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Foot discomfort!

boz64boz64 Posts: 81
edited January 2009 in Road beginners
Hi all

I'm relatively new to road cycling having ridden mtn bikes off and on for about 12 years. I've come back to cycling after a couple of years lay off.

My problem is this... after an hour or so on the bike (on road or trainer) I begin to get a bit of a hotspot/numbness in my right foot. The left one is absolutely fine. I have good quality shoes, and as far as I know I have the cleats set up properly. There is also 4.5 degrees of float in the cleats. I also believe I have the saddle set to the correct height etc. I am at a loss to work out why I get the discomfort in the right foot only. I hasten to add it is not really pain, just discomfort.

Could the saddle itself be to blame? Or maybe I have the cleats wrong? Or maybe my left leg is stronger than the right and the therefore the right is working harder? I don't have the same problem when riding my mtb.

I would appreciate any helpful suggestions or advice.

Many thanks.
Liverpool Mercury CC


  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    Shoes too tight? You feet swell after a bit normally, could be your shoes become tighter due to the above, ride for 30mins then re-adjust
  • snakehipssnakehips Posts: 2,272
    Do you have bad blood circulation ? I believe I have , I often get numbness in my finger tips.
    I have just done 30 miles on my road bike and the under side of my right foot hurt when I finished. I had the same problem two years ago when I went skiing. Funny thing is , today I was wearing the same long skiing socks as I was back then. Obviously these are a bit tight at the top , that's how they stay up. I am wondering if they limit the blood flow to my feet and exacerbate the situation.

    'Follow Me' the wise man said, but he walked behind!
  • carefulcareful Posts: 720
    Could it simply be the cold weather?. Try 2 pairs of socks (if there is room). Otherwise overshoes might help. Without either of these precautions I get numb toes in this weather after an hour or so.
  • boz64boz64 Posts: 81
    Thanks for the replies.

    I don't think it relates to bad circulation... I've never had circulation problems in my life. As I say, I don't get the same problem on my mtb.

    And as far as the cold goes, I also have the problem on the indoor trainer!

    I'm wondering if it may be something to do with my saddle constricting blood flow at my groin and thus lower down at my foot. The saddle I currently have on the bike is a cheap Selle Italia XO Trans Am. I intend to change this aoon.
    Liverpool Mercury CC
  • feelfeel Posts: 800
    trapped nerve in your foot would be my guess.
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  • Zendog1Zendog1 Posts: 816
    What sort of cleats are you using? SPD type can cause hot spots due to pressure from the small cleat. area.
  • What part of the foot are you getting this problem?

    Do you use the same shoes on your MTB as your road bike?

    Lately on the turbo, i've been doing timed sessions of sustaining a certain amount of high power, and when doing this (i.e really pushing it) i get abit of a pain on the outside of my right foot, just behind the cleat area. I think that when i'm pushing hard my foot might be arching abit, and maybe i need a footbed insert, but oddly like your case, it's on with my right foot i have a problem..
  • boz64boz64 Posts: 81
    I am using road cleats and shoes. Look Keo cleats to be specific. The discomfort is in the ball of the foot area.

    I use SPD type cleats on my mtb.

    I am goung to try adjusting the position of my right cleat slighty before I go on the trainer tonight.
    Liverpool Mercury CC
  • Boz, i had the same problem when i first used my new shoes (louis garneau - Ergo air)and cleats (SPD's) and somebody suggested this site:

    Great site answered alot of my questions i had about cycling. Try this link it will take you to the section on footpain:
    Do you have any Therapeutic Use Exemptions?
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    Well, obviously there was the cortisone
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    Zendog1 wrote:
    What sort of cleats are you using? SPD type can cause hot spots due to pressure from the small cleat. area.

    I had some pain in my foot, I think from SPDs with their very small surface area. It went away on its own, but SPDs are not so goo for long road rides. OK for MTBing and short distance commuting of course
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • boz64boz64 Posts: 81
    El Imbatido - thanks for the links. The one re foot pain was useful. I adjusyted my right cleat back a couple of mm last night before going on the trainer for about 45-50 mins. It felt much better, although not perfect. Perhaps its just a question of me getting used to it.

    It seems to me that most cyclists who have this type of problem seem to experience it in their right foot... might this have something to do with the slightly extra amount of work the right foot/leg has to do in order to turn the right crank? After all, there must be more resistance on the right (however fractional) as that is the side where the drive train is. Any thoughts?

    Liverpool Mercury CC
  • FatLarryFatLarry Posts: 209
    Have you had your bike fitted properly? I see you've been riding MTB's for a while, but it's much more important to get a road bike set up accurately.

    Have a read of this - there's a section on foot pain in the FAQ's.
  • topdudetopdude Posts: 1,557
    Hi, there is an interesting letter in the C+ mag this month about foot pain.
    Basically it suggests lifting the weight from the rising leg so the other foot is not lifting extra weight on the downstroke.
    Give it a try, it might help :D
    He is not the messiah, he is a very naughty boy !!
  • pbracingpbracing Posts: 231
    i went for a short ride this afternoon, first ride on a new set of spd's. I could feel a pressure point on the ball of my right foot at the contact point. It's the first time I've had this. The pedals were sold as new on ebay, but they'd been tampered with. They took quite a bit of adjusting to get the bearings right. When I got back the bearings were tight (basically they're knackered).
    S'pose what I'm saying is it could be worth checking your pedals are spinning freely.
    Why not? My bikes.
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