Knee problems since switching to clipless pedals



Bryan Mc

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Feb 2, 2016
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I recently switched to clipless pedals. Never had knee pain before, but after only 6 rides I'm having unsettling pain in my knees. I would appreciate any help you can provide.
 
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Corzhens

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May 26, 2015
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Your problem is obvious - it is the positioning of your feet on the pedal. And since you are used to having clips on the pedal, I guess you just have to go back using it. I had never used a clip since I am not a pro nor pretending to be one. But my real reason is the type of riding I do, a leisurely ride does not need a clip. But for good pedalers, I think you need a clip.
 

BILLYHOLMES

New Member
Oct 27, 2005
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I recently switched to clipless pedals. Never had knee pain before, but after only 6 rides I'm having unsettling pain in my knees. I would appreciate any help you can provide.
First of all make sure that you are using cleats with a good amount of ‘float’ and make sure that your knee centre point is tracking nicely over the middle toe. If the pain is on the inside of the knee, move the heel in towards the centre of the bike and if it’s on the outside of the knee vice versa. Also, what about you saddle height, is that set correctly….? Don’t push huge gears, spin those baby’s! Most knee pain is caused 90% of the time by a poor set up. When in doubt, arrange to have a proper bike fitting.
Good Luck,
Billy
 

Bryan Mc

New Member
Feb 2, 2016
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Tha
First of all make sure that you are using cleats with a good amount of ‘float’ and make sure that your knee centre point is tracking nicely over the middle toe. If the pain is on the inside of the knee, move the heel in towards the centre of the bike and if it’s on the outside of the knee vice versa. Also, what about you saddle height, is that set correctly….? Don’t push huge gears, spin those baby’s! Most knee pain is caused 90% of the time by a poor set up. When in doubt, arrange to have a proper bike fitting.
Good Luck,
Billy
 

Bryan Mc

New Member
Feb 2, 2016
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Thanks Billy. I'll try adjusting the float. My seat height should be fine. If the float adjustment doesn't work, I'll go back to the shop.
 

Bicycleman

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Jun 3, 2008
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Out in the sticks
www.google.com
If you can't adjust it yourself, you might want to go to your local bike shop and have them put you on a bike with a fit kit and adjust the cleats for you. It helped with me, but back then, I was a rookie when I switched from pedal clips to clipless. If I start touring again, I'm thinking about going back to pedal clips on a touring bike.
 

Bryan Mc

New Member
Feb 2, 2016
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If you can't adjust it yourself, you might want to go to your local bike shop and have them put you on a bike with a fit kit and adjust the cleats for you. It helped with me, but back then, I was a rookie when I switched from pedal clips to clipless. If I start touring again, I'm thinking about going back to pedal clips on a touring bike.

That's not a bad idea. I'm a rookie, myself. May need to make a trip to the shop tomorrow.
 

steve

Administrator
Staff member
Aug 12, 2001
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What sort of pedals are you using? it's worth visiting the shop you bought them from and seeing if they can assist in setting them up properly.
 

Bryan Mc

New Member
Feb 2, 2016
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What sort of pedals are you using? it's worth visiting the shop you bought them from and seeing if they can assist in setting them up properly.

I'm using Shimano Ultegra pedals. I hope to get to the shop Saturday. Would Speedplay be a better choice?
 

Bicycleman

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Jun 3, 2008
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Out in the sticks
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I'm using Shimano Ultegra pedals. I hope to get to the shop Saturday. Would Speedplay be a better choice?

I don't think it's the particular pedal. If the cleat isn't adjusted properly on your shoe, that's where your problem lies. After you get it adjusted properly, it will be just a matter of getting used to the new pedals.
 

CAMPYBOB

Well-Known Member
Sep 12, 2005
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Shimano Ultegra SPD-SL pedals with the yellow cleats allow ±3° of float. That's enough to keep the knees from experiencing pain for most riders. The natural foot rotation should be close to the center of the float point of the cleat/pedal when setting the cleat position.

Also, incorrect fore-to-aft positioning of the cleat can cause knee pain.

http://www.cptips.com/knee.htm

The above link is just a guide, not gospel. I have experience pain in the front of the knee joint and the cure was to slide the saddle forward...the opposite of the advice at the link. Still, it's fairly sound advice.
 

Bryan Mc

New Member
Feb 2, 2016
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Your problem is obvious - it is the positioning of your feet on the pedal. And since you are used to having clips on the pedal, I guess you just have to go back using it. I had never used a clip since I am not a pro nor pretending to be one. But my real reason is the type of riding I do, a leisurely ride does not need a clip. But for good pedalers, I think you need a clip.

Thanks for the response. I switched to clipless pedals because I want to compete in the Spring.
 

maydog

Well-Known Member
Feb 5, 2010
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It may just be that you are now pushing harder on the pedals and/or using muscles in a way you have not prior to going clipless. Maybe it is just coincidence, the weather or are your riding more?

Definitely check your fit and cleat positioning, but don't be too hasty to blame the pedals/cleats.

I have a limited ROM in my left knee. I lack full extension and have ~100 to 105 degrees of flexion. I find putting the cleat as far back as possible works for my knee best. You issues are probably different, however.
 
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Weatherby

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Mar 20, 2015
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Where is the pain in your knee? Front? Back? Sides?

I am sensitive to as little as 3 mm saddle height changes. Different pedals, cleats, and shoes can easily add up to more than 3 mm compareed to your old setup. YMMW. Putting a different saddle on my bike is a big deal to me. I have to go thru my setup process.
 

Bryan Mc

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Feb 2, 2016
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I want to thank each of you that offered assistance. I re-adjusted my cleats and float with great success. No more knee pain. I couldn't have done this without you.
 
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