SPD's & Knee Pain

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by doyler78, 15 Feb 2008.

  1. doyler78

    doyler78 Well-Known Member

    Co Down, Ireland
    Using clipless pedals again. Getting a little knee pain. Nothing too bad however clearly something amiss so best to try and iron it out before it does become a problem. I know that pain in different places can indicate possible causes and therefore solutions but haven't a clue what they are.

    Basically pain in left knee on the right side (ie side which points towards the right knee as opposed to the one that points outwards) and it feels like its coming from the area just below where the knee bends. The pain isn't affected by touching and it isn't constant just comes and goes every few seconds.

    Have tried to use these in the past and one 5 miles trip would have left me hobbling for weeks and certainly off the bike for that period however after advice on here I was able to get more angle from cleat on the sole of my shoe which allowed my very toes outward feet to take a more natural angle than the shoe would otherwise have allowed. There is definitely a transformation now as I have worn these now for over 120 miles over the last week and can still walk without problem except for this niggling little pain.

    Any ideas what are the most likely causes of this?
  2. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    It's not only me then!

    I recently switched both bikes to SPD's, as I had a couple of pairs I bought years ago and never used. I found that during out of the saddle climbing my right knee was giving me a twinge, something I have never had before. I had the cleats set so that the float was not restricting foot rotation at all, and couldn't understand what the problem was. I swapped back to look type pedals and the problem immediately went away.

    Comparing the differences in the pedals, I came to the conclusion that the narrower platform on the SPD was allowing my foot to "Roll" slightly over the edge of the pedal when I was standing, and putting a strain on the knee joint.

    I would try a change back to your old pedals and see if your problem clears up too, it could be that SPDs are just not for everyone.
  3. redfox

    redfox New Member

    Bourne End, UK
    Me too, only I have been using SPDs for years without any problem.

    Got a new pair of shoes last week, did a 100K at the weekend and the left knee has been in quite a lot of pain all week since.

    The left pedal did feel like it was a little forward of the ball of my foot on the ride but, after comparing new and old shoes, the cleat positioning looks identical.

    It seems that a fractional movement can make a big difference.
  4. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    fitted spds to a new pair a couple of months ago and had pain on the inner tendon of the left knee almost at once, even though the action felt great

    moved both cleats inward and that fixed it, slight pain on the right knee then fixed by moving that cleat slightly outward and forward

    just a matter of tweaking the position I think
  5. yenrod

    yenrod Guest

    Get 40 notes out of yuh pocket and buy these:




    That'll sort yuh knees out !
  6. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    i dislike spds, but it's possible that the knee pain is caused by the change in position of the pedal, or maybe the seat needs adjusting.
  7. ChrisKH

    ChrisKH Veteran

    There's been a couple of threads like this before. Consider the impact of a new bike http://www.cyclechat.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=7567&highlight=knee+pain

    and I was reading a Stephen Roche book where he suffered for quite a while and eventually traced it back to the shoes he was asked to wear by the sponsors which were much stiffer than he had previously used. Solution was to change back to his old favourite Colnago shoes.
  8. OP

    doyler78 Well-Known Member

    Co Down, Ireland
    Thanks will try moving the cleats a bit each day to see how I fair. Did a little adjustment backwards on the left cleat and have just done a 35 mile ride so I guess I will know in a few hours whether it has made any diff. Certainly doesn't feel too bad at min.

    Should have said I can't use any other clipless system as I can't rotate my left foot sufficiently outwards to be able to get out of the pedals that's why I persist with spd's because, so far as I am aware, they are the only one's that have multi-release cleats that will allow me to clip out by turning my foot inwards.

    One other thing though. I have been using these for a week only and the only thing I can see a benefit on so far is that I now feel confident climbing out of the saddle on a hill which tended never to do in a pair of trainers on platforms. I'm not noticing any real change in average speeds or lower heart rates for my commutes. I guess all things take time and perhaps when I get the dog pooh wiping technique down I may see a difference but hey I seen 30% effeciency mentioned from changing (really can't see it).
  9. Thats interesting I had M424 pedals for about a year and a half no problems, these have quite a large plastic cage. Eventually the cage came away slightly from the clip and I went to to the lbs to replace them, they only had M520's and after a while I got knee problems and although its away, thanks to the physio, there is still some slight twinges.
  10. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    i use looks and you can unclip turning inward as this shows.
  11. OP

    doyler78 Well-Known Member

    Co Down, Ireland
    :evil::ohmy:: Bike shop told me that SPD was the only system which allowed multi-release. I believed them for obvious - me dopey they expert. I really am in shock. I will give look a go and 9 degrees of float is alot more than I get with my current spds - think its 5 or 6. Of course I really wanted speedplay but they don't have multi-release or do they?

    Alecstilleyedye have used these ergo cleats - are they any good?
  12. cam

    cam New Member

    SPD Pedals that tilt

    You could have a look at these pedals which are designed to reduce the stress on the knee joints and strengthen the support muscles


    Hope this helps,
  13. gavintc

    gavintc Guru

    SPD has very limited float. I have recently moved from Look Keo to SPD for my commuter as I was finding the cleat covers a pain with getting on and off the train. But, I have noticed that my foot position is now effectively fixed.
  14. OP

    doyler78 Well-Known Member

    Co Down, Ireland
    Took the plunge in the end a few weeks ago and about a pair of spd-sl 6620 pedals in the hope that they would allow me to release inwards even though Shimano does not advertise this. They do. My knees are better with them and for the first time I have noticed the benefits of having clipless pedals in terms of speed and at first I was very nervous around traffic using them as they were harder to release however I am now used to this and find them much more secure.

    They are not perfect by any means. I get a little pain on the back outside of my left knee and the front inside of my right knee however this isn't as bad as I would get with the spd's therefore I am much more hopefully that I will be able to get a very comfortable position eventually (just hope the knee or hip doesn't give out before I get there).

    As regards float I don't actually think there is anymore on my new pedals than there were in my old spd's however it just feels as though there is more play in them. Strange that but nevertheless that's how I perceive it.
  15. Jaded

    Jaded New Member

    If you stretch your hamstrings before you go out does hat make a difference?
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