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Knee Pain from Pedals?

I have resently mode the move from straps to clip on shoe on my road bike and have noticed that i seem to have a 'tender' knees. Has any one or does anybody know if it is possable that clip on shoes can cause knee problems? I have noticed that it seems to hold me legs in a position that is not normal to the way i stand.


  • tomroomtomroom Posts: 33
    Hi, I think the problem may be that you may have inadvertently altered your effective saddle height. By wearing trainers the actual length of your leg extension is 1-2cm less than what you'd measure if from saddle to pedal. Now by switching to clippless pedals, the shoe itself has less padding and the cleat fits into a recess in the pedal further increasing the length of your leg extension.

    If you've accounted for this then you might want to check that you have sufficient "float" which is the amount of lateral movement you can get while clipped in. Not sure of how to do this other than by what's comfortable, personally I like to be able to brush against the crank arms, (should I want to?), as a guide to whether my cleats are set up correctly.


  • Hello Trimonster

    There is quite a lot written about the wrong positioning of spds and cleats causing knee pain. There is some evidence that you can really make a mess of your knees if you have them wrongly set up. It would be worth getting someone to have a look at your position with the bike set up on a on a turbo. If you ask at a local (good) bikeshop they should be able to help you.

    I am beginning to become a bit of a bore when it comes to kneepain!

    Hope you get it sorted.

  • Thanks for that guys. Another question does anybody know of a bike shop in the west london area?
  • JulieMacJulieMac Posts: 30
    I'm not sure but 220 issue 195 might have some usefull info on bike set up. It is somthing you can do your self with the right calculations (not sure what it is off the top of my head but I'll have a rummage and see if I can find it for you) or if you know any level 2 tri coaches they should have the relivant info. I guess its allways a good idea to get some one who knows what their doing to help esp if your having problems I'd say its worth getting some one to double check your calculations anyway if you do it your self.
  • JulieMacJulieMac Posts: 30
    You might find this site a help

  • definitely get someone to have a look - you can really mess your knees up if you set your cleats up incorrectly.

    A good way to get an idea of if you're way out with your cleat positioning, is to sit on the edge of a table, with your upper legs supported and your lower legs hanging free. look at the position your feet naturally assume...that's probably how they would align naturally on the pedal (eg if toes point in on one foot, but you've got the cleat set up dead on the mid-line, you could well be asking for trouble.

    align the cleats so that your feet would assume that position as default on the bike.

    oh, and make sure your pedals allow you some degree of 'float' (a few degrees rotation of the cleat without it disengaging)...might be worth looking at a different brand/model if not.
  • Guys, my apologies for not keeping up to date with my knee troubles!

    It was as tomroom suggested, incorrect saddle height. As soon a i had done that, with in a week my knees were fine!

    Since then I have done 3 sprint tries and in the height of the season doing 60km every sunday.

    Thanks to you all for your advice!
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