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Cleats and toe numbness

Old 09-03-19, 03:15 AM
  #1  
iamLefty
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Cleats and toe numbness

Iím experiencing some toe numbness when doing laps. What i do instead of stopping is to just move my toes during laps. I wear thick socks, no movement of the foot inside the shoes. I thought this has something to do with saddle height, coz i noticed in one lap session that thereís a bit more leg angle and i remembered i forgot to adjust the saddle height when i switched from flat to clipless a few months back. I adjusted saddle 3 times till i got to abt 15 mm, which felt perfect, but thereís still that numbness mid-ride. Someone suggested i try moving the cleats back a bit. If i do this, will this affect the bike fit and will i need to do some readjustments?
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Old 09-03-19, 03:34 AM
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Originally Posted by iamLefty View Post
Iím experiencing some toe numbness when doing laps. What i do instead of stopping is to just move my toes during laps. I wear thick socks, no movement of the foot inside the shoes. I thought this has something to do with saddle height, coz i noticed in one lap session that thereís a bit more leg angle and i remembered i forgot to adjust the saddle height when i switched from flat to clipless a few months back. I adjusted saddle 3 times till i got to abt 15 mm, which felt perfect, but thereís still that numbness mid-ride. Someone suggested i try moving the cleats back a bit. If i do this, will this affect the bike fit and will i need to do some readjustments?
Slam your cleats all the way back is my recommendation. Your cleats should be set BEHIND ball of foot.
This may also see you need to lower your saddle slightly as a result.
Ignore leg angle IMO. You want your saddle fore and aft set so that you are not using your quads or hamstrings more than one another.
You want to set your saddle height so that you are not rocking.
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Old 09-03-19, 04:28 AM
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Originally Posted by sumgy View Post
Slam your cleats all the way back is my recommendation. Your cleats should be set BEHIND ball of foot.
How far behind the ball of the foot? Iíd like to adjust it 1 or 2mm at a time. Itís currently set exactly in line with the ball of the foot. Any other adjustments i may need aside from saddle height?
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Old 09-03-19, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by iamLefty View Post
How far behind the ball of the foot? Iíd like to adjust it 1 or 2mm at a time. Itís currently set exactly in line with the ball of the foot. Any other adjustments i may need aside from saddle height?
This is the info from Steve Hogg.
I just slam mine back as far as possible.

https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...leat-position/

And a video:

https://vimeo.com/9589645
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Old 09-03-19, 05:10 AM
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Always found Hogg's advice a bit 'interesting' on this topic; though can't follow for myself -- my feet are too big, and the resulting additional toe/wheel overlap would be pretty significant. ymmv
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Old 09-03-19, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Always found Hogg's advice a bit 'interesting' on this topic; though can't follow for myself -- my feet are too big, and the resulting additional toe/wheel overlap would be pretty significant. ymmv
I don't go the whole mid-mounted cleats option, just behind ball of foot.
I get some overlap if I try, but I need to be actually turning the bars to do it, and I don't generally steer around corners too much.
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Old 09-03-19, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Always found Hogg's advice a bit 'interesting' on this topic; though can't follow for myself -- my feet are too big, and the resulting additional toe/wheel overlap would be pretty significant. ymmv
Oh yeah, the toe overlap needs to be considered too. I have some toe overlap, although i havenít experiended it yet while riding. Can i still move my cleats a bit back with this?

Last edited by iamLefty; 09-03-19 at 05:46 AM.
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Old 09-07-19, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by iamLefty View Post
I wear thick socks, no movement of the foot inside the shoes.
Might be this. When riding, your feet can swell a bit and cause toe numbness. You don't want your shoes to be tight. I learned to start brevets with my shoes feeling a bit loose, and now I wear SPD sandals that are easy to loosen while riding. My toes are much happier now.
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Old 09-07-19, 06:06 AM
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Cleat settings that put the pedal axles right on the back of the balls of my feet are what work best for me.
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Old 09-07-19, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by delbiker1 View Post
Cleat settings that put the pedal axles right on the back of the balls of my feet are what work best for me.
Wanted to do that, but i got some toe overlap. I can maybe try to move it back, but just a little bit. Right now, pedal axle is under the ball of my feet.
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Old 09-07-19, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by iamLefty View Post
Wanted to do that, but i got some toe overlap. I can maybe try to move it back, but just a little bit. Right now, pedal axle is under the ball of my feet.
Something VERY wrong if toe overlap is ever a problem while you are actually riding.
The only time I EVER have touched my tyre on the wheel has been at very slow speeds or stopped, as I don't generally turn corners by turning my bars.
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Old 09-07-19, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by sumgy View Post
The only time I EVER have touched my tyre on the wheel has been at very slow speeds or stopped, as I don't generally turn corners by turning my bars.
Thatís the toe overlap i have.
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Old 09-07-19, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by iamLefty View Post
Thatís the toe overlap i have.
So move your cleats back then.
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Old 09-07-19, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by sumgy View Post
So move your cleats back then.
Yep - this worked for me when I was experiencing some pain / numbness.
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Old 09-07-19, 09:52 AM
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Iíll try to move the cleats back, a few mm at a time, see how it feels. Hopefully it works. Thanks guys.
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Old 09-07-19, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by iamLefty View Post
I’ll try to move the cleats back, a few mm at a time, see how it feels. Hopefully it works. Thanks guys.
Just slam them all the way back.
It will only be a few mm.
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Old 09-07-19, 08:38 PM
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Try thinner socks. Thick socks make my toes go numb even in warm weather -- the pressure along the top of the foot cuts off my circulation.

I don't need padding on the top of the foot so I switched to thinner socks -- mostly ankle high socks, three for a buck from the dollar store.

And to relieve metatarsal hotspots I use Profoot Miracle insoles. Best I've found. Thin, lightweight, resilient, costs only $8-$10 at Walgreens or CVS.

I also moved my cleats all the way back but that's to solve another problem. It didn't cause any circulation problems. Just arch strain and some knee twinges. Cleat position can be influenced by foot length. My feet are long and narrow, so I prefer the pedal axle roughly midway between the ball of the foot and the arch. I tried the classic position back in the 1970s -- ball of the foot over the arch, with cleated shoes -- and it caused all kinds of problems, from pain in the arches to the calves and knees. Bike "fitting" in the 1970s mostly consisted of LBS guys slavishly adhering to whatever they read in a magazine and insisting it was gospel.
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