New pedals and shoes for someone with slightly dodgy knees

scrapyard_dog Posts: 7
edited December 2011 in Road beginners
Good afternoon all! :D

I've had my Specialized Secteur for a few months now and am loving it immensely.

I'm looking (probably after Xmas) to get some new pedals (the standard pedal clips are OK for now) and shoes to go with it. As there is a lot to choose from I was wondering if you good folks might have some ideas on what is good and what is not.

As mentioned in the subject, I have slightly dodgy knees (ligament op on left about 18 months ago!) so would be looking at pedals that offer a reasonable amount of movement (I've heard that Time pedals are not too bad for this).

Many thanks in advance for any help!



  • Gizmodo
    Gizmodo Posts: 1,928
    I've just started using Look pedals and cleats after a bike fit. You can buy different cleats for different amounts of "float". You have the option of "no float" - so your shoe is locked to the pedal with no movement, or 4.5 or 9 degrees of movement before you start to unclip.

    Best advice is to get a bike fit which will start by looking at your feet and how they sit in your shoes and connect to the bike. If you can't afford a bike fit, at least get down your local bike shop and ask to try some different options. If they are helpful they might have a bike on a turbo that you can try in-store before you buy.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Time and Speedplay are the best in terms of rotational float - the new Time i-clics are very easy to engage, downside being the durability of the cleats. Likewise, Speedplay are relatively expensive and do require require maintenance and cleaning.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Mike67
    Mike67 Posts: 585
    I've got these:

    Not too pricey Plenty of float. What isn't clear from the description the cleats can be fitted normally or swapped over to allow your feet to be further away from the cranks.

    Good if you tend to pedal heels in and run/walk like a duck like me :D (lots of ankle twists in my orienteering past). It allows me to get my foot down properly without having to twist my knee to avoid continually rubbing the crank and/or chainstay.
    Mike B

    Cannondale CAAD9
    Kinesis Pro 5 cross bike
    Lots of bits
  • markmod
    markmod Posts: 501
    +1 for speedplays
  • Don't think shoes particularily matter as long as they are a decent fit. Unless your knee problems realate to either hypermobility (too lax and prone to too much movement) or you have a misalingment which is correctable by fixing your foot alingment go for Speedplays. They have the most free (unresisted) float and so will allow your knee to find it's natural alingement - but - the float can also be limited if you need to restrict movement in one direction. They are certainly expensive and need a clean every so often (what on a bike doesn't?) but they are the best for most folk's knees.
  • Thanks all for the replies! :)

    Its such a minefield out there and choosing components is quite hard when you enjoy biking but don't know much about it!

    I'm guessing whatever pedals I get they are reasonably easy to fit?

    Will have another read through the suggestions at the weekend and see what the prices are like.

    Thanks again
  • The key thing is to align then properly and set them for your feet - another thing I like about Speedplay is there is so much float a little error in lining them up along that axis is easily corrected. I looked on a few web-sites and watched a few videos and set mine up over two years ago - but - I adjusted them just a few weeks ago and moved the left one 2mm forwards. That slight change eliminated a patellar tendon pain that I had had for two years!

    Moral of the story invest in a pro bike fit that includes shoes and cleats - wish I had!!
  • My roadie shoes were bought in the sales. Nothing fancy, no carbon, just plastic bottoms. You just want them to be stiff underneath for power transmission.

    I've had dodgy knees since I was 17 thanks to HM forces. I find that Speedplays, though expensive, are fantastic. Really easy to clip in and out of, each foot can be dialled into have unlimited or different amounts of float. Easy to service. Mine have done a few thousand miles in some shitty grotty weather and are still going strong after 3 years virtual everyday useage.
    Bianchi. There are no alternatives only compromises!
    I RIDE A KONA CADABRA -would you like to come and have a play with my magic link?
  • I use 520 SPDs and Aldi shoes and they seem fine. This is the second time I've had a go at clipping in .. the first time I had to give up becuase my knees complained. In hindsight this was due to incorrect fit .. second time around I spent a lot longer getting the fit right (experimenting, cycle a bit, stop, adjust, go a bit further, stop, adjust, etc) and I've been fine (1000 mile later anyway). The alignment of one cleat is different from the other for me - but I just "tuned" one cleat at a time. Preferably on a dry day cos I was parking up and then hoping around on one foot while adjusting cleats on the other shoe for quite a while.

    So agree with posts above - take the time to get the fit right.
    Sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail

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  • Oh and the SPDs are on Trek 1.5 road bike .. I didnt want to spend a load on kit (in case my knees said sod off again) so approx £23 for the 520s and £20 for the shoes. I now know that if I wanted to get better pedals/shoes that iut wouldnt be a waste of money cos of knee issues :-)

    Good luck.
    Sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail

    strava profile
  • Gizmodo
    Gizmodo Posts: 1,928
    I'm guessing whatever pedals I get they are reasonably easy to fit?
    to fit the pedals onto the bike you will need a 15mm spanner, preferably quite long as it may be tough to get the old ones off. The most important thing to remember is that opposite side to the chain is opposite thread. So on the chain side it is the normal anti-clockwise to remove, clockwise to fit. But on the opposite side, it is opposite - clockwise to take off etc.

    Fitting the cleats to the shoes is either 2 or 3 bolts, with different fittings. You need to position the cleat so that your weight on the pedal is on the ball of your foot or slightly behind.

    I recommend buying from your local bike shop and asking their advise on fitting!
  • EarlyGo
    EarlyGo Posts: 281
    +1 for what Gizmondo said. The critical part of the fitment is positioning the cleat onto the sole of the shoe, correctly aligned for your anatomy. If done wrongly this will worsen your already dodgy knee. Ideally get this done professionally or at least with plenty of advice from your LBS. This really is essential to the well-being of your knees. Also once you have fitted them, initially just do short rides and see how your knees feel after the ride /next day. If they're ok then gradually build up to your usual distance but be very alert to any discomfort in the knee area. I have dodgy knees and personally have had no problems with Shimano SPD-SLs and yellow cleats. Hope this is of some use.

    Regards, EarlyGo
  • exlaser
    exlaser Posts: 266
    +1 for time.
    if you want a spd type pedals, try time atac(its their mountain bike pedal). you can even get the in a road type pedal.
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