike I think.
Man how I miss Montana! Your lucky, Stay there.
Oh yeah... Is the "Purple Cow" still around?

montana_cyclist 11-11-04 07:00 PM

Hi, I moved to Montana in 1988 from eastern Oregon. We both enjoy living and working here. We go to Billings often to shop, go to doctors, and for entertainment. I seem to remember hearing about the Purple Cow, but I cannot remember if it is still open. The town is expanding and getting lot of new stores.

The ankle brace has worked well for me, for both walking and cycling. I rode about 10 miles last Saturday on the Bianchii equipped with egg beaters and had some pain over the right knee. I think I will have to have the cleats adjusted. I did that the first time to relieve knee pain, so I assume it will be necessary again since my feet are tracking straight rather than my heels moving to the outside. I rode the DeSalvo with speedplays for 24 miles today, and they worked well with no knee pain. I assume the extra float helped. I was also very fortunate that my Sidi dominators worked with the brace, and all I had to do to the Genius 3s was have the buckle extended a bit at a local boot shop. That sure beats having to buy new shoes. Actually most of my regular shoes also work with the brace. Thanks for all the comments and suggestions.


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