The Bike Fitting Mega-Thread


Awesome, @ollie252. Congrats and I hope you can rip it up with the revised setup :smiley:


actually I do not want any roadbike-fit - I was looking for a guide to make a basic triathlon fit and this was the “best” I found. If you got any advice of another guide with suggested angles I would really appreciate that.


I haven’t watched this specific video, but his other ones are usually good.


I’m generally happy with my position, but during longer sustained efforts, particularly on climbs that last in excess of 15 minutes, I experience pain and tenderness on the underside of my left foot. The location is quite specific - on underside of the foot at the outside edge, next to the smallest two toes, where is the foot flexes and also about an inch or so running along the outside edge back towards the heel.

I have read a fair bit online about this specific issue and it’s been suggested I would possibly benefit from a cleat wedge to balance the load across the foot.

Any advice or experience in this matter would be appreciated, TR friends.


Have you tried moving the cleat fore/aft? I have a narrow sweet spot, but further aft is better than fore.


@mcneese.chad have you tried to use as a tool to analyze video? Seems useful to me.


I haven’t yet. I only just got an iPad, so I am planning to get it ant try it out. Up to now, my fitting is all manual with one exception.

We have the Trek saddle pressure mapper, and it is amazing. Really helpful for selecting and setting up saddles.

But i really want to try video. I will only use it if it is easy, gives good results and doesn’t distract in the overall fit process


Wedges make sense from the symptoms. We check the forefoot alight during our fits. That is the angle your front foot tilts. Usually high under the big toe side, to low on the small toe.

We use the Specialized in-shoe wedges, that are much easier to test for effectiveness. I’d suggest getting those for fast testing.

Cleat fore-aft may help too. What is your current cleat position on both shoes? Do you have equal size feet, or one longer?


Really appreciate the quick response! I haven’t come across the specialised insoles that you refer to. Are they specifically wedged sloping in one particular direction? Do you have a specific name that I would be able to search for? Thanks.

My cleats are positioned as far back as possible, which seems to work for me generally and offer no knee issues. Rather unusually, both of my feet are identical in length and width.

I seem to remember reading about specific cleat wedges in the past. Would these be called varus (sp?) wedges by any chance?


One option.

Varus (Orange) is what 85% of the public needs, and that is my bet based on your symptoms. These are thick under the ball of the foot and thin under the outside of the foot.

Valgus (Yellow) is the rest and not likely what you need. These are thin under the ball of the foot and thick under the outside of the foot.

You can and 1-3 shims, depending on the starting shoe and how much room you have in the toebox.

It sounds like your fore-aft position is good.


@mcneese.chad Are you supposed to be able to feel the pushing off through the first metatarsal, like in running? In that case having the clear as far aft as possible shouldn’t be optimal.


The old school approach was center of spindle under the ball of the foot (1st Met). This can lead to 2 main issues.

  1. Excessive pressure under the ball and on the sesamoid bones and gives a hot-spot.
  2. It can overload the calves since it is more of an “on the toes” setup.

New school is to split the difference between the 1st & 5th Met bones. This reduces the load in both the situations above.

As with any fitting idea, it’s not set in stone. It’s a starting point and should be adapted to each riders needs as appropriate.

I tend to like a more rearward cleat position the more time I spend there. That old method leads to tired calves for me, especially in high load situations.


I’ve read and tried all those theories on myself. As I’ve become more fit, my cleats have become more comfortable towards the 1st met. If I now try to push my cleats aft and lower my saddle, pedaling feels more like squatting instead of running, and the pedalling becomes more choppy, less fluid. When new to cycling, this would murder my calves, especially if the saddle was a touch too high so that I had to point with my toes in the bottom.

The black magic side of fitting, I guess…


Yes indeed. Every change impacts one or more other dimensions. And personal differences mean that no one solution works all the time. Much like the training side, fit is an evolving beast and I learn with each one.


Brilliant. I didn’t even know these wedges that fit under your insole existed. I thought that I had to get something that would go between the shoe and the cleat. I will order them and try them out and report back.

Would I be right in guessing that they will take some getting used to?


There are the wedges that fit between cleats too. Some prefer one or the other as they differ in ultimate use by a small degree. I love the in-shoe models because they are so easy to install and remove for testing and validation.

Depending on the severity of your varus condition, it may be noticeable right away. The real test will be a bit into a similar ride to when you currently have the issue, and to see if you still get or avoid that pain.


Thank you for helping me out @mcneese.chad.

Here are the videos:
3/4 View

3/4 View closer

Side View

Screen grab @ max extension

Saddle height measured from the center of the BB spindle (my inseam is 32.25 inches)

Bike geometry (size M55)

I checked the saddle and it is level (0°) fore/aft.

Let me know if I am missing anything. I am working on getting a plumb line to measure knee to spindle alignment.


I will flag this and fully review all the awesome stuff you added. Looks like plenty for me to digest and hopefully offer some guidance.

I will reply later tonight or early tomorrow with info. :smiley:


Thank you again @mcneese.chad :smiley_cat:


Excellent recording.

Not sure if you even asked for feedback on your fit, but I’d lower the saddle by 3-5 cm if I were you. You seem to be rocking in your hips, arching your back because of saddle discomfort (impaled by the saddle), pointing your toes, disengaging your muscles at the bottom of the pedal stroke due to over extension (looks/feels like a twitch in the knee).
If someone forced me to pedal with a saddle that high, I’d give up cycling immediately.

That’s my unasked for opinion!