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shorter leg and campy pedals(16 posts)

shorter leg and campy pedalsjohn de
Mar 30, 2001 8:09 PM
i called the bike store and told them i was looking for spacers for my shoes cause my left leg is a half a cm shorter and they didnt have anything and recomended a shorter not buying a shorter crank, anyone ever use washers or the like on campy using insoles now and its not comfortable.
1/2 cm!!!?Bosephus
Mar 31, 2001 4:51 AM
Your worried about 5 mm. I'm not a doctor, but I'm willing to bet nearly 90% of of the population has about that much difference in the length of their legs. I know I probably do ... I've got to say it's never bothered me...

Sorry I can't help you ...
It's called Leg Length Discrepencydonalson
Mar 31, 2001 5:21 AM
yes most people have it both in the arms and most people over 2MM NO...i personly have it mines a "mear" 6MM do i notice it? other people notice it no, only the fact that i walk a lil weird, its my left leg thats shorter, when i walk i kinda bounce, you can see me from a mile away because of how I walk, does it bother me, NO...but my left leg does tire more, when standing almost all my weight is on that 1 leg, it's uncomfortable to stand on the yes 5MM is a BIG deal you wouldn't think it but it is

to make it worse i've got horably flat feet

as for the spacers i for some reason never got them...probly should have but I do know what you mean about biking and being uncomfortable...I personly thought of the same think as you...a few washers and a longer bolt should do just fine,...when i get around to it i'm going to get some locking washers and find a 5MM longer bolt than the standard ones and have at it...hopefuly it'll help w/ the feeling

as for the change in crank length i wouldn't...just seems that i'd make it even more akward to ride :)

just my .02
im not uncomfortablejohn de
Mar 31, 2001 4:30 PM
and dont realy notice the difference but my left knee has been acheing for months now and im trying to get to the bottom of it..
1/2 cm can be HUGE!!!Jiggy
Mar 31, 2001 5:23 AM
Why do you think cranks come in 2.5mm sizes? Maybe the guy IS having problems with 1/2 cm and it IS something to worry about. You don't know and admit you're not a doctor.

Shims for cleats are available or can be made by simply putting something (thick rubber material or something else) between the cleat and shoe. A shorter crank is probably not the way to go (if your crank is the proper length) as you would be pedaling in a smaller circle, so while your shorter leg would be higher at 6:00 position, it would be lower (more extended) at 12:00.
sorry ...Bosephus
Mar 31, 2001 5:53 AM
My mistake ... Like I said I'm not a doctor ... nor am I a physical therapist ... I'm an engineer ... In most things I do the tolerance is around 5 to 10 mm min.
sorry ...donalson
Mar 31, 2001 6:24 AM
ya it's weird 5-10mm tollerance in lot of things, but on a human thats a no go...strange

I'm about the same and...bigdave
Mar 31, 2001 6:29 AM
I found that if I adjust the saddle height to where it is perfect with one leg, then the other is slightly off... if I adjust to the longer, then the shorter feels too *stretched out* and vice versa.

So what I did (based on some forum recommendation, probably here) was cut some spacers out of a Cool Whip lid. It's not too thick and is hard enough not to compress too much and is soft enough to work with (cut).

I have Look pedals, so what I did was remove the cleat on the *low* side, then trace the pattern of the cleat on the plastic lid three separate times. Then I cut them out and placed them on the bottom of the shoe so I could mark the exact spot where the 3 holes were. I marked them on all 3, then used an exacto knife to cut the holes... checked to make sure they all lined up. Then I took all 3 pieces again and checked them on the underside of the Look cleat to make sure there was not much excess hanging out from where the cleat meets the shoe (which is a smaller area than the whole cleat itself... look at it and you'll see what I mean).

The reason I did that was I initially did it with one spacer and didn't pay much attention to whether or not the pattern was matched perfectly to the cleat. When clipped in, the lid was interfering with float and was *really* annoying (I like float). So, make sure that the spacer(s) match the portion of the cleat *only* that meets the shoe, nothing more.

I also determined after the initial attempt that 1 spacer wasn't enough... it took 3. The lids are pretty thin, but anything thicker is a pain because it's too hard to work with. Now, both legs feel extended the same amount and I think my spin is smoother.

Give it a shot... it's pretty low-tech but is worth the effort.

im going with your advicejohn de
Mar 31, 2001 4:36 PM
i dont know how you manage to feel the difference and feel to streached out or cramped in one leg or the other...ive adjusted my seat huge amounts and it all felt fine to me, maybe not what i was used to but fine
Some Answers ...Breck
Mar 31, 2001 6:43 AM
It's not quite so simple John de,
Bet if you stand in front of a mirror bare-footed your shoulder on the long leg side is dropped; the short leg length side high. Reason is the brain raises the the short leg shoulder to level the eyes. Your long leg foot over pronates(arch turns in and down); the short leg foot over supinates (inside arch rises putting pressure on the out side of the foot).
When you bike enuff you may notice pressure on the outside of long leg shoe. Also the nose of the saddle will eventually point towards the short leg as the post twists to yield to the unbalanced long leg inside thigh pressure.

The real solution is to visit a podiatrist and get custom orthotics. Typically expensive unless you have insurance and the Dr. will cooperate filling out the forms for your interest. The cheap solution is external shims for the cleats of the short leg. Use auto cork gasket or rubber material cut to fit the cleat or buy available shims and requires longer screws. This may only "fix" your problems on short rides and lower mileage.
Long rides and/or high mileage may bring problems with out true orthotics in the shoes and steep climbs will exacerbate the probs too with out orthotics if the discrepancy is bad enuff. Orthotics require a bigger shoe ... bad news too. Stay away from chiropractors(!) ... Just my experience.

Some Answers ...donalson
Mar 31, 2001 7:10 AM
your right i notice most of those things on myself.

as for the insoles yes they are very expensive, i've had them for my flat feet (orthotics) thankfuly i was a military brat and got them free,

but i think he said he had tried insoles (not sure if RX or not) but either way it would likely be about the same for comfort (or lack there of)

i still am going to try the spacers idea when i get time to, but not untill i get my speedplays...i don't notice it on my MTB so i don't wanta mess w/ that on my MTB shoes (which i'm using untill i get speedplays)

to those that knowjohn de
Mar 31, 2001 4:48 PM
the real root of my problem is knee pain that has now returned after around a two month on and off rest....its the shorter leg...i think i brought it on when i cranked me seat really high, i dont know how i got the idea to do it but ive since dropped it to 83.3 of my knees used to be behind the spindle also but ive also corrected that..its just my left knee on the shorter leg that is bothering pops and i can feel bands on its outside moving over bones, i have a feeling that a doc is in order but when i asked a neighbor doc he checked it out and said it probably isnt serious and should go away in two weeks...i think hes wrong..
Mar 31, 2001 6:57 AM
Can you not just replace the left crank-arm with a (5mm)longer one? The cost of Orthotics will probably be >$250; more expensive than the crank arm.
jiggy hit it on the head w/ the dif crank lengthdonalson
Mar 31, 2001 7:04 AM
so while your shorter leg would be higher at 6:00 position, it would be lower (more extended) at 12:00.
Still confused.coonass
Mar 31, 2001 5:02 PM
If the right leg is riding (for example) a 170mm crank, and the left leg is 5mm shorter, then a 175mm left crank arm should even things up; regardless of 6 or 12 o'clock position...What am I not seeing here?
re: shorter leg and campy pedalsblackice
Mar 31, 2001 8:30 AM
I fractured my l hip on black ice 15 months ago. It felt like I was stepping into a hole. There was great varibility in measuring the leg legnth discrepancy. (by orthopedist and a PT/cycling coach/bike fit guru). I have orthodics but the extra height was added to the sole of all my shoes. I walked better for a while. On the bike there are a variety of shimms but I have no experience with Campy pedals. HOWEVER....I finally had a scanogram done which directly measures leg legnth and to my surprise my legs are equal.Indirect measuring is very inaccurate. A lot of the feeling of the way we walk is more complex biomechanically than just legnth. I took out all shims and feel more equal than I have in years. My advise... get a scanogram if you can, play around with shimms not crank legnths, find a local sports medicine MD or Podiatrist. By the way I am an MD.