Mark Cavendish is well known in the cycling world for being one of the greatest sprinters and arguably one of the best cyclists of all time. With 48 grand tour victories, 30 in the Tour de France alone, and winning the 2011 Road World Championship, his accolades are undeniable.
BikeFit products are used throughout the cycling world and these pictures of Mark’s new kicks complete with Cleat Wedges clearly show the need to adjust for foot tilt among the pro ranks.
Will Cleat Wedges help you win the Tour de France or at least a few stages?
The BikeFit legal department was crystal clear to us that we can’t imply a direct correlation between using Cleat Wedges and attaining grand tour victories. At the same time, it’s extremely difficult to achieve your best performance when you experience bike discomfort. Many cyclists find relief from foot pain, knee pain, and even saddle discomfort by using wedges.
Find your Cleat Wedge #
Measure foot tilt with the Foot Fit Calculator and your Android phone! All you need is a friend to help, and you can quickly find out if Cleat Wedges will improve your ride and how many you require.
If you don’t have an Android phone, see our blog article for more help on discovering foot tilt and the importance of cleat wedges.
We are excited to announce our new plastics and packaging for 2018! Many of you may have seen these in your shipments already, but we’ve revamped plastic and packaging throughout the line to provide you with the best functioning (and looking) bike fitting products on the planet.
Unlike some other knock-offs in the industry, we insist on using high-density plastic for our 3mm Leg Length Shims(seen above). For 2018, we decided to step away from the black on black on black on black and spice up our products with a smattering of color. Our Universal (all 3-hole applications) and Look Keo models are a beautiful cobalt blue and our Speedplay and SPD/MTB 2-hole models sport a ferocious lavender. Yes, we described lavender as ferocious.
Beyond the plastic itself, we’ve also changed our packaging across the BikeFit product line to provide not only a strong visual of our shims, wedges, and extenders but also to aesthetically display products in fitting studios, bike shops, pain caves and indoor cycling facilities. Look for our new packaging at your local shop or on our site!
You may already know that BikeFit sells the most amazing saddle fitting and sales tool on the planet. Yet, many potential customers ask us the same thing, do you mount the Saddle Changer directly to the customer’s bike?
The answer is yes and no.
You can mount the Saddle Changer to a customer’s bike and we do have many successful clients who’ve used this methodology with fabulous results. The problem: stack height is a considerable factor since the Saddle Changer adds 9cm, and you have to adjust the seat post to the original position after fitting. This works (although it adds time) if you are doing a bike fitting, but the Saddle Changer provides a perfect opportunity for customers to demo multiple saddles in seconds. Why utilize it only for fits when you can display and use it daily?
Therefore it works great for fitting, but we’ve found that customers find much more lucrative and less tedious applications.
Super Ingenious Saddle Changer Mounting Methods
Method 1: The Indoor Cycle
Indoor cycles are ubiquitous in the industry and if you are looking to save some money, there are used ones floating through cycling message boards. If you want to go Cadallic, high-level indoor bikes measure power while the customer searches for that elusive perfect saddle. Bonus points for the pro touch–matching your indoor bike knobs to your tool chest (see pic above) satisfies the detail-oriented personality of the fitter.
Method 2: The Fit Bike
You already made an investment in a fancy fit bike, why not capitalize on it as a sales tool? Although a fit is a perfect time to discover saddle bliss, a fit bike with the Saddle Changer attached and strategically placed in front of a plethora of seats provides customers with a custom saddle-testing experience!
Long of the short, there are many applications for mounting the Saddle Changer and there’s technically not a “wrong answer.” This article is meant to help you obtain the most out of your investment.
Feel free to send us your Saddle Changer photos (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll post them on social media!
At BikeFit, we’re always searching for avenues to increase efficiency. In this case, we listened to the myriad of Bike Fitters who inquired on whether we could create a 2-Degree Cleat Wedge. Lining up wedges and installing screws increases in difficulty as you increase wedges. You asked and we listened. After a year of development and testing, voila! Look 2-Degree Wedges!
These new wedges decrease installation time and reduce the chance of slippage apparent with multiple wedges. They are also undeniably cooler than our previous wedges. Look 2-Degree Cleat Wedges are compatible with Look, Shimano SPD/SL, Time and most 3-hole cleat configurations.
How to tell the Difference Between 1° and 2-Degree Cleat Wedges
Our 1° and 2° Cleat Wedges are incredibly similar, but we’ve added clear labeling to help you discern them from one another. The new shape is much more durable for cleat installation and the rigors of hard rides. 1 or 2 Degree, Cleat Wedges are necessary for most cyclists.
Look 2-Degree Wedges are available now in 20-packs. At this time they are only available at your local BikeFit Pro or if you are a bike fitter or a bike shop, you must be logged in and have a wholesale account at www.bikefit.com to view these products.
One of the most important and overlooked aspects in bike fittings is the tilt and angle of the forefoot. Studies show that 96% of all cyclists are misaligned in their connection to the bicycle, decreasing comfort and efficiency. Of these cyclists, most have what is known as a Forefoot Varus (the inside of the foot tilts upward). This causes a misalignment as soon as you clip into a pedal because the pedal is flat.
A simple tilt adjustment where the cleat/shoe meet can resolve the most common “hot spots” (your foot feels like there’s a flame underneath it). Cyclists frequently contact BikeFit complaining of discomfort or pain on the bottom, outermost part of their foot. The left illustration shows the location of the MOST common “hot foot” or foot discomfort. The right illustration shows the ideal even pressure across the entire ball of their foot. Cyclists often describe this as feeling better connected, more stable, even-feeling and so on. The illustration below portrays the pressure created from the inherent tilt in most feet.
Measuring Foot Tilt
You can look at your own feet (with help) and see why there is often more pressure toward the outside of the foot. Kneel with on a chair and have someone hold a book or ruler across the balls of your feet. Are they angled up toward the inside or up at the outer part of the foot? Forefoot tilt is common so it’s likely that you’ll notice it. There’s a simple solution to reduce the pressure and increase comfort on your bike rides.
Cleat Wedges are the Answer
Cleat Wedges are stackable to fine-tune your unique forefoot tilt. They are specially designed to “fill the gap” between the natural tilt of the foot and the flat pedal. Consequently, they allow your foot to remain closer to its innate position, not change it.
How to Measure Foot Tilt and Find the Correct Number of Cleat Wedges
Option #1 BikeFit Pro
BikeFit Pros use a ForeFoot Measuring Device to discover foot tilt and recommend the number of Cleat Wedges needed to provide optimal comfort. These trained bike fitters not only use manual tools but also employ a video capture BikeFit app to aid in bike fitting.
BikeFit Pros also provide extensive knowledge in fitting to optimize not only your foot/pedal interface but also your complete bike position. Visit our BikeFit Locator to find a pro near you!
Option #2 Foot Fit Calculator
The Foot Fit Calculator App for Android allows you to easily determine foot tilt and the wedges required to compensate with our free app. All you need is a friend to help take a quick picture of your feet and a comfortable to chair to kneel on. The app even helps link you back to the BikeFit website to either find a local dealer or to purchase them via our website.
Do you have more questions about foot tilt? Feel free to contact us!
KIRKLAND, WASHINGON – November 7th, 2017 – BikeFit, the worldwide leader in bike fitting products, releases the all-new Stem Sizer. It delivers a simple, quick, and precise way to determine ideal bicycle cockpit position and optimize rider comfort and performance.
“Over years of fitting, we noticed that the time to properly adjust stem size, the ability to fit numerous bikes, and working in crowded spaces are issues when using a sizing stem,” said BikeFit Founder Paul Swift.” So, at BikeFit, we attacked these issues. No other adjustable stem adjusts as quickly or fits both 1 1/8 and 1 1/4 steerer tubes. The Stem Sizer is also easy to adjust, with fewer tools, in the tightest of bike/stem/handlebar configurations.”
The Stem Sizer features a top-access, single bolt clamp for easy handlebar changes. Stem length adjustments are performed by a revolutionary push-button feature that allows the user to easily slide the handlebars to multiple lengths. It provides a superior stem length range adjustment from 60-145mm in 5mm increments and accommodates 1-1/4” and 1-1/8” threadless fork steerer tubes via the provided attachments. The Sizing Stem also showcases smooth stem angle adjustments within +/- 30 degrees and is compatible with the majority of handlebar sizes including 31.8mm. BikeFit also reports that it is fully functional without interference on uncut fork steerer tubes, when used on new bike builds.
The complete kit includes a custom BikeFit carry case. It is the perfect tool for fitters, clinicians, bike shops and cyclists with a “have-it-all” shop in their garage. The BikeFit Stem Sizer retails for $249.99.
Finally! We heard your concerns about our In-The-Shoe(ITS) Heel Wedges slipping and received the pictures of them electrical taped or duct-taped to the insoles of cycling shoes. Consequently, we’ve changed the formula to improve grip between the Heel Wedge pieces. Easier to install and remove, and they remain in place in the shoe.
Our new ITS Heel Wedges have all the benefits of the old ones:
Stackable in 2, 3 or 4-degree increments.
They do not raise the heel out of the shoe.
Great for that “in-between” foot tilt solution (when you are not sure if you need 2 or 3 wedges).
Allows foot to remain in its natural position in the shoe.
Now with grippier material.
Shoe Fit Remains the Same:
Other heel wedges create volume in the shoe, which in turn, affects your fit. The last thing you want is to attempt to correct for a problem and create another one. Our heel wedges naturally offset the heel tilt and allow you to stack the wedges in order to find the perfect fit.
When you need Heel Wedges:
Your heel or calcaneus is curved.
You may need a second ITS-F Wedge but it could increase shoe volume.
You feel pressure under your 1st metatarsal or bone behind the big toe.
Most cycling shoes are designed to work with clipless pedals and feature holes drilled in the soles for attaching cleats. The bicycle cleat engages with the pedals to create a secure connection. Cleats are supplied with your pedals, and they should match the type of cycling shoes, whether road-specific or off-road/multi-use-specific.
Some cycling shoes are drilled to accept both 3- and 2-hole bicycle cleat designs, but most will accept only one or the other. Shoes made for use with 2-hole systems cannot be modified to use a 3-hole cleat. The 4-hole Speedplay® pedal system can be adapted to fit 3-hole shoe styles. There are a few shoe brands/specific models drilled with 4-hole Speedplay-specific bolt pattern.
What’s the difference in functionality?
The 2-hole system is commonly known as the SPD system (SPD = Shimano ® Pedaling Dynamics). The 2-hole system can be used for all types of riding, including road cycling, mountain biking, touring and commuting. When paired with some shoes, the recessed cleat design allows easier walking. Most off-road racing, where a mud shedding cleat design offers an advantage, is where a small two-hole cleat is popular. There is a road-specific version known as “SPD-SL” (3-hole bolt pattern). Get SPD Cleat Wedges.
The 3-hole system is also known as the Look-style system (for the pioneering manufacturer/brand, Look Cycles). The 3-hole system is most often used for road cycling because it offers a stable platform for energy transfer while riding. The soles of many performance oriented shoes are often made more for riding than walking with stiff soles and little tread. The larger cleat design incorporates a three-fastener connection, which is much more secure connection than with two fasteners like the ones found with the 2-hole type. Popular brand names of 3-hole bicycle cleats are; Look ®, Shimano SL, Time ® Road and others. Get Look Cleat Wedges.
The 4-hole system is associated with the Speedplay® pedal/brand. Speedplay design has the clasping mechanism on the cleat, rather than on the pedal, like with SPD and Look systems. In this system, the shoes are made more for riding than walking. The system with a four-fastener connection, generally offers more adjustability options in the foot/pedal connection, often making it a favorite of bike fitters. We offer these in both the Walkable™ style (shown below) and regular road cleat style.
Please feel to e-mail us with any questions regarding how your pedal/cleats fit with your wedges. Contact us!
As long as you are talking about BikeFit branded wedges, this is not one wedge against another. Both of the wedge styles offered from BikeFit work extremely well. Each wedge, however, has its place. In most cases, it’s preferential to use the Cleat Wedge.
When to Use In-the-Shoe Wedges
1.) Cleats not compatible with Cleat Wedges
The In The Shoe (ITS) Wedge often is a “fill in” product for types of cleats that are not compatible with Cleat Wedges like Crank Brothers. However, Crank Brothers provide a shoe shield (seen on the left) where you can use Cleat Wedges with their cleats.
2.) Hyper-Mobile Feet
A hypermobile foot would be a good place to use an ITS in combination with a Cleat Wedge. This type of foot needs more support. A more rigid foot tends to be more responsive with less wedging and the Cleat Wedge is a better solution for most rigid feet. This also may be a great option for those who have room in their shoe and would not be affected by the change in volume inherent with the addition of In The Shoe Wedges.
In-The-Shoe Wedges are also great for diagnostics. If you are looking to determine the effects of wedging on cycling mechanics, ITS Wedges provide the ability to make quick changes. This also holds true if you are testing out comfort but do not want to take the time to remove your cleats, add cleat wedges, and realign (time saver). We should mention that this is usually a temporary change. Once the comfort or mechanics are confirmed, the first choice to correct your foot’s natural angle/tilt is almost always cleat wedges.
4.) Fine Tuning
In-The-Shoe Wedges also offer a fine-tuning option for cyclists “in-between” wedge levels or it is tough to tell if 2 cleat wedges or 3 cleat wedges is the better solution. In other words, if 2 or 3 cleat wedges help correct your mechanics and reduce foot pain, try using 2 cleat wedges and add an ITS as the 3rd wedge. Go out on a ride and spend some with the ITS in the shoe and some time with it in your back pocket. Over a period of time, you will usually discover the preferred amount of cleat wedging. For many cyclists, you may require more than 3 Cleat Wedges. Since we do not recommend using more than 3, the ITS wedge provides the extra bit of tilt needed!
Why are BikeFit’s 3-hole Leg Length Shims (LLS) longer and protrude out more than other brands? The additional length is by design.
Cleats are designed to be used on the bottom of a cyclIng shoe (directly in contact with the sole). Take the cleat away from the surface (sole) and it will no longer work as it was designed. Adding length to the front of the LLS is like adding shoe surface to assure the cleat/pedal interface will function properly.
Engagement problems may begin to occur when building up a 3-hole road cleat to as little as 3-4mm in height. Of course, the greater the stack height, the more likely an engagement issue will arise. The front of the cleat may dip into the pedal too far causing a delay or even the inability to clip into the pedal.
Same Size Leg Length Shims = Dangerous
Leg Length Shims of the same size and shape as the cleat contact surface force the cleat to dip too far into the pedal. If the LLS does not extend out in front of the cleat, the increased gap between the shoe and the cleat can cause problematic engagement.
BikeFit Protruding Leg Length Shims
BikeFit’s Leg Length Shims extend well beyond the front of the cleat providing a platform that allows the pedal to facilitate smooth and easy engagement.
Take a look at 2 more examples below of the size differences between BikeFit’s LLS vs. others.
The engagement problems may not occur every time you attempt to clip into the pedal, but it will eventually happen! It only takes one mishap at an inopportune time to cause significant concern. If you are looking for Leg Length Shim Saftey, BikeFit provides you with the best comfort and options.
“I have been indoor cycling (spinning1) for a year. I love it and do it 2 times a week sometimes 3 or more. Unfortunately, I’m experiencing problems with my SIDI bike shoes. I love them but I noticed well into the class that I started to develop a pain/soreness etc. As a result, I placed insoles in my SIDI bike shoes and they didn’t provide relief. The soreness resides on the outer side of both my right and left foot–more on the fattier side of your foot aligned. I’m desperately looking for a solution. If you could help me with some information I would really appreciate it. Thanks.”
Many customers contact us complaining of discomfort or pain on the bottom, outermost part of their foot. The illustration on the left below shows the location of the MOST common “hot foot” or foot discomfort. This seems to hold true with the description mentioned in the question.
The illustration on the right displays even pressure across the entire ball of their foot. Cyclists often describe this as feeling better connected, more stable, even-feeling…etc.
There are 2 ways to look at your own feet and see why there is often more pressure toward the outside of the foot.
With your knees on a chair, ask someone to hold a book or ruler across the balls of your feet. Are they angled up toward the inside?
Foot Fit Calculator
Download the FREEFoot Fit Calculator at the Google Play Store. The App will walk you through the process (you still need a friend to help) to measure your foot tilt. Not only will it help you determine foot tilt, but it will also provide you with the solution to your foot pain! This method is preferred to the manual measurement do to the ability to provide you with the number of cleat wedges you may need to alleviate foot pain.
BikeFit provides the solution for you called Cleat Wedges. They accommodate for your foot’s natural position by creating an angle on your cycling cleat(s) where it connects to the pedal. The number of Cleat Wedges on one shoe in no way dictates the proper number of Cleat Wedges you’ll need on the other shoe.
Each Cleat Wedge contains one degree of slope (or angle) and can be stacked based on your needs (see below for an example of “stacking”).
You also mentioned the insoles you tried did not provide relief. That does not mean your insoles are bad but, insoles rarely (if ever) address the tilt of the foot as described above. Consequently, SIDI bike shoes are not the culprit. Rather (from what you just learned), cyclists experience foot pain in most cycling shoes.
The new BikeFit manual “When the Foot Meets the Pedal” is the foundation for every good bicycle fit. This comprehensive manual teaches you the foot/pedal interface and beyond through rich content and descriptive graphics. This is a “must have” for any fitter regardless of their education or history in bike fitting.
From Max Testa, MD:
Over 30 years ago during my Sports Medicine Fellowship, I was told that you cannot assess a cyclist’s performance or injury without looking at the bike fit. Since then, I have rarely evaluated a cyclist in clinic without checking her/his position on the bike. With practice, I also learned that the foot-pedal interface is a key factor for a successful bike fit.
With their new BikeFit Manual, “When the Foot Meets the Pedal,” established bike fit experts Paul Swift and Dr. Katrina Vogel have completed another step in their effort to educate on the applied science of bike fitting. This easy-to-read, well-illustrated book condenses a lot of information about the proper assessment of the cleat’s positioning and alignment. The readers, from bike fit professionals to the more serious cyclists, will find a lot of valuable and practical information, supported by great illustrations that take them step-by-step from the basics to the advanced understanding of the topic.
I strongly recommend the reading of this book. It will be a fun and productive experience.”
Max Testa, M.D. Intermountain LiveWell & Sport Performance Ctr, Salt Lake City, UT Chief Medical Official, BMC Racing professional cycling team, USA The manual is a standard component in the BikeFit Bicycle Fitting System™
Click here to get your copy of the BikeFit Manual today!