Achilles Pain

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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Posts: 323
Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 3:08 am
Location: Milton, Canada

by nspace

This season I built up a new road bike, and all season its been great 4200km on it. Only pain I've had is a bit of neck pain on longer rides but that has been getting better. This bike solved a lot of knee tracking issues I had in the past, with the addition of speedplay pedals.

Things have been great, until last weekend. I did a 3 day bike tour (590km) and the back to back high mileage days caused some pain in my left achilles (right feels great) I figure this could be due to some small fit issues that didn't show themselves until many days on the bike.

Has anyone had pain in this area and how did they solve it?

I'd like to do some investigating into cleat placement and bike fit to see if I can get a bit more background info before I go see someone (still need to find someone good in the Toronto area who can help).

From what I've read, moving the cleats further back on my shoe can help this issue but I really don't have any idea how much I should be moving these things. Typically I've just always setup my cleats more or less under the balls of my feet and been fine.

Any thoughts/personal experience with this sort of thing would be great.

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Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:36 pm

by padde

I have experienced this type of pain when i perform "ankling." A focus of change in pedal stroke technique resolved the issue for me, also mediated by a minor cleat position change (moved it back, as you also mentioned).

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Location: Mississippi

by btompkins0112

I assume your saddle setback is the same as your previous bike? Increased setback could be the cause.

You also indicated a switch to speedplays. Did you account for the increase stack height of the cleats by adjusting saddle height?

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Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 3:08 am
Location: Milton, Canada

by nspace

I think I definitely do a bit of the "ankling". Or what Steve Hogg's would describe as a "heel dropper". I feel like it may be a balance between saddle height, and the cleat position and maybe every so light difference in cleat position between the left and the right. It's weird though because I don't notice any more movement on my left than my right while pedalling. Maybe one of my legs is longer than the other or something.

I didn't replicate my setup from the previous bike. The previous bike was a bit of a disaster and I didn't ride it much so I kind of worked on the fit from a clean slate with this bike. I can say its been a hell of a lot more comfortable than the previous bike.

There is probably a little more setback though. I tried a zero setback and setback post on the other bike. I found the setback helped, especially seated while climbing, so I stuck with that on this build and it seems to have been working well, but I could still play with the fore/aft position.

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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 3:10 pm

by Thirstyman

After 6+ years of good training without any related problems, I experienced achilles tendon strains and inflammation of the heel bursas this year. This followed a 6 week spring race series with multiple races a day on a short circuit with a short big ring power climb (Bethel). In my case I think I got into the problem due to high powered heel down pedaling. It was worse on my slightly longer leg where I have a more pronounced heel drop and more rear heel pressure. So I think you may be onto something with what you are thinking. I had to dial back on my intensity for 2 months but still rode fast group rides with caution. My fitter raised my saddle a fairly dramatic 1.8cm over 2 stages ( was indeed to low). Combined with care to temporarily maintain a somewhat toe down posture, gentle stretching, massage and rest the problem went away in 3 months.

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