Why Clipless Pedals are Bad for Your Knees and How to Stay Planted on Flats

A few weeks ago I had someone tag me in a discussion in the Ryan Leech Connection FB Group regarding his experience so far with flat pedals.

While his question for me was trying to clarify why clipless pedals are bad for your knees (which they are no matter what bike fit you have) he also posted some feedback on some problems he was having with flat pedals as well.

Like a lot of riders coming back to flats after a lot of time on clipless pedals he found that his feet would slip off the pedals in some situations, especially when things got rough and technical.

These were great questions so I shot a short video answering them. I even pull out of pair of regular flats and a pair of Catalyst Pedals to show him why being on the ball of your foot creates an unbalanced, unstable foot and once you fix your foot position it takes care of a lot of common problems people have with flat pedals.

After I posted it I realized that it would be a good video to share with everyone, especially if you struggle with knee pain on clipless pedals and/ or problems with your feet coming off your pedals when using flats.

Like you’ll see in the video, foot position and support matter a lot. And once you understand how that applies to the bike it can help you in a lot of different ways.

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

The Catalyst Pedal

The Catalyst PedalThe Catalyst Pedal from Pedaling Innovations is the world’s best performing, most comfortable pedal. It is the first pedal that looks first at how the foot and lower leg optimally move then applies that insight to the bike. The result is a patent pending design that supports your foot the way that nature intended, increasing power, efficiency, stability and comfort. Backed with a no questions asked 30 day money back guarantee, this is the pedal that gives you the performance of clipless pedals with the fun, safety and comfort of flat pedals.
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WordPress Comments:

  1. Dave Ventre says:

    After watching your vids, I started trying a mid-foot position even before I got my Catalysts. I don’t know about the rolling forward (I always seemed to come off the pedals backwards) but I found the mid-foot position to be better even on standard size pedals.

    As for clipless, I have never had them so unlearning them was never an issue.

    Reply • May 30 at 12:42 pm
  2. Bradley says:

    I tried riding flats fro 4 months and never has this much knee pain

    Reply • April 17 at 1:37 pm
    • bikejames bikejames says:

      If you are still trying to stay on the ball of the foot then that could be the problem, you may need to move your foot forward and get more of a mid-foot position. You might also need to try a flat pedal that support the whole foot like the Catalyst Pedal, which places less stress on the knees than a traditional design.

      Reply • April 26 at 11:28 am

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James Wilson