Day 251: Can float be adjusted on clipless pedals?

11 09 2010

I’ve recently come to the conclusion that the best thing I’ve bought for my road bike is clipless pedals. I was always a bit nervous about the thought of my feet being clipped in to the pedals, but once I tried them, I realized I’d worried for nothing. They’ve been easy to get used to, and the shoes are very comfortable (and don’t cause foot pain on long rides like regular tennis shoes used to do). As I mentioned a while ago, I bought Shimano M520 pedals and Mavic shoes. When I ride up a hill, there’s a noticeable improvement in my energy level and the ease of climbing when I make a point to “pull” on the upstroke, rather than “pushing” on the downstroke. I have to admit though, that I’m still a little nervous about getting back on the bike rollers with clipless pedals. But I know people do it all the time, so I need to just suck it up and do it.

Last week, I noticed something weird about my left foot when riding: the amount of float (lateral movement) seems to have suddenly increased. My right foot is still the same, but it seems that my left heel moves around significantly more than it used to. I’ve checked the cleat on the shoe and it’s not loose. I’ve adjusted the tension on the pedal, only to discover that doing so seems to affect only the ease of entry and exit into the pedal. I can’t figure out why only my left foot floats more and why it’s different than the week before. I’ve searched online and found out that as cleats wear and the pedals break in, the tension may need to be increased. But my cleats don’t seem to be worn and the pedals are only a couple months old.

Don’t get me wrong: I want to have float in the pedals. Since I have arthritis, I’m very aware and cautious about adjustments or changes that may cause problems with my knees, shoulders, hands or other joints. I don’t want to make the entry and exit tension higher, which I’ve heard can cause some difficulties in people with knee problems. Am I correct in understanding that the degree of float can’t really be adjusted?

If any of you cycling gurus can give me some advice or tips on this, I’d appreciate it.

On another note, it was a great day today (although VERY humid). I enjoyed a short 10-mile solo ride this morning, then after lunch Carrick and I took the dog to Bernheim Arboretum for a good hike. Tomorrow I may dig my rollerblades out of the closet and give those a try!

Today’s food journal:

Breakfast:
— 1 cup Greek yogurt (fat free) = 2 points
— 1/2 cup granola = 2 points

Lunch:
— Weight Watchers chicken mini wraps = 4 points
— 1 cup LF chocolate milk = 3 points

Dinner:
— 3 slices pepperoni pizza = 14 points (wow!)
— Iced tea = 0 points

Snack:
— Frozen fruit bar = 1 point

Exercise:
— 10 mile bike ride (50 minutes) = +3 points
— 35 minute hike at Bernheim Arboretum = +1 point

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

          _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( ) 

Thanks for visiting.

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