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  1. #1
    Finally stateside again
    Reputation: mzorich's Avatar
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    the proper clipless pedal setup

    been having some issues with my set up. running the xt trail pedals and can't think of my cleats off the top of my head but nothing crazy expensive but they are not bottom of the line either. i have been having issues where if i do long downhill sections my feet feel like they are going numb. i have been adjusting them but can seem to find the sweat spot. whats the proper placement. like where should the ball of my foot be on the pedal. the set up i have now feels good while riding but once i have full pressure on my foot it clearly isn't right

  2. #2
    Bassmaster
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    what type of shoes do you have? Id check the lacing up near the top of the foot, when going downhill riders typically heels down so if the laces are tight on top of the foot it would restrict bloodflow and put your feet to sleep. just what i read on here...

  3. #3
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    Long-standing conventional bike wisdom is that the cleat should be centered below the ball of your foot, and for years some people have been finding that starting there is good, but moving the cleat back a little bit from that point can be better....giving you a little stronger stance on the pedal and reducing hot spots. What I do with new shoes/cleats is put the shoes on like I'm going for a ride (ie, using the right socks, lacing or strapping the shoes to what feels good & snug, but not real tight) and stand in them, rocking forward a little so my heel is off the ground and all my weight is on the balls of my feet....basically you're trying to match the posture your feet will be in when you're on the pedals. Then take a pen and put a small mark on the medial side (inside) of the shoe right where the 1st metatarsal head is...it's easy to feel through the shoe..it's the bony bulge in between your big toe and your arch. Mark right in the middle of the bulge. Then do the same thing on the lateral (outside) of the shoe, marking the middle of the bulge where your 5th metatarsal is...it's not quite as obvious, but easy enough. Then flip the shoe over and use a ruler to get a straight line between the two marks. Start with your cleat centered on the line...if you still feel hotspots you might try moving the cleats back a few millimeters to see if it helps.
    Watch your shoe adjustment as fat1 says, and also don't underestimate the benefit of some aftermarket insoles, or better yet custom molded aftermarket insoles, like Superfeet, Soles, and there a bunch of others too. Stock cycling shoe insoles are usually just a thin sheet of foam that don't provide any arch support, and that lack of support could be the whole cause of your discomfort.

  4. #4
    Finally stateside again
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    thanks for the input and help. i am going to go try that today and then go for a ride. hopefully it helps. i am thinking it might be my cleats more then anything at the moment

  5. #5
    Bassmaster
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    to be clear, I was only repeating information I have read. I've only been clipless for 2 rides, I tightened the shoes on the way back and noticed a little numbness so thought I would share that with you. I didn't want you to take my information as expert, you could have a completely different issue altogether so keep your eyes and mind open. Thanks

  6. #6
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    I cant post links yet, but search for Fabien Barel's clipless pedal tips.

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