Author Topic: Numb Feet  (Read 10415 times)

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Offline bikerider2200

Numb Feet
« on: June 14, 2009, 12:56:37 am »
I just purchased a new Fuji touring bike and am wanting to get into some self-contained touring. On some of my longer rides I have been experiencing numb feet. I'm curently using platform pedals with toe clips and New Balance low top hiking boots. Has anybody else had this problem? Any idea's about shoes to use?

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Numb Feet
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2009, 06:57:53 am »
Yes, and other discomforts. If you are new to long hours pushing pedals, new pressures cause new stresses and sensations. Your feet should become used to it, and the numbness may disappear. Stop, take off the shoes, and massage the feet. There is no telling how long it might take for your feet to adjust to the pressure.

Offline dubovsmj

Re: Numb Feet
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2009, 09:23:42 am »
you should not be experiencing foot numbness this early on...in my opinion.  if when you bought bike you had it properly fitted (i.e. seat height, seat angle, handlebar pitch, proper sized bike frame, etc)  your body should be working as one with the bicycle.....not against it.  if your budget allows try investing in some clip-in pedals.  the cycling specific shoes are purposely solid and rigid as to prevent unnecessary flex/twisting/squirming/mashing of your foot with each downward and upward movement.  the shoes you are currentl using prob have too much "flex" in them causing unnecessary pressure points throughout your foot.  further, if your foot isn't properly aligned with the pedal (even by a few degrees) you'll start to get discomfort and numbness d/t an unnatural angle your leg/foot is moving.

the only time i've ever experienced foot numbness was the last couple weeks of biking the transam bike route...but that was after 4,200 miles or so of pushing the pedal.

hope that helps some!
michael

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Numb Feet
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2009, 09:01:16 pm »
I think you might be better served by going to clipless pedals.  On your down stroke, you will force your feet into the toe box.  Do this long enough, and you will interfere with blood flow and get numbness.  With clipless pedals, you can pull up, and restore circulation to your feet.  I have no idea how to accomplish that with platform pedals and toe clips. 

You might also investigate if your shoes properly fit your feet.  I used to ride with a pair of Look road shoes.  On Century rides, about 70 miles out, I would have to remove my left sock to make room for my foot in the shoe.  Looks are not know for being wide, and I have a wider foot on my left (the right one is not as wide).  Now I have Sidi shoes which come wider.  I no longer have that problem.
Danno

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Numb Feet
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2009, 12:05:40 am »
I agree with paddleboy--get clipped in with good-fitting shoes and you will enjoy other benefits, too, like developing power throughout the circle stroke.  On the bottom of the stroke, rotate your ankle around as if you are scraping mud off the bottom of your foot, which will result in a proper pulling up motion.  That said, I sometimes get numb feet anyway, which goes away with shifting position around a little, taking a break, etc.  I think most riders sometimes experience numb hands, too.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline bikerider2200

Re: Numb Feet
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2009, 04:48:44 am »
Thanks guys headed to the bikeshop this weekend

Offline bogiesan

Re: Numb Feet
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2009, 11:47:29 pm »
There are two types of numbness: nerve impingement and circulation issues. You need to figure out which you're suffering before you go looking for solutions.

david boise ID
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline jrswenberger

Re: Numb Feet
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2009, 08:35:14 pm »
I think you might be better served by going to clipless pedals.  On your down stroke, you will force your feet into the toe box.  Do this long enough, and you will interfere with blood flow and get numbness.  With clipless pedals, you can pull up, and restore circulation to your feet.  I have no idea how to accomplish that with platform pedals and toe clips


Since most of us mere mortals don't really "pull up" as our pedals are coming back up, but rather just unweight them, what is different between releasing pressure with your foot trapped on the pedal vs releasing pressure with your foot free to move about as you need to. I really don't see how adapting a racing equipment mentality fixes problems of touring cyclists.

Jay
ACA Life Member 368

Offline bogiesan

Re: Numb Feet
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2009, 08:31:29 am »
> I really don't see how adapting a racing equipment mentality fixes problems of touring cyclists. <

I started  using clipless on my mountain bike and found a huge contribution to my climbing power and control over the bike. On my recumbent, the pull lets me climb with less fatigue and to put on short bursts on speed. Clipless pedals have much more going for them besides adding an upstroke but that's fodder for another thread. Physiologically, I don't see that a pull stroke changes circulation issues either. I hope the OP comes back and tells how a visit to the bike shop changed his situation. Additional anecdotal reflectgion on numb or tingley toes will contribute to the discussion.

david boise ID
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline jrswenberger

Re: Numb Feet
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2009, 01:08:39 pm »
> I really don't see how adapting a racing equipment mentality fixes problems of touring cyclists. <

I started  using clipless on my mountain bike and found a huge contribution to my climbing power and control over the bike. On my recumbent, the pull lets me climb with less fatigue and to put on short bursts on speed. Clipless pedals have much more going for them besides adding an upstroke but that's fodder for another thread. Physiologically, I don't see that a pull stroke changes circulation issues either. I hope the OP comes back and tells how a visit to the bike shop changed his situation. Additional anecdotal reflectgion on numb or tingley toes will contribute to the discussion.

david boise ID

I am actually a firm believer in using clipless pedal systems. Over the years, I've used most of the various versions out there. I wouldn't even think about riding off-road without my old Shimano 737s and the Look style is my all-time favorite when road riding. But for touring and commuting, I really enjoy the freedom to move my feet around and adjust the pressure points as I need. It also helps with the spontaneous situations that, for me anyway, are the highlights of being on the open road.

As I've never had a numbness or tingling problem while cycling, I really can't comment about specific remedies. I'd bet that a majority of touring cyclists do use a clipless system because they prefer this rigid connection. Personally, I've found this supposed benefit to be more marketing hype than actual need on a tour.

For some perspective, my first bike in the mid-60's was a Schwinn Sting Ray with a big banana seat and sissy bar on the back. I remember riding that thing everywhere, before it was stolen  :(, and returning to that kind of unclipped freedom has brought back a huge sense of freedom and joy to my riding.

Be safe and enjoy your rides,
Jay
ACA Life Member 368

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Numb Feet
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2009, 11:53:55 am »
I think you might be better served by going to clipless pedals.  On your down stroke, you will force your feet into the toe box.  Do this long enough, and you will interfere with blood flow and get numbness.  With clipless pedals, you can pull up, and restore circulation to your feet.  I have no idea how to accomplish that with platform pedals and toe clips


Since most of us mere mortals don't really "pull up" as our pedals are coming back up, but rather just unweight them, what is different between releasing pressure with your foot trapped on the pedal vs releasing pressure with your foot free to move about as you need to. I really don't see how adapting a racing equipment mentality fixes problems of touring cyclists.

Jay

When your feet are going numb because of impeded circulation, a couple of pedal strokes in which you pull up will improve circulation.

As for the joy of using platform pedals, it has never been there for me.  I like knowing that my feet are not going to go wandering off.    With my luck, my feet would wander off into spokes or a curb.

I see my feet going numb with toe clips for the same reasons they would go numb for clipless pedals.   

Danno

Offline DaveB

Re: Numb Feet
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2009, 01:31:53 pm »
Since most of us mere mortals don't really "pull up" as our pedals are coming back up, but rather just unweight them, what is different between releasing pressure with your foot trapped on the pedal vs releasing pressure with your foot free to move about as you need to. I really don't see how adapting a racing equipment mentality fixes problems of touring cyclists.

Jay
Unweighting the pedal is as good as pulling up as far as restoring circulation.  Clipless pedals allow you to unweight (or really pull up) without having your feet pull out of the straps or off of the pedals.  I started out with toe clips and straps and "touring shoes" in the mid-'80 and went to clipless pedals about 1992.  The improvement in foot and pedaling stability was dramatic and I never saw any reason to go back. 

A few weeks ago, I put my old clip-and strap-pedals on one bike for a short neighborhood jaunt.  I must have pulled my foot out of the clips at least five times in 1-1/2 miles.  I had forgotten how limiting clips-and-straps were and this was a real eye opener.  I'll never do that again. 

Offline litespeed

Re: Numb Feet
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2009, 06:31:32 pm »
I use Shimano MTB SPUD's with the cleats set as far back on the shoes as possible. I rarely suffer sore feet until I go over 80 miles in a day. I suspect that you would be well served with stiff-soled bicycling shoes - clipless or not. My brother-in-law can bicycle all day in sneakers but I find anything but dedicated bicycling shoes unbearably painful. Of course I have big, high-arched feet and a distorted right one. It was badly crushed when I was 23. They barely saved it. It's hard to be a gentleman when your feet hurt.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2009, 08:11:24 pm by litespeed »