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Old 05-20-2022, 11:01 AM
benb benb is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Eastern MA
Posts: 9,196
Common wisdom on calves & cleats

Where did this stuff come from?

The entire time I've been riding there has been a steadily building drumbeat towards more and more rearward cleat positions. I have certainly been influenced by this.

The latest shoes I got this year I upsized. My old shoes I'd get hotspots and some pain in general on longer rides. I think I started creeping the cleats back on those shoes over the years because of the common wisdom that I should be doing.

The new shoes I think I by default ended up with them further back.. the shoes are just built to support it. But I'm kind of realizing I'm getting MORE calf cramping with these. It's fine at a "Zone 1" type effort but at tempo and above it starts becoming a real issue and I think starts causing more weird stuff up the chain.

In general most of the last 20 years I've had like zero calf issues with clipless pedals. This is pretty dramatic I guess. This morning after I got home I basically moved the cleats almost all the way forward to the 1st MTP and I'm going to see what happens. A 1/2 mile test ride around the block made my whole pedal stroke feel dramatically better. More fluid for sure, though it may be this is a big enough change I will need to adjust the saddle. No time for a hard effort really but the difference was dramatic in a 30 second effort. Way above FTP with zero feeling of calf strain, and this was after I was already relatively cooked from a ride where my calves were cramping significantly trying to do some intervals.
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