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Pedal clip alignment

errecaldiaerrecaldia Posts: 41
edited September 2019 in Road general
I'm looking for help, a tricky situation. I have an issue with pedal alignment, but it's complicated by a health issue.

When I started road cycling, 8 years ago, I had trouble with the clip alignment on the left. Starting with the clip in a neutral position, I was getting cramps and pins and needles. Gradually, by trial and error, I found a position with the shoe well back on the pedal and toed in, quite a way off 'normal'.

Recently, back problems have hit in, prolapsed discs and spinal stenosis. The bike has been my saving grace, but I've had to modify my position from competitive to endurance. Ironically, because of the need to develop my core musculature and the importance of cycling for my health, I've become a stronger and faster and now have a much better bike.

But, in the last few weeks, the left side problems have come back.

Here's the complication. My back issues are prone to cause sciatica, for me public enemy number 1. I can fight through pain but sciatica stops my muscles working so I'm stumped.

At first, I wrote the left side problems down to sciatica, but I'm no longer sure, I suspect that it may be the pedal issue again. Trouble is, i can no longer remember what it felt it before, so it's hard to say this is pedal-related and not sciatica.

The two things that almost persuade me it's a bike issue are that the weird nerve feeling (between cramp and pins and needles) tends to start in the foot, quickly crossing the knee but getting no further, whereas true sciatica tends to start in the thigh, cross the knee and then eventually get to the foot. The other is that if I adjust the clip position, I can reduce (but not eliminate) the problem.

So, please, can anyone tell me what a pedal alignment issue should feel like, and if there is any logical way for determine the way the clips should be adjusted?

For info, I'm wearing SIDI shoes which are significantly oversize so I doubt here is a problem with them. I'm not very comfortable on the saddle (I've posted earlier about this but not resolved the problem) although if this was contributing to the problem, I guess it would be both sides.

Posts

  • webboowebboo Posts: 3,828
    You need the advice of a Physiotherapist who understands cycling or one who does bike fits. Not a random folk on forum other than those who could suggest said Physio.
  • AlejandrosdogAlejandrosdog Posts: 1,975
    Webboo wrote:
    You need the advice of a Physiotherapist who understands cycling or one who does bike fits. Not a random folk on forum other than those who could suggest said Physio.

    Id say were a good straw pole to start with.

    Fwiw i had terrible back problems following a broken back and pelvis, no end of fannying with position helped . I found pilates strengthened my core, stretched my muscles and relieved loads of the pain.

    It was cheap, quick acting and a massive relief to me
  • Webboo wrote:
    You need the advice of a Physiotherapist who understands cycling or one who does bike fits. Not a random folk on forum other than those who could suggest said Physio.

    Id say were a good straw pole to start with.

    Fwiw i had terrible back problems following a broken back and pelvis, no end of fannying with position helped . I found pilates strengthened my core, stretched my muscles and relieved loads of the pain.

    It was cheap, quick acting and a massive relief to me

    Sadly, I have no idea how to find a bike fitting PT who knows his stuff. Clearly, this is beyond the obvious stuff about leg and back angles that a bike shop guy would do.

    How does a bike fit PT find out what's good for you? What kind of questions does he ask?

    I've been working hard on core, too hard, actually, I re-injured a disc with Pilates (avoided the double leg lift like the plaque but still managed to over-do it). So now I walk a little, run a little and bike a lot and leave everything else alone so that the work is natural. To get the core strength, I use a lot of low cadence high torque, out of the saddle pulling as well as pushing, a nice cross-core work-out.
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 8,957
    I don't want to sound like a censored , but wearing correct size shoes is probably an incredibly good start.

    Why are you wearing them oversize?
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
    Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
  • Ben6899 wrote:
    I don't want to sound like a censored , but wearing correct size shoes is probably an incredibly good start.

    Why are you wearing them oversize?

    Ah, well, my feet are wide and flat so not a good fit in a standard shoe shape. For walking, I have to put up with a shoe that fits where it squeezes, but for cycling, where there isn't the problem of blisters from a lot of movement of foot within shoe, I choose a shoe that fits where it touches, so a little oversize by normal terms. I found it works best because on a long ride, a shoe that pinches becomes very aggravating.
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 8,957
    Ah so you're wearing Sidi's wide model? Cool.

    Or a shoe that's too big (length wise)? Because that will cause problems.
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
    Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
  • wongataawongataa Posts: 944
    Errecaldia wrote:
    Ben6899 wrote:
    I don't want to sound like a censored , but wearing correct size shoes is probably an incredibly good start.

    Why are you wearing them oversize?

    Ah, well, my feet are wide and flat so not a good fit in a standard shoe shape.
    There isn't a standard shoe shape. Different shoe makers use different shapes.
  • Ben6899 wrote:
    Ah so you're wearing Sidi's wide model? Cool.

    Or a shoe that's too big (length wise)? Because that will cause problems.

    I shouldn't really have said 'oversize', for me, they are only because they're not tight. My foot does not move in the shoe and is not constrained by the shoe. This is important because I note that if the width of the foot is constrained, cramp can follow. It's not that in this case.
  • I think I've found the problem while riding today. The left foot feels like it is supported only in the middle of the ball of the foot (slightly back from the ball), while the right feels like it is supported over the whole surface just behind the ball of the foot. Need to find an insole to put more depth to the outsides of the foot, I think.
  • frisbeefrisbee Posts: 691
    Bike fits can include custom footbeds and cleat shimming for height and/or angle. I guess its similar to running where you have different shoes for different gaits, except cycling shoes are just chosen for their static fit.
  • philbar72philbar72 Posts: 2,228
    Errecaldia wrote:
    I think I've found the problem while riding today. The left foot feels like it is supported only in the middle of the ball of the foot (slightly back from the ball), while the right feels like it is supported over the whole surface just behind the ball of the foot. Need to find an insole to put more depth to the outsides of the foot, I think.

    possibly but there could be a left/right position change needed. as in the horizontal pitch on your cleats. sliding left to right. I used to have this issue and it works out that I was moving mine too far outboard...

    G8 insoles are really good I find but again, we are all very different.
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