Author Topic: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride  (Read 4659 times)

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #25 on: November 22, 2018, 09:05:17 pm »
Why not try flat pedals?
People find the clicky feeling and sound pleasing, but, other than for sprinting where it does make a difference, no-one has ever come up with other genuine benefits from clipping in.

Off the top of my head:

Reducing shin-bashings due to muddy shoe:pedal interface when riding off-road.
Reducing shin-bashings due to poor pilot-stoker communication.
Not breaking your ankle/leg by running over your own foot with a tadpole trike when you hit a pothole.
Not having to work to support the weight of your legs in a recumbent position.
Keeping your foot in a specific known-good alignment to prevent recurrence of owmeknee.

(As with sprinting, none of these may apply to the OP, making flats a potential option.  But that doesn't mean clipping in is otherwise pointless.)

I accept that there are different considerations for recumbents. However I've given myself far more painful shin bashes with clipless pedals than flats. If you fail to clip in properly, as happens now and again, clipless pedals are pretty slippery

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #26 on: November 22, 2018, 09:12:10 pm »
Why not try flat pedals?

Well I have when commuting and touring for most of the past 10 years, apart from sometimes using SPDs, but I'm getting more into fast road cycling.

Quote
People find the clicky feeling and sound pleasing, but, other than for sprinting where it does make a difference, no-one has ever come up with other genuine benefits from clipping in.

I'm definitely faster when using clipless pedals, whatever scientific tests may say, especially when accelerating, but not only that, even on the flat keeping a constant fast pace when pushing hard seems easier, maybe it's the more rigid soles or lighter shoes/pedals, but it definitely makes a difference for me. I don't think I get any extra power from upstrokes, though, like some claim, I don't pedal that way. I'm also more of a fast spinner than a masher, and it's reassuring to know my feet aren't going to slip off the pedals at high rpms.

It is a comforting feeling being clipped in but nobody has ever come up with tests to show it makes you any faster. This gets discussed on the time trialing forum every now and again.
Obviously is up to you, and I'm not trying to evangelise for flat pedals, just pointing out that there could be a very easy fix if the problem is impacting your riding enjoyment

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #27 on: November 22, 2018, 09:12:34 pm »
I accept that there are different considerations for recumbents. However I've given myself far more painful shin bashes with clipless pedals than flats. If you fail to clip in properly, as happens now and again, clipless pedals are pretty slippery

YMMV but I'm half expecting that to happen when I'm in the process of clipping in, rather than with flats where it can slip at any random moment as you're giving it full force.

And of course you don't get the classic 'clipless moment' with flats.  (Though I do a good line in raising my foot to starting position and wondering where the pedal went.)
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #28 on: November 22, 2018, 09:24:14 pm »
I have used clips and straps or clipless pedals for most of my riding for decades. You definitely need them if you are going to go 'full gas'; however not everyone does that.

  I had always supposed that in everyday riding I didn't really need to be clipped in but just preferred it;  occasional forays on flat pedals I could cope with but then the bike would usually be a very different kettle of fish so it is easy enough to recalibrate the brain.

 However at present I have flat/SPD pedals on my hack bike. To my surprise I really notice when I am not clipped in; when starting off from junctions or when requiring that I get a move on for some reason (eg in traffic) I clearly am pulling up, normally, more than I supposed I might.  I am pretty sure I don't need to do this when pedalling 'steady state' (i.e. at all-day levels of effort) but the occasions when I do pull up are more frequent than I had supposed might be likely.

cheers

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2018, 10:10:49 pm »
What really throws me is the rare occasion I have a proper go on a recumbent that has flat pedals (usually a demonstrator, or something).  While I get back into the swing of things reasonably quickly on uprights, I've basically never ridden a recumbent without foot retention, and my laid-back pedalling technique has a lot of neutral spots where I rely on the pedal to support my leg, if not actively pulling back to apply power.  I have to really think about it.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #30 on: November 23, 2018, 01:32:57 am »
A lot of force to clip out of?  You were using the steel (not carbon) sprung ones, right?  You know they have an adjustment screw?

Mine last several seasons at a time ...

Yes, regular Keo 2 Max pedals (not the blade ones), adjustment screw was at minimum, seemed quite a bit harder to exit than the Campagnolo pedals

Interesting.  Perhaps try what LWaB suggests?  Time are another option - I've been trying some out and they're very easy to release on the low setting, but apparently they wear fast - I wouldn't know, I haven't used them enough yet.

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #31 on: November 23, 2018, 08:00:19 am »
I have used clips and straps or clipless pedals for most of my riding for decades. You definitely need them if you are going to go 'full gas'; however not everyone does that.

Going "full gas" is definitely a requirement for me, have recently joined a local road cycling club, and they're no slouches... I also couldn't have imagined even doing the recent Sportive I did without clipless pedals, though I was cycling with a (much fitter) friend who just uses MTB-style flats with pins (on a full carbon road bike), though he rides with a much slower cadence (not speed!) than me.
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #32 on: November 23, 2018, 08:34:57 am »
As you mention speed play are an option. I love mine and have used them for about 10 years now. Easy in and out with lots of float.

The three to 4 hole adapter is fine. Stack height is a little greater and may require lifting your saddle a few mm.

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #33 on: November 23, 2018, 11:34:31 am »
As you mention speed play are an option. I love mine and have used them for about 10 years now. Easy in and out with lots of float.

The three to 4 hole adapter is fine. Stack height is a little greater and may require lifting your saddle a few mm.

Regarding the increased stack height, and the need to increase the seat height, that might be an issue at the moment, as on my current bike "someone" (ahem) forgot to grease the aluminium seatpost and it's stuck fast in the steel frame (I've tried various removal methods, though not the more drastic ones). A visit to The Seat Post Man is planned for next year, though...
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #34 on: November 26, 2018, 10:18:00 pm »
So, an update - I fiddled with the cleat positions on my Campagnolo Pro-Fit pedals again at the weekend, I moved them both back a little bit (though there would still be scope for moving them back further) and moved the left one in board slightly, so the crank no longer rubs on the toe covers.

I then did a quite relaxed 30 mile "social" ride with my local cycling club on Sunday, wearing quite thick woollen socks and tried not to over-tighten the boas. I also tried consciously to avoid clawing the soles with my feet and to try to keep them more relaxed.

Results were quite promising, no foot pain from the sole and the ends of my feet didn't go numb at all (bearing in mind it was quite chilly) though obviously this was quite a short ride, there were no serious hills nor was I ever really pushing that hard on the flat, so more testing will be required.

When I look at the cleat positions, it *looks* like I have them setup in exactly the same position on both shoes, though the position still doesn't *feel* quite right on the left - guess my feet must be different!

Also when I bring my ankles in as close to the cranks as the float will allow, the shoes are pointing dead forward, though my feet feel like they would like to be able to rotate slightly "duck-footed" I.e. a a bit more movement of the ankle towards the crank - I don't usually walk duck footed at all, as far as I'm aware, but it feels slightly odd to be constrained from moving at all in that direction off-centre. Should I rotate the cleats slightly to try to allow a little float inwards, or is that bad practice?
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #35 on: November 26, 2018, 10:21:25 pm »
Generally people set their cleats for equal float in and out from their normal/ neutral position.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #36 on: November 26, 2018, 10:43:24 pm »
Generally people set their cleats for equal float in and out from their normal/ neutral position.

Ah - I only seem to have float outwards (I.e. able to move heel away from crank arm, not inwards from neutral), is my setup wrong then, or a limitation of the pedals/cleats I have?
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #37 on: November 26, 2018, 10:49:01 pm »
Reset your cleats so your feet are a bit further apart and the toes point out a little more. That should allow you to have float in both directions.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #38 on: November 28, 2018, 10:45:19 am »
A lot of force to clip out of?  You were using the steel (not carbon) sprung ones, right?  You know they have an adjustment screw?

Mine last several seasons at a time ...

Yes, regular Keo 2 Max pedals (not the blade ones), adjustment screw was at minimum, seemed quite a bit harder to exit than the Campagnolo pedals

Spring tension on new Keo's seems quite variable, $deity knows I've been through enough of them, my solution for an overly stiff release is old cleats mounted on an old pair of shoes with most of the rear cleat slot filled with car body filler, leave the old shoes clipped in while the bike isn't in use, seems to work.

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #39 on: November 28, 2018, 01:42:37 pm »
I've recently switched pedals from SPD to flats (big mtb-style ones I already had), because I was having some foot trouble from running and the bike seemed to be exacerbating it.  Not a long-term decision.  My experience definitely concurs with this:

However at present I have flat/SPD pedals on my hack bike. To my surprise I really notice when I am not clipped in; when starting off from junctions or when requiring that I get a move on for some reason (eg in traffic) I clearly am pulling up, normally, more than I supposed I might.  I am pretty sure I don't need to do this when pedalling 'steady state' (i.e. at all-day levels of effort) but the occasions when I do pull up are more frequent than I had supposed might be likely.

I tend to enjoy just riding my bike rather than speeding about, so I've been surprised how often my feet have jumped off the pedals at first attempting to pull up.  I'm not doing that any more after a few weeks, but still surprised how often I'm missing that extra torque for a few seconds around junctions and hills.

I'm hoping to fit in a decent length ride this weekend on the flats - curious to see how it goes.

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #40 on: November 28, 2018, 02:56:46 pm »
I had "hot foot" pain from a shoe/pedal set-up that had been comfortable for over 8 years. Solved with a pair of new (2nd hand) shoes. Maybe my feet had changed. I bought about a dozen pairs of cheap 2nd hand shoes on eBay - Shimano S-Phyre, Sidi Ergo 2, Specialized S Works, Louis Garneau, Gaerne. There was a surprising difference in their internal shape. The cheaper ones generally had more padding, the expensive ones were less padded and either fitted really well or really badly, often because they were too narrow for me. I thought my old shoes were a good fit bit I know now that there was much better to be found.

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #41 on: November 28, 2018, 04:29:42 pm »
I've recently switched pedals from SPD to flats (big mtb-style ones I already had), because I was having some foot trouble from running and the bike seemed to be exacerbating it.  Not a long-term decision.  My experience definitely concurs with this:

I tend to enjoy just riding my bike rather than speeding about, so I've been surprised how often my feet have jumped off the pedals at first attempting to pull up.  I'm not doing that any more after a few weeks, but still surprised how often I'm missing that extra torque for a few seconds around junctions and hills.

I'm hoping to fit in a decent length ride this weekend on the flats - curious to see how it goes.

You'll get used to riding flat pedals, the same way as you did with clipless, but it does take a while.  I've used only flat pedals since June and still occasionally forget and lift my foot off.  It's a bit like riding fixed in that you occasionally forget and try to freewheel, then immediately realise you can't

The idea of getting any significant extra power from pulling up has been pretty much debunked.  If you are really bored one day, you can try it (I did once out of curiosity).  Put your saddle down by a few inches and hook your feet underneath the pedals, and see how fast you can go pedalling that way.  For anyone who has ever tried it, the answer is they can only just get the bike moving on a flat road. 

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #42 on: November 28, 2018, 06:19:21 pm »
The idea of getting any significant extra power from pulling up has been pretty much debunked.  If you are really bored one day, you can try it (I did once out of curiosity).  Put your saddle down by a few inches and hook your feet underneath the pedals, and see how fast you can go pedalling that way.  For anyone who has ever tried it, the answer is they can only just get the bike moving on a flat road.

As I said previously in this thread,  I don't think I get any extra power from upstrokes, like some claim, but I am somehow definitely faster when using clipless pedals "especially when accelerating, but not only that, even on the flat keeping a constant fast pace when pushing hard seems easier, maybe it's the more rigid soles or lighter shoes/pedals, but it definitely makes a difference for me"
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #43 on: November 28, 2018, 06:39:54 pm »

....The idea of getting any significant extra power from pulling up has been pretty much debunked.  If you are really bored one day, you can try it (I did once out of curiosity).  Put your saddle down by a few inches and hook your feet underneath the pedals, and see how fast you can go pedalling that way.  For anyone who has ever tried it, the answer is they can only just get the bike moving on a flat road.

I don't think that anyone has said that you can't tap along all day without clips and straps, if you want to. However examples of folk putting in fantastic examples of athleticism without clips and straps are few and far between, and some types of riding are not sensibly possible without some form of foot retention, which for most folk has practically non-existent consequences. This much was amply demonstrated well over a hundred years ago. Maybe you should find some Victorian cyclists to have an argument with.

 The 'pulling up only' experiment is daft; it is a bit like saying "icing on cakes can't possibly be any good because it doesn't by itself make for a good cake".

cheers

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #44 on: November 29, 2018, 06:13:29 am »

....The idea of getting any significant extra power from pulling up has been pretty much debunked.  If you are really bored one day, you can try it (I did once out of curiosity).  Put your saddle down by a few inches and hook your feet underneath the pedals, and see how fast you can go pedalling that way.  For anyone who has ever tried it, the answer is they can only just get the bike moving on a flat road.

I don't think that anyone has said that you can't tap along all day without clips and straps, if you want to. However examples of folk putting in fantastic examples of athleticism without clips and straps are few and far between, and some types of riding are not sensibly possible without some form of foot retention, which for most folk has practically non-existent consequences. This much was amply demonstrated well over a hundred years ago. Maybe you should find some Victorian cyclists to have an argument with.

 The 'pulling up only' experiment is daft; it is a bit like saying "icing on cakes can't possibly be any good because it doesn't by itself make for a good cake".

cheers

Not quite sure where you are coming from with this, and fear that it is going off topic, but I've always acknowledged that foot retention was important for certain types of riding - ie sprinting. 
There are plenty of 'examples of folk putting in fantastic examples of athleticism without clips and straps'.  Lots of people have got round PBP or LEL on flats (see upthread) and in the mountain biking world, many top riders, such as Sam Hill, use flat pedals for racing at the highest levels.  And Andrew Coggan, the guru of training with power, has stated he has no evidence that flat pedals are less efficient than other systems at transmitting power.
Finally, I fear the cakeist analogy doesn't work, but please do suggest a better simple experiment to test the hypothesis that it is possible to generate a significant level of power by pulling on the upstroke.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #45 on: November 29, 2018, 06:42:00 am »
Have you heard of Powercranks? Each crankarm has a freewheel, so riders have to pedal the full circle with both legs. Proponents claim all sorts of benefits, after training to do so. Regardless of the claimed benefits of pulling up, I doubt that a one-off trial lasting a few minutes is going to correlate particularly well with the performance of a trained individual for something like cycling, given that the pulling up action is hardly replicated in normal life (unless you habitually walk in heavy boots or deep mud).
http://powercranks.com/cycling1.html
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #46 on: November 29, 2018, 07:59:42 am »
There are plenty of 'examples of folk putting in fantastic examples of athleticism without clips and straps'.  Lots of people have got round PBP or LEL on flats (see upthread) and in the mountain biking world, many top riders, such as Sam Hill, use flat pedals for racing at the highest levels.

I think Brucey would characterise PBP as "tapping along all day" (and night), and downhill MTB racing hardly needs pedalling (riders have podiumed having lost their chain near the too of the run).

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #47 on: November 29, 2018, 10:49:11 am »
The idea of getting any significant extra power from pulling up has been pretty much debunked.  If you are really bored one day, you can try it (I did once out of curiosity).  Put your saddle down by a few inches and hook your feet underneath the pedals, and see how fast you can go pedalling that way.  For anyone who has ever tried it, the answer is they can only just get the bike moving on a flat road. 

Just out of interest, I had a go at this.  Before I tried it I thought it was unrealistic because you're having to carry the entire weight of your legs as well as missing 100% of the downpush.  So I was expecting to be able to get along fairly feebly, but maybe just so.

Now I've tried it.  I struggle to believe that you have both actually tried it and are suggesting it is relevant.

Completely different motion to learn.  I couldn't even turn the pedals like this, because my feet were losing contact all the time as they were required to keep a small upforce throughout the cycle.  The icing vs icing on a cake analogy is too generous - this is more like trying to drive a car with my feet on the steering wheel and hands on the pedals. 


Sorry to be disagreeable.  I actually agree with your main thrust - there isn't a large benefit to be had from pulling up on the pedals and over the course of a long ride it's not really going to add much.

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #48 on: November 29, 2018, 11:16:31 am »
Fascinating - I don't remember it being that hard, but it's many years since I did it!

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #49 on: November 29, 2018, 11:20:48 am »
There are plenty of 'examples of folk putting in fantastic examples of athleticism without clips and straps'.  Lots of people have got round PBP or LEL on flats (see upthread) and in the mountain biking world, many top riders, such as Sam Hill, use flat pedals for racing at the highest levels.

I think Brucey would characterise PBP as "tapping along all day" (and night), and downhill MTB racing hardly needs pedalling (riders have podiumed having lost their chain near the too of the run).

I didn't mean downhill, but Enduro or XC racing, where there is plenty of uphill as well as down