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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    3

    Question Fibular head pain caused by SPD pedals?

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    I just recently bought a road bike with SPD pedals. Previous to this I rode a mountain bike with my tennis shoes so I'm new to riding. Anyway, since I started riding the road bike I have developed severe pain on the lower outside and rear area of my knee. From the research I've done online it looks to be my fibular head.

    I'm guessing the pain is coming from the pedals not enabling my feet to move into a comfortable position. I don't think the SPD pedals allow me to adjust my feet to different angles so they just point forward. I have adjusted my saddle several times and that doesn't seem to make a difference. Maybe my legs are forced to being too close together? I don't know anymore.

    Does anyone have any advice on this? There must be a solution somewhere??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Limbo
    Posts
    8,783
    Speedplay Frogs?
    2008 Trek FX 7.2/Terry Cite X
    2009 Jamis Aurora/Brooks B-68
    2010 Trek FX 7.6 WSD/stock bontrager

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,576
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Southeast Idaho
    Posts
    1,145
    I have had the exact same problem as what you described. Here is what I have found for a solution.



    http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showt...+pain+solution


    I hope that helps. I sure spent a bundle before I found a solution.


    I was using mountain bike cleats when I started having issues, but have switched to Shimano SPD SL's.

    How do those compare with Speedplay's?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    3
    Thank you for your replies.

    I'm still not exactly sure what is causing the pain. There are really two reasons this might be happening...1) Are my legs too close together? 2) Does my legs feel restrained by my feet pointing straight forward and not able to angle?

    Wrapping my legs everytime I go for a ride seems like a pain. There must be an easier solution, like some slight adjustment I can make to the way that I ride that will not require me sitting and wrapping both of my legs 4-5 times a week. That's the last resort at this point simply because I know for a fact that the root of the problem lies in the SPD pedals because I never had this problem when I used to ride a cheap mountain bike with tennis shoes.

    I will look into the speedplay pedals. If anyone has any other suggestions it would be much appreciated.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    I wonder if your cleat position isn't correct for your body. Is there someone who can check your fit?

    CA
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    those cleats can be adjusted.
    as to the width of where your feet are, unless you are a very large person, the reality might actually be the opposite; your feet on your pedals are actually farther apart than they are when you are walking.
    When i got fitted to my bike, the guy moved the cleats out and up (or in and down, sorry, i don't remember,)my point is that they can be moved, and it really helped
    Last edited by mimitabby; 05-30-2008 at 06:49 AM.
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,828
    I had knee problems when I first got clipless pedals. I went back to the bike shop and they changed the cleat angles and since then everything has been fine.

    Basically I rode the bike on an indoor trainer while the shop owner/bike fitter extraordinaire watched me pedal, and periodically he had me stop pedaling so he could adjust the cleat (with my foot still on the pedal). I think he might have used a special device for it - it was years ago so I don't remember the details, but I think they called it a RAMM fitting or something like that.

    If you got to an LBS that is good at bike fitting they should be able to help you with this.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    3
    Thanks so much for all of your responses. I am going to take the bike into the shop tomorrow and have them adjust the float and see if that helps.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,321
    Fibular head pain is often from over-straining one of your hamstrings. Often, this starts because of a seat that is too high and/or too far forward, but occasionally, it can be strained by a seat that is too low. If that's not it, I'd consider moving your cleat farther back on that side. The cleats should be such that the first metatarsal joint is a bit (usually under 1cm, often closer to 5mm, depending on your foot size) in front of even with the pedal spindle.

    SPD pedals can be adjusted to where your toe-in or toe-out position is more natural by rotating the cleat itself on your shoe, though road pedals with float will allow some more wiggle room for your pedal stroke and can eliminate hot spots, improve power transfer, etc.

    Another thing to consider is that you are just new to clipless pedals. This means you're pulling up more than you were before. Even with toe cages, you can pull up better and with slightly different mechanics with clipless pedals. So you might be engaging the hams more and have just strained something. Massage the hamstrings well. Stretch well. Use some muscle rubs. You may find that your fit really isn't that far off, but once you've started straining something, it can continue to bother you for a while. Fibular head pain means you've probably pissed off the biceps femoris tendon which will take longer to heal than just wearing out the hamstring itself.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    112
    I was looking through books at borders this week and found this book. I did not buy it, but intend to go back. It actually goes into pain in different areas of the body - specifically different areas of the knee. It gives info on what's causing it, and how to prevent and treat it. I found it VERY helpful!!! Here's the title...

    Bicycling Medicine: Cycling Nutrition, Physiology, Injury Prevention and Treatment For Riders of All Levels

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Limbo
    Posts
    8,783
    I bought a used copy of that book from Amazon for six dollars
    2008 Trek FX 7.2/Terry Cite X
    2009 Jamis Aurora/Brooks B-68
    2010 Trek FX 7.6 WSD/stock bontrager

 

 

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