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james thompson

Re: Adam Story. I am a bike fitter working with a Morton's Neuroma client. We've had a local machinist create an elongated Speedplay platform (longer than the SP aftermarket extender). We'll let you know. My question to Joe (awesome Paleo Diet book btw) is: how does mid-sole cleating affect knee plumb line (move it back or forward, keep it the same?) James T Gainesville FL Bike Works of Jonesville

Joe Friel

James T--Knee stays the same relative to pedal.

Thomas McDaniel

I am in the middle of getting a paper together for publication, but it will likely be a year before this happens....snails pace is the way to journal publication! "The affects of cleat placement on muscle recruitment strategies of cycling". Much cleat placement research is unfortunately fairly invalid due to too many uncontrolled variables, and too many assumptions made. The research is usually conducted by mechanical engineers with no physiology background or physiologists with no biomechanical background, and neither group have bike fitting backgrounds.
But in saying this, I must also be critical of my research in that it was a cross-sectional design and not allowing for a full adaptation period. But there is good reason for making the leap!! Regardless of metabolic responses that riders get so caught up in (which I will be addressing with PhD work, but will likely be minimal) , there are more important concepts to consider that are long-term consequences of traditional cleat locations. Most of my fit colleagues simply refuse to acknowledge this type of thinking.
Bicycles are inherently not designed to optimize the motor programs instilled in humans, nor due current cleat-pedal interfaces facilitate the most optimal anatomical function of the musculature around the hip, knee and foot. As a result, we form movement patterns that negatively affect our day-to-day lives that most of us never notice. While this will be the future of my PhD and I cannot spill the beans just yet, what I will say is the kinetic-chain response of current models promotes quad overuse. We simply cannot access the most beneficial muscles of our bodies with current cleat locations.
I believe there is a significant lack of acknowledgement of how the nervous system affects bike fit, but will be dedicating my life to pursuing not just comfort and performance, but long-term implications of muscle imbalances and negative influences on the nervous system, caused by our ignorance of it's relationship to the bike.
Thank you for all your contributions to cycling!!
Thomas McDaniel M.S. Biomechanics

Joe Friel

Thomas--That's great. I'm glad to see that someone is interested in pursuing this topic with research. Much needed. I'm still surprised that no shoe companies have offered such a model. I look forward to reading it some day. Please let me know if I can be of help in some way.

Götz Heine

Great news, Thomas!
Being the originator of the arch cleat position for modern cycling shoes I would be very much interested to read about your findings. Please give us a hint where to find it now, more than a year after you announced your efforts. Until your paper is published I will continue to claim that all placing your cleats midfoot does it simply extends the feet's downstroke phase so to transfer the thigh's forces l o n g e r to the respective pedal(see: http://www.biomac.biz/die-y-serie/tretpiktogramm/ ). (Cycling) Work is a product of (downstroke) force and (circular) distance. So those who use arch cleats can apply their forces l o n g e r and will of course need l e s s muscular (peak) effort to do so. Therefore they will tire l a t e r than those who pedal with their metatarsals above the pedal spindle battling with the effects of a shorter, harder stroke.
Back in the 90s when I came forward with this and eventually received Patent's Grant for cycling shoes in Europe I didn't figure it could be so hard to spread this message. Instead, today I know that it can take ages until the evident eventually gets accepted. SHIMANO, SIDI, SPECIALIZED or any other industry are not to blame as what they sell is what the customer wants. Its himself who despite a decade of evidence spread by guys like Joe, Steve Hogg asnd others doesn't buy from those who offer what it takes to get more out of their ride.

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