Bike Fit 101 – “Quick Fixes”

Pain is never normal, but unfortunately it is quite common with cyclists especially from the knee down.  Most pain can be attributed to improper position of the rider and/ or equipment of the rider.  Here are 5 common quick fixes to the most common problem areas I see daily.  This chart is from Paul Swift of Bike Fit Systems, makers of the original Cleat Wedge and something we use and recommend here at HBW. 

  1. Outside of Knee (Lateral) –  Try moving the foot further away from the crank (cleat inside).  Pain to the outside of the knee is often a sign that feet are in a position too narrow for you stance or hip width. 
  2. Inside of Knee (Medial) – Try moving the foot closer to the crank (cleat outside).  Pain to the inside of the knee is a strong indicator that your stance on the bike is too wide.  From the back a rider would look like an A. 
  3. Achilles – Moving the foot forward (cleat backward) will often take stress away from the Achilles.
  4. Arch – Moving the foot backward (cleat forward) will often take stress away from the arch.
  5. Outside of foot – Move the cleat inside to push the foot further away from the crank (move foot toward the pressure area) and/ or use wedges.  This is most commonly seen in feet not being centered on the pedal. 

In all of these cases I recommend seeking a qualified Fit specialist who works with shoe/ pedal interfacing and has the tools to properly assess the problem in a dynamic setting.  Tools I frequently use in my practice may include, wedges, shims, pedal spacers, shoe insoles, lasers, and in some cases changing the model of pedals and/ or shoes.  Too learn more about these tools and techniques or to find a fit specialist visit

It is never acceptable or normal  to ride with pain or discomfort.


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