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Author Topic: Cycling - Clipless or flat pedals?  (Read 1271 times)

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Offline Oddbob

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Cycling - Clipless or flat pedals?
« on: February 29, 2012, 08:35:18 PM »
Firstly I hope this is the right thread for this topic!

Im an avid mountain biker and I had my knee smashed some 18 years ago, ligaments kaput, knee drilled and metal rods inserted to hold it together while it refused they they were removed. Joints have being mismatched ever since and I have a gaping scar to this day of these happy memories.

Ive finally found a passion I can indulge in since this accident, cycling! My favourite being mountain biking. I was using clipless pedals but started getting alot of knee pain.

My seatpost/gear transitions are fine, it all seems to be about positioning on pedals?

I was just wondering if any of you good people with more significant experience of cycling have any tips on best pedals and how to ensure I have ultimatea ride position to make sure im not making problems for myself further down the road in this life.

Many thanks Bob :)

Offline bolanbiker

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Re: Cycling - Clipless or flat pedals?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2012, 03:10:46 AM »
Bob:

Fore and aft positioning of the foot on the pedal can affect knee pain, as can rotation of the foot. Modern clipless pedals allow float for rotation, and have plenty of adjustment for fore and aft positioning. If one of your kaputt ligaments is the ACL, strengthening your hamstrings is helpful, and clipless pedals allow for better activation of the hamstrings.

I've always liked the Time pedals, but I've also been using their original road design for the last 20 years! I've also used their older mountain pedals, and liked them. However, I am a pathetic mountain biker (good only for comic relief).

That being said, I'd set the pedals for a light release tension (if this is possible) until you get used to them, and make any adjustments to the fore-aft position in small amounts. Any increases in intensity should also be slow, since it's easy to overdo it.

Happy cycling!

bolanbiker
Ultra-marathon cyclist
LK victim of phone cord 2/00
Chondroplasty sometime in 2000/01
LR in 2004
? PCL tear (who knows)
fastest one-legged cyclist in town :-)

Offline Snowy

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Re: Cycling - Clipless or flat pedals?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2012, 03:57:43 PM »
I've found that since my knee injury and surgery, I need a lot more float in clipless pedals than I used to. I need to be able to adjust my foot position every so often or my knee gets really sore. I've actually stopped using clipless pedals on both my daily commuter bike and my downhill bike, and just use them on my road bike. I'm definitely more comfortable cycling on flats, but up against the clock that extra power transfer counts. ;) I'd suggest initially trying a pedal with more float, and as the previous poster suggests working with your bike shop to see if adjustments to your existing pedals improves the situation. For me, though, it's not cleat positioning that makes the critical difference but having the ability to adjust the foot on the pedal so it's not constantly in the same position.
Mar 11: R Biceps femoris tear (skiing)
Jul 10: ACLr (hamstring autograft)
Mar 10: L ACL rupture (skiing)
Feb 06: L partial ACL tear (kickboxing)
Dec 03: R bone edema (motorbike)
Jan 01: R patellar chip (motorbike)
May 93: R ACL sprain (hockey)
Ongoing: bilateral PFS and OA

Offline Oddbob

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Re: Cycling - Clipless or flat pedals?
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2012, 10:04:46 PM »
it's not cleat positioning that makes the critical difference but having the ability to adjust the foot on the pedal so it's not constantly in the same position.

Many thanks for the responses good people and the above is what ive being thinking since my last ride when I put flats on a day or so ago. I was more attentative then usual and noticed that my feet do quite significantly change position when climbing compared to downhill and it generally seems more natural being able to move freely around on the surface of the peddle.

Unfortunately it was a relatively short ride for me because I had a right old gnarl up on a wet board walk...so I didnt get to put much distance in to really test out my knees!















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