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aka RossC
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bellullabob said:
I have recently read "The Bible" and started following Joel's blog, which have been pretty good. Latest posts have been about cleat position and was wondering what people here thought about it:



here is the original post from him:

https://www.trainingbible.com/joesblog/2007_01_01_archive.html

I wonder how this would affect mountain biking and bike handling?
I saw that blog post as-well. I couldn't imagine riding with midsole cleats!

What do you do about toe overlap for a start? Surely you would be forever snagging your feet with the front wheel.

I can't imagine I would be making anywhere near as much power.

I would be interesting if there is a mtber anywhere who uses midsole cleats to chime in.
 

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Take this with a grain of salt since I've never ridden with midsole cleats, but from what I've read, it's great for equalizing power throughout the pedal stroke. On the flip side, it takes away your ability to produce quick power bursts for sprinting, climbing, etc. Since a large percentage of mtb'ing is small burst of power, I can't imagine midsole cleats being an advantage, and the toe over issue stated earlier could cause problems as well in technical areas.

For road biking, where someone is mostly spinning, midsole cleats are supposedly great.
 

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If you ride platform pedals with flat shoes, you naturally migrate to a more midsole position. You can still engage your calves with that setup. I don't think toe overlap would be a big problem with most mountain bikes.

Unfortunately, it would require major mods to a standard shoe to put your cleat there.
 

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From a bmx background, I always used a mid-sole stance on my platform pedals. It was a challenge going to the cleat positions on my road and mountain bike. It felt like I had less power due to less leverage.
 

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bellullabob said:
I have recently read "The Bible" and started following Joel's blog, which have been pretty good. Latest posts have been about cleat position and was wondering what people here thought about it:



here is the original post from him:

https://www.trainingbible.com/joesblog/2007_01_01_archive.html

I wonder how this would affect mountain biking and bike handling?
Here is a local mtb pro's experience with mid-foot cleat placement:

https://bartmangbikestowork.blogspot.com/2007_05_01_archive.html

Just scroll down to see the modified shoes, read that post then move up the follow-up posts. He tried it and went back to forefoot position, although he did end up with a cleat position a behind the ball of his foot.

Personally, I have moved my cleat back about 10 mm behind the ball of my foot, which for me, helps me better utilize my quads. That position is completely different than mid-foot cleat position though.
 

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Formerly of Kent
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This summer, I was riding behind Evan Plews (one of the best endurance racers in the country) during a race. I immediately noticed that he was wearing custom shoes with mid-foot cleat placement.

I asked him about it after the race; his explanation was that it made his legs use only the quads and glutes. I thought about it, and replied, "Because they're far and away the strongest two sets of muscles in the body?". "Bingo."

If you can prevent weaker muscles like the calves being utitlized, you can make the simplified system last longer. I.e., calves/quads/glutes will fade much quicker than quads/glutes. Additionally, you'll probably never engage in a pure sprint in an MTB race; you don't need the calves for this sort of activity.
 

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Interesting. When I moved both my road and mtb cleats back so that the spindle was behind the ball of my foot I definitely noticed an increase use of the quads and glutes and a very reduced use of the calf muscles. I moved my road cleats back during the race season and there was about a two or three week adaptation period before I felt back to normal power wise. As for the mid-foot position I would guess it would take some getting used to, especially on the mtb.
 

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bellullabob said:
thx for the link. Interesting read. I was going to experiment w/ this myself but my cleat bolts will not budge and started to strip. Guess they are there to stay for now!
Cleat bolts suck, especially for ham-fisted mechanics like myself. Been there done that.
 

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I have my cleats as far back as the normal range of adjustment will allow on my ancient((12years?) sidi road shoes. I think when i'm jumping off stuff with platforms on my freeride mtb my feet are still further back than midsole,it looks like you'd be very likely to use whatever float the pedals allowed to go to a lazy duck footed position(heels in). I can think that someone might use a second set of shoes with that cleat position for training or warmup on the day of a race, they don't look like they've seen a lot of use.
 

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onlycrimson said:
What about bike handling? It would adversely affect the way you distribute weight and move for obstacles.
I'm sure that's a simple weight distribution adjustment.

Although you'd probably want to be on a nice short saddle like a Fizik Antares, or you might have some trouble hanging your arse over the back on rough descents.
 
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