New bike hurting achilles - please help

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Fatty Lumpkin, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. Fatty Lumpkin

    Fatty Lumpkin New Member

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    I bought my first fast bike, the 2017 Specialized Roubaix Comp. I got good advice about that on these forums. The thing is an absolute pleasure to ride and in fact it has made me faster and able to hold a better pace longer. It’s all true; a good bike helps. Unfortunately, the fit is an issue. My first ride was a 45 mile jobber. My Achilles tendon was screaming at the end. It forced me to ice and take days off. I’d call it an injury. I called BikeFit.com and they were great (seriously, they were very generous) but they encouraged me to go back to the store for an adjustment. I did that. A different guy fitted me. He lowered the seat and moved my cleats back. They had been moved up because I made a comment about my toe hitting the wheel when I made a sharp turn. Anyway, it is FAR better so that is good BUT my Achilles is still getting sore when I ride.

    I noticed that the left cleat (it’s only the left tendon that hurts) is not at the exact same point as the right. My plan is to adjust it so that it is. Good idea or no?

    What would you do? Go back to the same store? Find a professional fitter? If so, who?

    Please, any advice you can give is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
     
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  2. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Bike Fit are great people and I use their Leg Length Shims.

    That said...you are definitely having a position-on-the-bike issue. Let's assume you haven't changed crank arm length or shoes when you got the new bike. Let's also assume your femurs and feet are the same length.

    Go ahead and move that cleat to match the right foot. Many guys will tell you the back joint of the large toe should be in front of the pedal spindle...although that is kind of subjective I find it a good rule of thumb to start adjusting the cleats from.

    You might also want to look at lowering your saddle just a millimeter more.

    Don't worry about your shoes hitting the tire. I've got 56 Cm bikes that do that with just average size foot length.
     
  3. Fatty Lumpkin

    Fatty Lumpkin New Member

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    Hi CAMYBOB...Thank you so much for the response. From the tone of your response and the suggestions you gave me at least it sounds like I'm on the right track. Believe me, my paranoid side makes me question whether or not the bike was the right choice. It's my first expensive bike and my 2nd bike. The first was a Surly Long Haul Trucker and there was almost no fitting process and it fit fine. Anyway, I'll make those adjustments today and give it a ride.

    Oh, and you assumed correctly, no changes to the crank arm, shoes, or anything else...including my femurs (I think).

    Again, thanks for helping me feel more confident about the bike and the adjustments.

    PS: Haha about lingerie football....but sadly, the bike sig was lost on me :)
     
  4. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Great suggestion about moving back the cleats. Or it could have nothing to do with the bike. We all know that New Bike Syndrome makes us ride faster and longer. Couple that with the spring weather, and you've got the formula for all kinds of overuse pains. My buddy has "spring knee" right now. Since he's not changed any equipment, he knows it's just from ramping up the training too quickly.
     
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  5. Fatty Lumpkin

    Fatty Lumpkin New Member

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    A very interesting point, dhk2...if that is even your real name ;)

    I've got that syndrome BUT there are two problems with applying it to this case. First, I have not really gone beyond any riding I previously did with my 30 pound bike. I have yet to go full gas on anything...although close the other day for 3 lmin and 18 secs on a segment. Second, the fact that this pain is so isolated in my left tendon makes me think its the bike. I've not had that problem prior to this bike. And when I jump on the old bike it does not re-aggravate it as it does on the new bike.

    Nonetheless, I'll have to pay closer attention to this. I certainly want to go harder all the time on this thing. It's like a jet. I probably have gone a bit harder on the average ride.
     
  6. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    I've recently bought a new "faster bike" and it is also my second one. Went from an Alloy Cannondale Synapse to a BMC TMR02. I don't feel as comfortable on it as I do the synapse, but thats to be expected. I've had the synapse for nearly 2 years and am very use to it. I've only rode the TMR02 a handful of times, and have had a few minor foot discomforts. I think that may have more to do with new road shoes(was using mt. bike shoes and pedals before).

    My point is, you will need time to break in the new bike. Also, take a look at anything else that may be different aside from the bike.
     
  7. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    My last new bike was delivered on December 23. I have over 1000 miles on it and I'm STILL making small adjustments to the fit. I just un-taped the bars for the second time to move the levers.

    OP:
    1. Check your saddle set-back as compared to your old bike.
    2. If your saddle model has changed you may not be sitting it in the same height and/or fore-to-aft position as your old saddle. Compensate the fit position accordingly.

    Don't despair or give up. I've got years and years of experience behind me and it take me forever (or so it seems) to get a new bike dialed-in to feel like 'home' to me.
     
  8. Fatty Lumpkin

    Fatty Lumpkin New Member

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    Thank you Uawadall and CAMPYBOB. Campy, I was going to toy with the saddle (it is different from the previous bike) before my next ride and will look at the fore-aft position in addition to the height. I really want to thank you for both telling me that you take months to get a new bike right AND telling me not to despair. I've been staving off some serious disappointment. It's an amazing bike but it's causing me problems. So, this is good to hear that someone who knows what they're doing struggles to get it snug and comfy :)
     
  9. Methodical

    Methodical Member

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    It takes a minute to get everything fitted correctly. I went back to the Bike Doctor at least 3-4 times to have my fit re-tweaked (i.e seat, pedals, etc.) I too use Bike Fit shims and wedges to get my cleats setup properly, which by the way took away all the pain I was having in my feet. Adjust, go for a ride and see how it goes, adjust some more. Personally, I'd go to a professional and let them do a proper bike fit. It's worth the cost in my book.
     
  10. Fatty Lumpkin

    Fatty Lumpkin New Member

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    Thanks, Methodical. More confirmation of this makes me feel better. I'm in the midst of the process you describe. I've dialed it down a little on my own, but still get a little sore. I've gone back to the bike shop for an additional fitting one time and am about to head there again. The original injury inflamed my tendon so it's sensitive. A band-aid helps a LOT. I suspect it is mostly my cleats.

    Question: Could it be that my cleats are old and worn? Shims & wedges?

    For what it's worth, the strange thing to me is that on my previous (first) bike it was akin to a "plug-and-play" experience. No pain. I rode it yesterday and it was fine.

    Anyway, if the next trip to the shop does not fix it I'm going to look for a pro fitter. They say they're trained/certified at the shop but . . .
     
  11. Methodical

    Methodical Member

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    I assume you purchased the bike from this shop. Did they fit the bike to you? Curious. I wouldn't compare to the other bike as there are probably some differences and therefore are not apple to apple comparison. That's why you should get dialed in to the new bike.

    When I purchased my bike back in 2012, the Bike Doctor (name of shop, but a fitting name for them) took my raw measurements, put me on the trainer with several bikes from the shop to get me the correct size bike first and once we got the correct size bike, I chose my bike (an hour or so for this stage). When the bike came in that's when all the dialing me in came about (lasers, cameras and all kinds of cool stuff was used) - (2-3 hrs from what I can recall, if not more). Once dialed in, I took a spin around their cycling area and he made some fine adjustments and told me to ride and to come back when needed. I went back to him at least 3-4 times as things changed or if I needed to change something (i.e. when I finally selected my pedals (Speedplay zero), when I had to change seats, and when I was just having some other issues and including adjustments to cleats (see below).

    My biggest problem were my cleats. The cleats forced me to be flat footed (my foot tilts upward to the inside) when clipped to the pedal and as a result my knees were towed inward and the sides of my feet were rubbing badly against the sides of the shoes causing my feet to feel like they were on fire. My knees were forced to be locked inward (incorrectly) because I was clipped in flat footed and resulted in knee pain and my feet always feeling like they were on fire. So, imagine doing rides with those two issues. I finally did some research and came across Bikefit (some things you have to do yourself although the bike shop provide this service). I ordered their foot measuring device and wedge and shim kits. This little kit made all the difference in the world. I shimmed (left leg shorter than right) and wedged my cleats so that as I clip in my feet are in their normal state (tilt upward to the inside) just as if I am standing or walking, which also better positioned my knees (went back to the Bike Dr. for some fine adjustment and double checks) - did I say the Bikefit kit made all the difference in the world. Also, I chose the Speedplay because it allowed me to have some free movement and keep my knees from being totally locked.

    Other things that helped me, but may not be a concern for you. I found some shoes with a larger toe box (Northwave) that better accommodated my toes - the other shoe toe box was too tight and my toes felt crushed.

    My apologies for being longwinded, but this is just my way of saying a professional fit is worth its weight in gold in my opinion to get you dialed in correctly and not someone just eyeballing things.

    PS: If your dogs hurt, you hurt and that's the truth.

    Just One Man's Opinion.

    Good luck and let us know what worked.
     
  12. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, seems strange they would move the cleat back. That would place the AT in a more stretched position. The cleat forward would place the pedal more at the toe allowing the tip toe position moving the AT at a higher position with less stretch.

    Just my opinion though. Lowering the saddle makes sense to place less stress on the AT but why move the cleat to a position that counteracts the lowered saddle? Just my thoughts, lower saddle, cleat forward to avoid AT stretch.

    BTW, I like to ride with the toes over the pedal as much as possible. Also if my feet ever get uncomfy on a long ride, I like to pedal in a style called "ankling". Somewhat flicking and rotating the ankles in a fore aft movement that helps relax my ankles and surrounding areas. Just a thought.
     
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