Forum home Road cycling forum Road beginners

no more clipless pedals!

sculscul Posts: 9
edited August 2011 in Road beginners
i cant put it off any longer they are desroying my knees. i have spent a fortune trying different clipless pedals and they will have to go. i need some adcice on what pedals to go for, has anyone tried powergrips?

Posts

  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 1,961
    Speedplay.

    PP
  • sculscul Posts: 9
    tried them
  • I dont think it is the pedals but your foot and shoe combination. Specialised deliberately supinate the foot and this can be a real problem for some people. Get yourself a proper bike fit from someone who does the leg length, and who looks at your shoe insole. Adrian Timmis at cadence sport is superb but there are many others.

    Chris
  • sungodsungod Posts: 12,685
    ^^^^this

    get a proper bike fit
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • i am now thinking of buying a set of clipless and shoes.

    I naturally assumed that these would be a good progression is there anything i should look out for as i dont want to experience these problems.

    I have only been riding a month and though i find the cages i got more than fine i ride with a friend who has clipless and the only time he gets away is from junctions when i have to put my hand down to hold the pedal to slip my foot in.

    but i dont like them coz i dont like pulling away and having to lean down to hold the pedal to get my shoe in makes me weave a lil and there could be cars coming ...
  • OK, first thing you never need to lean down and hold pedal to put your foot in the toe clip. One side stays in the toe clip and is used to push off with. The second side uses the flat for first couple of strokes and then flips up the toe clip and foot slides in. If you need to you then reach down when steady and tighten clip. certainly in traffic I wouldn't bother tightening it.

    Chris
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    Dumping clipless due to knee problems? Reaching down to get into clips?

    I used to enjoy this place but honestly, there's beginners and beginners. Are people not able to ride bikes these days? Sheez...

    Apologies, but come on.
  • Well

    I started road cycling a year ago to improve early onset arthritis caused by a flipped cartilage while skiing when I was 16 (I'm 47 now). It was on the recommendation of a physio and it's worked brilliantly. Cycling in SPD-SLs on their loosest setting actually allows me to still do 4/5 10km runs each month. (Standard Boardman Team Carbon)

    I don't race or go mad but if I can get out for an hour of spinning it means I can go running the next day. Maybe you're pushing too high a gear rather than spinning. That can cause excess pressure on the joints. Also technique is important. Try to even the pressure out throughout the rotation of the crank. Not to the point where you're pulling up, but a forward down and back motion that means the crank is uniformly pressured all the time. Youtube is your friend.

    If the weather's nice and I'm home alone then I'll go out for 5hrs/120km-ish and love the chance to enjoy the countryside- instead of running now.

    All I can really advise is that (not knowing how old you are), it's always going to hurt if you're older. But what ever age you are. The more you do - then the more you can do- that never changes.

    I've never had a proper bike fit and I'm 5' 11" with short legs and a long spine but again found great advice on youtube about setting your bike up.

    If you're unusually big or small or into racing maybe a bike fit is appropriate but most of the time I think it's money better spent on the bike and use common sense.

    Putting flame proof helmet on!

    EDIT: TLDR: Unless you're an unusual shape it's not the pedals.
  • @CiB That's not very classy.
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    a340driver wrote:
    @CiB That's not very classy.
    Quite right. Withdrawn, blamed on onset of early-age grumpiness. Sorry.
  • I sympathise. A few years ago I was like you, posting on internet forums saying I'd had it with clipless pedal systems.

    The problem was, I have wide hips so need my pedals further apart (Q Factor), and I also overpronate so need my feet tilted inwards rather than flat to the ground.

    After years of trial and error, these are the solutions that worked for me:

    For my road bike, I discovered Look CX7 road pedals. They allow you to adjust the effective axle length (hence making your feet further apart) and also the angle to the ground, canting my feet inwards. Unfortunately Look don't make the CX7 any more (although you can pick them up on Ebay). Once I wear out the several pairs I own, I will go with Speedplay, which allow you the same range of adjustment. You need to get the ones with the longer axle options. There's load of info about this on the Speedplay website. Try these videos to see what I mean.

    http://www.speedplay.com/index.cfm?fuse ... mbs&cgid=6
    http://www.speedplay.com/index.cfm?fuse ... mbs&cgid=7

    A less complicated way of getting your feet further apart is to fit a triple chainset.

    For my MTB, I found that Time ATAC pedals are perfect. The triple chainset (therefore longer BB axle) means that my feet are the right distance apart anyway, and there's enough float in the pedals including the ability to cant my feet. I was sceptical so I got a used pair for £20 off Ebay, and haven't looked back. I used to get "hot spots" on my feet from using only the outside of my feet to spin the pedals, so I got some Specialized BG shoes with orthotic insoles to support my arches, and everything's groovy now.

    So to summarize: There will certainly be a solution out there for you, and it may take you a while to find it, but in my opinion the benefits of clipless pedals are worth the trouble.
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,226
    If you do ditch clipless and return to toe clips, dont cinch them tight. They are not a racing solution any more but for everyday commuting in a variety of shoes they work just fine.
  • Rich HcpRich Hcp Posts: 1,355
    I used to use Powergrips on my MTB, I liked them, but they don't fit all pedals.

    I'm not certain that it would solve your problem, but worth a go
    Richard

    Giving it Large
  • gilesjukgilesjuk Posts: 340
    Time or Look Quartz pedals.

    Loads of float and no angle adjustments required. Just position the cleat under the ball of your foot and you're away.
  • Really just sounds like the OP had the cleats not properly on, i've destroyed my knees from 2 different motorcycle accidents, and had knee pain the first few weeks after getting clipless, but once I got the cleat sorted and at the right angle, I have no pain.
  • MattC59MattC59 Posts: 5,433
    Have a look here: http://www.cyclefit.co.uk/bikefit-system-wedges-2 I used to get knee pain due to clipless pedals holding my feet perfectly flat on the pedals. Your feet and knees don't work in this plane, so the joints are put under stress, hence the pain.

    I bought some wedges and hey presto, problem solved. No more pain.......... at all !!

    There are a few posts on here, but have a look at my post on here, http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=12797279&highlight= it may explain your pain.
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • I've been riding for about a week using clipless pedals (I know...newb :roll: ) and thus far I haven't come off :oops: (though I had one close call) and don't have any probs with clpping in or out. My longest ride so far is around 18 miles with no after effects (apart from some sore muscles) - Rob...almost 60 on a Cannodale SS105
  • Wirral_paulWirral_paul Posts: 2,476
    As above, a proper bike fit would be my advice also. I had one a couple of weeks back after getting knee and shoulder pain. This identified the afore mention supination of the foot (very very common) requiring a wedge fitting to each shoe. It also identified that my saddle was 10mm too far forward causing strain to the lower front of my knee. Saddle moved back (and 3mm down), 15mm shorter stem fitted - position so much better and hopefully no more pain - i have to rest the knee for a few weeks due to the strained Patella tendon first.

    http://www.cptips.com/knee.htm

    Get the position right and clipless pedals should actually reduce the chances of injury happening by keeping your foot in the right place.

    As for the cost of a proper bike fitting (I paid £110 with Pedal Precission in Manchester) - probably the best money you will ever spend on your cycling (followed by coaching). Those who say its too expensive are generally those who havent gone for a proper bike fitting
  • CiB wrote:
    a340driver wrote:
    @CiB That's not very classy.
    Quite right. Withdrawn, blamed on onset of early-age grumpiness. Sorry.

    I get that too! :-) Nice one!
  • Really just sounds like the OP had the cleats not properly on, i've destroyed my knees from 2 different motorcycle accidents, and had knee pain the first few weeks after getting clipless, but once I got the cleat sorted and at the right angle, I have no pain.

    It's easy to dismiss knee pain as something that can be easily solved by training or by simple adjustments, but these comments usually come from people who are biomechanically "normal".

    I'm glad you got your knee pain sorted without too much hassle, but for those of us genetic throwbacks who have oddly-shaped skeletons, getting the right position can be a time-consuming, frustrating and expensive process.

    I agree that experimenting with cleat position might be a starting point, but, given the lengths the OP has already gone to, I am assuming he has already tried this. I would recommend he try the solutions I have described above, and/or do as others have said and get as proper bike fit.
  • Really just sounds like the OP had the cleats not properly on, i've destroyed my knees from 2 different motorcycle accidents, and had knee pain the first few weeks after getting clipless, but once I got the cleat sorted and at the right angle, I have no pain.

    It's easy to dismiss knee pain as something that can be easily solved by training or by simple adjustments, but these comments usually come from people who are biomechanically "normal".

    I'm glad you got your knee pain sorted without too much hassle, but for those of us genetic throwbacks who have oddly-shaped skeletons, getting the right position can be a time-consuming, frustrating and expensive process.

    I agree that experimenting with cleat position might be a starting point, but, given the lengths the OP has already gone to, I am assuming he has already tried this. I would recommend he try the solutions I have described above, and/or do as others have said and get as proper bike fit.

    That is true, but just like with the internet, I was expressing my opinion of the problem. Having 35% bone missing one the shells of both knees, as well as a hole in the bone on one knee, it was as simple as moving the cleats to accomodate for the slight angle difference compared to normal knees. Everyone is different though, as you say.
  • I am not going to preech to you the merits of spds. Its up to you what you prefer. BUT i will tell you my story and how i have come to appreciate my spds even with my own unique problems.

    17th Jan 2011 i snapped my patella tendon. Those who know the injury will know that its like being on a butchers slab and there is a lot of guess work in putting things back together. As such i have a knee cap that sits in a totally different place now and is about twice the size of the opposite side. Considering another member of this forum had the same injury about 2wks later and hasnt even returned to work yet tells you how serious it is. I returned after 1 wk and was riding withing 3months.

    My pedals have to be 100% right or not at all.

    I did my 1st 3 months on flats. It took time to get comfotable just riding but eventually found a comfortable set up and it worked. 100km + no problem.

    In august i got the spd-sl's and then started the mission to 'get them right'. Someone on here posted a very helpfull link to a guy who shows you how to set up your cleats in relation to your metatarsals. It involves sticky tape and pens but it worked on the good knee but not so well on the bad knee. I then went on a few rides to see its results. From that point on i marked the start point then carried an allen key with me to make minute adjustments. Eventually i arrived at a position which i can use for 100km plus without a single sniff of pain from the knee.

    At the moment i dont think i need a bike fit, but if i ever get to your situation, it will be the best £150 i ever spend. In fact i think i might get one done anyhow.
  • kingrollokingrollo Posts: 3,147
    I dont think it is the pedals but your foot and shoe combination. Specialised deliberately supinate the foot and this can be a real problem for some people. Get yourself a proper bike fit from someone who does the leg length, and who looks at your shoe insole. Adrian Timmis at cadence sport is superb but there are many others.

    Chris

    Hmmm - I can't agree - I paid close on £140 for fitting at the above. My shoes were taken off me, can back with shims, inserts, footsoles, all fitted blind - and no further adjustment made - when I told him I was getting a twinge - i was told the float in the cleat would take care of any adjustment.

    Also the 3 hour advertised - only took 2 - and thats including time out to serve customers - very dissapointed - and couldn't recommend.
  • tiny_penstiny_pens Posts: 293
    The main reason I can see for having clipless pedals is to get a consistent pedalling position. This should then allow you to adjust the rest of your position to minimise any other stresses whilst maximising muscle recruitment. In short clipless should be considered a tool in reducing knee stress.

    That said some pedals seem to work better for some people than others. I personally believe this is down to the q-factor or width of the spindles working better for some people than others. Again a well recommended bike fit is worth considering, although you can probably get the gist of the changes from speaking to a couple of people who have been for a fit.

    I have a pair of power grips. I don't think they are the solution for you. The idea is that to tighten the grip on your shoes you twist your heels inwards so you end up pedalling goofy style knees out. In my mind this would make your pedal stroke a little eliptical around the knee which could aggravate problems. The other reason I stopped using them was they were very shoe dependant and I struggled to get a good fit for shoes that didn't have a tapered shape. YMMV.
  • morstarmorstar Posts: 3,256
    It may be a long shot, and it will not be a cheap solution, but, if you are a man of means I can do a bit of digging and identify some truly astonishing podiatry specialists in Sweden who will almost certainly be able to help.

    I used to forecast sales and manage inventory for New Balance who are very popular with podiatrists due to offering different width fittings.
    I went out to Sweden to see the businesses we were serving and the level of science and technology in some of the businesses was phenomenal.

    The basis of these businesses is both custom shoe fitting and truly customised footbeds. Don't know what custom fitting is available for cycling shoes but the footbed technology is far, far beyond what you probably envisage from my description.

    Podiatry is quite big business in
    Sweden.
Sign In or Register to comment.