‘The Bike Fit Starts With The Feet‘
Properly adjusted cleats are extremely important, and cleats that are set up incorrectly are the biggest cause of knee pain when cycling.
Fore / Aft / Lateral Adjustment
Positioning the cleat in exactly the right spot under the foot is a difficult thing to get right. Most riders will start by putting the cleat in the middle of the shoe, pointing forwards – some may not even do this! The cleat needs to be positioned accurately, taking into account your foot morphology, your pedalling style, and the type of riding that you do. The cleat position of a track sprinter versus that of a long distance triathlete will vary greatly as the demands of each event are very different and the cleat position njeeds to reflect this.
This is something that many riders ignore when setting up cleats or looking at ways to optimise the foot / pedal interface. Cycling is a low impact non-load bearing sport, however when pedalling you are exerting a lot of force on the pedals especially when sprinting or climbing a hill for example. If your arches are weak or prone to collapse under load (as many people’s are) then a footbed with good strong support is needed. Doing so will improve power transfer to the pedals, prevent injury and asymmetry developing as a result of one arch collapsing more than the other (very common) and increase the comfort of your cycling shoe.
To optimise the foot position on the pedal, stability on the saddle and knee tracking through the pedal stroke, various wedges need to be used. Forefoot wedges sit under the insole at the front of the shoe, cleat wedges fit between the cleat and the sole of the shoe, and heel wedges go, well, under the heel…… Getting the amount of wedging right is difficult and requires a bit of trial and error, but once corrected this can prevent numbness in the toes, pain on the outsides of the feet, knee problems caused by poor alignment to name but a few. Once the feet are solid on the pedals, the rest of the fit just falls into place!
Leg Length Discrepancy / Shims
We get through a lot of shims at the fitting studio, from 1mm all the way up to 22mm (the most we have had to use so far….). Typically these are used to correct differences in leg length and to get you functioning more symmetrically on the bike. When referring to LLd’s however, this is not always as simple as it sounds. Often there may be no ‘actual’ difference in leg length, however a tight lower back or hip flexors on one side of the body for example or a pelvic tilt, could cause a ‘functional’ LLD which will have much the same effect on position as an actual LLD (difference in bone length) and must be corrected. Often the best way to correct functional LLD’s is with work off the bike (stretching etc) but many clients want a result there and then, and that is where shims come in handy!
We offer a stand alone Cleat Adjustment Service (also included as part of the ‘Pro Fit’), which typically lasts around 45 minutes and includes the cost of any wedges and shims that are needed to get your position right.
Footbeds are £25 if needed.
The session costs £35 and you can book using the form below ;