I added a heal lift (~1 cm) for running to my right shoe after learning my right leg was slightly shorter than my left. Doing so alleviated any pain I was experiencing in my right knee.

However, I'm now regularly commuting, and the added miles seem to be adding up, as I'm experiencing pain in my right knee that seems to be due to the issue corrected by a heal lift.

Does anyone have any suggestions for how to somehow make an adjustment via pedal / crank / other components such as shoes to account for slightly different leg sizes?

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    Crankarms are generally available in a variety of lengths for a given model. You could look for a mismatched set, but it would be expensive (basically requiring you to buy two cranksets for a bike). Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 19:18
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    There used to be outfits that specialized in equipment for such situations (including, eg, crank arms with adjustable lengths). But I haven't seen signs of such in 20 years or so, since biking became so mass-marketing oriented. Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 21:15
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    You could, of course, add shims under the pedal clip on the "short" shoe. But it would, at the very least, make the shoes lousy for walking. Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 21:17
  • Lyotard made all-metal pedals for toeclips where the front and rear plates could be exchanged to alter the height of the sole above the pedal axle. But I doubt that these are still available.
    – Carel
    Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 13:18

1 Answer 1


I've done the same thing in the past, heel shims, cleat wedges, pedal washers, insoles, etc.

The one thing I can say is that it's a slippery slope once you start fiddling with these things.

One small adjustment effects all the others and it's very difficult and time consuming to get it right, which you probably never will without 3rd party perspective and expertise. No to mention there are a bunch of other things that can be causing your pain besides leg length difference; fore/aft foot tilt, knee alignment, saddle position, etc.

The real solution is to get a professional bike fitting.

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