Crank Length related to heel pain?

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by yogiblair, 5 Feb 2018.

  1. yogiblair

    yogiblair Active Member

    Location:
    Aberdeenshire
    looking for a few opinions, I know crank length has been done a few times on here already......

    My wife took some pictures and a video of me cycling in the holidays. I couldn’t help but notice that my stroke looked awkward and that my knees bowed out to the side a bit, especially my right one.

    I decided that perhaps my saddle wasn’t high enough and made an adjustment of about 3-4cm. On my next ride I was comfortable on the bike, but the day after had a really sore right ankle at the back on the tendon, since then have also had heel pain after a ride.

    I finally returned the saddle to where it was previously (more or less), and after my weekend ride have a very sore ankle again.

    This has got me thinking about crank length. I am 6’2” and just measured my inside leg to floor at 91cm. I have found a chart that suggests I could be riding a 180mm crank. I currently have 175mm.

    Does anybody have a similar experience?
     
  2. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    Have you also checked your cleat set up?

    Did you stretch after your ride?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    yogiblair

    yogiblair Active Member

    Location:
    Aberdeenshire
    Yes had a good stretch. Don’t really know where to start with cleat setup, I have SPD SL, the yellow ones which I believe are 6 degrees of float.
     
  4. derrick

    derrick The Glue that binds us together.

  5. OP
    OP
    yogiblair

    yogiblair Active Member

    Location:
    Aberdeenshire
  6. andrew_s

    andrew_s Veteran

    Location:
    Gloucester
    If you change your saddle height, you should only change by a small amount (5 mm or so), and then give yourself time to get used to the new height before you change it again.
    Once you've damaged a tendon or cartilage, it can take quite a while for it to settle down. No need to stop cycling entirely, but shorter, flatter rides in a lower gear are best.

    Shorter cranks won't usually cause a problem
     
    yogiblair likes this.
  7. meta lon

    meta lon Guru

    Location:
    pboro
    Are you sure your not just having tendon trouble.?
    If your in your late 30's 40's etc, it seems to affect many at some point during these years.

    Spd-sl can also aggravate and why a lot stick with spd.

    Hopefully none of these and its all just bike fit
     
  8. Milkfloat

    Milkfloat Veteran

    Location:
    Warwick
    A 6'4" I normally ride with 175mm cranks, but on the track 165mm. I don't perceive any real difference, certainly nothing that causes pain.

    When cycling normally do you feel that you are in the centre of the float or are you pushing against one side?
     
  9. OP
    OP
    yogiblair

    yogiblair Active Member

    Location:
    Aberdeenshire
    I think I definitely have aggravated something by adjusting my saddle too much, yes late 30's now! I have never tried SPD but do plan to look at my cleat setup.

    Thanks!
     
  10. OP
    OP
    yogiblair

    yogiblair Active Member

    Location:
    Aberdeenshire
    Thanks for the reply, interesting to hear your take on crank length. I'm not sure about how I feel with pedals, but certainly aware of it now. Plan to have an investigation tonight!
     
  11. Ajax Bay

    Ajax Bay Veteran

    Location:
    East Devon
    Crank length is not your problem. The 175s are fine.
    Same for the yellow spd-sl cleat system. They are the most forgiving: again unlikely to be the issue.
    As others have said, upthread, to me this looks like a saddle height issue and I concentrate on getting that correct first. An adjustment of 3-4cm is pretty radical. Get back to where you were and go up steadily. @andrew_s has already suggested that once you've inflamed a tendon it takes time to calm down; but it does in due course. You didn't get pain when on tour so go from there (saadlle height wise).
    Heel of a straight leg on the pedal at 6 o'clock still sitting squarely on the saddle will give you a benchmark starting point; but individuals differ.
     
    yogiblair likes this.
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