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Distance between pedals(4 posts)

Distance between pedalsBC
Jun 9, 2002 5:02 PM
I have been having knee problems and was wondering if it could be due to my feet being too close to the cranks. The lef having the problems is about 3/8" closer than the other leg. I can't move the cleat this much so can I put a washer between the pedal and crank if this is the problem?


Something doesn't sound right...biknben
Jun 10, 2002 8:19 AM
Knee pain can be caused by many factors. Most of the time people make small adjustments in position (cleat, saddle height, etc.) until the problem goes away.

Play with the cleats to get them even. It must be possible. The washer between the pedal and crank is a bad idea. The pedal spindle is designed to be threaded in the entire way.
Jun 10, 2002 12:34 PM
The Q-factor ought to be symmetrical on most crank/pedal set-ups, with only cleat position a limited variable. I can imagine that some shoes may not be drilled quite evenly, but 3/8" sounds like a lot for things to be off.

Some knee problems are sensitive to Q-factor (basically, distance along the axis you seem to be concerned about), but some are not. (Others may be addressed by raising or lowering the saddle; others still by canting or shimming one or or both feet; others may be intractable.) A good (really good) bike fit person might have some idea whether you're in the ballpark. Or you might want to see a sports-med doc or an experienced trainer about this. A couple of pedal systems allow you to vary the Q-factor within a certain range. The Look CX7 is one, the new Time pedals another. Neither is cheap. But the washer solution sounds problematic.
Jun 10, 2002 4:30 PM
Are you sure about these distances? Should be symmetric, not different by 3/8". Your reference point is the seat tube center line, not the chain stays. Alternatively, you may be assymetric, but you didn't say that.

At any rate, the only spacer you can put in there (unless you have a source for the old TA pedal washers) is a spark plug "gasket", which is a slightly compressible washer. You may need to ream the washer out a little to get it to thread on, but this is a "no problem" way to move your pedals about 1 mm further out, and will not cause any problems. If you need more than that, you're looking at different cranks with a bigger "Q" factor, those clunky pedal extenders, or a brand of pedals that allows different length axles to be swapped in and out.