Question: My left heel shifts inward toward the crank. It’s not a problem when pedaling easily, but when I increase the wattage, my heel hits the crankarm. I also get saddle sores on the left side only. Any ideas? — Jeremy P.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: Problems like this are very difficult to deal with via e-mail.
If you were getting a fitting and being video recorded while you ride the bike on a trainer or fit machine to analyze your pedal stroke, I think you might find that you’re reaching for the pedal with your right leg more than with your left. The result would be that your left leg compensates or “shortens” by rotating the foot, making your heel brush the crankarm.
This, in turn, may cause pelvic rotation on the saddle, creating abrasion and the sores you experience.
You may have what is called a functional leg-length inequality. Your legs may be the same length, but due to factors such as pronation, they are effectively different lengths when you’re pedaling. Cycling-specific orthotics might alleviate this problem.
Your best best is to get a professional bike fit and follow the recommendations ofthe fitter.