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Cleats setup problem

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Cleats setup problem

Old 07-26-22, 07:42 AM
  #1  
MrLuke
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Cleats setup problem

Whole life I was riding on flat peals, last 2 days I am trying to set up my spd-sl cleats without success. On flat peals i used front part of feet I know now fitting tips are different to move cleats more in back.
So i bought SIDI sixty shoes and ultegra(r8000) peals with yellow cleats. First i moved cleats almost on max in back/rear but in this position I couldn't push with feet what sometimes I like. So next moved cleats around 4mm in front so a bit closer to my flat pedals position, this I feel better. But same problem with discomfort in left knee and ankle i feel like something hold my leg in bad way. With right leg everything fine but problem with foot - "burning"on outside (regions of little finger down to half foot). But when I unclip and "connect" cleats only in rear side an front part of cleat on peals not connected, everything going back to comfort(no discomfort in left leg or "burning" in right foot) . I was watching my legs position and nothing changing same position like clipped on. So I though that maybe need lower seat but at first day i lowered 0.5cm and today next 0.5cm still something bad in left leg now only different places and still burning right foot.
Any tips that I could setup my cleats proper maybe I need cleats wedges but for test maybe can use metal spacers?
Sorry for my English but not native language.
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Old 07-26-22, 08:57 AM
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Well no one else has jumped in on this. I'll start by stating you want/need your cleats set up correctly; otherwise, you will have knee pain and other issues. Basically, you want the ball of your foot over the axle with minor variation to suit individual needs.

I suggest you look for videos or other information online, I have not looked as I've ridden old style clips and straps and clipless for many years

Here is a link I googled, hope it helps

how to set up clipless pedals and shoes - Google Search

Good luck.
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Old 07-26-22, 09:07 AM
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Link is probably better, but set up saddle so the front knee is roughly over the pedal spindle when in 3:00 position (aka KOPS), and the cleats so the ball of the foot is roughly over the pedal spindle. That's a good starting point. Tweak slightly to your comfort/preference.
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Old 07-26-22, 09:18 AM
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Did you get the shoes locally at a LBS? They'll likely help you out if you ask. But you do need to get the cleats in the proper position and any shims that might be needed to eliminate that pain and discomfort. Usually that type pain isn't something you just get use to in time.

Might just be my misconception, but I went with SPD cleats/pedals since they don't hold the foot on the pedal as rigidly and allow a little float so your shoe/foot can move a little.
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Old 07-26-22, 09:42 AM
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All my cleats have a bit of float. If I get new shoes, I'll put the cleats on tight enough that they don't slip. Then I click the shoe into the pedal and note whether it's straight with the bike or not, and centered at the ball of the foot. Then adjust.
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Old 07-26-22, 10:05 AM
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I watched few videos before but I don't like cleats max rear position I set it that the ball of the foot is over pedal axle didn't like when it was in front of axle. But still same problem with discomfort in left leg and right foot. Maybe need just try more. Can buy new shoe insole or cleat wedges but would be good to be sure that this will help some good shoe insole costs over 100$.
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Old 07-26-22, 10:51 AM
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some thoughts.
always need a good start point - best is with the pedal axle directly under the Ball O Foot, when foot is mostly horizontal to ground - that is usually with the heel/sole is very, very slightly higher than Ball O Foot sole area.
saddle extension is important... most riders won;t have knee problems if their extension is a bit high, but you lose power and could cause problems in the butt and sizbone area (pinched blood vessels and nerves) and rocking hips WILL cause big issues, so too high is not great.
Too low can cause real knee problems !
good start point for saddle extension - get on bike with your sidis, don;t worry about cleats for now. Get bike moving down road. put you HEELS on the pedal, pedal BACKWARDS. If you have to rock your hips to pedal smoothly backwards - too high. Lower saddle until you can pedal backwards smoothly, no lower !!! good start point. After riding a bunch you will fine-tune a bit up or down (in mm)
now the really hard, and very important part - cleat rotation
IF you have some cheap 'FLATS' Hanging around, those with old school cages work great, put them on the cranks

Put 2 layers of gray Duct Tape (any light color duct tape) on the soles of the sidis.
Now go ride the bike for some short distance, pick a very comfy gear which you don't have to 'push', just enough pedal pressure to keep your feet down on the pedals. You may have to do this a couple times before you get it done properly. ride around the block a few times, 1/4 , 1/2 mile
When finished, the duct tape should show a clear mark/line where the rear cage of the rattrap pedals have marked the tape.
Each foot/leg may show mark is a bit different, very normal, expected.
THIS is the alignment mark for rotation on that pedal side. Cut the tape at that line, then MARK the shoe sole (sidis) with some form of mark/marker line which you can see when you remove the duct tape. DO for each side.
THIS Line IS for the rotational alignment of the cleat - NOT necessarily where you put the cleat fore/aft - that is still determined to be the Ball O foot over the axle... Use the rotation line to orient the rear edge of cleat with the mark, parallet.
This will put your foot in the natural rotation of your foot/leg which you're accustomed to using...
if you've already caused some small continuing knee discomfort, you may need a few days to get over that...
Many others have other 'issues' which might impact on things like shimming, 'Q' and other considerations. But don;t assume - start with a good 'start point'.
Insoles
cushion insoles will help for pressure discomfort - I use them - not as a replacement for more structured insoles.
Road cycling shoes and clipless pedals accentuate things which never affect on soft sole shoes and unconfined use of flat pedals - just the way it is.
"float' in clipless pedals help a lot, but first you gotta get the cleats close to your optimum place - Rotation is critical for that.
Ride On
Yuri
EDIT: my way sets up to a natural position for foot/leg. There are other methods which works towards knee over pedal or straight sole when in pedal and a bunch of other alignments....
They may work. Mine seems to work for me and anyone I've helped get their cleats aligned...
... oh, and do remember to remove all of the duct tape before mounting the cleats... LOL!

Last edited by cyclezen; 07-26-22 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 07-26-22, 11:04 AM
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I would look more at the rotation of the cleat than worry about forward and back. SPD-SL pedals tend to self-center and try to push your feet to that position. If that isn't what your feet take on their own, you may be feeling the effects of that force. (I haven't ridden SPD-SLs but I believe they are similar to the old LOOK Delta cleats I've been riding for decades.)

You might try riding a short ride with the bolts to the cleats just barely tight. Twist your foot until everything feels right. Stop at a wall or fence you can grab, not twisting your foot at all. Carefully pull your feet out of the shoes without twisting them. Now tighten the screws. Mark the cleat location on your shoe with a marker or tape. Go ride the shoes again. Better? Keep trying, marking all your changes. Go for longer rides and keep track of how you felt and the cleat positions.

I have knees that are very sensitive to cleat rotation. I document how far the ball of my foot is from the crank and likewise my heel. I have to mount my cleats in different rotations right and left. If I didn't do this I would have had to have my knees replaced or quit riding many years ago.
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Old 07-26-22, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by MrLuke View Post
I watched few videos before but I don't like cleats max rear position .
Okay, you've said this a few times. I didn't see others telling you to go back to the max rearward position. It's not for everyone. It does feel strange at first. Especially if you are just coming from flat pedals where you may have been doing more pushing with your toes. I'm sure most of us have our cleats somewhere between the fore and rearward limit.

There isn't one perfect magical position where everyone must put their cleats. For me, I've moved my cleats around as I've gotten use to different things. Mostly they have over the years moved toward the rear of the shoe. Maybe in a few years of getting use to using cleats you can re-visit moving your cleats back just to see if it does anything positive for your performance.

But with knees hurting, you have more important issues to get taken care of and that is more likely the angle of your shoe, heel in or heel out along with the possibility you might need shims or wedges..

Last edited by Iride01; 07-26-22 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 07-26-22, 02:12 PM
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Thanks all for answers it can be that I need shims or wedges on the right shoe, will experiment with just simple metal or plastic bolt washers on inside screw. But when tuay i lowered next 0.5cm seat I started feel discomfort in front of left knee so like it was too low. Maybe push more forward those cleats now its like 4-5mm behind ball of feet. And I made little rotation of cleat to make heel a bit closer to bike.
I will experiment more in 2days because tomorrow I need to make my training plan so I will use my MTB with flat peals and watch position of feet too.

Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I would look more at the rotation of the cleat than worry about forward and back. SPD-SL pedals tend to self-center and try to push your feet to that position. If that isn't what your feet take on their own, you may be feeling the effects of that force. (I haven't ridden SPD-SLs but I believe they are similar to the old LOOK Delta cleats I've been riding for decades.)
Yes i feel this force no way that my legs feel free with even yellow cleats.
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Old 07-26-22, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by MrLuke View Post
I will experiment more in 2days because tomorrow I need to make my training plan so I will use my MTB with flat peals and watch position of feet too.

Yes, look at the position of your feet on a long climb. The soles of your mtb shoes might even have marks from the pedals. You can use that as a guide to set up clipless.
You might need a shim or some other special adjustment. I have big feet and I point my toes out when I ride. I have to use pedal extenders or my heels hit the crank.
If I try to force my feet straight it hurts my knees.
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Old 07-28-22, 09:31 AM
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I generally agree that your knee pain is probably at least partially due to a rigid unnatural position for your leg. Set your cleats in a more natural position that allows your knee to rotate easier — usually toes pointing more outward for men. Also, you can try cleats with more float. It is also possible that you are not used to the constant pedal contact and inability to move your legs like you can with flat pedals. Might take some time to get used to clipless pedals. Definitely take it easy cycling until you figure it all out. You don’t want an injury.

Happy cycling!
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Old 07-29-22, 11:07 AM
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I moved cleats a lot in front and almost all good now no more burning right foot. Maybe because whole life I rode on flat pedals, but I set up cleats in classic way so ball of feet over pedal's axle and a bit fingers outside but still left leg doesn't feel neutral maybe I have to set left foot opposite like both feet in same way " / / "or neutral. But any way it's much better, a bit more tuning and should be fine.
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Old 07-29-22, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by MrLuke View Post
I moved cleats a lot in front and almost all good now no more burning right foot. Maybe because whole life I rode on flat pedals, but I set up cleats in classic way so ball of feet over pedal's axle and a bit fingers outside but still left leg doesn't feel neutral maybe I have to set left foot opposite like both feet in same way " / / "or neutral. But any way it's much better, a bit more tuning and should be fine.
Yes, it takes time for some of us to find the right position. Right to left may be quite different. Don't give up and you will find a comfortable cleat position.
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Old 08-02-22, 08:53 AM
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Here's what's helped me.

1) don't lower the seat unless your hips are rocking side to side. Raise the seat until just before your hips rock.

When using shims, remember that the thick part of the shim goes to the inside of the foot, not the outside. It's counter-intuitive.
There is a maximum length that you can extend the pedals. So, 20mm on the extenders, plus so many mm's on the washers. Read the info at the site below.

I have no affiliation with the products below.

2) shim the cleats for the outside toe burning

https://www.bikefit.com/p-7-8-pack-l...at-wedges.aspx

3) use pedal extenders. I have a wide "Q" factor, but that's for another day.

https://www.bikefit.com/p-25-1-pair-...extenders.aspx

4) use pedal washers for more extension, if needed

https://www.bikefit.com/p-66-25-pack...r-washers.aspx
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