CCM Diary: More Bike Tuning


Today is Labor Day.  Ruth wanted to take advantage of the time off and the nice, sunny day to go for a bike ride.   Today would normally be just a strength training day, but I’m always happy to adjust my plans to spend more time doing things with Ruth, so I agreed to go along.  Besides, she wanted to ride to Lexington to get pizza for lunch.

I used the extra ride to try out a few more adjustments to my pedal configuration.  First, I swapped my thick and clunky New Balance 884 shoes for the much thinner pair of Altra zero-drop shoes I had sitting in the closet.  That let me tighten the straps on my toe clips while still leaving room for me to get in and out of the clips easily.

I added the additional lateral wedge to my left shoe that I decided to try after yesterday’s ride.  Then I took another look at my right side.  My right foot has a forefoot varus (sole tilted in) when the ankle is flexed, but a forefoot vargus (sole tilted out) when the ankle is extended.  This is really difficult to deal with when I’m running, but since my foot never extends fully when I’m pedaling, the forefoot varus causes more problems while I’m on my bike.  I added a small medial wedge to the right foot to compensate.

I realized on the ride out to Lexington that maybe the Kneesaver pedal extender on my left crank was overkill.  The Kneesaver definitely helps on the right side, but my left foot doesn’t splay out as much as my right.  Luckily, the combination coffee shop/bike shop in Lexington was open in spite of the holiday.  They had the wrenches I needed to remove the left extender.

Once my left pedal was back in its original position, I didn’t need quite as much of a lateral wedge so I took out the shim I’d added at the start of the ride.

After the changes, my setup seemed much more comfortable on the ride back, but that may have been in part because we were cruising gently downhill on the bike path most of the way home.  I’ll give it a better test on Wednesday.

(strength; 11.6 mi. bike; 147.5#)

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