Question: Arnie Baker’s recent article on saddle sores mentioned that a rider may experience discomfort on one side if a that leg is shorter. A possible fix is to shimmy the shoe of the shorter leg. Since this may apply to me I am curious if the shim should run the length of the shoe or just needs to be more in the area of the ball of the foot, where the foot contacts the pedal? Or does it not matter? Thanks. Bill S.
Coach Rick Shultz replies: There are 2 types of leg length discrepancies, (a) structural – someone has broken a bone and has healed short, and (b) functional – caused by muscle tightness, usually hip flexors causing the pelvis to be slightly higher on one side than the other.
What Bill is looking for is this
But, he can also use wedges back to back, plus they are a lot cheaper.
I am showing the Shimano / Look 3-bolt hole pattern, but manufacturers also make them for SPD as well as Speedplay.
But, (I know, a lot of BUTS), Bill should make sure he in fact does have a LLD. Just prior to testing for an LLD, Bill should do some stretches such as those that RBR published with Amy Schultz, PT, DPT, CSCS showing hip flexor stretches. Most cyclists hip flexors are so tight that a false-positive LLD can be shown and, once warmed up, goes away.
A quick and easy way to check is to:
1) Warm up stretching.
2) Have someone grab both feet and pull a little.
3) Measure ankle bone to ankle bone.
If there is a difference, then a shim might be in order.
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