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Knee problems after switching cleats-help!(5 posts)

Knee problems after switching cleats-help!jbonny
Dec 5, 2002 11:39 PM
3 months ago I replaced my Look-style cleats the night before I did a century ride (dumb move - I know). The worn out cleats were accidentally replaced with cleats that allowed much less float (3 degrees). Immediately after this ride I began experiencing pain around the upper, inside edge of my right knee cap. I have since replaced the cleats with some Look ARC cleats, giving me much more float (supposedly comparable to the original cleats), however the knee problem persists when and after I ride. I examined my pedals and the metal platform is fairly worn and ditched-out in several places.

Does this injury sound consistant with an ill-advised cleat change? Should I have expected the problem to resolve soon after changing to the correct cleat or will it take much time? Also, should I just junk my pedals all together (they've got somewhere over 2000 miles on them) and get some new ones? Any experience/wisdom on this topic would be extremely helpful. -THANKS
re: Knee problems after switching cleats-help!micha
Dec 6, 2002 4:35 AM
You're correct in suspecting a sudden change in your cycling regimen as the cause for your knee problem. But don't rule out other possible causes. Your knees may not have been ready for a century. You may haven ridden in hillier terrain than you're normally ride in. You could have pushed bigger gears than you normally do. Think back in time 3 months and you might find a likelier cause for your knee problem than installing cleats with less float. I have no way of knowing if this applies to you, but there are knee injuries that are aggravated by too much float.
re: Knee problems after switching cleats-help!B2
Dec 6, 2002 6:51 AM
It may be a long shot, but did your previous pedals/cleats have a higher or lower "stack" height? If yes, you need to adjust your seat height accordingly.

I've been experiencing some left knee pains the last couple of weeks riding my commuter bike (no problem with my road bike). I had recently changed the seatpost clamping bolt and thought maybe the seat post slipped a little in the process. Yesterday at work I raised the seat 1/8". Guess what - no knee pain on the ride home.

Good Luck,
Placement of cleats can be as important as anything -- evenbill
Dec 6, 2002 6:55 AM
if you replaced them in precisely the same position, your cleats with float may have provided a margin for error that your floatless cleats did not. Fore-aft positioning, angle, distance from the crank, all of these things can matter.
The more I ride, the more precisely it seems my cleats have to be placed. With higher cadences, this becomes even more important.
Two thoughts.djg
Dec 6, 2002 8:05 AM
First, take medical diagnoses over the internet with a grain of salt. There are lots of things that can go wrong with a knee. Various problems can be caused or exacerbated by incorrect cleat placement or a lack of float, but other issues may be involved. If you continue to have problems, you ought to consider having a real doc take a real look.

Second, although it's a thin book, and although he's not a real doctor (I think he has an Ed.D. or some such), Andy Pruitt's medical guide for cyclists has some discussion--and some illustrations--that you might find informative.