Alternative pedals, Foot Position, Knee Pain

Cowsham
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Re: Catalyst pedals, Flat pedals, Foot Position, Knee Pain

Postby Cowsham » 4 Mar 2020, 5:40pm

yelfordrover wrote:I was going to start a new topic called "arthritic knee and amount of cleat float" and then came across this one.

I've been road riding for 30 years (now 68 yo) and always used clipless. Had quite a few bike fits & cleat position was generally unaltered; Shimano SPD-SL yellow 6' float cleats with my toes pointing very slightly inwards (about 3').

A year ago I had sudden right knee cap pain, saw a specialist who diagnosed arthritis but said to carry on riding & back off if it hurt too much. He was also a cyclist & suggested using Speedplay pedals to increase the float. Initially I changed to 150mm cranks & increased saddle set-back from 70-100mm & this seemed to help a lot but still had painful twinges. Rather than buying Speedplays I modified my SPD-SL pedals which enabled an increase in rotational float to about 20'.

To my surprise, when using the modified pedals both feet point inwards by a whopping 15' (estimated). It doesn't feel odd but I'm wondering if such a radical change may have negative effects; I've only had 200 miles on them so far.

Any thoughts?


My mate did the same on his mountain bike only his feet ended up with toes pointing outwards. It has the added benefit that a sideways flick releases.

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531colin
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Re: Catalyst pedals, Flat pedals, Foot Position, Knee Pain

Postby 531colin » 9 Mar 2020, 8:46pm

Cowsham wrote:I think knee too straight when foot at the bottom of stroke might be one of my problems ie saddle too high. Over extension is what I'm trying to say. Lowered the saddle half way home pain is instantly a lot less -- will try this a few days then try the cleats again.

I don't think its worth risking over-extending your knees. I set my saddle unfashionably low, so that I can pedal smoothly at high cadence on my worst day, when I'm stiff and tired. If I want more knee extension for a short burst, I just slide back in the saddle.

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531colin
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Re: Catalyst pedals, Flat pedals, Foot Position, Knee Pain

Postby 531colin » 9 Mar 2020, 9:30pm

yelfordrover wrote:I was going to start a new topic called "arthritic knee and amount of cleat float" and then came across this one.

I've been road riding for 30 years (now 68 yo) and always used clipless. Had quite a few bike fits & cleat position was generally unaltered; Shimano SPD-SL yellow 6' float cleats with my toes pointing very slightly inwards (about 3').

A year ago I had sudden right knee cap pain, saw a specialist who diagnosed arthritis but said to carry on riding & back off if it hurt too much. He was also a cyclist & suggested using Speedplay pedals to increase the float. Initially I changed to 150mm cranks & increased saddle set-back from 70-100mm & this seemed to help a lot but still had painful twinges. Rather than buying Speedplays I modified my SPD-SL pedals which enabled an increase in rotational float to about 20'.

To my surprise, when using the modified pedals both feet point inwards by a whopping 15' (estimated). It doesn't feel odd but I'm wondering if such a radical change may have negative effects; I've only had 200 miles on them so far.

Any thoughts?


Here are my thoughts....
When I turned 71, I found my feet were going to strange angles on the pedals https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=131678&hilit=cleats. I fixed this problem by moving the cleats back maybe 10mm, which had the unforseen effect of loading my quads. ..and I cancelled that out by moving the saddle back about 10mm.
So my personal experience is that very small changes in cleat or saddle position have large and sometimes unpredictable effects on my riding.

Gearoidmuar
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Re: Catalyst pedals, Flat pedals, Foot Position, Knee Pain

Postby Gearoidmuar » 10 Mar 2020, 2:53pm

Cowsham wrote:
yelfordrover wrote:I was going to start a new topic called "arthritic knee and amount of cleat float" and then came across this one.

I've been road riding for 30 years (now 68 yo) and always used clipless. Had quite a few bike fits & cleat position was generally unaltered; Shimano SPD-SL yellow 6' float cleats with my toes pointing very slightly inwards (about 3').

A year ago I had sudden right knee cap pain, saw a specialist who diagnosed arthritis but said to carry on riding & back off if it hurt too much. He was also a cyclist & suggested using Speedplay pedals to increase the float. Initially I changed to 150mm cranks & increased saddle set-back from 70-100mm & this seemed to help a lot but still had painful twinges. Rather than buying Speedplays I modified my SPD-SL pedals which enabled an increase in rotational float to about 20'.

To my surprise, when using the modified pedals both feet point inwards by a whopping 15' (estimated). It doesn't feel odd but I'm wondering if such a radical change may have negative effects; I've only had 200 miles on them so far.

Any thoughts?


My mate did the same on his mountain bike only his feet ended up with toes pointing outwards. It has the added benefit that a sideways flick releases.


My experience with my feet is that on flat pedals, ignoring the foot position for a week, and then looking, my right foot points out and left in, both parallel to one another. More float can help if you don't have enough. I had tons of float. I'm sure that what helped me is changing the vector of power through my knee by moving the pedal position on my foot back.
My knee remains pretty well perfect, for walking and for cycling and from having an aching knee in bed I have zero pain.

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Re: Catalyst pedals, Flat pedals, Foot Position, Knee Pain

Postby Cowsham » 11 Mar 2020, 12:34am

Gearoidmuar wrote:
Cowsham wrote:
yelfordrover wrote:I was going to start a new topic called "arthritic knee and amount of cleat float" and then came across this one.

I've been road riding for 30 years (now 68 yo) and always used clipless. Had quite a few bike fits & cleat position was generally unaltered; Shimano SPD-SL yellow 6' float cleats with my toes pointing very slightly inwards (about 3').

A year ago I had sudden right knee cap pain, saw a specialist who diagnosed arthritis but said to carry on riding & back off if it hurt too much. He was also a cyclist & suggested using Speedplay pedals to increase the float. Initially I changed to 150mm cranks & increased saddle set-back from 70-100mm & this seemed to help a lot but still had painful twinges. Rather than buying Speedplays I modified my SPD-SL pedals which enabled an increase in rotational float to about 20'.

To my surprise, when using the modified pedals both feet point inwards by a whopping 15' (estimated). It doesn't feel odd but I'm wondering if such a radical change may have negative effects; I've only had 200 miles on them so far.

Any thoughts?


My mate did the same on his mountain bike only his feet ended up with toes pointing outwards. It has the added benefit that a sideways flick releases.


My experience with my feet is that on flat pedals, ignoring the foot position for a week, and then looking, my right foot points out and left in, both parallel to one another. More float can help if you don't have enough. I had tons of float. I'm sure that what helped me is changing the vector of power through my knee by moving the pedal position on my foot back.
My knee remains pretty well perfect, for walking and for cycling and from having an aching knee in bed I have zero pain.


Well sussed out

yelfordrover
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Re: Catalyst pedals, Flat pedals, Foot Position, Knee Pain

Postby yelfordrover » 11 Mar 2020, 7:56am

I was wondering how my knees have lasted for 30 years if they've been held in what would appear to be a very unnatural position. I have noticed that for the first couple of miles or so I start with my feet in the "old" position & then they settle into the new very pointy in position. It all seems to make a mockery of the bike fits that I've had in the past.

The only slight difficulty is unclipping. Because of the mod to give lots more float I have to rotate my foot a lot more to get out. I know some will say "flats" but I dread slipping off them.

Cowsham
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Re: Catalyst pedals, Flat pedals, Foot Position, Knee Pain

Postby Cowsham » 11 Mar 2020, 9:14am

yelfordrover wrote:I was wondering how my knees have lasted for 30 years if they've been held in what would appear to be a very unnatural position. I have noticed that for the first couple of miles or so I start with my feet in the "old" position & then they settle into the new very pointy in position. It all seems to make a mockery of the bike fits that I've had in the past
.


Yeah but bike fits make loads a money.

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Re: Catalyst pedals, Flat pedals, Foot Position, Knee Pain

Postby Gearoidmuar » 11 Mar 2020, 1:54pm

yelfordrover wrote:I was wondering how my knees have lasted for 30 years if they've been held in what would appear to be a very unnatural position. I have noticed that for the first couple of miles or so I start with my feet in the "old" position & then they settle into the new very pointy in position. It all seems to make a mockery of the bike fits that I've had in the past.

The only slight difficulty is unclipping. Because of the mod to give lots more float I have to rotate my foot a lot more to get out. I know some will say "flats" but I dread slipping off them.


If you're using SPD MTB type, you can get silver ones which allow you to rotate in an unclip. These are less strassful on the knees as well.

yelfordrover
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Re: Catalyst pedals, Flat pedals, Foot Position, Knee Pain

Postby yelfordrover » 11 Mar 2020, 4:32pm

The pedals I've modded are SPD-SL road version, not SPD MTB type. Because I've got 20' full movement (10' either side of neutral), the minimum release angle is 10', not the 3' that comes as standard when using yellow cleats with un-modded pedals. Guess it's a small price to pay. Haven't keeled over yet through not managing to un-clip!

Just wondering what the angle of release is with Speedplay pedals, with their loads of float?

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531colin
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Re: Catalyst pedals, Flat pedals, Foot Position, Knee Pain

Postby 531colin » 11 Mar 2020, 5:33pm

yelfordrover wrote:I was wondering how my knees have lasted for 30 years if they've been held in what would appear to be a very unnatural position. I have noticed that for the first couple of miles or so I start with my feet in the "old" position & then they settle into the new very pointy in position. It all seems to make a mockery of the bike fits that I've had in the past......

I don't think your feet have been "held in a very unnatural position" for 30 years.
I started listing what changes I have been through in the last 30 years...eyesight worse; hearing worse; balance worse; strength worse; stamina worse; memory worse; dexterity worse; breathing worse.....and then I thought maybe this is unhelpfully depressing. :roll:
But my point is, why do you expect your comfortable foot position to stay the same as you get older?
You are experiencing what I have experienced.
I started riding in the sixties, with toeclips and straps and (depending on what I was doing) the original shoe plates we used to nail on our (leather) shoe soles. Toeclips came in 3 lengths, short, medium and long, and you picked the length which suited. When I changed to clipless I rode for a while in my new "clipless" shoes with rat trap pedals and clips and straps, so that the pedal marked the shoe sole and I knew where to put the cleat. So as far as I can tell, my foot position was largely unaltered for 50 odd years, until I was 71 (last year) when I started with the feet at comedy angles, only mine was accompanied by sore (crampy) calf muscles.
I moved my cleats back (ie. foot forward) and the funny feet and painful calves went away.
(Steve Hogg, who is a bike fitter whose opinion I value, says your calf muscles "stabilise" your feet on the pedals. He is worth a Google on subjects like cleat position and saddle setback.)
If you are worried about your feet at funny angles, try setting your cleats back maybe 10mm.

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Re: Catalyst pedals, Flat pedals, Foot Position, Knee Pain

Postby yelfordrover » 11 Mar 2020, 7:13pm

531Colin, I'm just 3 years before you in age. That post is one of the most informative I've read for a long time. I realise things change with age but for some reason just thought I would get slower & have loads more aches & pains; never thought about how my contact points might alter.

I have read articles from Steve Hogg. In fact I had a bike fit a couple of years ago by Scherrit Knoesen (The Bike Whisperer) who was trained by Steve.I know my body may have changed a lot in the last 2 years but his bike fit had my cleat position pretty much the same as what I'd been riding for years previously.

My cleats are already as far back as they will go & my Shimano shoes are ones which have slotted fixing holes to get the cleats 10mm further back than most other shoes. However I do have a pair of shoes which I modified for mid sole cleat position (from my days of riding a recumbent) so perhaps I should give those a try. Do you reckon it's just a case of feel to set the saddle height with modified cleat position? Or is there a formula for amount of seat height lowering versus increase in cleat set back?

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531colin
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Re: Catalyst pedals, Flat pedals, Foot Position, Knee Pain

Postby 531colin » 12 Mar 2020, 7:19pm

yelfordrover wrote:.........….My cleats are already as far back as they will go & my Shimano shoes are ones which have slotted fixing holes to get the cleats 10mm further back than most other shoes. However I do have a pair of shoes which I modified for mid sole cleat position (from my days of riding a recumbent) so perhaps I should give those a try. Do you reckon it's just a case of feel to set the saddle height with modified cleat position? Or is there a formula for amount of seat height lowering versus increase in cleat set back?


I use the 2 hole "MTB" recessed cleats, I don't know how the different systems compare for how far back you can get the cleats. I have one pair of shoes where I extended the slots a bit. I only moved my cleats about 10mm, and I tend to drop my heels, so I left the saddle height as it was.
I guess if you pedal toe down with your shoes soles at 45 degrees to the horizontal, you would need to drop the saddle half the distance you moved your cleats back??
What really surprised me was that moving my cleats such a small amount made my quads work much harder than they were used to, I got really sore quads. Then I found moving my saddle back 10mm or so took the extra load off my quads. I can't guess why that all is!
I'll be fascinated to know how you get on!

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Re: Catalyst pedals, Flat pedals, Foot Position, Knee Pain

Postby ANTONISH » 15 Mar 2020, 4:13pm

Gearoidmuar wrote:
yelfordrover wrote:I was wondering how my knees have lasted for 30 years if they've been held in what would appear to be a very unnatural position. I have noticed that for the first couple of miles or so I start with my feet in the "old" position & then they settle into the new very pointy in position. It all seems to make a mockery of the bike fits that I've had in the past.

The only slight difficulty is unclipping. Because of the mod to give lots more float I have to rotate my foot a lot more to get out. I know some will say "flats" but I dread slipping off them.


If you're using SPD MTB type, you can get silver ones which allow you to rotate in an unclip. These are less strassful on the knees as well.


They are SH56 - the standard is SH51.
I tried the SH 56 for a while and they do indeed allow unclipping in both rotations - I found though, that after some time unclipping became difficult- so I reverted to the SH 51.

Colin's mention of toe clips brought back memories. One thing I remember is that my left foot turned out somewhat at the toe. It wasn't a problem aligning shoe plates but I found difficulty aligning SPD's. Maybe I should have persevered with getting the soles marked in the usual manner.
Once the spd's had been tightened they made an imprint on the sole and it was very difficult to get the minor amount of adjustment needed.

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Re: Catalyst pedals, Flat pedals, Foot Position, Knee Pain

Postby Gearoidmuar » 16 Mar 2020, 4:52pm

Gearoidmuar wrote:
yelfordrover wrote:I was wondering how my knees have lasted for 30 years if they've been held in what would appear to be a very unnatural position. I have noticed that for the first couple of miles or so I start with my feet in the "old" position & then they settle into the new very pointy in position. It all seems to make a mockery of the bike fits that I've had in the past.

The only slight difficulty is unclipping. Because of the mod to give lots more float I have to rotate my foot a lot more to get out. I know some will say "flats" but I dread slipping off them.


If you're using SPD MTB type, you can get silver ones which allow you to rotate in and unclip. These are less stressful on the knees as well.

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531colin
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Re: Catalyst pedals, Flat pedals, Foot Position, Knee Pain

Postby 531colin » 18 Mar 2020, 9:02am

ANTONISH wrote:…...Colin's mention of toe clips brought back memories. One thing I remember is that my left foot turned out somewhat at the toe. It wasn't a problem aligning shoe plates but I found difficulty aligning SPD's. Maybe I should have persevered with getting the soles marked in the usual manner.
Once the spd's had been tightened they made an imprint on the sole and it was very difficult to get the minor amount of adjustment needed.


Once you have fully tightened them, MTB cleats make a dent in the shoe sole, and after that they want to settle back into the existing dent rather than make a new dent in a different position a couple of millimetres away.
I find I can fairly easily alter the angle of the cleat;
Pick one bolt to pivot the cleat around, this bolt only needs slackening a bit.
Back the other bolt off a few turns.
With Mole grips, grasp the parallel-sided projection at the back of the cleat, and turn the cleat to the desired angle
Tighten both bolts (slacker one first) while holding the cleat in position with the grips.
Moving a cleat a couple of millimetres backwards or forwards from its existing position is more of a challenge!