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Speedplay Pedals = Achillies Tendonitis?

Mar 17, 2009
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I've recently developed a sore achillies tendon (AT). I am off to the sports physio in the next few days for a proper diagnosis. however, in the meantime, have been doing a bit of google self diagosis... never had any AT problems before, but I have in the last month switched to speedplay zero pedals, from Time. There is some information on line that suggests that Speedplays can let your foot and ankle over pronate(OP), thus over time leading to over stress of the AT once the calf muscles have had enough of trying to stop the OP.

http://www.byrn.org/gtips/triAT.htm

Question is, has anyone else found this to be a problem also? My shoe does seem to rock in an outward, over pronation position, albeit in a minor amount, still, this may be enough to cause a problem I guess.

I only ride, don't run or anything silly like that, and have been cycling for about 19 years now with no real injury issues to specifically speak of..

Look forward to hearing from anyone else
 
Mar 19, 2009
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It's entirely possible it's from the pedals. I've never used Speedplay pedals, only Time.... because with size 15 feet, I need as big as platform as possible. I always thought of Speedplays as just too small for any solid support.

An easy test for yourself is just go back to using the Time pedals for awhile. That will tell you more than the sports physio. If the pain goes away.... so go the Speedplays.
 
Aug 3, 2009
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hubbard said:
I've recently developed a sore achillies tendon (AT). I am off to the sports physio in the next few days for a proper diagnosis. however, in the meantime, have been doing a bit of google self diagosis... never had any AT problems before, but I have in the last month switched to speedplay zero pedals, from Time. There is some information on line that suggests that Speedplays can let your foot and ankle over pronate(OP), thus over time leading to over stress of the AT once the calf muscles have had enough of trying to stop the OP.

http://www.byrn.org/gtips/triAT.htm

Question is, has anyone else found this to be a problem also? My shoe does seem to rock in an outward, over pronation position, albeit in a minor amount, still, this may be enough to cause a problem I guess.

I only ride, don't run or anything silly like that, and have been cycling for about 19 years now with no real injury issues to specifically speak of..

Look forward to hearing from anyone else
I have used speedplays for around 5 years mainly because I have bad knees.Never had any issues.
Everyones different I guess.:)
 
Mar 19, 2009
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lostintime said:
It's entirely possible it's from the pedals. I've never used Speedplay pedals, only Time.... because with size 15 feet, I need as big as platform as possible. I always thought of Speedplays as just too small for any solid support.

Common misconception when looking at the small Speedplay pedal, when in fact the pedal/cleat combo creates the largest platform compared to the rest, even Time. I'm also a bigfoot, and it's one of the reasons I switched to Speedplay from Look about a decade ago.
 
May 13, 2009
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Heya - i've occasionally gotten a sore AT when playing around with my seat height, it's a fairly common thing if your saddle is a bit too high.

I don't think you mentioned what pedals you came from, but it's possible that you're extending just a wee bit more than you used to with the new pedals..try lowering your saddle a couple mm, and see if things improve.

That almost invariably works for me when i get a sore AT.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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thanks people. yes, all valid points. i came off Time RXS, because they snapped! :) but i have a replacement pair of the new iCLIC so I will go onto them and see how it helps.

i think there is merit to the speedplay observations...yes, the platform is "theoretically" the cleat size, and it does kind of feel that way. but if you have a close look at when the shoe is engaged to the pedal, because of the round nature of the pedal body, it does encourage the shoe and cleat to rock around the axis a little...more so than say a Look or Time platform..

yes, my saddle height is a little higher due to the slightly lower stack height of the speedplay pedal, I should have perhaps come down a little but decided to stay where it was. saddle has even gone up a little...:eek: so its entirely possible this is contributing.

going to see my physio tomorrow, he is a very good cyclist himself and also skilled in bike setup, always good to get some professional help i think.
 
hubbard said:
thanks people. yes, all valid points. i came off Time RXS, because they snapped! :) but i have a replacement pair of the new iCLIC so I will go onto them and see how it helps.

i think there is merit to the speedplay observations...yes, the platform is "theoretically" the cleat size, and it does kind of feel that way. but if you have a close look at when the shoe is engaged to the pedal, because of the round nature of the pedal body, it does encourage the shoe and cleat to rock around the axis a little...more so than say a Look or Time platform..

yes, my saddle height is a little higher due to the slightly lower stack height of the speedplay pedal, I should have perhaps come down a little but decided to stay where it was. saddle has even gone up a little...:eek: so its entirely possible this is contributing.

going to see my physio tomorrow, he is a very good cyclist himself and also skilled in bike setup, always good to get some professional help i think.

Hmmmm, if your stack height is less, and instead of lowering the saddle slightly you raised it slightly, that means you have likely got the cleat farther forward, which would definitely stress the tendon. Also, the simply rotational freedom of the cleat can aggravate the issue. Two questions would be - do you wear orthotics, and do you use carbon soled shoes? If you use orthotics, well your physio will have lots to say. The question about carbon shoes also helps the stability.

Beyond clinical experience, I have also directly experienced calf pain when the cleats are too far forward.

Best of luck!
 
Mar 17, 2009
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no orthotics, my feet sit pretty nice and square which is good. yes, carbon soled shimano road shoes, nice and stiff. the change in stack height between speedplay and time is -1mm, so not a big amount.

i am putting the saddle height back down to where it was previously.
 
hubbard said:
no orthotics, my feet sit pretty nice and square which is good. yes, carbon soled shimano road shoes, nice and stiff. the change in stack height between speedplay and time is -1mm, so not a big amount.

i am putting the saddle height back down to where it was previously.

Of course, it could just be the change caused an aggravation. Your physio will likely go over eccentric loading exercises, such as heel drops, if the the itis is not too bad.