Cleat Position & Recumbents



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Ron Friedel

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There is a commonly held belief among recumbenteers that for best climbing power you should have
your cleats as far back as possible. I've had my cleats set that way for a while. I rode
cross-country last summer with the cleats in that position. For the first week or so I had a sore
left knee but that cleared up and I had no further leg problems for the rest of the trip. I made the
trip on a Tour Easy with Shimano pedals and Shimano sandals. The pedals are the ones that have SPD
on one side and a platform pedal on the other.

This spring I've been riding an older Vision on an indoor fluid trainer and the Tour Easy and a Ryan
Duplex tandem on the road. Last weekend, a beautiful spring weekend in Wisconsin, my wife Sandy and
I rode on the tandem. While riding the tandem, which has a low bottom bracket, I noticed that my
left foot was rotating through an arc as I pedaled. The foot was rotating enough that the toe of my
sandal was rubbing on the crankarm leaving a "smear" of melted rubber on the crankarm. I also
noticed that there was some similar melted rubber on the crankarm of the Vision. I've been
concentrating on pulling up and trying to maintain force all the way through a pedal stroke while on
the indoor trainer but the left foot was still rotating.

The other day I reset my cleats to a more traditional position under the ball of my foot and the
rotation went away. Straight position all the way.

Details. I walk straight without either a toe in or toe out position. The Tour Easy and the Ryan
have low bottom brackets. The Vision has a medium height bottom bracket. I think the bottom bracket
axle on the Ryan is wider/or narrower than that on the Tour Easy. I haven't noticed the rubbing on
the Tour Easy.

My conclusions from this little experiment is that you should set your cleat position for best foot
and leg mechanics, the position that is best for you. There are always exceptions to the recumbent
"bible." Listen to your own body.

Ron Friedel
 
T

Tom Blum

Guest
Ron's comments are right on.

Also, consider that a setting that is good for today, may not be optimum for tomorrow.

Rear cleat placemant seems to ease the "hot foot" symptom. and maybe sore knees.

"Piles of miles" changes tth muscles and tendons to the point where such safeguards may not be
necessary.

I think the bottom line is to listen to your body and react when it talks to you.

--
Miles of Smiles,

Tom Blum Winter Haven, Florida Homebuilts: SWB Tour Easy Clone Speed Machine Clone

www.gate.net/~teblum
 
R

Risto Varanka

Guest
Ron Friedel <[email protected]> wrote:
: There is a commonly held belief among recumbenteers that for best climbing power you should have
: your cleats as far back as possible.

Wonder what it's based on... But it means that the ball of your feet would be way above the pedal
spindle, not directly in line with it?

: tandem. While riding the tandem, which has a low bottom bracket, I noticed that my left foot was
: rotating through an arc as I pedaled. The foot was rotating enough that the toe of my sandal was
: rubbing on the crankarm leaving a "smear" of melted rubber on the crankarm. I also noticed that
: there was some similar melted rubber on the crankarm of the Vision. I've been concentrating on
: pulling up and trying to maintain force all the way through a pedal stroke while on the indoor
: trainer but the left foot was still rotating.

Are you positive this is bad? :) Some people seem to rotate their feet, and consequently, demand
clipless pedals with lots of "float", ie. freedom of lateral movement.

--
Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/ varis at no spam please iki fi
 
J

Jim H

Guest
Try Power Grips for a while. It's easy to experiment with the pedal at different positions
under the foot.
 
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