Foot comfort is an important area of bike fitting. Many riders will seek out a bike fit when they experience issues such as hot spots, tingling, or other acute discomforts.
There are a lot of things that we can talk about when we are talking about feet issues on the bike. Depending on when someone has issues, there are some basic things to understand.
The role of the feet in pedaling
Once the hip placement is correct in the saddle, what we want the feet to do is to be directly under the hips. So, when you extend down, it is more or less like a piston working, so that downstroke is really powerful.
Hot spots, tingling, foot discomfort
Causes of foot discomfort such as hot spots or tingling can come from the feet, the hip placement, and sometimes the hand placement.
To start with, there are some things we can do in moving the cleats fore and aft that will affect your pedal stroke. This will aid in proper knee alignment. The knees will find their natural alignment when the hips and feet are stabilized. If someone is experiencing any aliments, cleat adjustments can help.
There are a few options out there. Footbeds can help stabilize the foot and allow the foot to relax better in the cycling shoe. Learn more about our custom footbeds.
Matching up the right shoe for the rider can help improve the experience on the bike. For instance, some riders need a larger toe-box or a wider shoe. Sometimes worn-out shoes can create a weak link and cause unwanted foot ailments.
Foot issues can stem from many different things. It's important to understand that each rider is unique so what might be the source of one person's foot pain, might not be for another. At Link Cycling, we have a systematic process of doing a bike fit that helps us to narrow down what is the issue to foot discomfort and make sure the rider is in the best possible position to help the feet to become more relaxed and work more efficiently to power the bike forward.
About Aaron Ross:
Aaron has 20+ years in the cycling industry with 12+ years as a master bike fitter. For 5-years he was the director of technology and general manager of the FASTER wind tunnel in Scottsdale. Aaron has extensive technical experience in aerodynamics and biomechanics and has worked with many Olympians, world champions, and Tour de France riders. Currently, Aaron lives in Laramie, WY with his wife, two young daughters, and three border collies. He is busy fitting athletes virtually, consulting cycling brands on product development, and working on building a new wind tunnel facility. Aaron has cycled all over Europe, was a Cat 2 Road and Cyclocross Racer and Pro Level Mountain Biker. He now enjoys riding a fixie, teaching his girls to ride, and taking adventures on his dirt bike.