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Foot Position On The Pedal

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Foot Position On The Pedal

Old 11-28-18, 10:20 PM
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BirdsBikeBinocs
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Foot Position On The Pedal

I have long wanted to ask this question and the title pretty much covers it.

Where should the ball of the foot be in relationship to the "axle" of the pedal.?? Say, on an endurance road bike.
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Old 11-28-18, 10:28 PM
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I prefer slightly ahead of the spindle. About 1 - 1.5 cm ahead. If my foot isn’t forward enough on the pedal, I feel it in my calves. If my foot is too far forward I notice a drop in power.


-Kedosto
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Old 11-29-18, 04:11 AM
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I slide my cleats as far back as they go. Takes pressure off the toes to kill hot spots.
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Old 11-29-18, 05:12 AM
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Wherever it's comfortable for you. Fortunately with clipless and some cleat systems there's plenty of room to move stuff around to suit yourself.

In ye olden dayes of yore with quill pedals and toe clips, and Detto Pietro shoes with rigid cleats, I went with the then-conventional wisdom that the ball of the foot should be precisely over the pedal axle. But that was wrong for me. I'd had shin splints and foot cramps all my life and it was worse with that shoe/cleat/pedal setup. But I put up with it because everybody said so.

Now with clipless I set up so the ball of the foot is ahead of the pedal axle, not quite but almost centered between the ball of the foot and the middle of the arch. And I need rigid soles with little or no flex to prevent foot cramps. And I use old style Look delta cleats with lots of float. But I can't really walk in those shoes/cleats.

That's right for me. But I have weird feet, size 11, very narrow A or B width, bony with high arches -- more like ice skate blades than proper feet. And 61 year old knees that I'm hoping will last a bit longer without surgery. Most of my cycling friends use SPD and shoes they can walk in.

With platform pedals and regular shoes I often center the pedal axle under the arch. But I move my feet around a lot, just whatever feels either most comfortable or has the best power transfer. I tend to center the foot over the pedal for climbing, especially standing to climb or sprint, then move my feet for cruising or downhills.
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Old 11-29-18, 06:42 AM
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Mid-foot position works best for ME.
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Old 11-29-18, 07:00 AM
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The recommended (starting) position is with the ball of the foot over the pedal axle.

Many seems to be content with that, so it looks like a good enough suggestion.
Never heard of anyone using a more forward position, while (slightly) more rearwards is fairly common.
There's a few riders who'll even re-drill their shoes to allow for a mid-arch cleat position.
TBH, I don't notice much difference - apart from the brief bodily confusion while dealing with the novelty value of another position - from fore-aft adjustment.
To me, angle is far more important. Basically, the inside of the foot needs to line up parallel with the main axis of the bicycle. Feet "straight" forward is a guarantee for discomfort.
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Old 11-29-18, 10:10 AM
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Old 11-29-18, 10:51 AM
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One of the reasons I like sticky platform pedals is because I change my foot position a lot, but I have really bad feet with lots of non-bike injuries.

I'm of the school that says go with what feels like you're doing best under the circumstances, and anything else is overthinking it.
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Old 11-29-18, 11:29 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
One of the reasons I like sticky platform pedals is because I change my foot position a lot, but I have really bad feet with lots of non-bike injuries.

I'm of the school that says go with what feels like you're doing best under the circumstances, and anything else is overthinking it.

I do the exact same with my sticky flats....I change my foot position during rides. I've wondered whether this is a good or bad thing. I thought for sure many here would say it's bad habit. I don't have injuries, but I seem to change the position based on what feels natural and best at that time in the ride. What I think may be happening is that during different portions of the ride, the terrain and power requirements vary, so I am simply changing my body/foot position slightly to maximize power output. For instance, I might slide forward ever so slightly on the saddle to engage my quads more, and so I slide my foot foot slightly forward on the pedal.
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Old 11-29-18, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Wattsup View Post
I do the exact same with my sticky flats....I change my foot position during rides. I've wondered whether this is a good or bad thing. I thought for sure many here would say it's bad habit. I don't have injuries, but I seem to change the position based on what feels natural and best at that time in the ride. What I think may be happening is that during different portions of the ride, the terrain and power requirements vary, so I am simply changing my body/foot position slightly to maximize power output. For instance, I might slide forward ever so slightly on the saddle to engage my quads more, and so I slide my foot foot slightly forward on the pedal.
I tend to think that foot size/shape and leg lengths vary so much that something as minute as an "ideal" foot position must be impossible to calculate universally, and that situational factors probably do change where the best contact point is. I really don't consciously choose any given foot position, I just find I move my feet in much the same way as you describe, and that I stop moving it at a point where I'm not uncomfortable and I don't feel like I'm "fighting" the bike.

If you get where you're going in about the amount of time you think it ought to take and your feet don't hurt, it's all good.

I'll leave training to the platonic ideal of riding to the racers. I ride fast because it's fun. If I have to spend my time practicing perfect circles and figuring exactly where to keep my feet to squeeze out an extra 0.25 mph, it's not worth it to me because that's not fun.
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Old 11-29-18, 12:02 PM
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I prefer to have the pedal spindle a centimeter or three behind the ball of my foot. But YFMV (F=foot).
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Old 11-29-18, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
I prefer slightly ahead of the spindle. About 1 - 1.5 cm ahead. If my foot isnít forward enough on the pedal, I feel it in my calves. If my foot is too far forward I notice a drop in power.


-Kedosto
A CM equals 2.54 inches, so you ride with the balls of your feet 3 inches ahead of the spindle? Those must be some weird pedals.
Jon
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Old 11-29-18, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Jon T View Post
A CM equals 2.54 inches, so you ride with the balls of your feet 3 inches ahead of the spindle? Those must be some weird pedals.
Jon

lol. You have it backwards.
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Old 11-29-18, 10:37 PM
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Higher rpm spindle in front, lower in back.
Trying not to get into a RPM discussion.
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Old 11-29-18, 11:15 PM
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Thanks everyone. So it's like how do you hold a guitar... In whatever way it fits you best.
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Old 11-30-18, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Wattsup View Post
lol. You have it backwards.
How so? Care to 'splain it?
​​​​​​​Jon
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Old 11-30-18, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Jon T View Post
How so? Care to 'splain it?
Jon
An inch = 2.54 centimeters.
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Old 11-30-18, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Wattsup View Post
An inch = 2.54 centimeters.
I stand corrected. Brain fart, for sure. Or maybe the "some timer's" disease--you know--some times I remember and some times I don't.
Jon
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Old 11-30-18, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Jon T View Post
A CM equals 2.54 inches, so you ride with the balls of your feet 3 inches ahead of the spindle? Those must be some weird pedals.
Jon
2.54 cm equals 1 inch. You have it backwards. I cm is about .4 inch.
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Old 11-30-18, 01:40 PM
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I use Pedaling Innovations Catalyst flat pedals, which are designed to be used with the center of the foot over the pedal axle. You would possibly need to move your seat forward a few mm in order to be more comfortable.

I have noticed that these pedals actually allow for more power to be put down to each pedal.
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Old 12-01-18, 11:30 AM
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Currently, it's easier to experiment with a more mid-foot riding position with clips. So far, four-hole, Speedplay shoes seem allow for the most rearward adjustment available but too pricey if you're not sure what you like.
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Old 12-01-18, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by BirdsBikeBinocs View Post
Thanks everyone. So it's like how do you hold a guitar... In whatever way it fits you best.
AKA, the Django Reinhardt Rule.
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Old 12-01-18, 04:42 PM
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Ergon pedals , center your foot by design..



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Old 12-03-18, 06:28 AM
  #24  
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I played with pedal position for years, settled on what felt best and was happy.

In early 2017, bought a fancy new bike (endurance geometry) that came with a discounted Retul fitting session with a fitter who was a sports phsyiologist during the day, did fittings at the bike shop as side work. I was skeptical, always thought of these expensive fitting sessions as mainly ways for bike shops to sell new seats, pedals, etc.

He started at the feet, ended up moving my cleats all the back in the shoe. The other change was raising my seat .5 inch. Tried that out almost immediately on several long rides and it was a huge improvement in delaying leg fatigue.

I use the same shoes on the old (touring) bike, at first left the seat height the same - cleat movement all the way back delayed leg fatigue in a similar manner. Ended up raising the seat too, that didn't seem to change anything as much.

I'm sure the overall answer is YMMV, but for me moving the cleats back was the right thing to do. Never tried that on my own playing around with positioning, seemed counter-intuitive.
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Old 12-03-18, 01:36 PM
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Here's Steve Hogg's recommendation.

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