Dear Blog V XV - the blog strikes back

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Re: Dear Blog V XV - the blog strikes back

Postby Johnmcl7 » 05 May 2014, 01:39

Dear Blog,

The weather has been quite mixed here over the weekend with it being sunny and pleasant on Saturday followed by a lot of rain then cloudy and fairly warm today again followed by a lot of rain. Which was annoying as I managed to get my new pedals on this morning and took them out for a spin but while I much preferred the mechanism for clipping in and out, my right knee was still bothering me when clipped in. So I changed the cleats so it would take more movement to released them allowing for more movement and tried moving the right cleat forward. I'd had them full forward and gradually moved them back to see how it felt, it almost feels like it should be further back but I'm really not sure.

On the plus side these ones are easy to pedal without clipping in which is a bonus although annoyingly I had my first clipless fall when a car was driving unpredictably and I got caught off balance. Also just about got knocked down twice thanks to drivers who weren't paying the slightest bit of attention to what was going on around them (I had a bright red jacket with reflective markings) nor made any use of their indicators either.

I am thinking I maybe got a bit too carried away with what I spent on the pedals but my thinking was if I got cheaper ones I'd just dump them while at the current stage rather than persevering. I kind of wish I'd just stuck with toe clips but then you always wonder what the alternatives are like, the reason I'm not keen on going back to them is that I find the clipping in and clipping out much safer and easier particularly when setting off as at times it took a good few kicks to get the pedal round and my foot into the strap.

So any suggestions for better setting up the pedals would be appreciated..

John
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Re: Dear Blog V XV - the blog strikes back

Postby Johnmcl7 » 05 May 2014, 01:43

Dear Blog,

On a more positive note, I do have my front derailleur working properly again - it's incredible how very small changes can improve the bike from barely usable to working absolutely fine. This means I can now engage my smaller front chainring without issue as previously the shifter was superstiff as I couldn't get the cable tension right so it was mostly stuck in the big chainring. Fine most of the time on a road bike but it added an extra challenge to hill climbing which admittedly may have something to do with the knees being a bit sore.

John
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Re: Dear Blog V XV - the blog strikes back

Postby Fodder » 05 May 2014, 08:19

Dear Blog

Setting up pedals you say? The finer points will depend on your seat position and height, anatomical morphology, ankling angle and flexibility. BUT a good start point is to put the centre of the cleat level with the 1st metatarsophalangeal joint (big toe joint where it attaches to the foot). You can then start moving it backward. I have been told that recent research has shown cleat position makes little difference if any to power generation, so if you want to put it all the way back feel free. This may reduce the knee rotation and therefore symptoms if you do (complex biomechanics going on there, not enough space to explain!).

In terms of the left/right centring, sit on the bike and get someone to judge fi your ASIS (that's the bony bump on the front of your pelvis) is over the centre of your ankle when you are seated upright on the bike. This can be REALLY tricky to do without a jig, but a turbo trainer and spirit level are adequate normally. Use a plumb bob or laser level to ascertain if your ASIS and ankle are in line.

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Re: Dear Blog V XV - the blog strikes back

Postby matt » 05 May 2014, 12:06

Dear blog,
in my day, we just adjusted the seat hight!

Currently trying to resist titan fall and do some gardedning...
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Re: Dear Blog V XV - the blog strikes back

Postby robbo » 05 May 2014, 14:43

Dear blog,

Just mowed the lawn and had a slight attempt at some bush trimming. Might need a snooze before studying.
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Re: Dear Blog V XV - the blog strikes back

Postby Johnmcl7 » 05 May 2014, 22:40

Dear Blog,

Thanks Fodder, I was hoping for a technical explanation from yourself. The difficulty I'm finding is that I can't really tell if it's ok or not until I've put a few miles in and when I change again, it feels better for a bit then worse again. I took an allen key with me this evening to make adjustments during the ride, my simplistic thinking from the mountain bike where I drop the seat on downhill and put it back up again normally is that if my knees are sore on pedalling, put the seat up, if the back if my legs are sore then put it down. However the knee pain doesn't feel like that and someone checked my seat height for me and thought it was bang on however it felt a bit like my leg was stretching too far near the bottom of the stroke so I thought stuff it, go the opposite way and move the seat down slightly. That felt better than it had all night although there were only a couple of miles left making it difficult to judge although I've read a few comments now that sometimes it's recommended to lower the seat slightly if changing from a platform pedal because the pedal is effectively lower and because the cleat is recessed, the shoe also sits slightly lower.

I'm also wondering if part of the problem is I spend too much time standing on the pedals as I prefer pushing a high gear than sitting cruising in a low gear at a high cadence as I should. I ride almost entirely in a high gear on the mountain bike but then looking at the gear ratios which I'd think is harder work but then when I look at the gear ratios, the road bike is obviously much higher - the MTb's middle ring where I spend most of my time is 32 teeth I think whereas the road bike's chainring is 50. So perhaps some work on my riding style would help as well.

John
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Re: Dear Blog V XV - the blog strikes back

Postby Johnmcl7 » 05 May 2014, 22:47

Dear Blog,

Anyway, enough bike stuff and onto something completely random and different. Above the kitchen sink beside the window frame, this little stripy spider made a really impressive little funnel web which he would sit at the entrance of with his legs attached to strands of silk although if you went too close he would go and hide at the bottom. He made an extension to the side to change his skin and then extended his funnel out the way but then one days a relative wiped it all away and the little spider was gone.

Several days later however he returned and produced the same web again much to our surprise, he'd never caught anything so he wasn't in a prime location. Around a week later he did finally catch a fly despite it being the same size as him and he proceeded to suck it dry and pull it to pieces. He was then standing outside his web that night and the next morning he was gone, later on that day another spider moved in and started making extensions.

We gave the original little spider a few days to come back but there's been no sign of him so since the new one is a bit of a brute by comparison and only comes there overnight, we decided to just wipe the place clean. It sounds of no consequence but it's odd how much I miss the little spider just to see what he was up to each day in his little home :(

John
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Re: Dear Blog V XV - the blog strikes back

Postby Tappy » 06 May 2014, 09:43

Dear Blog,

John - U ok, hun? ;)

Saying that, I'm about to do a 'u ok hun' post... It's Eurovision time! 20:00 on BBC3 tonight, we have the first Semi-final. Snacks and wines are being purchased and I have tomorrow morning booked off.

Although it's Thursday's second Semi-final that should be of interest because of Austria's entry, Mr or Mrs Wurst...

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Re: Dear Blog V XV - the blog strikes back

Postby Fodder » 06 May 2014, 15:40

Dear Blog

You are correct John, the saddle will come down about 5ish mm going from platform to cleats (spd, not plates). Working out the base saddle position in relation to the bottom bracket is quite technical if done properly, however a basic rule is 5-10 degrees of knee flexion at the base of the pedal stroke (which is when the crank arm is roughly in line with the seat tube, depending on the saddle rail position). This is difficult to do without either a motion capture device or turbo trainer and assistant because when you are static your ankle angle may be very different to when you are pedalling.

As a rough guide for cadence, MTB hardtails should be aiming for about 60-70 rpm (slightly higher on a full sus), Road bikes 90-120 rpm. If you are a "cranker" you will be stressing your knees a lot and I would advise moving the cleats back on the shoe to minimise the strain on your Achilles and ankle stabilising muscles.

You may find a difference in crank lengths between your road and mtb, the road being shorter to make the higher cadences easier. It may be worth trying a set of cranks on your MTB that are 2.5 - 5mm shorter, this would minimise the knee flexion and put less load on your patellofemoral joint (knee cap slidy bit).
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Re: Dear Blog V XV - the blog strikes back

Postby Johnmcl7 » 06 May 2014, 20:04

Dear Blog,

You're obviously right about needing instruments, I was actually thinking of trying to mount the Garmin camera on a spot that could record my pedalling and pedal position so I could see where I'm going wrong or show it to others. I was thinking as I cycled home on the road bike for lunch I'd swap for the hybrid to give myself a few days to recover then try another proper run on the clipless pedals at the weekend. Something I did notice on the flat pedals is that when I was sitting comfortably on the pedals I have my right foot further from the crank than where it would be on the clipless pedal (where the mount is close to the crank) with heel angled slightly in (I caught the chainstay a few times last night, I guess this is why) while my left foot (which I've not had any issues with on the knee) was almost touching the crank.

But I'm thinking now after being on the flat pedals which feel great that I'll get just get a new pair of straps and put my clipped pedals back on to see how they feel (I gave the straps away rather annoyingly to my brother to force myself to commit to the SPD's at the time). If they're fine with no knee issues I think I'll just stick with them, if not I'll perhaps give flats a go. Another option is to swap the clipless pedals onto the mountain bike and the flats onto the road bike to see if I get the same issues on the mountain bike. As I like the feel of the egg beaters and can pedal without being clipped in, I think I'd be fine with them on the MTB.

Anyway, onto something different entirely...what is this add-on crap with Amazon? I took out Prime as I wanted to be able to buy items under £10 without having to add more items which would inevitably cost me more if adding items I didn't really need. I wanted to buy a pair of three quid pedal straps and a book which came to £9.50 odd which I thought was fine but it won't let me take the straps through to the checkout as the order value is under £10? The book on its own at around £6.50 is fine though because it's not badged as add-on I guess.

John
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Re: Dear Blog V XV - the blog strikes back

Postby Johnmcl7 » 06 May 2014, 21:06

Tappy wrote:Dear Blog,

John - U ok, hun? ;)

Saying that, I'm about to do a 'u ok hun' post... It's Eurovision time! 20:00 on BBC3 tonight, we have the first Semi-final. Snacks and wines are being purchased and I have tomorrow morning booked off.

Although it's Thursday's second Semi-final that should be of interest because of Austria's entry, Mr or Mrs Wurst...



Dear Tappy,

I'm not sure what's more disturbing, that image you've just posted or your increasingly surreal tweets on the Eurovision tonight :shock:

John
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Re: Dear Blog V XV - the blog strikes back

Postby robbo » 06 May 2014, 21:59

Dear Blog,

Gouge my eyes out please! I'm glad I haven't been on Twitter for a while too, now.
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Re: Dear Blog V XV - the blog strikes back

Postby Tappy » 07 May 2014, 08:53

Dear Blog,

Wasn't everyone on twitter talking about it? I think you must be following the wrong people...
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Re: Dear Blog V XV - the blog strikes back

Postby Johnmcl7 » 07 May 2014, 12:11

Dear Blog,

I think it's safe to say it's not us that are following the wrong people :lol:

John
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Re: Dear Blog V XV - the blog strikes back

Postby EviL Ras » 07 May 2014, 17:27

Dear blog,

Evidently i need to be on tappy's twitter! I too pertake of the eurovision fun!
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