Technical FAQ: Leg length discrepancy

  • By Lennard Zinn
  • Published Jan. 1, 2009
  • Updated Feb. 24, 2011 at 7:44 PM EDT

Originally published: April 2002

Question: Do you have any advice for correcting leg-length discrepancies?  I have undergone an X-ray which revealed an 8mm discrepancy. Speedplay recommends shimming 1/2 the discrepancy.  Tom Kellogg says to shim only if the difference is at the tibia.  The initial report did not say whether the discrepancy is femoral or tibial.  Any help is appreciated.

– Matt

Matt, on leg length, High Sierra Cycle Center makes custom cranks with the chainrings offset as well as pedals, one of which is dropped relative to the spindle and the other is raised. They also work with shims on the shoe sole under the cleats. You can e-mail them at or call 800/438-4399.

Dr. Andy Pruitt at Boulder Center for Sports Medicine also works with leg-length discrepancies.  You can see their Web site at or  call 303/544-5700.


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Lennard Zinn

Lennard Zinn

Our longtime technical writer joined VeloNews in 1987. He is also a framebuilder, a former U.S. National Team rider, and author of many bicycle books, including Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance and Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance, 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 degree in physics from Colorado College. Readers can send brief technical questions to Ask LZ.

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