Shimming cleat to solve saddle chafing

I recently had a bike fit because I was experiencing a lot of one sided saddle pain. No saddle sores but more like a chafing/ rubbing in the groin area. Manageable on short rides but for long rides it gets to painful to sit down in the saddle. After the bike fit this problem was still there, just as bad as before. It was confirmed that the saddle I use is the right width for me, but there is some asymmetry in the way I am sitting on it (right hip twisted to the front a bit).

I did some research online and think I have right side bias which causes the chafing on the left side. In the bike fit report I can see that on the left my knee angle extension is 145 and on the right it is 141. Could putting a shim under the right shoe solve this problem? I bought some Shimano shims that allow for a maximum height of 5mm (2x2mm and 1x1mm). My right leg is not physically shorter than the left one, but the hip on the right side is a lot more impinged than the left, which makes it functionally shorter (I think).

Any tips would be appreciated, thanks a lot

Comments

  • photonic69
    photonic69 Posts: 2,496
    So your bike fit wasn't worth the money you paid because you left with the same issues you went in with? If they were doing their job they would have fitted the correct shims to address the issue you have. No point asking random people on here if adding shims will work. You might cause more problems for yourself by doing this.
    I'd go back to the fitter and get him/her to do the job properly. It's the least you can expect.


    Sometimes. Maybe. Possibly.

  • So your bike fit wasn't worth the money you paid because you left with the same issues you went in with? If they were doing their job they would have fitted the correct shims to address the issue you have. No point asking random people on here if adding shims will work. You might cause more problems for yourself by doing this.
    I'd go back to the fitter and get him/her to do the job properly. It's the least you can expect.

    I'd like to go back to the fitter but he insisted that he never fits shims for anyone. Every adjustment should be symmetrical he said. That doesn't make sense because knee angle extension is clearly different on both sides. And... he is 400km away from where I live now.
  • MattFalle
    MattFalle Posts: 11,644
    He sounds like a moujee tbh.

    i have the same issue because my right knee is smashed to bits - all i did was adjust the saddle a tad to the left and it solved it.

    probably (undoubtedly) not the correct way to solve it but it works for me.
    .
    The camera down the willy isn't anything like as bad as it sounds.
  • photonic69
    photonic69 Posts: 2,496



    I'd like to go back to the fitter but he insisted that he never fits shims for anyone. Every adjustment should be symmetrical he said. That doesn't make sense because knee angle extension is clearly different on both sides. And... he is 400km away from where I live now.

    I see. I had an issue where my right knee would drop inwards and start to brush the top bar on occasions so I went for a bike fit. The fitter suggested I used insoles with higher arch support to bring my knees outwards a bit. This was ok for a bit but cause pain in the other knee on long rides.

    I went to a physio about an unrelated matter and this came up in conversation. She advised me of some exercises to do to make the hip flexors fire more to pull the leg inline and thus correct my issue without artificial support/insoles. Problem is much reduced.

    What I'm saying is that it is better to try and fix the body mechanics than to try and impose a fix onto the body. Maybe some physio and stretches for your issue might be the way forward. Especially if your legs are of equal length.


    Sometimes. Maybe. Possibly.

  • MattFalle said:

    He sounds like a moujee tbh.

    i have the same issue because my right knee is smashed to bits - all i did was adjust the saddle a tad to the left and it solved it.

    probably (undoubtedly) not the correct way to solve it but it works for me.

    Unfortunately my seatpost has a D-shape so it doesn't allow to be adjusted side to side


  • I'd like to go back to the fitter but he insisted that he never fits shims for anyone. Every adjustment should be symmetrical he said. That doesn't make sense because knee angle extension is clearly different on both sides. And... he is 400km away from where I live now.

    I see. I had an issue where my right knee would drop inwards and start to brush the top bar on occasions so I went for a bike fit. The fitter suggested I used insoles with higher arch support to bring my knees outwards a bit. This was ok for a bit but cause pain in the other knee on long rides.

    I went to a physio about an unrelated matter and this came up in conversation. She advised me of some exercises to do to make the hip flexors fire more to pull the leg inline and thus correct my issue without artificial support/insoles. Problem is much reduced.

    What I'm saying is that it is better to try and fix the body mechanics than to try and impose a fix onto the body. Maybe some physio and stretches for your issue might be the way forward. Especially if your legs are of equal length.

    I think i'll make an appointment with the fysio this week to see if they can help
  • MattFalle
    MattFalle Posts: 11,644

    MattFalle said:

    He sounds like a moujee tbh.

    i have the same issue because my right knee is smashed to bits - all i did was adjust the saddle a tad to the left and it solved it.

    probably (undoubtedly) not the correct way to solve it but it works for me.

    Unfortunately my seatpost has a D-shape so it doesn't allow to be adjusted side to side
    #gutting - could have been a quick and simple solution.

    can uou order some shims off yhe 'net and just try them?

    don't work, remove, work - sorted.

    bike fitter is still a moujee and just backs up varying opinions on bike fitters/fits.
    .
    The camera down the willy isn't anything like as bad as it sounds.
  • joeyhalloran
    joeyhalloran Posts: 1,079
    A knee extension of 145 sounds to be on the high side, and given asymmetries are often caused by too high a saddle height (because it forces the body to 'choose' a leg) I would suggest just dropping the saddle by 5-10mm. Do you only notice your one sided issues on the bike?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJDeVD5YTo0

  • A knee extension of 145 sounds to be on the high side, and given asymmetries are often caused by too high a saddle height (because it forces the body to 'choose' a leg) I would suggest just dropping the saddle by 5-10mm. Do you only notice your one sided issues on the bike?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJDeVD5YTo0

    On the bike the issues are definitely more apparent but I do notice that my right hips is more forward when walking too. On longer hikes/ runs I get one sided lower back pain because of this.

    I think dropping the seat is the easiest solution for now to try and get some instant relief. Safer than becoming dependent on shims without a measurable leg length difference. Thanks for the suggestion.
  • joeyhalloran
    joeyhalloran Posts: 1,079
    If it makes you feel any better I have been to a number of fitters in the past and I have nearly always dropped the saddle in the following couple of months. I don't know why but I just find a lower saddle much more comfortable and doesn't seem to impact my knee health too much.

    i've given up on bike fitters now. Useful for less experienced riders but I feel I know my body better now.
  • seanoconn
    seanoconn Posts: 11,487
    +1 on dropping the seat and see how it feels. There isn’t an exact saddle height based on your inseam, just ballpark. Drop the height by as much as 2-3cm won’t hurt, adjust from there.
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • Ben6899
    Ben6899 Posts: 9,686
    edited April 2022

    So your bike fit wasn't worth the money you paid because you left with the same issues you went in with? If they were doing their job they would have fitted the correct shims to address the issue you have. No point asking random people on here if adding shims will work. You might cause more problems for yourself by doing this.
    I'd go back to the fitter and get him/her to do the job properly. It's the least you can expect.

    I'd like to go back to the fitter but he insisted that he never fits shims for anyone. Every adjustment should be symmetrical he said. That doesn't make sense because knee angle extension is clearly different on both sides. And... he is 400km away from where I live now.

    1. Don't get bogged down in mm and deg
    2. Your fitter is talking b*llocks

    The fitter should be putting this right, if (s)he's proud of the work (s)he does.
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
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  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,760
    You could try a thin insole in the side that chafes. I did this for a few years and it worked ok.

    To add to that I did later do some shimming under one cleat for a few years but over time - and one bad accident where a car hit me - I could never really get it to "feel right". I suppose I should have then paid a bike fitter but instead just removed the shims and now ride without any additional shims or insoles and it seems fine.

    So your body changes over time - I do now do more stretching/core exercises for my back so whether that has ironed out some asymmetry I don't know.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • I have bad supination and use lateral wedges in shoes. These don't work for cycle shoes and cleats, so I fitted Bikefit wedges under the (SPD) cleats. Works very well and you can add multiple wedges to get the right angle.
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 26,026

    MattFalle said:

    He sounds like a moujee tbh.

    i have the same issue because my right knee is smashed to bits - all i did was adjust the saddle a tad to the left and it solved it.

    probably (undoubtedly) not the correct way to solve it but it works for me.

    Unfortunately my seatpost has a D-shape so it doesn't allow to be adjusted side to side
    I was going to suggest the same.
    Yet another example of progress being regressive.
    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.
  • I lowered my saddle by 1cm yesterday and rode 5 hours with hardly any discomfort :smile:

    I think the only discomfort I had was from the groin area still being a bit sore from the position I had before. Another big ride on the program today!
  • joeyhalloran
    joeyhalloran Posts: 1,079
    That will be £200 please
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,623
    edited April 2022

    I lowered my saddle by 1cm yesterday and rode 5 hours with hardly any discomfort :smile:

    I think the only discomfort I had was from the groin area still being a bit sore from the position I had before. Another big ride on the program today!

    Great news, hopefully your subsequent ride went as well?

    If there are any lingering issues, another option could be these G8 insoles, which I use, and are very adjustable, and also super easy to transfer from one shoe to another.

    https://bicyclerichmond.co.uk/store/g8-2620-footbeds




    I 'think' they may do wedges as well, but I've only bought the insoles - they are really customisable, and you can run each foot in a different configuration, which is what I do to counteract a dropped arch on one side.

    If you look on youtube there are a few reviews I think.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • amrushton
    amrushton Posts: 1,254
    that link to the shop is BikeFit James on YouTube. he has some good info on fitting/shims etc