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Need Special Pedals

Old 10-23-19, 07:15 PM
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Spoke
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Need Special Pedals

Need some help. Due to a pinched nerve I have lost 2/3 of my strength in my left calf muscle. This has affected my ability to ride my road bike with typical road cycling shoes with cleats under the ball of my foot. I have been able to compensate by riding with platform pedals and positioning the spindle of the pedals under the arch of my feet. While not ideal, it allows me to ride. However, since I am use to being clipped in, I don’t like how my feet move around on the pedals and I miss the ability to pull up on the back stroke. Any suggestions? Are there toe clips that could be adjusted to position the pedal under the arch rather than under the ball of the foot? Has anyone tried or use pedal straps? TIA!
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Old 10-23-19, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoke View Post
Need some help. Due to a pinched nerve I have lost 2/3 of my strength in my left calf muscle. This has affected my ability to ride my road bike with typical road cycling shoes with cleats under the ball of my foot. I have been able to compensate by riding with platform pedals and positioning the spindle of the pedals under the arch of my feet. While not ideal, it allows me to ride. However, since I am use to being clipped in, I don’t like how my feet move around on the pedals and I miss the ability to pull up on the back stroke. Any suggestions? Are there toe clips that could be adjusted to position the pedal under the arch rather than under the ball of the foot? Has anyone tried or use pedal straps? TIA!
I don't think you need "special pedals." You just need to modify the equipment you have. You could drill holes in the sole of the shoe exactly where you want to position the cleat. Then, remove the inner liner and place T-nuts in the holes that are tapped with the thread size of the screws that secure the cleat. I'm not sure but I think it's M5 x.8 mm. I know that T-nuts in that size do exist because I've replaced the corroded nut in shoes before. If the shoe is too narrow at the arch for this arrangement...affix something there that is wide enough to attach the cleat to. Just a thought.

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Old 10-23-19, 08:19 PM
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You can drill holes in the soles of the shoes and use the inserts with threaded holes to put the cleats where you want them. I've done it before. The size of your feet might be an issue.
I've also modified toe clips and pedals. I got the metal Christophe LL clips, reshaped them, added a small spacer and moved the clips to the outside of the pedal.

If you move the cleat way back on only one shoe you'll probably have to shim the cleat.

Have you tried taping your ankle?

Last edited by big john; 10-23-19 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 10-27-19, 02:40 PM
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What kind of platfom pedals? The ones I have are pinned, and the pins hold my shoes pretty tight.
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Old 10-30-19, 10:04 AM
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Yeah. You could simply relax your calves during the pedal stroke using your regular clipless shoes and cleats. That's best anyway, so try that. Calves are pretty weak compared to quads. Consciously relax them through the pedal stroke. You may have to lower your saddle very slightly. Years ago, I broke an Achilles tendon (not cycling), had a repair, and wore a cast on that leg for 8 weeks. Calf was tiny when they took the cast off. Wasn't a problem, though that calf is still smaller than the other one.

Another thing to do is exercise both calves, doing the same number of one-legged standing calf raises on a stair, to failure (full range of motion), first on the bad calf, then the good one. Every other day or every 3rd day, depending on soreness. Oddly, my smaller calf does the same reps to failure as the larger one.
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Old 11-04-19, 12:15 PM
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As suggested by philbob57, why don't you get some pinned flat pedals? I use these for mountain biking and find that using these in combo with Five Ten mountain bike shoes is great...my feet stay firmly stuck to the pedals. Also, it's been proven that pulling up on the backstroke actually reduces your efficiency, so that is no great loss overall (though I must admit that it does come in handy if you need the extra torque when faced with a ridiculously steep grade (I'm talking 18% or greater here). IMHO, being clipped in is highly overrated.
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Old 11-04-19, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoke View Post
Need some help. Due to a pinched nerve I have lost 2/3 of my strength in my left calf muscle. This has affected my ability to ride my road bike with typical road cycling shoes with cleats under the ball of my foot. I have been able to compensate by riding with platform pedals and positioning the spindle of the pedals under the arch of my feet. While not ideal, it allows me to ride. However, since I am use to being clipped in, I don’t like how my feet move around on the pedals and I miss the ability to pull up on the back stroke. Any suggestions? Are there toe clips that could be adjusted to position the pedal under the arch rather than under the ball of the foot? Has anyone tried or use pedal straps? TIA!
Check out some recumbent specialty dealers.

Many recumbent riders prefer arch mounted SPD clips. I don't personally do it so I can't answer your questions but it's common enough that I'd think a recumbent specialty shop, like Bicycleman in New York or Hostel Shoppe in Wisconsin or Utah Trikes will have ready answers.
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Old 11-04-19, 09:15 PM
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Clips nothing special about them.
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Old 11-05-19, 02:41 PM
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I too ruptured my achilles tendon on Labor Day a year ago, but a (minor) post surgical complication kept me off my leg for 14 weeks. By the time I first bear weight again, my left calf had atrophied. I had a functional tendon, but a disfunctional calf. I finally took a step at the beginning of December (it felt the same as the day I ruptured it). But was able to walk slowly a few km (with trekking poles) by the end of the year, was on the bike at the beginning of January, and finally could stand on my left tippy toes by May.

I've had to learn to walk again (still learning to run again), but had no problems bicycling the first time they gave me the thumbs up.

If you *really* miss being clipped in on your clipless, Consider going to SPD pedals. You can get "mountain" bike shoes. (Or trekking shoes, or urban shoes, or....) There is a forward mounting position, but also another mounting position about 1cm back too. See if that 1cm makes enough of a difference for you. (I never had to move my SPD cleats.) If not, what do you have to lose by taking the road cleats off your shoes and drill some holes in the arch to mount the SPD cleats. Watch toe overlap with your front tire.

Here's a blog post showing this hack.

Also, there is Lintaman who sell adjustable shoes.

Anyhow, good luck.

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Last edited by mr_bill; 11-08-19 at 10:44 AM. Reason: Fixing link
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Old 11-08-19, 09:16 AM
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Spoke -- Because of similar issues to what you have, I had been considering a non-traditional cleat position too. When I read your OP, and after I made my previous post above I began looking into it more. I posed my question in the 'Road Cycling' forum and someone suggested reading some info by Steve Hogg. The article by him at this link will give you some good info.
https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...leat-position/


Dan
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Old 11-11-19, 09:23 AM
  #11  
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I had foot problems, and I saw a podiatrist. He told me to move my cleats back. Now I pedal on my arches, and most of my pain is gone. I had to lower my saddle. If it matters, I use SPD cleats.
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Old 11-11-19, 09:54 AM
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Cleat positions aren't the same on all shoes.

I think I noticed some Specialized "touring" shoes that had cleat positions somewhat further back than other brands/models.

Still, probably not back to the mid-soles.

I think I picked up a pair of Speedplay shoes a while ago. They use a 4-bolt cleat, with the rear bolts quite far back, but unfortunately with a slightly wider bolt pattern than the typical SPD cleats. Perhaps it is time to revisit the idea of making an SPD adapter for Speedplay bolts. It might be easy enough to make the proper plate, then braze the speedplay cleats to the plate. Would flex kill the brazing?
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Old 11-11-19, 10:44 PM
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Have you looked into Catalyst pedals (https://pedalinginnovations.com/?gcl...SAAEgKsG_D_BwE)?I bought a pair for my mountain bike when I was having tendon problems and they helped a great deal. Not sure I can use them on my road bike. They are enormous and I fear they’d hit the front wheel (or push my foot far forward enough to hit). If you have the clearance, they might help.

Good luck.
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Old 11-12-19, 08:18 AM
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Those Catalyst pedals look like something I should try. For years, we've believed that the pedal spindle should be beneath the ball of the foot. That may be mechanically the most efficient thing, but it wears the body out, so it's not the best idea. I've looked down at inexperienced cyclists who pedal with their arches, but it seems they have the right idea. Now that I've moved my cleats back and my feet are farther forward, my foot does hit the front wheel when in low speed turns, but it never knocks me off the bike. I just change course or backpedal.
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Old 11-18-19, 09:07 PM
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The Catalyst pedals are wonderful for me as I had a total knee replacement almost 2 years ago. I like having my whole foot on the pedal and feel like I am using my quads to full effect. I can also move my foot around the pedal - point the toes out or move the whole foot forward or backwards on the pedal - depending on how my replacement knee feels that particular day. I ride a Trek hybrid and don't really worry about keeping up with anyone.

Good luck!
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Old 11-19-19, 06:49 AM
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Some triathlon folks, more often than road bikers, mount cleats on the centre of their feet. This may be partly because they want to save their foot control muscles for the run.
https://www.triathlete.com/2019/07/b...acement_381693
https://forum.slowtwitch.com/forum/S...eats_P6232140/
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/...14.2012.760748
I find that T-bolts tend to be too long but one can grind them down, make holes where ever you like in your shoe, and then get the T-bolts to bed in sole with care. That said, I have only used T-bolts to mend broken cleat nuts in the pre-existing holes.

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Old 11-19-19, 06:23 PM
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I've invested a huge amount into SPD pedals and shoes. But I'm curious to try those Catalyst pedals. I'm willing to admit I was going in the wrong direction. I have chronic foot pain, probably caused by bunions.
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Old 11-19-19, 06:26 PM
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@timtak, that article in Triathlete is fascinating. I'm not a triathlete, but maybe I should pretend I am for the sake of fit. I have very very tight muscles everywhere.
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Old 11-19-19, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
@timtak, that article in Triathlete is fascinating. I'm not a triathlete, but maybe I should pretend I am for the sake of fit. I have very very tight muscles everywhere.
I considered mid foot mount but didn't pull the trigger. Perhaps if we don't use muscles they get even tighter. Lately I have been stretching...(Sees excuse to included video of karate thrashing) in an attempt to improve my awful karate.
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Old 11-22-19, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Spoke View Post
Need some help. Due to a pinched nerve I have lost 2/3 of my strength in my left calf muscle. This has affected my ability to ride my road bike with typical road cycling shoes with cleats under the ball of my foot. I have been able to compensate by riding with platform pedals and positioning the spindle of the pedals under the arch of my feet. While not ideal, it allows me to ride. However, since I am use to being clipped in, I don’t like how my feet move around on the pedals and I miss the ability to pull up on the back stroke. Any suggestions? Are there toe clips that could be adjusted to position the pedal under the arch rather than under the ball of the foot? Has anyone tried or use pedal straps? TIA!
A good ski shop shoud be able to fix you up, believe it or not ( I was a ski tech for a lot of years ) you will need shoe with a strong thick sole
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