Forums General Road Bike Cycling Specific Q: Cleat Posiiton through a mwod perspective Re: Road Bike Cycling Specific Q: Cleat Posiiton through a mwod perspective

#72396
AvatarKent Zelle
Participant

Thanks for the input! I will definitely look into that fit process. It sounds interesting.

As far as an update to the previous posts I made, I’ve made some non-traditional changes to my bike setup with lots of warning from peers, of course. Here’s what I’ve done and noticed from it:

Insoles: I have put firm, high arch foot soles in my shoes but still need to get custom orthotics to give proper foot support. I’ve noticed that my right leg, especially, has stopped caving inwards and collapsing at each pedal. I also removed the cant wedge from this cleat. The arch supports give a much more connected feel from the leg to the foot to the pedal. I also use them when I ride on flat pedals on my mountain bike. I’m much happier with the feel of power to the pedal and dont feel my legs caving in (valgus) when I stand either. This was a HUGE improvement for me and I would recommend, as Kelly and Nate have, for all cyclists to get orthotics to prevent arch/valgus collapse since it’s impossible to create proper torque while pedaling.

Cleats: I have put my cleats farthest back on the shoe so that the spindle of my pedal is slightly behind the ball of my foot (closer to midfoot, as its described). Besides feeling more natural under the foot, its also much easier to clip in and out this way! I haven’t had problems with my toes going numb or my shoes twisting on my heels, as before. I have speedplay zeros and am limited on how far back I can move the cleat, plus it sometimes loosens and slides forward during a ride. I may switch brands to one that can not do these things. Any suggestions on a cleat brand/system that promotes a rearward position?

Q-Angle on cleats: At first, I put both cleats to the farthest outside on the shoe so my legs would be closer together while pedaling. I took a few rides and decided that it was slightly tight, as I was getting just a bit of figure-eight torque on up stroke of my right leg so I moved both cleats in just a hair, equally. Ahhh. Perfect. My legs drop without twist or flare in or out. I realize that this torque issue could have changed as my legs adjust so I will move them back in to see how it feels again in a few weeks. To compare, I ride with my feel touching the cranks on my MTB but they are still just a bit wider than the road bike. My feet no longer swivel and have play inward or outward at the ankle now. My heel used to move all over the place. I ride in free float and now my feet are finally quiet, even when I get tired.

Seat: I ride an Adamo Breakway (amazing road saddle!!!) and pushed that baby all the way forward on my seat post to put my hips over the bottom bracket in order to utilize my body weight on the pedals better. I raised my saddle because of this but kept it slightly on the low side to make up for any hip drop or leg length difference that I may have been compensating for. Not only did this place my knee over the ball of my foot at 3 o’clock and a real sense of balance and control over the bike, but I feel much more powerful in climbs and in general more fluidity in my pedal stroke. I’ll admit that I follow the Pose Cycling method of pedaling technique and fit as it’s decribed by Dr. Romanov (I Pose Run too) and am very happy with the changes I’ve individually noticed. I like my saddle height and have noticed improvements in my cadence, and being able to stay seated without adjusting every mile for discomfort. When I do move on my seat, it’s because I’m changing my technique to either climb, descend or turn and it all feels better. I also am sure that my seat is perfectly level and flat, although on my MTB, I like it just a little dropped. I may need to get a straight seat post and move my saddle even further forward to get over the bottom bracket as I tend to sit on the nose of the saddle more becuase I like the way my legs feel over the pedals, but then get sore from that sitting area. Yes, I’m noticing using my glutes more and I like it!

Handlebars: I raised my handlebars all the way up on my road bike and mtb. I was unable to acheive a neutral spine with my handle bars dropped at seat level of below. Now they are about 1in or so above the seat. My hands no longer hurt and- I can actually breathe now! My hips are much more opened up and I no longer have low back or upper t-spine pain. My t-spine still gets fatigued but I’m working on keeping my shoulders down and back, using my lats and not pressing out my back when I get tired. I also am careful to notice where my head it. I tend to overextend my neck and now I focus on changing where my eyeballs are, not moving my head up, and keeping my chin down and head aligned. This is hard but it’s keeping the pain away. I don’t need to be aero and I don’t care about looking cool. When my core and shoulders are stronger and if it’s comfortable, I’ll lower them and see how I like it. I do want to experiment on an aero position for time trialing but at this point, this bike doesn’t have the geometry to get laid out and keep a neutral spine. I’d need a whole new bike.

Strength Training:  I spend alot more time doing mobility work and yoga, using weights and cross training than I do on the bike now. I ride low and slow as recovery and for fun instead of just blasting in zone 3. As for MTB, I also ride for recovery and just enjoy the sport. When I’m off the bike thought, I try to stay consistent on doing core work, and crossfit-style strength training/movements. This has made me fitter and stronger than any day of bike riding did. Now when I ride, I am barely pushing it but still giong faster than when I used to. As for running, I’ve gone from a 9:30 mile to 7:50 and still getting faster, so I feel that is helping too. I am not a runner. I can now get into a proper squat and dead lift. My hunched shoulder and poor posture are improving and my core strength is really improved. Breathing exercises are making the most difference and I don’t huff and puff at every climb now. I train dogs and work them soley ont he left side of my body. My left shoulder is cocked about 1in higer than my left and it’s noticable. I’ve begun working dogs on the right jsut to see if it’s related- bingo. Major neck and shoulder and hip soreness after a few days of using the right side- but atleast I know what my be contributing to imbalance now. My left shoulder/collarbone & right leg is still asymmetrical, slowly improving and it puzzles me but I will just learn something from it so I continue the journey…

This is what I’ve learned so far. Any tips or comments?