PDA

View Full Version : spacers for mtb pedal cleats


Walter
12-21-2013, 10:46 AM
I quit riding mtb's 20+ years ago due to some spinal issues. I am now 2 years post-fusion of three vertebrae and the spine is doing so well that I have ordered a mountain bike.

I also have a 1/2" leg length discrepancy due to a childhood bout with polio (yes...I am an orthopedic mess!). I use a spacer under my road bike cleats to take up much of the difference and life is good.

Road cleats seem to be much larger than the mtb cleats I have seen and the installation of a spacer is no problem since the cleat is large enough to still make full contact with the pedal surface (spacer is between the cleat and the sole of the shoe).

Are any of you familiar with mtb pedals that use a larger cleat?

Thanks!

djg21
12-21-2013, 01:22 PM
I quit riding mtb's 20+ years ago due to some spinal issues. I am now 2 years post-fusion of three vertebrae and the spine is doing so well that I have ordered a mountain bike.

I also have a 1/2" leg length discrepancy due to a childhood bout with polio (yes...I am an orthopedic mess!). I use a spacer under my road bike cleats to take up much of the difference and life is good.

Road cleats seem to be much larger than the mtb cleats I have seen and the installation of a spacer is no problem since the cleat is large enough to still make full contact with the pedal surface (spacer is between the cleat and the sole of the shoe).

Are any of you familiar with mtb pedals that use a larger cleat?

Thanks!

What size spacer do you use? I'd assume that you could fashion a 1/4" spacer for most MTB pedals fairly simply irrespective of the size of the cleat.

You could also go with a custom shoe. I'd bet D2 could make a shoe for you that addresses your leg length issue so it needn't be addressed with a shim.

Walter
12-21-2013, 05:25 PM
What size spacer do you use? I'd assume that you could fashion a 1/4" spacer for most MTB pedals fairly simply irrespective of the size of the cleat.

You could also go with a custom shoe. I'd bet D2 could make a shoe for you that addresses your leg length issue so it needn't be addressed with a shim.

My spacer is about 3/8" thick.

The issue becomes the size of the spacer and keeping the sole in contact with the pedal face. When I used SPD MTB pedals years ago, the spacer was the size of the small cleat, the sole of the show did not contact the pedal and the small area of contact made the shoe flex and caused foot discomfort.

One my road pedals with the larger cleats, the spacer is the size of the cleat and the cleat still makes full contact (and over a larger area) with the pedal face just like it does w/o a spacer.

D2 probably could fixe the issue with a thicker sole, but the shoe ends up much heavier and costs more than $1000.

sales guy
12-21-2013, 05:55 PM
I've done for other people cutting another set of cleats down so it's just the center section. It's worked well for others in the past.

Dustin
12-21-2013, 06:05 PM
Speedplay frog cleats are slightly larger than SPDs, but can be harder to get to work with shims than other systems.

You can buy a commercially made SPD shim that is 3mm, but beyond that you'll have to rig something up.

A cobbler might be able to glue extra tread on both sides of the shimmed cleat to help with stability issues. I'm thinking of going that route, but my SPD shim is only 4mm. I read of some guy who has experience doing this with Sidis, but can't remember the details.

djg21
12-21-2013, 06:26 PM
My spacer is about 3/8" thick.

The issue becomes the size of the spacer and keeping the sole in contact with the pedal face. When I used SPD MTB pedals years ago, the spacer was the size of the small cleat, the sole of the show did not contact the pedal and the small area of contact made the shoe flex and caused foot discomfort.

I've had to dremel away tread material from Sidi shoes to make use of Crank Bros Candies. I hated the pedals, but they may work for you. They have a wider platform than SPDs,

D2 probably could fixe the issue with a thicker sole, but the shoe ends up much heavier and costs more than $1000.

This may not be correct. I'm not sure what your physiological issues are, but there may be a correction that can be made without adding to the sole. You might want to call. The shoes are expensive, but if that's what it takes to ride comfortably, I'd think the cost might be justified given the amount you undoubtedly paid for your bike.

Btw, you can buy 3mm shims here. Assuming that the range of motion of your ankle is unimpaired, a 3mm shim may be sufficient on an MTB.

http://www.bikefit.com/c-3-leg-length-shims.aspx


Posted from my iPad using Tapatalk.

Dustin
12-21-2013, 08:14 PM
Forgot to add: the shoe discomfort caused by having a pedal not in contact with the shoe sole can be mitigated somewhat with an uberstiff shoe like Bont.

NeauDL
12-22-2013, 07:55 AM
I have a leg length discrepancy as well, and I ride in technical terrain. Here are three relatively simple and cheap ideas: First, use platform pedals. BMX riders don't need no stinking cleats. Compensate for leg length discrepancy by moving your foot back on the shorter leg side. Second, get a shorter crank arm for the shorter leg. Seated, you won't notice anything odd. Standing, you might, but it's not as strange as you think. Your LBS may even have one lying around which you could try. Third, use road shoes which accommodate both SPD and three-hole cleats and use Shimano adapter SH-85 as a shim. It will add about 5 mm thickness to the sole. If you're lucky, you could try all these ideas for less than $20 each.

D2shoe
12-23-2013, 09:31 AM
The way I deal with leg length discrepancy for MTB shoes is to built the lift into the shoe. The lift is placed between the upper and the sole. If you just build up under the cleat like you would for a road shoe the pedal will be unsupported by the sole and be very unstable. By building the lift into the shoe you maintain the cleat / sole / pedal interface.

Straz
12-23-2013, 09:52 AM
Don, do you add lifts to MTB shoes as a service?

I'm in the same situation as others in this thread. Have built 3/8" shims for SPDs and not enjoyed the performance or walkability. Would much rather have a pair of new MTB shoes modified with a lift.

Tim

D2shoe
12-23-2013, 10:18 AM
Here is a picture to better show how it works. The blue area is where the lift goes. The sole is very walk-able.
Give me a call if you would like to talk about it. I have done lifts this way for many people with bigger lifts than you use. Chris Carmichael included.