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Another clipless noob with an issue

cowboyjoncowboyjon Posts: 89
edited August 2019 in Road beginners
After cycling for 14 months on flat pedals I finally took the plunge and bought some clipless shoes and pedals.

I knew they'd feel weird but I managed to get through my first session on the turbo trainer where I am going to use them for a wee while to get familiar before trying them on the road.

My main issue is it feels almost like i am pedalling with my toes due to the cleat position. This is obviously because I have always pedalled with my foot further back near my arches on the flat pedals.

They are spd pedals with dhb carbon shoes and yup indeedy I have the cleats positioned as far back as possible to try and mitigate the issue but I feel like I could still be doing with them a further 10mm back.

Anyone help with this 1st world problem?

Posts

  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    Shoe cleat fixings are generally optimised for what is widely regarded as the 'correct' positioning of the foot on the pedal. If you have previously been pedalling with your arches over the pedal axle, then using a more optimal/appropriate foot position will probably take some getting used to.

    Some shoes may offer more positioning options than others, but there won't be any that allow you to fix cleats anywhere near where you would like, by the sound of it..
  • Clipless pedals are generally designed so that the ball of your foot is roughly on top of the pedal. This is reckoned to be the optimal position for maximum power transfer. Pedalling with your arches is generally reckoned to be wasting effort. And it looks funny!

    Stick with the clipless and you will soon find that it becomes second nature. Everyone else manages, and we can't all be wrong!!!
  • Cheers lads, yeah I totally understood the long accepted fact is we should be pedalling on the ball of our feet like these shoes/pedals want me to do. It's just that I have never quite been able to wrap my head round the logic of it - introducing another hinge and using the calf muscle more to me is also introducing another place to potentially lose power and of course you are now taxing the calf muscle more which means your overall effort goes up too.

    I know I'm wrong but I don't know why.

    I'd love for someone to explain it like I'm 5!
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    cowboyjon wrote:
    I'd love for someone to explain it like I'm 5!

    Not being funny, but you may be more likely to accept it if you researched it yourself - there is a wealth of information out there on pedalling dynamics, foot positioning and other issues, all with plenty of science behind it.
  • I'd love for someone to explain it like I'm 5!

    That's what we have tried to do.
    You don't want to flex your ankle when pedalling?
    You don't want to use your calf muscles when pedalling????

    Have you considered an e-bike?
    Or a car?
  • Imposter wrote:
    cowboyjon wrote:
    I'd love for someone to explain it like I'm 5!

    Not being funny, but you may be more likely to accept it if you researched it yourself - there is a wealth of information out there on pedalling dynamics, foot positioning and other issues, all with plenty of science behind it.

    Ah. The old 'why don't you go away and research the subject instead of wasting our valuable time" Internet guy.

    This is a public forum pal, where people specifically come to to ask questions. If everyone took the same arrogant piss-hump like you this forum would cease to exist.
  • I'd love for someone to explain it like I'm 5!

    That's what we have tried to do.
    You don't want to flex your ankle when pedalling?
    You don't want to use your calf muscles when pedalling????

    Have you considered an e-bike?
    Or a car?


    Jesus wept, sorry I asked.
  • You haven't tried to explain anything - all you have said is 'that is the general accepted position'.

    Fook me gently, nevermind.
  • Sorry mate but you are wrong.
    You will not accept anything that contradicts your firmly held belief that you are right and the rest of the world is wrong.
    There are big multinational companies who have invested £millions into clipless technology and pedalling dynamics. There is a vast amount of info freely available on the subject but you seem to believe that everyone is out of step except yourself.

    We are trying to help you so please don't throw our efforts back in our faces.

    You are wrong and will have to change or go back to your frankly quite silly way of propelling a bike.
  • Sorry mate but you are wrong.
    You will not accept anything that contradicts your firmly held belief that you are right and the rest of the world is wrong.
    There are big multinational companies who have invested £millions into clipless technology and pedalling dynamics. There is a vast amount of info freely available on the subject but you seem to believe that everyone is out of step except yourself.

    We are trying to help you so please don't throw our efforts back in our faces.

    You are wrong and will have change or go back to your frankly quite silly way of propelling a bike.


    Listen I'm really sorry but before going forward I feel like I should ask if you are mentally impaired in some way because you seem to be putting some rather large words in my mouth. Are you confusing what I have come on here to ask with some other argument you have had somewhere else online?

    I haven't for one single second refuted the fact that I have been doing it wrong, all I asked is if someone could explain it to me like I'm 5 which evidently has insulted some trolls sensibilities on the Internet.

    Just to clear this up for you here's the direct quote from myself to save you looking up the page, "I know I'm wrong but I don't know why".
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    cowboyjon wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    cowboyjon wrote:
    I'd love for someone to explain it like I'm 5!

    Not being funny, but you may be more likely to accept it if you researched it yourself - there is a wealth of information out there on pedalling dynamics, foot positioning and other issues, all with plenty of science behind it.

    Ah. The old 'why don't you go away and research the subject instead of wasting our valuable time" Internet guy.

    This is a public forum pal, where people specifically come to to ask questions. If everyone took the same arrogant piss-hump like you this forum would cease to exist.

    Nice response. I just meant that generally speaking, people are far more likely to accept/retain information they learn for themselves. Pedalling is not a 'dark art', there is no secret to it and the information you are asking for is widely available and easily accessible online. But you want it explaining to you 'like you are a five year old' - and ironically you are actually behaving like one.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 2,678
    If some was about to hit you would you use the heel of your hand to defend yourself or your fist. It similar to pedalling a bike, you get more power.
    Also try sprinting or climbing out of the saddle with your instep on the pedal. It doesn’t work.
  • webboo wrote:
    If some was about to hit you would you use the heel of your hand to defend yourself or your fist. It similar to pedalling a bike, you get more power.
    Also try sprinting or climbing out of the saddle with your instep on the pedal. It doesn’t work.

    Thanks dude. Sounds about right.

    Other than that, I regret posting anything.

    Good old forums.
  • No worry boyo.
    I've just reported you to the mods.
    You are a pillock and don't deserve any help.
  • diamonddogdiamonddog Posts: 3,368
    edited August 2019
    cowboyjon wrote:
    After cycling for 14 months on flat pedals I finally took the plunge and bought some clipless shoes and pedals.

    I knew they'd feel weird but I managed to get through my first session on the turbo trainer where I am going to use them for a wee while to get familiar before trying them on the road.

    My main issue is it feels almost like i am pedalling with my toes due to the cleat position. This is obviously because I have always pedalled with my foot further back near my arches on the flat pedals.

    They are spd pedals with dhb carbon shoes and yup indeedy I have the cleats positioned as far back as possible to try and mitigate the issue but I feel like I could still be doing with them a further 10mm back.

    Anyone help with this 1st world problem?
    I used to feel the same but as you get used to the cleats you don’t even think about it. I have 5 different sets of shoes from four makers and they all feel fine now after initially feeling that the cleats were wrongly positioned. Just persevere with them and it will all come together.
  • diamonddog wrote:
    cowboyjon wrote:
    After cycling for 14 months on flat pedals I finally took the plunge and bought some clipless shoes and pedals.

    I knew they'd feel weird but I managed to get through my first session on the turbo trainer where I am going to use them for a wee while to get familiar before trying them on the road.

    My main issue is it feels almost like i am pedalling with my toes due to the cleat position. This is obviously because I have always pedalled with my foot further back near my arches on the flat pedals.

    They are spd pedals with dhb carbon shoes and yup indeedy I have the cleats positioned as far back as possible to try and mitigate the issue but I feel like I could still be doing with them a further 10mm back.

    Anyone help with this 1st world problem?
    I used to feel the same but as you get used to the cleats you don’t even think about it. I have a 5 different sets of shoes from four makers and they all feel fine now after initially feeling that the cleats were wrongly positioned. Just persevere with them and it will all come together.


    Thanks dude. Appreciate it.
  • No worry boyo.
    I've just reported you to the mods.
    You are a pillock and don't deserve any help.

    What the hell are you talking about?

    You have attacked me for things I literally have not said - the words are all there.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    cowboyjon wrote:
    No worry boyo.
    I've just reported you to the mods.
    You are a pillock and don't deserve any help.

    What the hell are you talking about?

    You have attacked me for things I literally have not said - the words are all there.

    You're the one who kicked off with the verbal abuse, 'cowboy'...
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 12,601
    Appears to be a thread for the over sensitive.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • awaveyawavey Posts: 2,368
    but its confusing me because afaic my ball joint is the most powerful springy motion my foot has, its not a hinge, its acting like a lever, if Im doing the long jump for instance (as an example most people will have done) you dont launch off the board using your big toe, youll end up jumping like youve tripped over, you dont use the arch of your foot either (youd foul anyway in most cases as your foot would be over the board) but youd flat foot jump, the best launch is on the ball of your foot.

    translate that to pedalling each pedal is a long jump hitting the board but instead its a pedal, pedal with your arch, you are pedalling flat footed, and damaging a bunch of nerves, pedal with your toe, theres too much flex you are losing power in translating the leg action which is thigh muscle really because thats the biggest most powerful leg muscle, calf is about holding your foot in position IMO though Id accept I could be wrong on that.

    the biggest strain it puts on your feet is really the achilles because its that you use to try to hold your foot in the same place but the circular motion means its always actually moving, but some people with poor bike fits may well end up pedalling heel down which puts extra strain on their calf/achilles and their foot may well feel more comfortable nearer the arch to compensate

    so its probably a combination of getting the right bike fit and ball joint pedalling you need to look at.
  • Hi There Im a noob also and the clipless pedals took me ages to get used to, about 4 months especially when approaching a roundabout and positioning myself and keeping my toes in place just stick with it you will soon get it !!
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    Billions around the world ride bikes, often barefoot, with the pedals smack in the middle of their feet, and I've read about some serious cyclists experimenting with cleats further back than is conventional, for reasons I now forget. But I'm sure if it was more effective or more efficient, Team GB / Sky / Ineos would've been doing it.

    I'm guessing with the pedal under the forefoot you get a bit of extra power from contracting the calf muscle as you point your toes down...
  • ErasmusErasmus Posts: 48
    I had a motor bike accident many years ago, and the ball of my right foot is now further forward for me than the other bones. It's enough to make the traditional method unworkable for me. So I suggest that the shape of your foot, and position of your metatarsal bones, might influence what works for you personally.

    As keef66 says, there are numerous contradictory views to the ball of foot over pedal spindle approach, and Steve Hogg has written some good articles on this. Also see https://www.bikejames.com/strength/do-y ... you-pedal/

    It's worth persisting with what works for you - even if one method works for 90+%, it's still only a good starting point. Good luck, John
  • Erasmus wrote:
    I had a motor bike accident many years ago, and the ball of my right foot is now further forward for me than the other bones. It's enough to make the traditional method unworkable for me. So I suggest that the shape of your foot, and position of your metatarsal bones, might influence what works for you personally.

    As keef66 says, there are numerous contradictory views to the ball of foot over pedal spindle approach, and Steve Hogg has written some good articles on this. Also see https://www.bikejames.com/strength/do-y ... you-pedal/

    It's worth persisting with what works for you - even if one method works for 90+%, it's still only a good starting point. Good luck, John


    Thanks for sharing, that's an excellent article!

    So far I have done 4 turbo sessions with these new clipless affairs and I have managed to get through despite also raising the intensity by 8% at the same time.

    Initially I thought upping the session difficulty aswell as switching to clipless would be a struggle but I got through it.

    I am definitely experiencing some piercing calf cramps due to the new foot position I am forcing my body to learn but that's to be expected in the beginning.

    Another week or two getting used to them indoors and I'll head onto the road with them and see if they are all they're cracked up to be.
  • Cleat position is an interesting one. If the cleat feels too far forward it may be and it may be that the shoe you have doesn't allow the right a mount of adjustment.

    I don't use mid-foot cleats, but there are high profile coaches and fitters that recommend it (Joe Friel for one). Some info here from Steve Hogg https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/bikefit/2011/04/power-to-the-pedal-cleat-position/#targetText=Midfoot%20cleat%20position%20is%20when,drawn%20on%20the%20foot%20below.

    I have three pairs of road shoes - Mavic Rapha and Fizik. The Fizik are the only ones where I've had to drill the soles to get the aft position that feels best for me.
  • gimplgimpl Posts: 268
    cowboyjon - don't let the keyboard warriors grind you down, there are some real tools posting on this site and you came across two of them.

    This is the Beginners section ffs! If people can't post 'noobie' questions on here where can they?
  • Wee update.

    I've been using and enjoying the new setup indoors for the last 2 or 3 weeks and on Saturday I ventured outside for the first time.

    Got on pretty good - I didn't set out to knock my pan in but ended up setting some pb's and even claimed a KOM on strava in my weight class.

    Unfortunately I arrived home with the back of my left knee hurting a bit. Nothing major, or so I thought.

    The next morning when I woke up I realised it was actually a fairly serious injury to the knee biceps femoris that looks like it will keep me off the bike for the forseable future. At a guess I'd say I've pulled or torn a tendon back there and I'm going to have to visit a sports physio to get it properly diagnosed.

    I am beyond gutted.

    My training had been going stupidly well up until this point and I'm now looking at losing all that hard earned power and fitness.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    Suggest you might have an issue with either saddle height, or with cleat position on that side, IMO...
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