Speedplay back to Looks - May have solved my problem

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
aadamcycle
Posts: 86
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:19 pm

by aadamcycle

I have ridden speedplay zero's for 4 years now 7-10k miles a year without issue... maybe I am just lucky. However I do know for a fact that when I purchase a new set they have zero nil notta side to side rock. If you do have rock out of the box I would suggest looking at your shoes as if you tighten the screws for the base plate this can warp it and cause rock. I run a set of pedals for about 5k before purchasing a new set, the cleats however only last about 2500 before wear starts to show noticeable side to side rock.

Now I see a lot of people have issues with knee pain and what not. From my experience in this is that you have an improper setup either stack height, forward aft position in reference to the spindle, or side to side play. When installing a set of cleats on the shoes it takes a few goes to get them dialed in on the float but other than that the forward aft is pretty well set from my first set. I suggest giving them a try but have someone who uses not just sells them to get them right.
put the fun between your legs

airwise
Posts: 1049
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:31 pm

by airwise

Same situation with me I'm afraid. I've tried to get on with Speedplays twice but eventually have to accept that they cause IB syndrome for me. Really badly - to the extent that walking is a big problem after a decent ride. I guess some are OK some suffer - but it's a lot of money to drop on the off chance that they won't cause problems. I've never had issues with Look, Time, SPD, Eggbeater or any other platform I've tried.

by Weenie


Zigmeister
Posts: 921
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:09 pm

by Zigmeister

I've been struggling with nagging knee problems. I was running Time carbon RSX pedals...switched to speedplay a few months back hoping that would help. I've had two fittings...I still have some nagging problems with one knee especially. Both both will bother me at times in certain places.

I'm not sure where to turn at this point. Maybe switch to some Shimano spd pedals next time and back to a wider, more stable platform with no real float?

Might just be a physiological/biomechanic issue that can't be solved either.

aadamcycle
Posts: 86
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:19 pm

by aadamcycle

Ok so being a mechanical engineer I have thought this over a little bit and the only thing I can see that would be any different keeping in mind that seat height, forward aft position, side to side position, ect... that would change any mechanical/biological system would be the stack height. Looking at the leg as a crank rocker 4 bar linkage would be the length of the tibia bone linkage. Now this is under perfect conditions assuming (yeah I know) that you keep all of the other systems in the same angle of rotation and position. If someone with knee pain would be interested in playing around with this add shims under the cleat to adjust the stack height to match a shimano or look or whatever and find out if the pain goes away.

I still think it has to do with forward aft positioning or side to side positioning other than that I dont see any reason why one pedal would differ from another. :noidea:
put the fun between your legs

Krackor
Posts: 260
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 9:48 pm

by Krackor

aadamcycle wrote:[snip]

I still think it has to do with forward aft positioning or side to side positioning other than that I dont see any reason why one pedal would differ from another. :noidea:

The float is the most likely culprit I think. Either the extra float in SP pedals compared to others allows a more extreme angle which puts a kink in the knee joint and causes pain, OR the float being at a slightly different axis (directly above the spindle rather than in front or behind it) could cause the knee to twist in a slightly different way.

mises
Posts: 1769
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2003 9:28 pm
Location: Unknown parameter

by mises

Zigmeister wrote:Might just be a physiological/biomechanic issue that can't be solved either.
Assuming your position has been held constant between pedals the only constant is the shoes so custom orthotics or shoes might be the best thing to try.

drmutley
Posts: 344
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:23 am

by drmutley

im the opposite...

Used Looks with no float (black cleat) for past 18months, and 25,000kms, without too many issues. On a 250km ride in March which had 5200m of vertical climbing, i developed severe ITB syndrome. Since I have been able to ride very little until 2 weeks ago, I switched to Speedplay zeros, and dialled in a little heel in float. My knee feels 60% better with just this change, which has been more successful than the 7 cortisone injections and daily physical therapy ive had in the last 5 months.

Everyones different i guess.... if u find something that works then stick to it. If somethign isnt then experiment :)

User avatar
tommasini
Posts: 1297
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:48 am
Location: Central USA
Contact:

by tommasini

I don't know your mileage, age, other factors (poster drmutley) , but from your post above might I gather that the primary cause of the acute injury was mostly due to the extended and difficult ride? Then looking at the float - possibly any change (relying on other lesser used parts of your body that aren't injured) might seem to offer some relief.

I'm one of those who grew up on fixed cleats, (toe straps/clips), then fixed clipless cleats. I too thought I found something nice when clipless float came out - but over a few years time I found bad "habits" in my left leg mechanics - that grew and grew. When I reverted back to fixed cleats the aches and pains in my left knee and foot went away and my own perception of power output (feels more efficient and connected) through my left leg increased.
Last edited by tommasini on Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Rick
Posts: 2035
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:30 pm

by Rick

If you've never ridden X1 you have no idea what free float is.

+1 :lol:
I have been using speedplays since they were invented. I don't know why, but I just don't have any of the problems some people talk about.
I did have knee pain on "float" Looks before switching to Speedplays. About 3 years ago i switched from X series to Zeroes. Their float is not nearly as "free" although it is still "lighter" than most others.
Recently I gradually reduced the float angle on my speedplays until I have no float. Since I did it gradually, I zeroed in on exactly where my foot feels most "natural". No float definitely feels slightly more efficient, and I have done a lot of hard rides now with no knee issues.

I don't doubt that they are not right for some people; but I have a hard time understanding the "rocking" issue. Sometimes I deliberately try to "rock" my speedplays just to see what people are talking about. My shoes have always allowed a lot more "rocking" than any pedal ever could.
I noticed when I had float that my foot does rotate very slightly when pedaling from 3:00 to 9:00 positions, such that I would feel a slight "click" as my heel rotated in and the cleat mechanism touched the float-stop screws. In some instances that felt a little like "rocking".
Maybe I am "blessed" with non-roccking feet, or some people have a natural tendency to rock more than others.

kentbrockman
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:37 pm
Contact:

by kentbrockman

airwise wrote:Same situation with me I'm afraid. I've tried to get on with Speedplays twice but eventually have to accept that they cause IB syndrome for me. Really badly - to the extent that walking is a big problem after a decent ride. I guess some are OK some suffer - but it's a lot of money to drop on the off chance that they won't cause problems. I've never had issues with Look, Time, SPD, Eggbeater or any other platform I've tried.

Speedplays cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome? I'm sooo switching to Look...

mdeth1313
Moderator
Posts: 2119
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 12:38 am
Location: Dutchess County, NY

by mdeth1313

kentbrockman wrote:
airwise wrote:Same situation with me I'm afraid. I've tried to get on with Speedplays twice but eventually have to accept that they cause IB syndrome for me. Really badly - to the extent that walking is a big problem after a decent ride. I guess some are OK some suffer - but it's a lot of money to drop on the off chance that they won't cause problems. I've never had issues with Look, Time, SPD, Eggbeater or any other platform I've tried.

Speedplays cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome? I'm sooo switching to Look...



:thumbup:
Speedplay is the devil!

drmutley
Posts: 344
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:23 am

by drmutley

tommasini wrote:I don't know your mileage, age, other factors (poster drmutley) , but from your post above might I gather that the primary cause of the acute injury was mostly due to the extended and difficult ride? Then looking at the float - possibly any change (relying on other lesser used parts of your body that aren't injured) might seem to offer some relief.

I'm one of those who grew up on fixed cleats, (toe straps/clips), then fixed clipless cleats. I too thought I found something nice when clipless float came out - but over a few years time I found bad "habits" in my left leg mechanics - that grew and grew. When I reverted back to fixed cleats the aches and pains in my left knee and foot went away and my own perception of power output (feels more efficient and connected) through my left leg increased.


I can see how you have come to your deductions, and u may be right...

...but at the end of the day, after significant periods of rest off the bike to get pain free, rides of more than 50kms in my looks reaggravated my ITB problem. When I swapped to SPs, I was not painfree, and despite 50km+ rides, plus some hills in this time, my ITB is actually quite improved.

Indepth analysis on my look setup and my pedal stroke, it appears my foot likes a degree of heel in movement at the bottom of the stroke. The fixed no float looks didnt allow this, and was applying some virtual inward tibial rotation because of this, hence the ITB issues. Amazing what 1 or 2 degrees of float can do....

Cheetahmk7
Posts: 69
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:09 am

by Cheetahmk7

aadamcycle wrote:Ok so being a mechanical engineer I have thought this over a little bit and the only thing I can see that would be any different keeping in mind that seat height, forward aft position, side to side position, ect... that would change any mechanical/biological system would be the stack height. Looking at the leg as a crank rocker 4 bar linkage would be the length of the tibia bone linkage. Now this is under perfect conditions assuming (yeah I know) that you keep all of the other systems in the same angle of rotation and position. If someone with knee pain would be interested in playing around with this add shims under the cleat to adjust the stack height to match a shimano or look or whatever and find out if the pain goes away.

I still think it has to do with forward aft positioning or side to side positioning other than that I dont see any reason why one pedal would differ from another. :noidea:


I'm a mechanical engineer as well and I experienced exactly the same problem as the original poster.

As I see it the problem with the Speedplays is that the cleat rocks excessively from side-to-side when engaged. The contact area between the pedal and the cleat is just too small. This side-to-side movement gets amplified all the way up to the knee and this can lead to instability in the knee which in turn can lead to chondromalacia.

I recall a bike fit session, when my pedals were changed over from Speedplays to Shimano SPD-SL's. Whilst pushing a big gear on the indoor trainer, my bad knee exhibited a significant left-to-right movement towards the top of the stroke when using the Speedplay pedals. The pedals were then changed to SPD-SL's and 95% of the left-to-right movement vanished.

I really feel that it was the instability/left-to-right movement that caused my knee problems. Trying to push down on the pedals whilst ones knee is wobbling around really causes problems.

Bridgeman
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 6:04 am
Location: USA
Contact:

by Bridgeman

I'm an ME as well, and the remarks here make sense. When I did my search way back when, there were only glowing reviews, so I went with Speedplay X2 I believe. Way to much wobble! Developed knee pain in both knees.

I then went with Zero's to control the float and this helped quite a bit. I was told to just stay with them and that I would eventually adapt, and to a large degree I have. It took a few years though, and at it worst, the pain was so bad that I thought I could blow out my knees at any moment, should I hammer the wrong way.

I recently bought a new pair of DMT Radials, which have further reduced the stack and lowered my position. I really like this new position, but I still have a very slight pain in my left knee that I'm trying to dial out incrementally. It only occasionally gives a twinge every now and then when I have to climb short bergs at very high tempo.

For me, it's all about the lowered stack/riding position.

cookiemonster
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2008 9:00 pm

by cookiemonster

I had ITB problems which resulted in knee pain, and then 3 months off the bike. I'd used spd-sl's for years and years, and had a couple of bike fits (both serotta/cyclefit and a BG fit or whatever its called). I'd been set up with lemond wedges to stabilise my foot and allow my knee to track straight. However, as someone mentioned earlier, one of the effects of altering the angle of the foot was to increase the strain on my ITB.

I had a bit of an epiphany when a friend of a friend who's a yoga teacher pointed out that my stability sucked - I couldnt manage the Yoga tree pose for example (simply standing on one leg) without tipping over. My realisation was that my issue was not one of bike fit, but a more fundamental physical weakness and muscle imbalance which I'd been getting around for years with zero float cleats, adding wedges for stability, insoles and that kind of stuff. I took 3 months to sort out my ITB, doing a stack of stability and strength work on my legs and core. When I got back on the bike (this was two months ago now), I switched to Speedplays as I wanted to feel what my legs were doing. My reasoning is that if I dont have the inherent stability for my legs not to wobble around the place without the aid of wedges and zero float, then its too early to be back on the bike.

My take on this stuff may be a bit contentious, but its basically that if you either have knee pain or find free(ish) float pedals too unstable (and are happy with the more obvious bike fit and the mechanical soundness of your equipment), then it may be worth looking at your stability and core before buying the next set of pedals or having another bike fit. If you cant comfortably do a yoga tree pose for, dunno, 60 seconds, then there's a chance you're lacking in stability which may in turn result in knee issues - quickly if you're using a free float system, but will develop over more time if you're on something more fixed

Cheers

Jon

by Weenie


Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post