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  1. #1
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    Clydes and Clipless

    I posted this over on the beginners forum and didn't get much of a response. I'm 6'1" and 220 lbs. I took up mtb a few months ago to enjoy exercising and to lose weight. I switched to clipless this week, and I'm having some problems I haven't heard of anyone else having.

    I have a sharp cramping, burning feeling behind the ball of my foot, extending to the outside of my foot, on the bottom. This persisted throughout a 10 mile ride yesterday. I have Shimano M077 shoes ($100 setup), and Shimano M540 pedals. I like the feeling of the clipless, as far as power transfer. But, the pain was so intense, that I've got to find a way to fix it, or I'm going to have to take these pedals off and go back to platforms. My cleats were set up just under the ball of my foot...maybe a little forward. I moved them back last night, and will try that. The only other thing I can think of is that my arch is falling, due to the lack of arch support in cycling shoes. If the problem will go away after a few rides, I can deal with it. I just don't want to keep hurting if it's something I can fix on my own.

    1) Have any of you had this problem, or heard of anyone else having it? How was it fixed?

    2) By all descriptions I've heard about cleat adjustment, I've been told to line the cleat up with the ball of my foot. No one has explained if this means lining the front of the cleat with the middle of the ball of your foot, or the middle of the cleat with the middle of the ball of your foot, or the front of the cleat with the back of the ball of your foot....? Could a small difference like that cause the pain I'm describing.

    Sorry for such a long post. Hope someone here has a quick fix for me. My feet cramped all night last night, and still hurt a little this morning. Something was off and I just can't locate it. Thanks in advance for your replies.

  2. #2
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    A cleat fit with someone knowledgeable could probably fix that. Especially if you haven't used cleats before. Have someone knowledgeable fit your cleats properly on your shoe and explain the mechanics to you. Shouldn't cost you more than about 35 bucks.

    Or you could experiment with changing positioning and maybe get it right that way. If you're going to be riding a lot, proper seat position (angel, fore and aft) and cleat adjustment can be a big deal.

  3. #3
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    pink bike's tech tuesday video from last week was about cleat setup.

    Otherwise I'd pay for a pro to fit you.

    If you really think its an arch problem, go to REI or some place like that and have them set you up with a pair of insoles that will give your shoe more structure. I put a pair of super feet in my cycling shoes that helped quite a bit.

  4. #4
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    Try moving the cleats all the way back in the slots towards the middle of you feet. If you ride toe in or out, angle your cleats accordingly. As you get stronger you can move them more forward. Also the M-540s pedals don't have a lot of foot support, try stepping up to the something like the M-545s
    James
    "My mountain bike needs a new motor; the current one is fat and lazy."

  5. #5
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    Do you have wide feet? I had occasional issues with the stiff cycling shoes causing pain until I found a wide pair.

    Craig

  6. #6
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    I agree with the above. Try one of the platform clips. I recently swapt from a shimano platform clip to crank brothers without a paltform and on longer rides I feel a bit of pain since I'm putting all my force on the small clip. It helps if you have a decent shoe with a stiff sole as well.

  7. #7
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    Could also be that your shoe is too tight across the toe box.
    Have had this happen and loosening the front of the show made
    a huge difference.

  8. #8
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    Could also be that your shoe is too tight across the toe box.
    Have had this happen and loosening the front of the show made
    a huge difference.
    When you changed pedals, I bet you changed shoes too! Get a shoes with a wide toe box(hard to find with MTB shoes) and a stiff sole!

  9. #9
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    I have Morton's Neuroma in both feet and have tried just about everything to keep the pain away or at least under control. I've found that wide shoes (as mentioned), gel inserts and custom arch supports allow me to manage my pain throughout my rides. There are times when I have to stop to allow the blood to circulate until some feeling returns. This seems to happen less often the more I ride because I have been concentrating on spinning in circle rather than mashing the pedals...although when I get tired the bad habits return. I am much better off now then I was a year ago but I have lost permanent feeling in the two middle toes on each foot. Bottom line, see a specialist if your problem persists and make the proper adjustments or your rides will forever be torture sessions...
    Last edited by zenkem; 11-09-2011 at 09:41 AM.

  10. #10
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    Do you have pain in this area immediately after waking up and getting out of bed in the mornings? If so, you might have plantar faciitis. I have it and it really sucks. If you then adding an insert would help.

    Todd


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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX-BoneDigger View Post
    Do you have pain in this area immediately after waking up and getting out of bed in the mornings? If so, you might have plantar faciitis. I have it and it really sucks. If you then adding an insert would help.

    Todd


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    No, it's only when I'm riding. No other time. Not even when I'm hiking. It's only when I am riding bikes clipless, and upon trying to find the cause of the pain, I've found that the pain moves a little as I move my cleats. I've had sharp pain across the arch from one side of my foot to the other, and also numbness in my toes. I'm convinced that it's either arch support, or flex in my shoes. I know people with the same shoes, though, and don't have the same problems. I'm going to try arch support with some of my hiking insoles tomorrow, and then try new shoes, if that doesn't work. After that, it's either to a doctor, or back to platforms (which I don't want). I know it seems minor, but if you can imagine a charlie horse type pain, right across the bottom of your foot every time you ride, you get the picture. It makes riding miserable.

  12. #12
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    I noticed on longer rides I would get the pain you speak of. I tried moving cleats as far back as my shoes allow and foot pain is gone did 25mi today with no pain. Now if I could figure out my knee pain tried moving saddle. Also I'm 6'3 250. Also most people say to have the pedal axle centered on where the 2nd joint on big from the toe end. But all feet are different. I found some good links on here and most mentioned that joint at least as a starting reference.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX-BoneDigger View Post
    Do you have pain in this area immediately after waking up and getting out of bed in the mornings? If so, you might have plantar faciitis. I have it and it really sucks. If you then adding an insert would help.
    Interesting, I may have this problem as well...

    Quote Originally Posted by mayberry32 View Post
    I know it seems minor, but if you can imagine a charlie horse type pain, right across the bottom of your foot every time you ride, you get the picture. It makes riding miserable.
    Or, a rock in your shoe!!! No, it's not minor...

    Quote Originally Posted by WVBikr View Post
    Now if I could figure out my knee pain tried moving saddle. Also I'm 6'3 250.
    This may be Bike fit, make sure your knee doesn't extend past you toes while spinning in your normal riding position. I had this problem with an older ride which went away when I changed to a new one. If not, you may just have bad knees in which case I would talk to the Doc...
    Last edited by zenkem; 11-13-2011 at 11:04 PM.

  14. #14
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    I bought a pair of SuperFeet insoles from REI today, and I'm going to try those. Some of the guys in the LBS have told me that the shoes have too much flex. However, they are the same guys who tried to sell me the same shoes a few months ago. So, I'm not sure that the shoes are the problem. If the insoles don't work, I'll try another pair of shoes, I guess. I know it sounds ridiculous, but riding like this is not fun, and I really love riding.

    The guys in REI's bike shop today said a few things that made sense. If my Merrell hiking shoes with platform pedals didn't hurt the arches of my feet, and the Shimano mtn biking shoes are stiffer, then it can't be the flex of the shoes. They seemed to think that my arch was dropping, and that was what was causing the pain. We'll see mid-week. I'm leaving the office early and riding again on Tuesday afternoon. Hopefully, this will fix the problem and I can go back to enjoying my rides.

  15. #15
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    I got a set of these which helped some:

    Bike Shoe Insole | G-Form

  16. #16
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    This weekend, I picked up a pair of SuperFeet insoles from REI. I've used them hiking before, and thought that the arch support might be something to try, since moving the cleat position for the past few weeks hasn't helped. Today, I rode 10 miles with the new insoles. Very little pain at all!!! I think I found the fix. I guess it truly was just the lack of arch support in the Shimano shoes I have. Outside of riding in the rain, alone, at night, the ride was awesome. I'm riding again on Friday. Hopefully, I've found my solution and can get back to enjoying riding. Thanks for everyone's input.

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