Speedplay frogs causing increased knee pain



DanBB

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Aug 6, 2003
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Has anyone here had increased knee pain through using the speedplay frog pedals? I can't understand why a pedal with super amounts of float could cause knee pain, so im hoping someone on here could shed some light on it. Plz help me!!! before my knees are damaged big time
 

labicci

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Sep 9, 2003
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DanBB,

I just happen to read your post and would like to give my thoughts on your problem.

I have also used Speedplay's Frog for a long time and therefore know that they provide a lot of float, so your knee problem is definitely nothing to do with lack of float.

Apart from lack of float the most probable causes of knee problem are either the height of saddle or the gearing that you push. For elite cyclists who pedal with high cadence every muscle fibre in their legs are already "pre-programmed" and hence any changes to their saddle height should be limited to a few mm at a time. So have you made any sudden changes to your saddle height recently ? If yes then you probably need to revert back to your original saddle height. If no then you may experiment with a different saddle height, but do so only gradually to avoid the trouble mentioned above.

Another common cause is pushing too big a gear. When I first start cycling I have knee problems resulting from previous years of racket sport. I have therefore installed a triple crankset on my road bike (everyone at that time in my local area think that this is an absurd idea) and always stick to low gear for the hills. After half a year I no longer had knee pain and some years later I had switched back to double crankset and hammer the hills without any problem.

Good luck to you.

LB
 

lumpy

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Oct 22, 2003
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Could it be perhaps you have too much float? Meaning your foot is moving around too much on the pedal and your menisci (AKA cartilage) are getting ground up a bit?

Tim
 

Rudy

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Sep 23, 2003
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Yea I like to hear about this issue. I'm about to purchase some new pedals for a new bike I'm building and wasn't sure which pedals I should get.
 

bobobg

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Jul 26, 2003
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Originally posted by DanBB
Has anyone here had increased knee pain through using the speedplay frog pedals? I can't understand why a pedal with super amounts of float could cause knee pain, so im hoping someone on here could shed some light on it. Plz help me!!! before my knees are damaged big time
Have you made sure that the ball of your foot is right over or slightly to the rear of the pedal spindle? Gross changes to the for and aft position of the cleat can cause knee problems.
 

labicci

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Sep 9, 2003
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There is one more thought from me.

Different pedal and/or shoe combinations have different foot to pedal axle distance, and therefore even if you havenot alter your saddle height at all, the effective height will have already been altered by switching to a different pedal and/or shoe combination (the trend for modern pedal design is towards reduced distance for increased efficiency). If the foot to pedal axle distance have been decreased, this has to be compensated by lowering the saddle height, and vice versa.

I know these because I have made both mistakes of experimenting with different saddle heights and of experimenting with different pedals too often in the past that my body donot have the time to adapt to the changes, but was lucky to realise the mistakes before injury occurs.

All modern pedals should be OK for the knees. The only thing to look at should be the adjustment and the pedalling style.

LB
 

Insight Driver

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Jun 26, 2003
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labicci's ideas are all valid ones. Although I don't use Frogs, my wife does and she is content with them. I am certain it's not the pedals giving you knee pain. I suspect you changed shoes as well as pedals so your foot to spindle height has changed. Your leg extension has effectively changed, so you must adjust your saddle height to compensate for the stack height change.
 

rljones

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Sep 14, 2003
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I posted on just this issue about two weeks ago:
http://www.cyclingforums.com/t48553.html

I've had knee problems with surgery in one knee. After going through various pedals, I found that Speedplays aggravated my knee pain. The pain didn't seem to come from pedaling action, but from the release. The large degree of float translates into a large release angle which caused me more pain. I've gone back to Time pedals and filed down the cleat to keep my release angles tolerable.

Over the years, I've also found that having my saddle too far back (as was recommended by various fitters) gave me more knee pain. Another source of knee pain for me was the saddle being too low.

As for crank length, I recently purchased a crank from Graeme Murray in South Africa that allows one to vary the crank from 150 to 185 mm. Theory puts me, depending on the formula, anywhere from 172.5 mm to 185 mm.

When too short, I got knee pain (it was like having the saddle too low). I seem to like 175 to 180 best. At 185, I had no extra knee pain, but felt more ankle discomfort after 30 mile rides. For me, an unexpected finding was that the longer crank settings made it much easier, and more stable, to pedal when out of the saddle.

Regards, Robert