Cleat Positioning and Vector PCO

Hi There ,

Any advice of cleat placement , currently using the vector pedals which show Platform centre offset and I have tried to bring the number to neutral e.g 0
done a bike fit but that just increased the offset more and felt awkward , personally do not have any faith in these bike fitters so would like to get tips and do it personally. any sugesstions will greatly help as I understand that there is a personal approach to this and each leg is not the same length etc
thanks

What makes a “platform center offset” of zero a “good” number? The shoe is asymetrical, the foot is asymetrical, the pedal is asymetrical except for its platform - what makes the center of symmetry of the pedal platform an “ideal” center of force?

I understand that there’s a maximum efficiency area somewhere between your feet being 1 m apart and them rubbing each other, but nothing that I can see says that this maximum happens to be at the centerline of the pedal platforms. What if you add a spacer to prevent interference between the pedal and the cramk arm, does that move the optimum position outboard?

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Don’t worry about PCO. Focus on having a good fit and ensure your cleats are set-up to support your body movement dynamic.

If I force my PCO to zero, I get knee pain very fast and stress my metatarsals. After seeing a couple of orthopedic doctors I was recommended to increase my Q factor to protect my hips. I am now pushing it to the max allowed by pedals/cleats/shoes/cranks and I am able to cycle pain free for long consecutive days (450km in 3 days). My PCO is 9-14 mm (depending on side) but it bears no relevance to me.

Cleat rotation vs. the shoe was essential to solve my knee pain! And that messes-up PCO.

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I got Vector pedals for Christmas and adjusted my cleats to zero the PCO. Got knee pain shortly afterwards, moved my cleats back to their original position and the knee pain went away. I have no idea what PCO is actually for. Does anyone else know?

What is the expected/claimed benefit of getting PCO to be neutral?

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that is where the pressure on the pedal is applied at the centre , it generally states that then your cleat and foot position is ideal on the pedal. in my case I am always + 8 to + 11 meaning my cleats are pressing on the outer edge of the pedal hence the power is not being distributed symmetrically .

this is the extract from Garmin on the PCO

Platform Center Offset (PCO)

An image displaying platform center offset on a pedal.The PCO measurement is calculated by identifying how force is distributed across the pedal platform during the pedal stroke. That means you can view and evaluate where force is applied relative to the center of the pedal platform and what the PCO distribution is over a given period of time. Analysing this data can help you determine proper bike fit and cleat position. It may also be helpful in preventing injury and rehabilitation.

PCO is measured in millimeters. Positive values (e.g., +6 mm) indicate increased force toward the outside of the pedal, while negative values (e.g., -4 mm) indicate increased force toward the inside of the pedal. You can view this information in graph form on your Edge device. The red line indicates the current 10-second average value and the blue line represents the average for the previous 30 seconds.

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Cool, thanks for the info. I’ve only had one fit customer with Garmin Vector pedals, and he wasn’t interested in diving in more than the pure power numbers.

Overall it makes sense, and I can see the main goal. It could be tough to nail depending on the rider and other related fit criteria. There are lots of possible adjustments that might impact that and other aspects of the fit simultaneously. It looks like an interesting puzzle to solve.

Seems like there would be some dependence on shoes and insoles there as well. That’s some knitty-gritty. Haven’t looked into it.

Still working with Garmin on my pedal body/spindle seperation issue.

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Main equipment factors I can see impacting that value:

  • Shoe (flat or with varus forefoot angle)
  • Foot bed (shape and durometer, along with arch support)
  • Presence of lack of varus/valgus forefoot shims (in shoe, under the foot bed)
  • Presence of lack of varus/valgus cleat shims (between cleat and shoe)
  • Lateral cleat placement on the shoe
  • Toe in/out cleat rotation on the shoe
  • Pedal shims under one cleat (for leg length discrepancy)
  • Pedal spacers between the pedals and crank arm(s)
  • Saddle height
  • Saddle fore/aft

Possibly saddle angle as well. Essentially, these and others could all impact the power and placement of the foot on the pedal (and any lateral forces that may be resulting from these settings). Far from a simple equation to solve.

I’m not 100% sure on what is peculiar about the centerline of the pedal to make it the “ideal” axis for the pedaling force. Presumably, if you had 2 bikes with different Q-factor and wanted to retain the same foot spacing, you’d offset the clear locations - and end up with different “PCO”? How does that make you more or less efficient?

  • I moved some of the posts above (that were posted in a different, and partly unrelated Vector thread) into this thread, because they have more relevance here.

One Question. PCO only work witch garmin vector? Witch Pioneer not? Thanks

Garmin Vector is as far as I know the only powermeter reporting this parameter. A spider or crank arm powermeter could not measure this.

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Hi all

I recently found that my pedal cleat offset for left and right are 24 and 30 respectively. I’m using look cleats so there isn’t a lot of room to move laterally on the shoe.

That said, are these PCO figures something to be concerned with? Could they be leading to my outside knee pain?

I only recently started riding with Garmin Vector 3 power meter and the edge 1030, but have been riding since 2011. I’ve logged over 20k miles without the power meter and the platform off center feedback. I’ve adjusted my cleats and seat position, handle bars etc, to what has suited me over the years/miles, and that i find comfortable. I purchased the vector 3 pedals which says my left foot is off center by 11-13 mm on average, and I believe this to be accurate because I can feel the spot on my foot where the pressure is applied and it seems pretty consistent with the feedback, while the right foot does not have the same condition physically and the feedback from the pedals says its nearly perfectly centered. All that said, I don’t think this is a problem necessarily, I tried making adjustments and I certainly could try to adjust my bike to drive the number to zero, I have seen that when standing the number goes to zero/near zero. Adjusting cleat position alone was not enough to correct the number to zero, and additional adjustments may not drive the offset to zero, I suspect it may be my body’s way of adjusting my natural pedal mechanics to provide my left leg (non-dominant) a mechanical advantage by extending the lever arm to even out the torque produced by each leg. If I was experience pain or discomfort I would try to make adjustments, but like some others have stated it may not be desirable to have both feet have zero offset from center. Certainly, zero offset should not take primacy over comfort and fit adjustments that reduce pain. It may be that having significant offset in one or both pedals produces the best case scenario for you. I think this is the case for me, at least on the bike I’m riding for sure. It’s worth noting that I’m toward the top of the size chart on the bike size I’m riding, perhaps if I was in the center of the chart I could make adjustments to have my seated riding positions so that my center of mass is directly above the center of the crank, whereas I’m currently behind the center of the crank in the seated position, since if I was over the center to the crank I’d be too close to the handle bars and would not be uncomfortable. I do think that centering your body with the center fo the crank is key to reducing the platform center offset due to the fact it is reduced to zero on both pedals when I’m standing.

If you have pain adjusting it to be zero, then don’t worry about it. They only say that it “can help you determine proper bike fit and cleat position” It does’t say that it will result in the optimal position. I’d say if you found a position that’s comfortable through trial and error, then don’t mess with it. I feel comfortable at any cleat position, but prefer to have the cleat so that I am engaging my calves more, which has the cleat as far forward as possible on the shoe. If I get cramps in my calves I’ll move the cleat back to keep riding without sacrificing comfort. The only “issues” i’ve experienced from having platform off center pedaling is a sore spot on my left foot due to a concentration of pressure there, but if I make adjustments to reduce this to zero it exacerbates pain in my right knee I have due to an old injury. In my opinion i’d rather have the pressure concentration in the foot. I feel like the PCO metric has a potential to due more harm than good if it is determining your fit that has worked for years and changing years of mechanics that have worked well. Comfort and experience wins over PCO. IMO.

Not sure if this will help.