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Fore/aft cleat position relate to spin/power?(6 posts)

Fore/aft cleat position relate to spin/power?jesse1
Oct 19, 2002 7:52 AM
I never thought about seat position in relation to spinning vs power until I started checking out this site.
So now as I have new shoes and will be positioning the cleats. Does a 1/2 - 3/4 inch front to rear make any difference as far as if I'm a "power" rider vs a "spinner"?
In generalTig
Oct 19, 2002 9:34 AM
A pedal axel toward the toes is generally better for spinning. A pedal axel toward the arch is better for power.

I like to start with the cleat placed so that the pedal axel is directly under the ball of my foot. To find the exact location of the foot's ball, I wear the shoe and press against the inner foot area with my thumb to find the bony protrusion. A small ink dot or line will mark the spot. Do the same for the other shoe. From there, mount the cleat and position it. A trainer is great for testing cleat position. You will have to make a few adjustments to get the right heel angle and side to side placement of the cleat. After pedaling, stop with your foot in the 6 O'clock position and see where the dot lines up with the axel (I know, there is plenty of room for error this way). After everything is in place and feels right, go ride for a few miles and see how it feels. You might even have to adjust the saddle height slightly.

When I switched to Speedplays, I was amazed how simple it was to find good cleat placement. With Look style or SPD's it would take a few weeks to zero in on that just-right position. I like the axel just slightly in front of the ball since I'm a spinner and not a grinder.
Opposite experience5ive
Oct 19, 2002 5:35 PM
My experience has been opposite. For me, spinning is about fast and smooth strokes, smooth strokes requires pulling up on the up-stroke, pulling up requires use of hamstring muscles, and I can pull up better when I place my cleats further back. I did play around with more forward cleat positioning, but I've noticed that I was then relying more on my calf muscles to pull up which felt much weaker compared to my hamstrings. Just my experience...

Also, note that if you move your cleats back, you may have to move your saddle forward a bit to keep the KOP.
re: Fore/aft cleat position relate to spin/power?Spunout
Oct 19, 2002 12:38 PM
Depends on the size of your feet also!

Putting the cleats forward essentially lengthens your legs. So, if you are a heel-high pedaller, you'll put your seat higher.

I am 6', size 45 sidis, and I probably run 5mm behind the ball of my feet because my legs are long enough. It reduces shin strain. Also, if you are "ANKLING" too much (as I was), I found that moving the cleat back made my ankles quieter, and I have a generally better stroke.

Just my $0.03 Cdn.
I thoughtFez
Oct 19, 2002 6:21 PM
the general rule of thumb was for cleat position to be such that the balls of the feet are above the pedal spindle. That is usually a constant, and the seat fore/aft position is what you would adjust for fine tuning KOPS knee over pedal spindle positioning. And remember that seat fore/aft may affect stem length as well.

And of course keep in mind that whatever cleat position you have that you don't get hot or tight spots in the feet.
re: Fore/aft cleat position relate to spin/power?yummy
Oct 20, 2002 4:27 AM
A good thing to try when adjusting cleat position is to put the bike in a trainer. You can actually listen to the quality of your pedal rotations and adjust appropriately. For ex. If your foot is too far forward, you'll be able to hear the emphasis in the front end of your pedal stroke. Try moving it back until you hear smooth, even rotations without an emphasis on either the front or rear end of your pedal stroke.

Good Luck