Advice about how I pedal please?

Katherine

Guru
Moderator
Location
Manchester
I hope I can explain what the problem is and that someone will recognise the symtoms and know what I might be doing wrong.

I recently went clipless after always using toe clips.
Spd, double sided, multi release, loosest setting.

For the first 3 weeks I was wearing my winter boots and it was a dream. No issues with clipping in and out, no falling off, very comfortable.

Then the weather got warmer and I started wearing my new shoes.
Initially, the cleats on these were not multi relaese and I found them extremly difficult to pull my heals out to unclip. I gave them another 4 weeks to see if they would wear in but at week 7 I had my first fail and fell off twice when I couldn't unclip fast enough. Just toppled over sideways, a few sctratches on the bike and bruises on me but at least I knew what everyone meant by " You will fall off, I guarantee it"!
The next day, I ordered some multi release cleats and have had no more clipping in and out problems.

Meanwhile I have develped an issue with agonising pain under my feet from the balls of my feet and toes.
This seems to be happening in the hot weather and on longer rides or rides where I have to push a bit more, keeping up with the group, riding faster, up hill, against the wind etc
The first time this happennned was on a hot day when I did our club social century ride, 4½ weeks ago. All was fine until about 75 miles in, when it started on my left foot and then it started on my right foot too. I was advised to loosen my shoes as much as I could which I did.
With 15 miles to go I could barely put any pressure on to actually pedal. We stopped so I could take off my shoes so I could massage my feet which helped for a few miles.
Since then the pain has come back on a few rides but not quite as bad as the first time.

I don't think there is a problem with the shoe size. I have narrow feet. The shoes are comfortable to walk in. Even when it is hot I can still wriggle my toes, splay my toes out or scrunch them up inside the shoes as I pedal. The shoes are well vented - I was horrified how much rain they let in on a downpour (In April, should have been an April shower! Not so!)

I think it is the way that I pedal.
I probably got into the habit of pushing forwards and down on the pedal when I used to use toeclips and I waas told once that I did this more when I was tired.
Since going clipless I have been trying to keep my feet level and push evenly around the whole pedal stroke. I have even been trying to push down with my heals to avoid puting ang pressure on my toes.
I also have been trying to consciously use the whole leg as I pedal.

Yet, I am still getting the pain under my feet as I did last night I did a 20 mile ride, trying to push myself as I was limited by time.

Thanks for reading.
Any tips and advice welcome :smile::bicycle:
 

jowwy

Guru
I hope I can explain what the problem is and that someone will recognise the symtoms and know what I might be doing wrong.

I recently went clipless after always using toe clips.
Spd, double sided, multi release, loosest setting.

For the first 3 weeks I was wearing my winter boots and it was a dream. No issues with clipping in and out, no falling off, very comfortable.

Then the weather got warmer and I started wearing my new shoes.
Initially, the cleats on these were not multi relaese and I found them extremly difficult to pull my heals out to unclip. I gave them another 4 weeks to see if they would wear in but at week 7 I had my first fail and fell off twice when I couldn't unclip fast enough. Just toppled over sideways, a few sctratches on the bike and bruises on me but at least I knew what everyone meant by " You will fall off, I guarantee it"!
The next day, I ordered some multi release cleats and have had no more clipping in and out problems.

Meanwhile I have develped an issue with agonising pain under my feet from the balls of my feet and toes.
This seems to be happening in the hot weather and on longer rides or rides where I have to push a bit more, keeping up with the group, riding faster, up hill, against the wind etc
The first time this happennned was on a hot day when I did our club social century ride, 4½ weeks ago. All was fine until about 75 miles in, when it started on my left foot and then it started on my right foot too. I was advised to loosen my shoes as much as I could which I did.
With 15 miles to go I could barely put any pressure on to actually pedal. We stopped so I could take off my shoes so I could massage my feet which helped for a few miles.
Since then the pain has come back on a few rides but not quite as bad as the first time.

I don't think there is a problem with the shoe size. I have narrow feet. The shoes are comfortable to walk in. Even when it is hot I can still wriggle my toes, splay my toes out or scrunch them up inside the shoes as I pedal. The shoes are well vented - I was horrified how much rain they let in on a downpour (In April, should have been an April shower! Not so!)

I think it is the way that I pedal.
I probably got into the habit of pushing forwards and down on the pedal when I used to use toeclips and I waas told once that I did this more when I was tired.
Since going clipless I have been trying to keep my feet level and push evenly around the whole pedal stroke. I have even been trying to push down with my heals to avoid puting ang pressure on my toes.
I also have been trying to consciously use the whole leg as I pedal.

Yet, I am still getting the pain under my feet as I did last night I did a 20 mile ride, trying to push myself as I was limited by time.

Thanks for reading.
Any tips and advice welcome :smile::bicycle:
Foot pain is a difficult one as I suffer with it on my right foot, along the outer ridge. For me I put my cleats all the way back and lowered the saddle a few mm's at a time until I felt no pain at all over a full ride. It did hamper my climbing a bit, but I just lowered the gears to compensate.
 

Trigger369

Über Member
I'm no expert on the matter but could it be down to your saddle .
That's the first thing came to mind as I've had a bike fit done yesterday. After
suffering from numb feet I was told it was most likely down to the wrong saddle and putting to much pressure on nerves. Just a thought
 

cosmicbike

Perhaps This One.....
Moderator
Location
Egham
It's known as hot foot. Far be it from me to explain it, or the solution as there is plenty out there on the internet, but I know the pain very well. I was using Shimano's 'basic' MTB shoes and changed from them to half decent SPD-SL road shoes, which solved the problem. I never got on with the SPD-SL though, so switched back to SPD and spent a bit more money on half decent MTB shoes, and don't suffer anywhere near as badly anymore. My imperial century rides tend to give a bit of pain towards the end, but I think that's just me needing to man up!
 

Slick

Guru
I had similar trouble recently although not as severe but my mileage is lower so I'll be interested to see how this thread develops. I've been clipless for quite a while but it's always been the double sided until I got a new bike and I thought I'd give spd sl a go. This obviously meant new shoes and if anything I was a tad concerned I bought them too big but after a few miles in the heat I was getting some pain so released them a bit which did help. I thought maybe everything just needs broken in but after reading your post now I'm not so sure.
 

Brandane

Intae them!
Location
Costa Clyde.
Why not take the obvious solution, and go back to toe clips?
I have always been of the opinion that clipping yourself into a pedal is a compromise on foot position. Am I alone in finding that my foot position varies slightly depending on whether I am climbing, descending, or on the level? Plus, get the position slightly wrong and if you are riding high numbers of miles you are going to have problems which could affect your knees or hips - or feet. Then there is the performance argument. But unless you are seriously into racing, how much of a benefit are they?
FWIW, I do wear SPD's but the only reason I do is that I found they cured the problem I was having with quite severe achilles tendon pain. The relief is probably down to the stiffness of the sole of the shoe (preventing foot flex) rather than anything to do with being clipped in though. I still prefer to wear normal shoes for shorter rides and for that reason all my bikes have the double sided type of pedals so that I can do either clipped in, or not.
 
Location
Salford
If the cleats are set correctly, as @ianrauk suggests, then maybe your shoes are too small
 
OP
Katherine

Katherine

Guru
Moderator
Location
Manchester
I was still saying 'never' to the prospect of clipping even 6 months ago! Then I treated myself to some winter boots and the leather lace ups I used to wear for cycling wore out so I bought some cycling shoes. It seemed the time to try.
I have actually been quite pleasntly surprised how much extra benefit I have got from being clipped in compared to using toe clips. Noticable on going up hill or into the wind or accelerating quickly.
 
OP
Katherine

Katherine

Guru
Moderator
Location
Manchester
It's known as hot foot. Far be it from me to explain it, or the solution as there is plenty out there on the internet, but I know the pain very well. I was using Shimano's 'basic' MTB shoes and changed from them to half decent SPD-SL road shoes, which solved the problem. I never got on with the SPD-SL though, so switched back to SPD and spent a bit more money on half decent MTB shoes, and don't suffer anywhere near as badly anymore. My imperial century rides tend to give a bit of pain towards the end, but I think that's just me needing to man up!
What shoes did you get?
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Try thinner socks? As well as moving the cleats. I get it in my non unclipping right foot more but it’s much better for my knackered joints to clip in so I put up with it! Spesh footbeds help too as I have slightly deformed feet with very high arches
 
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