Technical FAQ: Shifting compatibility; sore arches

Lennard answers questions about multi-brand shifting compatibility across different speed groups, and how to alleviate the causes of sore arches.

Photo: Dan Cavallari |

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Dear Lennard,
I want to know, can I use a 10-speed Vision Metron 386Evo double chainset with a Shimano R6800 11-speed cassette, Ultegra R8000 rear derailleur and R8000 shifter.
— Zahid

Dear Zahid,
Yes, you can. It will work fine. I have not used that particular combination, but I have many times set up bikes with FSA 10-speed chainrings and 11-speed Ultegra shifters, derailleur, and chain, and it always worked very well together.
― Lennard

Dear Lennard,
Can I use my existing 10-speed med cage Campagnolo Chorus rear derailleur with 11-speed Chorus shifters? I will also have a Miche 11-speed 11/30 cassette and an 11-speed chain. The crank is Campy Centaur 50/34. If I have to replace the rear mech, will a short cage be ok?
— Steve

Dear Steve,
Yes, you can use a Campagnolo 10-speed rear derailleur with 11-speed Campagnolo shifters and chain on an 11-speed cassette. As for your second question: No, a short-cage Campagnolo 11-speed or 10-speed rear derailleur will not work with an 11-30 cassette.
― Lennard

Dear Lennard,
I have developed pain in my right foot at the instep, as my foot is rubbing on the shoe there and I have discomfort with each turn of the crank. I have developed a callus at that site. I have 2 pairs of Sidi shoes, both of which are causing pain there. It seems to rub less if I concentrate on pedaling in circles, (as if I am scraping dog poop off my shoe.) My left foot is fine. I have had one pair for 3 or 4 years without any problems and the other pair for about 6 months. This is a new problem just in the last 2 weeks. The newer pair seems to be worse. Any suggestions on how to prevent the rub or fix this problem would be much appreciated.
— Stephen

Dear Stephen,
Here are some responses from experts to your question:

From world-renowned fit guru Andy Pruitt:
“This area of the foot can be problematic for folks with a high instep or have developed a prominence there! It is a combo of friction and pressure from the buckle strap across the top of the foot. Yes, the pain is new, but the issue has been building over time. I suspect that the newer shoes were just that much stiffer and brought the issue to a head!

Potential solutions: cut a hole in the strap to donut around the pain. Or, buy some corn pads at the drugstore that have a precut hole and use them like a donut. Or, change to a shoe where the closure doesn’t rub that area. And, of course, you can stop riding! Sadly, the last one is usually unacceptable, plus it doesn’t solve the problems, and the pain will just come back!”
—Andrew Pruitt, Ed.D.

From Jason Williams, sports scientist, human performance – Retül/Specialized Bicycle Components:
“It sounds like there is some arch collapse/pronation happening inside the shoe. He is complaining of friction along the instep so he may have some instability that is showing up as he pedals ‘harder’, pedaling squares as opposed to spinning circles.

Why it started recently in the older shoes that he has worn for years is curious. The only thought is that his fitness is improving at this point in the season, and he is pushing harder, causing more medial collapse and movement inside the shoe. The older shoes may have stretched and lost some of their original support.

I would start with a new aftermarket footbed with some additional arch support – this might help stabilize the foot, and will also change where the foot sits in the shoe moving the friction point.

Of course, the obvious things like cleat rotation should be checked to make sure the new shoes do not have a cleat position that is slightly different causing the increased friction in the newer shoes.”
—Jason Williams

In addition to doing some of the above suggestions to reduce pressure from the strap, keep working on spinning smooth circles, since that is the one thing you mention that reduces the pain.
― Lennard

Feedback on last week’s column about sticky frames, and pop rivets:

Dear Lennard,
With pop rivets, the issue I’ve run into in a number of cases was the diameter of the gun’s nosepiece (usually changeable for different diameter rivets) is too big to fit into the recess that the finished rivet head sits in. The nosepiece needs to be firmly pressed against the seated head to pull it up tightly. I’ve chucked-up nosepieces in a lathe to turn them down to the necessary diameter, but sometimes there’s still not enough reach, so I’ve put a tubular spacer of an appropriate diameter between the rivet and the nosepiece of the gun to get that reach. You can also use a spacer without turning down the nosepiece. The spacer can’t be too long; otherwise, the jaws in the gun won’t properly grip the rivet shank.

To get a good leverage trying to dislodge stuck seatposts, I’ve turned the bike upside down and stepped on the saddle while pulling upward on and twisting the frame. You can get a lot of force this way. Exercise care in case it lets go suddenly, and you may not want to use a good saddle for this.

Dear Lou,
Thanks for those suggestions. I suspect that the modification described to Alchemy’s rivet gun was exactly that, to create a longer, narrower nose to reach down into the braze-on without being so long that the gun’s jaws can’t grab the end of the rivet pin.
― Lennard

Lennard Zinn, our longtime technical writer, joined VeloNews in 1987. He is also a custom frame builder ( and purveyor of non-custom huge bikes (, a former U.S. national team rider, co-author of “The Haywire Heart,” and author of many bicycle books including “Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance,” “DVD, as well as “Zinn and the Art of Triathlon Bikes” and “Zinn’s Cycling Primer: Maintenance Tips and Skill Building for Cyclists.” He holds a bachelor’s in physics from Colorado College.

Follow @lennardzinn

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