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Spd-r cleat placement...(7 posts)

Spd-r cleat placement...Green3
Oct 11, 2001 12:20 AM
What is the best possible cleat placement...I've always been told under the ball of your foot but is there a benefit of having it all the way forward in the slots of the shoes...
re: Spd-r cleat placement...cyclequip
Oct 11, 2001 3:33 AM
Depends on the strength of your calf muscles. Best placement with foot at 20 degrees down (the flat front part of the shoe under the ball of the foot parallel to the ground) is pedal spindle under the ball of the foot or JUST BEHIND the ball. Don't get the pedal too much under your toes.
re: Spd-r cleat placement...jtolleson
Oct 11, 2001 6:43 AM
The main problem people have with their cleat too far forward is foot pain. The pressure and torque is very much in the forefoot, but the stronger part of your foot is a little farther back. In a super stiff (say, carbon soled) road shoe it may be less of an issue, but if your shoe has any flex at all, any long ride or heavy climbing will definitely make you feel it in the forefoot.

Rules of thumb are just general guidance, it is true, but they usually draw on true wisdom.

Good luck!
re: Spd-r cleat placement...Green3
Oct 11, 2001 7:37 AM
Thanks for the responses...but what's the beneifit of having the cleat under the ball or just slightly behind verse completely under the toes...i've done a couple of 60+ mile rides in hilly terrian with the cleat all the way forward and did notice some numbness but figured it was the new shoes...would i lose any power sliding the cleats back?
yes, but there's a tradeoffjw25
Oct 11, 2001 8:11 AM
As I understand it, with the cleat forward, you have more power available (think of the foot as a lever. Increase the length of the lever, and you have more power, albeit with more motion.)
The tradeoff here is spinning ability. Supposedly, it's more difficult to spin higher cadences well with the cleats forward. You may be able to train yourself for this position, but it all comes down to what you expect, and how you ride in the first place.
If you're a masher, than a slightly forward position will help you power up hills. If you're a spinner, a slightly rearward position makes high cadences easier to maintain.
Since you have new shoes as well as new pedals, I'd try a few more rides before determining the cause of the numbness. If it continues, try sliding the cleats back to the neutral position, and see if it goes away.
re: Spd-r cleat placement...Trent in WA
Oct 11, 2001 7:41 PM
I'm not a sports physiologist, but it seems to me that by putting the cleat that far forward you're (a) forcing your calf muscles to do a ton of work and keeping them under constant tension, (b) converting your foot into a dampening lever that's sucking energy out of every pedal stroke, and (c) putting a lot of stress on your plantar fascia, which help support the arches in your feet.

Pretty much every book or authority I've read on long-distance riding recommends positioning the cleat so that the pedal spindle falls 1-2 cm. behind the ball of the foot for the sake of comfort and efficiency. You'll spin better, mash less, and feel better in both the short and long haul, methinks.

Hope this is helpful, or at least entertaining.
Slightly <i>behind</i> the ball .....crack-n-fail
Oct 11, 2001 4:42 PM
of the foot.Why? I'm not sure but two different set up gurus, one who is a sports physio and works with a world cup mountain biker, national level roadies, and triathletes, the other fellows clients have won Olympic gold medals on the the track and Tri course, both advocate this position. The ball of the foot is the first metatarsil (big toe joint), it should be aligned under the fifth metatarsil, so they claim. Hope that helps.