Insider technical information and tips straight from Lightning designer Tim Brummer and his engineering staff.
Q: When riding some longer rides, I find that I sometimes get a hot or uncomfortable place on my foot right where in contacts the pedal axle. Any advice?
A: Well, here’s my input. Cyclist “hotfoot” is a very common problem, especially after longer distances, although some customers report that it occurs less frequently and less severely on a Lightning than on some other recumbents due to the relationship between the seat and the bottom bracket. One of our riders does a lot of long distance riding on P-38s, and occasionally gets some of the same discomfort, but usually only after 80-100-150 miles or so. After 10 miles? I think your shoes are too tight. Loosen them up and try it. I would also try pulling up on the pedals at least on some strokes to promote more circulation. Wiggling toes is another good technique as you mention. Also try to spin the pedals rather than push down hard and straight. Try to do “ankling” which has always seemed a bit harder on a recumbent to me but is possible, where you extend your toes at the far part of the stroke as if you are scraping mud off a wall in front of you.
Also, make sure to use relatively stiff cycling type shoes (no tennies, plus use good socks, and perhaps a cushioned insole). Some ultra-distance cyclists report that moving the cleat more toward the rear of the shoe helps move the contact point aft of the ball of the foot, which is the most sensitive to such discomfort.
A2 from a customer: I had the same problem I put a insert in my riding shoe with a metatarsal support, it made all the difference in the world.