...what type of pedals are best for dodgy knees?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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DaveP
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...what type of pedals are best for dodgy knees?

Postby DaveP » 28 Mar 2007, 11:32am

I will be renewing my pedals soon, and having recently had a bit of a scare wth soreness and heat in my 50+ knees I started to wonder if this ought to influence my choice. I am not aware that any of my problems are pedal related, I just want to get the most out of the remains of the joints!
I'm currently using quills with the straps and clips removed to remind myself what its like. I've been happily tootling about with clips and looseish straps for years, I'm not sure why - it was trendy "When I were a lad" and now its a handy way to get the pedals positioned to start from the lights, and sometimes I remember to push and pull...
I've avoided clipless, some how they always seemed a bit intimidating, plus my preferred type of cycling excursion regularly seems to involve walking, and I dont fancy being miles from home wearing shoes that arent suitable.
Thats the past. In the present I'm intereted to find out if one of the three approaches is kinder to arthritic knees than the others. Is it better to be free to move about? Is it safer to be guided into a proper position? And so on. Is there perhaps somewhere I could turn to for professional advice?

PW
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Postby PW » 28 Mar 2007, 12:30pm

I'm 54 next month :cry: & using clipless. Time ATACs are comfy on old knees because they allow the foot to float within the binding mechanism. Easy to get in - insert the front of the cleat then stamp down, easy to get out - twist the heel outwards & pull. No bother. :D

rexlerego

Knees. Ibuprofen and Red wine.

Postby rexlerego » 28 Mar 2007, 1:43pm

Yes knees. We all started out with them and most of us still have them.
Mine are both just entering their 60th year, I love cycling and sometimes do great distances, not yet learnt how to 'spin' so continue my lifelong grind.

Converted to s.p.ds. a few years back and never regreted my decision.
My pedals have s.p.ds. on one face and are blank on the other., so during long rides I can shift my feet to get a bit of relief.

I generally stop and have a rest when the knees overheat. , also its very important to do a bit of walking now and then, for me this has never been a problem often get off and walk up the very steep bits anyway.

I always take cod-liver oil capsules, not sure how scientific this is but it seems to work for me.

I went to a pedologist (foot expert) I think thats what he was called, a while back following a period when I was unable to walk at all ! He taught me some exercises and gave me some plastic pads to put in my shoes. It worked.

If you are really worried see a medical expert, the pedals are important but will not cure the problem

Happy cycling.

thirdcrank
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Postby thirdcrank » 28 Mar 2007, 4:00pm

If you check the web you will find plenty of American shops that will fit cleats at $100 a throw but I have never seen that over here.

Whatever sort of clipless you go for, get some with float, i.e. so your feet can waggle about. If you get Shimano SPD, then the M series cleats are quite a good idea because they have float and also you can get your foot out easily.

If you have been using quill ("rat-trap" pedals up to press, your shoes will have a line across the sole caused by the pedal, try to copy that with the cleat position. Otherwise, if you search on this subject, there have been various previous threads covering cleat fitting. It is important because if you get it wrong, knee damage is almost inevitable.

Robby
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Postby Robby » 28 Mar 2007, 8:35pm

I remember reading some years ago that the most serious threat to knees is a bent pedal Axel , either from new or as a result of damage . The author concluded that the only pedals worth buying were Campag. and that after a knock pedals should be discarded or re-built with new Axel's , I think as far as the latter is concerned the advice given is sound but I hope new pedals are improved , might be interesting to check !

thirdcrank
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Postby thirdcrank » 28 Mar 2007, 8:50pm

Robby

You are right about bent pedal spindles but I think Campag are as likely to bend as anybody else's. The point is, I think, that until fairly recently, Campag had a full spares policy. In this case it meant you could actually buy replacement pedal parts, rather than replace the entire pair. I have heard described but have never seen a pedal testing guage which consists of a pair of rigid disks, each with a hole tapped to take a pedal (one rt hand thread, other left). The suspect pedal is screwed into the disk which is then spun. Any bending of the pedal is exaggerated by the disc, but all that is now gone, I fancy.

reohn2

Postby reohn2 » 28 Mar 2007, 10:56pm

DaveP Have you tried Glucosamine Sulphate ?
I've had no end of trouble with my knees in the past (probaly due to 15yrs in the pit then 20odd years in construction, in short a life time of hard labour not to mention cycling and hillwalking)then whilst talking to a chemist (who is also into alternative therapies)was recommended the standard dose of two tablets of 750mg of GS a day about a month later, hey presto new knees.I've been on it for about 7yrs.

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Mrs Tortoise
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Postby Mrs Tortoise » 29 Mar 2007, 10:16am

rex, I think you mean podiatrist, someone who treats feet, and orthotics may well help problem knees, especially with walking.

As for cycling, the shoe is important because it controls the way the foot is positioned on the pedal, particularly in clipless pedals. Most manufacturers are taking note of this, but Specialized seem to be the leaders with their body geometry shoes.

I plead guilty, I'm a podiatrist. :oops:

andwags
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Postby andwags » 29 Mar 2007, 10:25am

Shimano now have shoes that you heat up and can mold to your feet. I got mine recently and it transforms the normal stiff plank of a shoe into a comfy slipper. Absolutely amazing though they are pricey.

Andrew

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DaveP
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Postby DaveP » 29 Mar 2007, 1:20pm

Well, not one voice raised in favour of plain pedals - maybe I revealed too much...
Perhaps I ought to give clipless a try. After all, I'll never know, otherwise.
It is helpful to discover that others have done the same at a similiar time of life - thanks!
I think my recent discomfort was down to cycling while my legs were too cold. All the same, my wife's been pushing glucosamine sulphate and flax oil at me for a while now. I suppose its time to start taking the advice and the pills. The cycling I've done this year has made a big difference to my perceived wellbeing and I dont want to be forced to stop!
There was a review of clipless pedals in the latest C+. It looks as though the Shimano M520 or the Bikehut Trekking (single sided) would be a good start point for a pedal but I the shoe is certainly going to be important as well. I have generally used a pair of fairly light old style trainers - I like to be able to feel what my feet are touching - so that's going to be very different.
Most of the newer high tech shoes I've seen mentioned seem to be aimed at the more athletic cyclist who probably wont touch the ground with both feet at the same time till he gets home. By contrast I do walk while cycling, 'cos I like it, to enjoy the view, 'cos its too steep, pins and needles and many more excuses! Any suggestions for shoes that combine proper function on a clipless pedal while being comfortable for walking would be really helpful.

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Mike Rodgers
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Postby Mike Rodgers » 29 Mar 2007, 1:39pm

I found that just about the cheapest Shimano shoes, the MT20M were fine for both riding and walking (the cleats are recessed) and they look like "normal" trainers too.

andwags
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Postby andwags » 29 Mar 2007, 4:06pm

Any mountain bike shoe when paired with a mountain bike pedal will give you the ability to walk as much as ride. The stiffer the sole the better for on the bike and the more money you'll spend. The softer soles are more comfortable when walking but the performance isn't that much greater then a regular trainer on the bike. About £60 will get a nice light weight mountain bike shoe built for perfomance and some walking. At bare minimum get shoes that have one velcro strap across the top to give your foot support when you pull up - laces just don't work that well.

Stay away from one sided pedals as they can be a nuisance to always trying to find the correct side. Just my thoughts though as some people like them a lot.

Cheers
Andrew

Robby
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Postby Robby » 29 Mar 2007, 9:15pm

Dave , beware of Easter knees ! Regarding "plain pedals" , I have never used clip less and have sufficient stock of good quality platform pedals to see me out .

simon l6 and a bit

Postby simon l6 and a bit » 30 Mar 2007, 7:50am

Mike Rodgers wrote:I found that just about the cheapest Shimano shoes, the MT20M were fine for both riding and walking (the cleats are recessed) and they look like "normal" trainers too.

seconded - and the difference in performance between these and carbon-soled Sidis is less than we'd like to think

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DaveP
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Postby DaveP » 30 Mar 2007, 12:37pm

I seldom have difficulty persuading myself that because of my unique circumstances I really need the top of the range (insert product name). Its very encouraging to get some recommendations for the other end of the range!
I've just had my nose against Mr Evans window and discovered that the MT20 doesnt have a velcro strap, but the MT40 does. Seems worth it, if for no other reason than keeping the laces out of the way! I'm going to refer the matter to LBS - dont like buying footwear mail order - but its good to go in with some idea of what I want.


Easter knees?
Hhhm, I'll take a guess - suffering caused by over exertion without preparation?