I'm not a doctor but…
Cycling injury, recovery and health issues.
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9 posts • Page 1 of 1
So last week I got a new bike with shoes (specialized BG sport)/cleats/pedals etc. I'm a clipless convert so I've spent a few days getting used to them.
On Friday I did a small 35 km ride, and then yesterday bumped it up to 60km to see how my body faired on the bike and how I was adjusting to it. To my dismay I realised my left foot was rather sore after the ride. It twinges just below and in front of the inside bulbous bit (don't know the terminology) when I put pressure on the outside of my foot, but not when I consciously walk with a flatter foot.
My cleats were screwed in TIGHT. I also had the shoes strapped up quite tight. I also remember at the beginning of the ride feeling my left foot was being pushed slightly outward but just wanted to get on with the ride so I put up with it. I was having trouble earlier in the day with my shoes rubbing against the crank, and adjusted the cleats as far as possible away from the crank. I was having trouble on the smaller ride with the left cleat getting progressively looser from clipping in/out on the way and I did not want to have to stop all the time to tighten it back up, so I made sure they were very secure before the longer ride.
I should say that my foot was not sore at all on the bike. But obviously I do more walking that riding, and staying healthy is important to me as I've been fairly injury prone in the past.
Is it just a matter of resting? Could this just be standard for getting used to using clipless pedals and shoes? Obviously that choice not to fix the left cleat was a bad one. Hopefully after I adjust it again it will be okay.
Could be shoes too tight or not quite the right fit. Or shoes forcing you into a little change. Or the cleats not quite straight or aligned to how your joints move.
The key thing is to give your body time to adapt to changes before going big.
I recently changed from a pair of Vittorias to a pair of "dhb" mountain bike shoes. They're a much more snug fit, and it took a little while for me to get the straps adjusted to my feet, but eventually they settled in and now it's all good. Initally though, they were not very comfortable at all on longer rides.
Your extremeties do swell ever so slightly with vigorous exercise, so allow just a little for that when tightening down your shoes. They shouldn't slip, though.
Check your cleat alignment.
"People have a right to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Evidence must be located, not created, and opinions not backed by evidence cannot be given much weight." -- James W Loewen
+1. Good LBS's have jigs to help set up you cleat positions. But if you don't have a good LBS relationship, a useful strategy is to set up everything in the middle of its adjustment range, then tweak things a little bit at a time if you find that you're getting any discomfort. If you were hitting the cranks with your heel, you were a long way from the middle of the cleat's "toe-in/toe-out" adjustment; seems like you've over-corrected this well beyond the middle position. Make smaller adjustments from the middle position.
Giving your body time to adapt also means things like adding 10 to 15% to distances, not almost doubling them. Just like ordinary walking shoes, riding shoes need a bit of wearing in to get properly comfortable on your feet.
WombatK - Jerry Garcia, Grateful Dead
Well my LBS (not so local actually) adjusted them the first time I bought them. But the problem was that if the left cleat had even a little bit of give in it, after multiple clip ins and outs it would become progressively looser until you could basically shake it around on the shoe.
It was also the inside of my big toes rubbing the cranks, not the heel. That sounds crazy!
I cut my distance a went on a 40km ride yesterday. I adjusted the left cleat first and screwed it in so there was a little give but lo and behold it was loose after about 15km. I completed the ride without any pain while on the bike or off and walking around. So I think for the 60km ride it was definitely in too tight and in the wrong position.
The thing I find frustrating is that there is not reliable 'memory' system with this hardware. If I go to the trouble of adjusting the left cleat every time it's just going to end up loose anyway. I'm wondering if it's a problem with the shoe/screws. Does anyone else experience this?
I've never heard of anyone suffering from screws coming loose like this, and certainly have
never had that kind of trouble from either SPD or SPD-SL cleats.
It sounds like the threads in the shoes may be defective and/or the screw threads themselves.
I'd be taking them back to the LBS for them to fix - definitely a warranty job. Regardless of
the brands involved, if it comes loose that easily it's not fit for purpose.
You could always try putting some lock-tite on the threads, and the LBS may well do that. You
shouldn't accept that - properly designed and manufactured screws and threads stay tight
without adjustment on every ride and without extra goo in the threads.
WombatK - Jerry Garcia, Grateful Dead
Thanks for the advice Wombat. It did seem very odd to me that it was only happening with the left shoe and not the right. Much less clipping in and out on the left to be sure, but it's not as if I'm doing it 30 times or applying excessive vigour. I'll probably clip in and out 10-12 times on a whole ride if that.
Obviously if I screw them in tight enough they stay in. Recommended before was 5-6nm of pressure which is probably much more than I have been applying. I'll have a belt around tomorrow night with another tight setup to see how it goes on my foot and knee. I'll be in touch with my LBS for sure if I can't sort it out.
Just to be sure it is the pedal and not the cleat that offers varying degrees of float? As in the shoe should not be sliding around on top of the cleat, but the cleat should have some room to move within the pedal while it is secure on the shoe, if that makes sense?
All a learning process...
It's the cleat i believe that has the float. I have the yellow spdsl cleats which have float, the red ones do not.Tim
If I'm reading correctly, the OP is not sufficiently tightening the cleats to the shoes to provide some play or float? This is wrong and dangerous IMO. What brand of pedal and type/co our cleats do you have? As mentioned they may be ones that have 0 float. Possibly the solution is to change cleats.
Always looking for new rides & ride partners in SE QLD area
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