Short Leg Solution

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Short Leg Solution

Postby Tazzy » Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:41 pm

Since installing the for/aft adapter plates to my Speedplay Zeros I have noticed a distinct reaching feeling with my right leg and a slight niggle developing which I suspect is related to ITB. I have triple checked my cleat placement and both cleats are aligned perfectly equal on both shoes. After a little research and investigation I'm pretty sure that the root of the problem is my right leg being shorter than my left, made more obvious when I moved my cleats further back with the extenders. I know that the best solution to this problem is probably putting shims under my right shoe but it's not an option until I can get my hands on some and investigate exactly how much shorter the leg is. I've read that moving the cleat forward on the shorter leg can be a solution but I'm wondering if lowering my seat could be a better option. Anyone have a similar experience or words of wisdom for me before I begin tinkering?
Cheers,
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by BNA » Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:20 pm

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Re: Short Leg Solution

Postby sumgy » Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:20 pm

This would probably get you more answers if you put this question in Cycling Health.
However, Speedplay's have a significantly lower stack height than other pedal systems and you could find yourself needing to lower you saddle significantly as a result.
The human body is not symmetrical and as a result, too high a saddle will see you "challenging" one side of your body to reach the bottom of the pedal stroke.
This will in turn put that side of your body in stress and can lead to injury such as you are starting to find.

As always I recommend that you take a look at Steve Hogg and set up your bike via his method.

Read these topics in this order:

The right side bias
Seat Height, how hard can it be
Seat set back for road bikes
Addendum to road pedals, which are best
Power to the Pedal - Cleat Position
Foot Correction Part 1

Also read "Perspectives on Fitting
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Re: Short Leg Solution

Postby sherlock » Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:24 pm

Lower your seat .5cm. As posted above, Speedplay's have a lower stack height than most other pedal systems.
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Re: Short Leg Solution

Postby Tazzy » Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:33 pm

Yeah thanks, I have been reading through Steve Hogg this morning and found it very useful, infact it was how I came to the conclusion that my problem lay with a short leg.
The speedplays and seat height were fine until I added the extenders that put my cleats back and probably made the reach noticeable. I think the extenders did increase the stack a height a tad.
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Re: Short Leg Solution

Postby sumgy » Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:39 pm

Tazzy wrote:Yeah thanks, I have been reading through Steve Hogg this morning and found it very useful, infact it was how I came to the conclusion that my problem lay with a short leg.
The speedplays and seat height were fine until I added the extenders that put my cleats back and probably made the reach noticeable. I think the extenders did increase the stack a height a tad.


Moving your cleats back will have a similar effect to putting your seat up.
You will likely need to reduce your saddle as a result.
If you did not have a problem with reaching prior, I will guess that your problem is not an actual short leg but a result of your seat height.
What shoes are you using that you needed extenders?
Or are you trying out midfoot placement?
I only ask as I have 2 pair of shoes.
My Sidi's worked using Steve's recommendations with the cleats all the way back.
My Gaerne's worked without having to put the cleats all the way back.
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Re: Short Leg Solution

Postby Tazzy » Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:51 pm

I'm using Shimano SH-R190's and found that I needed the cleats back just a fraction more than all the way back without the extenders.
The reason why I think I have a shorter leg is that I only have the reaching feeling and symptoms in one leg, the left is fine. So perhaps I should lower the seat now to suit the shorter leg or just move the cleat forward on the short leg.
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Re: Short Leg Solution

Postby sogood » Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:57 pm

Tazzy wrote:The reason why I think I have a shorter leg...

Don't think. Confirm it with your partner or friend.

Lay straight on a firm flat surface and square your pelvis/hips up. Then check your two heels for leg length inequality. Other skeletal issues may give you an apparent leg length discrepancy, but this will confirm or deny your suspicion.
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Re: Short Leg Solution

Postby G-Ride » Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:48 pm

Don't leap to having a short leg - there are many forms of muscular tightness that can give the apparent symptoms of a leg length discrepancy. As suggested look at Steve Hoggs articles - they will go along way to helping you but arch support is the absolute key to start with.

If you want to shim a leg (and that's a very last step) if you have the extender plates you should still have the two plastic base plates that came with the Speedplays - use those - they would be worth 4-5mm.

Oh and cleats are rarely the same on both feet - they are not necessarily symmetrical. I have about 4mm difference between left and right.

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Re: Short Leg Solution

Postby trailgumby » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:30 pm

G-Ride wrote:Don't leap to having a short leg - there are many forms of muscular tightness that can give the apparent symptoms of a leg length discrepancy. As suggested look at Steve Hoggs articles - they will go along way to helping you but arch support is the absolute key to start with.

Double thumbs up. Your action can have a lot to do with it. Most people are different by a few mm, no big deal. How the brain fires the muscles has more impact unless the difference is 8-10mm or more, IIRC. I'm about 5mm, measured by CT scan - no biggie.

Also, you've moved your cleats back. On its own, this change will require the seat be lowered to compensate and avoid over-reaching, assuming your previous position on the bike was optimal.
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Re: Short Leg Solution

Postby sumgy » Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:29 pm

Tazzy wrote:I'm using Shimano SH-R190's and found that I needed the cleats back just a fraction more than all the way back without the extenders.
The reason why I think I have a shorter leg is that I only have the reaching feeling and symptoms in one leg, the left is fine. So perhaps I should lower the seat now to suit the shorter leg or just move the cleat forward on the short leg.


Re-read Steve's threads as detailed above (especially the right side bias).
You said you did not have this issue until you installed the Speedplays with extender plates.
As a result both of these things have impacted on your effective seat height and will cause you to reach with one leg.
Read the threads (all of them); set your seat height, setback and cleat position according to Steve's recommendations (cleat method 2) and if you continue to have the problem go and seek professional help (chiro, massage and perhaps physio).
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Short Leg Solution

Postby Dr_Mutley » Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:06 pm

sogood wrote:
Tazzy wrote:The reason why I think I have a shorter leg...

Don't think. Confirm it with your partner or friend.

Lay straight on a firm flat surface and square your pelvis/hips up. Then check your two heels for leg length inequality. Other skeletal issues may give you an apparent leg length discrepancy, but this will confirm or deny your suspicion.


Also check yr leg lengths with yr hips at 90 degrees hip flexion as measurements while laying flat can sometimes be misleading... I have seen several instances of a "shorter" leg in neutral (laying flat) becoming the longer leg in 90 degrees hip flexion (I being one of them). Then the question becomes which to shim?

Wrt to shims, u can make shims out of plastics found at bunnings. U can also improvise with wedging using plastic putty applicators from a hardware shop. Works out much cheaper, and most have close to a 1mm gradient just like the BFS wedges. If u need longer screws then any fastener shop is your friend. Most will have the M4 Phillips head screws in all the lengths u may need.

As an addition to the above Steve Hogg articles, read his knee pain article, which will help with yr ITB issues and relevant modifications.
http://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/blo ... knee-pain/

Also, dont forget to look initially at your pelvic posture on yr saddle making sure it's square, as unless it's square it's difficult to make the appropriate modifications.
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