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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 03-24-07, 09:02 PM   #1
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Knee Pain

Hey everyone. Just got back from my first ride of any substantial distance at night (not too far, only 12 miles, but up until now my longest at night was just around the campus here going from one place to another). It was amazing. No one out on the country roads and absolutely silent except for the wind going by me. Now that I'm back, I have two questions for you:

1) I love riding at night. However, as of now, I was just wearing a yellow shirt along with a couple of blinkies and a tail/headlight combo. I would like to find a nice Hi-vis vest that is still very breathable as many times after I ride I look like I laid down on my back in a puddle. So the breathability is definately 2nd issue behind visibility on a vest.

2) Since I've started up riding a little more this spring now, I've been getting a pain off and on in my right knee. Any ideas on what could be causing this from riding or any adjustments I can try to help alleviate the pain?

Thanks in advance everyone!
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Old 03-24-07, 09:34 PM   #2
Dewey Oxberger
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Are you clipped in? I have really bad knees. For me the seat height has to be just right. If I'm using any kind of "connect my feet to the pedals" the angles all have to be just right or I'm toast.

I've found using pedal extenders gives me more freedom to pick the correct angle for clipless pedals.
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Old 03-24-07, 10:15 PM   #3
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where does it hurt?
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Old 03-24-07, 11:03 PM   #4
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The pain is on the inside - front quadrant (closest to my left knee) of my right knee. I'm not using any clips or clipless, just plain old platforms.
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Old 03-24-07, 11:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by uofiblue
The pain is on the inside - front quadrant (closest to my left knee) of my right knee. I'm not using any clips or clipless, just plain old platforms.
Sounds like a low saddle to me.....
. “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant
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Old 03-25-07, 08:42 AM   #6
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Once you've exhaust all adjustments possible to your bike
if the pain is still there you need to go to an orthopedic
doctor soon.

My knee pain started just as your's did and two years later
I was on the table getting knee replacments. Now this may
not be your fate but if the adjustments fail to resolve the issue
it's time to get to an ortho doctor if you want to continue to
walk. No Kidding.......
My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

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Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 03-25-07, 09:08 AM   #7
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If you haven't had knee problems before, then it could be a low saddle. A too-low saddle will put strain on the top and inside of the knee. But, alot of the time a low saddle will aggravate both knees fairly equally. So, my outside guess is that you have a pre-condition in your right knee that you probably weren't aware of. The idea is not to have to lift your knees so high because it's like taking two stairs at once with a bike on your back. Many people think that they should be able to dismount from the saddle, so they will lower it to the strain point. Seems instinctive enough, but it's the wrong approach. You dismount from the bike by coming to a stop, them sliding forward to put your foot down at the same moment, or some variation thereof.

Do you know the basic saddle height rule-thing?

Adjust the height until your legs are almost straight at the bottom of the stroke. If your pelvis rocks from side to side, the saddle is too high. If you have to point your toes to reach the pedals, too high. Bring it back down a tad. Even if it turns out that you have a trick knee, it will help.

Another thing, and this is a personal call because you don't ride very far: SPD's (clipless) help a great deal because they allow you to spread the effort around the crank stroke. Thus, you aren't having to concentrate your power at your weakest point.
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Old 03-25-07, 09:18 AM   #8
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I am curious, is one of your legs longer than the other? if so, how much longer?
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Old 03-25-07, 09:28 AM   #9
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I am considering lowering my mileage because of hurting knees.
Adjust the saddle
Try slightly pointing your toes inward when you ride
Have you tried a lower gear? When you first start pedaling, the pressure on your knees is significant.
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Old 03-25-07, 01:37 PM   #10
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The other thing that you might look for is whether you are kicking your knees out when you pedal. This seems to happen on the apex of the stroke. I have the saddle height at the correct point or at least I think so. When I force my knees in the pain goes away. My left knee I had the problem and kicked the nose of the cleat out toward the outside and it went away.
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Old 03-25-07, 04:34 PM   #11
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Knees are effected with small adjustments, for example, 2 mm for me makes the difference between pain and comfort and the most common new cyclist problem is saddle is too low. Have someone who rides and knows fit to ride next to,behind you and then offer advise. You have nothing to lose.
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Old 03-25-07, 05:59 PM   #12
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If you are in to high a gear you can easily strain the muscles mentioned. Using a lower gear and pedaling faster can help a lot!
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Old 03-25-07, 07:50 PM   #13
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I second that......ride in a lower gear and spin with a higher rpm. Not alot but somewhat faster. You shouldn't be mashing at all. Change your route to a less hilly one. Don't pedal up a steep hill at the start of a ride unless you are warmed up sufficiently. Stay away from cleated shoes.....they lock your feet in and don't allow them to find the natural sweet spot on their own. Check your saddle height as suggested by others. Read Rivendells site about bike fit at
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Old 03-25-07, 10:34 PM   #14
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Glucosamine Condroitin and go slower to build up the milage. See if there is a bike fit expert in your area. This is a great investment as they can correct the position question without a lot of trial and error with emphasis on the error. If Pain persists go to a sports doctor.
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