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ITBS update. And: What pedals put on my commuter?(12 posts)

ITBS update. And: What pedals put on my commuter?Kristin
Aug 11, 2003 7:37 AM
I think I've verified that my ITBS was caused by those Ultegra SPD's. I still kept them and decided to throw them on the commuter. On Friday--due to my astounding mechanical abilities--I rode to work with just 2 gears (out of 21 gears!). By the time I got home, my ITBS was flaring up again. So mystery solved. I don't know what about these pedals agrivates my IT Band and I wonder if its SPD's in general or just this platform/cleat combo. Trying to decide what to put on the commuter. I'd rather use recessed cleats if I can. Options?

Also, if anyone wants a good price for a pair of used (2,000 mile) Ultegra SPD's, please make me an offer @ I promise you'll get a bargain!
Aug 11, 2003 7:54 AM
I haven't been following your commuter story, so I don't know the details of how far, what kind of roads, etc. I commute sometimes to work, mostly on an MUT. I use a cheap rigid mountain bike (specialized hard rock) with slick tires. I put flat pedals on it so I could wear regular shoes. My commute is only about 5 miles, so it works out very well.

If you aren't familiar with the term "flat" regarding pedals, it just means the kind of pedals you had on your bike when you were a kid. Flat on both sides, no clips or cleats. There is an infinite amount of float with flats, so it should do your ITBS good. I use some BMX pedals I bought really cheap, because they have a big platform and they grip shoes better when things get wet.
2nd the motion for flats (or old school rattraps).retro
Aug 11, 2003 11:35 AM
For a commuter, old-school pedals, maybe with loose toe clips, work great. You can get a foot out easily at lights, they're easy to get into and you can ride in any shoes, plus the toe clips (even very loose) keep your feet in place. Rivendell ( has a selection, but you can find them cheaper. Nashformance also usually has a few in the catalog.
I know what platforms are, and I think you're right.Kristin
Aug 11, 2003 12:11 PM
At least with platform pedals I wouldn't worry about my knee. I'll miss being able to pull up though. The cammo commuter came with spiked platforms that I put back on last night. I bought an old Trek 900 with a mix of 7 speed LX/XT parts. I plan to use it for a commuter and to ride it when the road bike bothers my neck too much--which seems to be often when I'm riding the road bike.

Are vintage XT parts special or something? The guys are Performance were ragging on me for using the commuter to learn wrenching. (Cheaper than learning on my Veloce.) I stripped out the front shifter, which they kindly rescued last night.
I was going to suggest Shimano M-323'sMR_GRUMPY
Aug 11, 2003 7:57 AM
I don't understand why SPD's could cause your knee problems, but your choice is limited to Speedplay, SPD, or Look type. The M-323 are SPD on one side, and flat on the other. You could always go with toe clips.
Time ATAC aluminum...biknben
Aug 11, 2003 8:05 AM
I run Time ATACs on my MTB bikes and commuter. IMO, these are by far the best functioning MTB pedal. Absolutely no issues getting in and out under even reducilous conditions. The cleat is no bigger than the SPDs.

Only down side is durability. The more expensive ones have a plastic platform which wear and compresses over time. This leads to excessive sloppy float. the plastic plate are replacable but it's an endless cycle.

The cheapest version is all aluminum. I got these over the winter on eBay for my commuter ($60). It's too early to test long term durability but I assume the Al will hold up better than the plastic.
ITBS can be beaten!Uncle Tim
Aug 11, 2003 8:07 AM
Kristin, back in March, I had a very severe case of ITBS that kept me off of the bike. It was caused by a number of factors:
* Doing too many long rides too early in the year;
* Lots of grinding climbs;
* Using pedals that have little float.

All of these factors together did me in. I am back to riding 1000 miles per month with no problems and I am still using the same pedals on my long-distance bike.

My suggestions:

Watch your mileage. Slowly ramp it up.

Spin, spin, spin. Avoid all of those tough hills you like until your knee is painfree.

Ride different bikes with different pedals. To get back to pain-free riding, I did a lot of relatively flat rides on a bike that had mountain bike pedals (Time ATACs) with lots of float.

Hope this helps
My experience with ITB problems and SPD-RSprint-Nick
Aug 11, 2003 8:35 AM
I had a similar problem with my IT bands and Shimano SPD-R pedals which may or may not help you. So here goes...

Between my non-float cleats and IT bands that were tightening up over time without adequete stretching my knee caps began to track improperly causing pain on the inside of my knee. At first I thought it was the fixed cleats which I swapped out that made a temporary fix. It wasn't until I began to stretch my ITB that the problem went away.

The stretch I did involved standing beside something I could grab onto, crossing my inside leg across and pushing my hip out holding onto the object.

My experience with ITB problems and SPD-Rlemmy999
Aug 11, 2003 9:21 AM
My wife and I both jog often and have both had ITB problems. We always stretch it in some way before and after activity and have not had any more problems. However neither of us have ever had ITB problems from biking. She uses SPD on the road and off and I use ATACs then later Eggbeaters off road and will probably be using Speedplay X2 on road (I am a newbie to road riding).
Maybe it's not the pedals.Steve98501
Aug 11, 2003 2:22 PM

I've had ITBS and am still using the same pedals (Speedplay Frogs). Stretching is good and will help you heal much faster. A couple suggestions that may apply and help you: avoid mashing big gears - spin one or two gears lower than you're inclined to choose; and lower your saddle a centimeter or more. Fit calculators place my saddle height at 79 or more, but at 78 my legs, knees, and hips have all been much happier. Fit calculations are just a starting point; everyone's custom fit is just a bit different.

Mtn bike pedals (Time ATAC Aluminium)pmf1
Aug 12, 2003 6:17 AM
Get some mtn bike pedals and shoes for commuting. I use cheapo Time ATAC aluminium. You can get them for $80. I had a set of the more expensive carbon ones and they started creaking after a year or so. I find Time pedals nicer than Shimano spd's -- and since the road ones were giving you trouble anyway, just one more reason not to buy Shimano.
Cheap is $80?Kristin
Aug 12, 2003 6:49 AM
You are living on a whole different planet my friend. In my world cheap = $25