Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

New to Clipless Pedals/ Knee Pain/ More Float needed?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

New to Clipless Pedals/ Knee Pain/ More Float needed?

Old 05-09-11, 06:41 PM
  #1  
tafkam
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 30
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
New to Clipless Pedals/ Knee Pain/ More Float needed?

Hello all, I was hoping someone with a similar experience could give me some advice.

I used clipless pedals for the first time this year, got some Shimano Ultegra SPD SL and use the 6 degree float cleat.

My first ride on them was only 6 miles, no issues. However, a few days later I went about 16 miles and afterwords my knees hurt, not bad, but enough to notice. Up until then I had used regular platform pedals with toe clips and had ridden up to 50 miles with no knee pain.

The pain was gone the next day, but concerns me.

Can anyone tell me if I should either keep going, maybe my knees will become used to it, or would a greater amount of float make a difference?

I don't want to start another Shimano vs Look vs Speedplay thread, but I am considering going with Look Keo 2 Max with the red cleat for 9 degrees of float, or maybe the Speedplay Zero, which I understand is adjustable to even more float. I am currently researching the Looks vs Speedplay and reading the varying options on those.

Or am I off base by assuming that more float would help my knee pain? I am 45 years old, and on that long ride of almost 50 miles last summer, everything else hurt but my knees were fine, and the slight pain I had after just that short 16 miles concerns me, so if I need to move to different pedals than the Ultegras I will, as I think my only float options with those are none or 6 degrees.

Any else get any new pain when they used clipless for the first few times? Maybe this is normal, but I want to make sure before I take any more longer rides.


Thanks for any info, I would appreciate it.

Mike
tafkam is offline  
Old 05-09-11, 06:44 PM
  #2  
Runner 1
Cookies!
 
Runner 1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 629

Bikes: Red Huffy, CAAD10 Rival

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have severe knee problems I got from college running (this past December). I can barely walk, but cycling is fine. Platform pedals worked okay, but I just got the Speedplay Zeros for my new bike, and they are very comfortable. No pain except when twisting out of the pedal -- I should have maybe gone with the light actions.
Runner 1 is offline  
Old 05-09-11, 06:53 PM
  #3  
Carbon Unit
Live to ride ride to live
 
Carbon Unit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 4,896

Bikes: Calfee Tetra Pro

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The issue might not be float but the amount of twisting you need to do to disengage. I use Speedplay pedals on my road bike and Look Classic for my spin class. I have to twist my foot much harder to disengage the Look pedals and I feel it in my knees.
Carbon Unit is offline  
Old 05-09-11, 06:56 PM
  #4  
Nick Bain
Senior Member
 
Nick Bain's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Driftless
Posts: 1,832

Bikes: Caad8, Mukluk 3, Trek Superfly, Gary Fisher Irwin.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 102 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It is recommended to figure out foot angles. there is also cleat shims for footbed angle for manufactuers that don't know how to make shoes. there may be some getting used to period but proceed with caution, pain means bad, soreness might be ok.

Last edited by Nick Bain; 05-09-11 at 06:59 PM.
Nick Bain is offline  
Old 05-09-11, 07:11 PM
  #5  
allenspark
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Allenspark Colorado
Posts: 13

Bikes: Titus Modena, Schwinn Factory Homegrown.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
i use road pedals for my road bike, but for years i used egg beaters on my roadie. I have chronic knee pain from running, and the beaters never failed me. My road pedals sometimes bother me.
allenspark is offline  
Old 05-09-11, 07:12 PM
  #6  
clink83
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,025
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Having more float in your pedal is not a replacement for having a proper fit.
clink83 is offline  
Old 05-09-11, 07:31 PM
  #7  
mvnsnd
Senior Member
 
mvnsnd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: WNY
Posts: 2,883

Bikes: Caad10, Caad2

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 228 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
As mentioned already, float may or may not be an issue. there are plenty of riders that have no float. In fact, I rode many years ago with toe clips and no float cleats. Who set up the cleats on your shoes? The cleat needs to be aligned to where your foot is on the pedal. If you did it yourself, chances are you got the alignment wrong and need to make adjustments. There is no reason a clipless setup should feel any different than using clips.
mvnsnd is offline  
Old 05-10-11, 07:46 AM
  #8  
tafkam
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 30
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
thanks

Thanks for the replies so far. The bike shop installed the cleats and I got in informal fitting on the bike at the store, so I am hoping that is all correct.

On that 16 mile ride I only unclipped one time in the middle as it was on a bike path, so I don't know if it was just the twisting motion of unclipping as I only did it once during the ride and once after.

I will check with the bike shop that set me up to see if they want to maybe change the cleat position a bit to see if that helps, but I also am leanging towards getting some Keos that have a 9 degree float just to see if that makes any difference.
tafkam is offline  
Old 05-10-11, 08:28 AM
  #9  
pallen 
Descends like a rock
 
pallen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 4,022

Bikes: Scott Foil, Surly Pacer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've been dealing with knee pain that shows up around 50 miles. What I've learned so far is that there are million different things that cause knee pain and about a million different ways different people have solved it. So far, nothing has fixed mine yet. So far I've moved my seat back, swapped out shorter cranks, and done lots of stretching. I just ordered some wedges - I'm going to play with those and see if they help, though I don't see any obvious side to side knee movement as I pedal.

I may break down and go see a local orthopedist that works with cyclists a lot here.
pallen is offline  
Old 05-10-11, 01:16 PM
  #10  
ericm979
Senior Member
 
ericm979's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Santa Cruz Mountains
Posts: 6,169
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by clink83 View Post
Having more float in your pedal is not a replacement for having a proper fit.
This.

Pay attention to how your feet feel while pedalling. Do you want to turn your feet outward or inward? Adjust the cleat to match, until you get to a neutral position that feels natural.
That's how I set my cleats, and I'm comfortable for many hours in the saddle with 0 float cleats.

Or pay someone experienced to set them up for you.
ericm979 is offline  
Old 06-21-11, 02:07 PM
  #11  
VaMoots
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 133
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Get a serious fit. Twisting out is very unlikely to be the issue and in any event you can adjust the amount of force needed to get in and out.
VaMoots is offline  
Old 06-23-11, 07:07 AM
  #12  
carpediemracing 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Posts: 15,092

Bikes: Tsunami Bikes

Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 262 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by clink83 View Post
Having more float in your pedal is not a replacement for having a proper fit.
+2

"Float" just gives you a +/- range centered around the right adjustment.

In other words you should fit the cleats as if you had no float. Then the minor movement you may have after gets absorbed by float.

An easy way to check if you're close in alignment - you should have about equal float to either side of your preferred foot angle. In other words if you pedal for a while, easy, then coast (without twisting your foot in or out), you should be able to move your foot inward and outward about the same amount.

That means you're in the middle of the float range.

If your foot is up against the stops on one side, it means your foot probably wants to move further over that direction. If twisting your heel out from "neutral" causes the cleat to start unclipping, then you need to twist the cleat a bit to give yourself a more centered "neutral".

A good way to adjust is to try and feel how your foot wants to turn, based on knee/hip/whatever alignment. Get a feel for what your foot wants to do while you're pedaling. Bring a tool to adjust your cleat while you ride, or, better yet, do some rides on a trainer and fiddle with your cleat position while you're indoors and have quick access to tools/etc without having to stop on the shoulder to adjust your cleat.

Remember that your walking foot "alignment" has nothing to do with your pedaling foot alignment. Examine your foot angle with a totally open mind.

As a starter you may just stand sideways on some steps and dangle one foot loosely in the air. Relax, don't try and force your foot to point in or out, and then look down. This is my approximate foot angle, although it's a correlational relationship, not a causal one (in other words, it works for me, but it may just be a coincidence, just like there is generally more crime in areas with more churches - not because churches cause crime, but there is more crime where there are more people, and where there are more people, there are more churches; crime:churches is correlational, population:crime is causal).
carpediemracing is offline  
Old 06-23-11, 09:05 AM
  #13  
Ultraslide
Senior Member
 
Ultraslide's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Evansville, IN
Posts: 782

Bikes: 73 Raleigh Supercourse, 99 Specialized Stumpjumer, 08 LeMond Tourmalet

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by clink83 View Post
Having more float in your pedal is not a replacement for having a proper fit.
+3 Get your cleats aligned.

If you can afford a full fit where shoe and cleat angles are corrected - do so. BG Fit, Retul and Serrota are all fit systems that will adjust your cleat and shoe angles depending on your foot, knee, hip alignment. This is probably the single best thing to do for your knees, ankles and IT bands. Cost will be around $250.
Ultraslide is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
HardyWeinberg
Professional Cycling For the Fans
1
01-19-13 11:53 AM
phantomcow2
Foo
0
01-26-11 10:02 PM
Nichole
Commuting
139
04-20-10 04:10 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.