Friday, March 7, 2014

Cleat Positioning on New Shoes: A Bike Fitter's Perspective

Honestly; I'm a little reluctant to "ask a mechanic" about something so closely related to your positioning on your bike; but this video pretty much hits the nail on the head. Mostly for their emphasis on the fact that this achieves an "approximation" and will not be a precise method of replicating the cleat position from shoe-to-shoe.

The tips in the video will help you achieve a starting point - but for fine tuning; you must treat every pair of shoes individually - especially if different brands and models are involved.

Other things to consider:
  • The markings on the sole should not be treated as precise either. These are merely a guide for approximate purposes. Differences in stencil or decal position or how the sole is joined to the upper from shoe to shoe can influence their accuracy significantly.
  • Getting new shoes is an excellent time to have your bike fit checked if not re-evaluated - especially if it has been a few years since your last comprehensive fitting. Aside from physiological changes that occur in that time from changes in fitness, flexibility, or injury; new shoes will position your foot differently relative to the pedal in the X, Y, and "Z" planes (3-dimensional) and pain, discomfort, or injury may result if not done properly.
  • A new pedal system (change in brand or model) is also a good time to re-evaluate your fitting. These above guidelines apply even more loosely when a change in pedals/cleats is involved. Different brand/model pedals have different "stack" which effects leg extension. They also may need to be positioned differently in terms of fore/aft, left/right, and rotation to account for float and other positional differences.
Be kind to your knees and take your foot/shoe/pedal interface seriously. It makes a difference!

1 comment:

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