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 illustration below 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.
Interested in expanding your knowledge? Bike retailers and shop employees with a QBP account have access to educational resources within the U of Q Training Library. Get started now.