LeMond’s Big Meat! LeWedges Reviewed
A while back, we ran a story on (Bike Fit: The First Priority in Buying Anything) that turned out to be one of our most read articles ever, and generated by far the most “Thank You” reply’s from readers of any tech story. My guess is that lots of folks needed to hear that (regardless of the label on the frame or bars or stem…), if the gear doesn’t match the rider, you bought the wrong thing. Simple as that.
That fit session helped identify several problems and LeWedges answered those of leg length discrepancy and forefoot tilt. Note that not everyone has a substantial leg length problem, but 96% of people have forefoot tilt, and that is job one for LeWedges.
Tilt is job one for LeWedges and you’ll get a good explanation by reading up at the LeMond Fitness website:
LeWedges themselves are fairly simply to use. There are instructions at LemondFitness.com that are fairly straight forward. I would still rather see people like the local fitting experts doing it though, as using the tools should be done accurately. Still, if you have a little help, you should be able to do the job.
Lemond supplies the tools you’ll need including the measuring device for tilt.
With this little baby and the instruction sheet, you should be able to get an idea how many wedges you’ll need, and what direction they should be placed. The instruction sheet has illustrations and the words are simple enough that even I could manage it.
I suggest taking several measures of each foot (it takes very little time), and I would get up and move around a little and go back and measure again. The first couple of times my wife and I did it, the measurement changed a little, but once I reread the instructions and we got the hang of it, we measured each other a few times and started to get repeat measurements. It’s worth the little bit of extra effort, and I went to a fitter and he got the same measures as we did…
Next up is getting the pieces in place.
You’ll need to be sure to get the correct wedges for your pedal system. LeMond make a slew, and for some pedals (like the speedplay shown here), you can get away with using Look wedges under the adapter plates that Speedplay require to fit to the three hole LOOK pedal system that most road shoes have.
Once you have what you need, you should mark the sole of your shoe with a pen (mind you don’t scratch the carbon eh…) and remove your old cleat.
Then it’s a simple matter of making sure that the wedges are facing in the correct direction (tilting you out or in) and re-attaching your cleat with the wedges underneath.
If you have a leg length difference that needs fixing, you simply alternate the tilt of the wedges so they “stack up”, and finish off the stack with the right number of wedges in the correct direction. My right foot needs one, my left gets 5 to help with the leg length problem…
Of course these things are available for several pedal systems, and retailers can order a complete kit that gets them a whole slew of screws and shims. I honestly can’t think of any reason why a good fitter wouldn’t have these things on hand, even if they also offered up a Podiatrist and orthotic inserts. Custom foot beds definitely have their place, and can address several issues but, as you get trained and stretched and as your fit changes, it’s far less expensive to address leg length and foot tilt with LeWedges.
Check LemondFitness.com for a list of retailers if you want to give em a try, or check your local fitter for a place to get set up. It takes a very short time, and can solve lots of little (and some big) knee pains that you can’t quite get your arms around.
Note: if you have other experiences with gear, or something to add, drop us a line. We don’t claim to know everything (we just imply it at times). Give us a pat on the back if you like the reviews or a slap in the head if you feel the need!
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