Whats causing pins and needles in my toes?

37monkey Posts: 141
edited September 2009 in Road beginners
I'm fairly new to road biking, this is the end of my forth week, and i've covered just over 300 miles, I'm riding a defy 3 (09) with the standard giant saddle and shimano spd's. I've twiddled with the bar heights and angles and moved my hoods accordingly, I've tried the seat post at different heights and moved the saddle to a point that feels right and tipped it down at the front a few mm. all this has minimised the pins and needles but i still get it slightly after about 30 mins of riding. I do move around on the saddle depending on gradient but i try to keep standing to an absolute minimum. I'm hoping it's the saddle but is there any way to try before i buy a new one?


  • afcbian
    afcbian Posts: 424
    I had this when I switched to spd's and found I simply had the straps too tight.
    Worth a shot
    I ride therefore I am
  • 37monkey
    37monkey Posts: 141
    thanks, i forgot to mention that i had discovered on my second or third time out that hot feet swell slightly, but i'll try some different insoles maybe and see if that helps
  • Fru T Bunn
    Fru T Bunn Posts: 159
    afcbian wrote:
    ... had the straps too tight.

    Got some shoes with a ratchet tightening mechanism overtightened.
  • skyd0g
    skyd0g Posts: 2,540
    If the pedals are MTB type SPD's rather than the road-type SPD-SL, it may be the SPD's themselves that are contributing to the problem you describe. SPD's have a smaller contact area than other (road) pedals - therefore any road "buzz" is concentrated on a smaller area of your foot. Similarly, MTB/SPD shoes are generally a little more flexible than road shoes, again concentrating the road vibration in a smaller area.

    I would certainly check the tension on your straps, but would also look at changing / adding to the existing insoles for more damping.

    Another area to check is the position of the cleats on your shoes, which may cause you to unwittingly scrunch-up your toes?
    Cycling weakly
  • FeynmanC
    FeynmanC Posts: 649
    I get this a bit too - i find i'm unconsciously scrunching my toes and it I relax and drop my heels a bit the pins and needles goes.

    Relaxing also helps with the speed and endurance as i'm not wasting energy on "holding on" to the pedals with my toes.
  • MattC59
    MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    When I started using road SPDs a couple of months ago (been using SDPs on my mtb since the original XT grenades) I had the same problem. Turned out I'd just over tightened my shoes. Simple as that, problem solved :D If you've got a number of straps, I've got two velcro and one ratched, try loosening them individually. This will give you a different shape of fit, rather than just a looser fit.
    With me, it turned out that I just needed to loosed the strap nearest to my toes, that stopped the pinching and the tingling in my toes.

    Either that, or your thong is too tight............
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • Check your saddle height as well
    Cannondale Supersix / CAAD9 / Boardman 9.0 / Benotto 3000
  • AGNI
    AGNI Posts: 140
    Fru T Bunn wrote:
    afcbian wrote:
    ... had the straps too tight.

    Got some shoes with a ratchet tightening mechanism overtightened.

    Had the same problem for a long time when using cross trainer. Also found that by loosening off the straps cured the problem.
    Still suffering with wind
  • mrchrispy
    mrchrispy Posts: 310
    straps....ill put money on it.
    (not my money btw :))
  • 37monkey
    37monkey Posts: 141
    I've tried different insoles and made sure that my straps weren't too tight (all velcro). Still no change, I really think it could be the saddle, I have tried it at different heights.
    Are saddles with holes in the middle any cop? and is there any way I can try one out before I commit my wallet?
  • LardLover
    LardLover Posts: 676
    + another one for too tight shoe straps :roll:

    (he knows from experience! :oops: )
  • Ok since everyone else is barking up the "too tight straps" tree, ill go with the "cleat position" tree.

    Try this link:


    It actuallly details a few reasons for numb feet but it tells how having your cleats too far forward will press on the nerves between the metatarsals causing numb feet.
    Do you have any Therapeutic Use Exemptions?
    No. Never have.
    Never? What about the cortisone?
    Well, obviously there was the cortisone
  • I second the cleat position.
    Move it back a tad towards the heel, this might help a lot.
    1,000km+ a month, strictly road.