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Cleat Position

Old 09-25-19, 01:23 PM
  #26  
Super D
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I've moved my cleats back far as they'll go over the past several years. My thinking was that if I'm recruiting the lower leg more through the pedal stroke (old, cleat forward position), I'm not recruiting larger muscle groups in the hip and upper leg areas where the majority of power is generated. So I moved the cleats back to spread the workload to larger muscles (pedaling from the glutes/hips/thighs instead of the feet, essentially--so the feet became complements to add fluidity and subtle pedal stroke characteristic inputs instead of being the power drivers).

Additionally, moving the cleats back, gave my calves more fatigue resistance, less propensity to cramp (which was an issue on hot days and long rides, due to an old calf-tear injury).

When I moved the cleats back, I not only moved the saddle forward, I also lowered the saddle. With some experimentation with fore-aft and height, the saddle position got pretty dialed-in.

This is all from a self-taught self-fitter, no fitting tech involved other than retrospectively looking at power graph, cadence, hr and speed data and feeling what "feels good". So my approach and thinking is just what worked for me, no reference for other humans necessarily. I've got friends who are terrific riders and racers who point their does, have cleats forward, and they seem fine.
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Old 09-26-19, 12:32 AM
  #27  
carleton
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Originally Posted by Super D View Post
I've moved my cleats back far as they'll go over the past several years. My thinking was that if I'm recruiting the lower leg more through the pedal stroke (old, cleat forward position), I'm not recruiting larger muscle groups in the hip and upper leg areas where the majority of power is generated. So I moved the cleats back to spread the workload to larger muscles (pedaling from the glutes/hips/thighs instead of the feet, essentially--so the feet became complements to add fluidity and subtle pedal stroke characteristic inputs instead of being the power drivers).

Additionally, moving the cleats back, gave my calves more fatigue resistance, less propensity to cramp (which was an issue on hot days and long rides, due to an old calf-tear injury).

When I moved the cleats back, I not only moved the saddle forward, I also lowered the saddle. With some experimentation with fore-aft and height, the saddle position got pretty dialed-in.

This is all from a self-taught self-fitter, no fitting tech involved other than retrospectively looking at power graph, cadence, hr and speed data and feeling what "feels good". So my approach and thinking is just what worked for me, no reference for other humans necessarily. I've got friends who are terrific riders and racers who point their does, have cleats forward, and they seem fine.
Yup.

As you are finding out, for sprinting, the calves don't add any significant power to the kinetic chain when compared to the glutes, hams, and quads. They are simply stabilizers that add more "mush" to the system and are subject to failing (fatigue, cramps, etc...).

This isn't the case for all-around or endurance cycling where the calves can serve as an alternate muscle for alternate pedal strokes as they would be strong enough to add to the kinetic chain and give some other muscles a break during longer rides/efforts.

I'm sure @jods could give us a lesson on it all. He's a helluva lot faster than anyone here*:



*I think, hahaha
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