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  1. #1
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    Ankle dorsiflexion

    After being off my bike for 6 to 7 months and driving a truck during that time, I have developed some ankle tightness (right side) in the dorsiflexion action. As a result of this tightness I think that is what is causing my ankle and toes to spasm after I ride about four or five miles. I'm in the midst of doing a lot of rehab for it but until then how do I alleviate this while riding? Do I adjust the seat height? Fore and a aft or should I just wait until my ankle loosens up? Or should I try to stretch really well before I go riding?

    Thank you in advance for any advice

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by arinowner View Post
    After being off my bike for 6 to 7 months and driving a truck during that time, I have developed some ankle tightness (right side) in the dorsiflexion action. As a result of this tightness I think that is what is causing my ankle and toes to spasm after I ride about four or five miles. I'm in the midst of doing a lot of rehab for it but until then how do I alleviate this while riding? Do I adjust the seat height? Fore and a aft or should I just wait until my ankle loosens up? Or should I try to stretch really well before I go riding?

    Thank you in advance for any advice
    By dorsiflexion, do you mean "ankling," as in dipping the foot forward on the downstroke and heel dipping on on the upstroke, then "ankling" over the top? That could be a function of too much reach, and also the cause of the spasms on the toes. Lower the saddle and pedal "flat footed," keeping the ankle stationary on the foot and calf muscle, like Eddy Merckx.

    Or, with the saddle at current height, see if your hips rock when you try to pedal flat footed. If they do, lower the saddle until you can pedal flat footed.

    Make sure the pedal spindle is under the middle of the ball of the foot or maybe a mm or two behind it. If the cleat is too far forward, rider is pedaling on his toes and they'll cramp sure enough.

    Studies and the experience of the pros have found "ankling" wastes energy and doesn't provide the power of pedaling flat footed with ankle stabile. "Supple" yes, but not participating in the action.

    Your right ankle is probably pretty strong from riding the accelerator on the truck, but the toes could be overstressed contributing to the cramping when pedaling the bike.
    Last edited by Fredrico; 1 Week Ago at 08:28 PM.

  3. #3
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    I did lower the saddle down about 4 mm today. It did seem to help but did not eliminate the problem. I think the problem occurs on the back side of my pedal stroke more than anything else. The dorsiflexion action is when the toes are pulled back towards the calf or should I say the foot is pulled back towards the front of the calf. I have no problem with the ankle going the other direction. I do try to Pedal flat-footed but on the backside of the pedal stroke you always go into some kind of a dorsiflexion action that cannot be eliminated. I'll ride like this for a while but I may change my cleat position which is now right underneath the ball of my foot. Thank you for the advice

  4. #4
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    Move the cleats back, as far as they can go.

    "Ankling" is just a waste of energy and motion while riding the bike anyway, it's a sign that you're doing it wrong. If you're a cyclist with huge calves you're either genetically a freak or you're a massive ankler, who's again doing it wrong.

    Working this problem out will greatly improve your bike fit, performance and comfort.
    use a torque wrench

  5. #5
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    Semi-ignore or place low priority on "cycling cures" for your problem. Do PT to rehab the ankle. That's the problem, not the bike fit to accommodate or alleviate a fixable problem with the ankle.

    FYI to the the thread: Dorsiflexion is where the toes are brought closer to the shin. For example, when walking on the heels the ankle is described as being in dorsiflexion. Plantar flexion is the opposite.

  6. #6
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    That's right. Probably got the right foot stressed out driving the truck. Cycling aggravates it.

    Moving the cleat all the way back will take more stress off the toes, though. Gotta lower the saddle another couple of mm's, as the reach will be shorter.

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