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Tell me about Q Factor

edited December 1969 in Workshop
I readlily admit to being a MTBer first and foremost, and since putting more roadmiles in i been getting really bad calf pain on on my right side, so i got to thinking that my cleats might be slightly wrong.

Then starting thinking about Q factor and noticed that my roadbike pedals are loads narrower than my MTB, could this be causing my crippling leg pain?

Why is it narrower?
Any good links?

Mleh Mleh Mleh


  • maddog_2cpmaddog_2cp Posts: 73
    narrower is more aero, and stiffer, and possibly better for your legs....

    have you considered it's the pedals. I've used roadie pedals and spuds and found the latter to be much better for my feet/knees etc.

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    Drop bars are a historical accident...... discuss
  • monty_dogcpmonty_dogcp Posts: 382
    There can be as much as 50mm difference in Q-factor between road and MTB's and certainly if your foot position isn't quite right, then it could exacerbate any problems. Generally, cleat positioning problems manifest themselves at the knees rather than the calf but it might be a good idea to get someone to watch you pedalling from behind to see if you've got any odd side-to-side foot or knee movement going on.
  • UranusUranus Posts: 887
    Just posted to another thread on here "knee pain":

    <i>"I know that for me the Q factor is an issue. The nearer I can get my feet to the centreline, the further I can go before I get twinges. On my mountain bike, with a triple and splayed cranks it can be as little as 10 miles! My feet might only be an inch or so further apart, but I really notice the difference compared to my racing bike with a narrowish double crankset.

    Some kind of canting wedges between shoe and pedal might help, I've not really investigated this yet though, just a thought I had."</i>

    So I suppose it might partly be a question of what you're used to (it's not often I ride the MTB), but I also think what your knees are like bio-mechanically.
  • just been using standard eggbeaters on both. The crank bros road pedals are even narrower!

    Mleh Mleh Mleh
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