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  1. #1
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    Another knee pain post

    I have seriously gotten back into riding the last few years. I was hot and mostly cold for the previous 10. Last year I really pushed myself quite a bit to improve performance and had no problems. Now with only about 700 miles on the clock shince the weather broke I am getting pain behind my right knee. Not under the knee cap but in back of my knee. Like a tendon type of thing. I did a little reading and tried lowering the seat a bit and doing a little for and aft adjustment too but it's not helping. When not riding I can feel it when I climb stairs, but otherwise it is gone. I have riden speedplays forever so it is not a float issue. I have never had this before.

    ?????????????????????????

    Greg

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    Google "knee pain and cycling" there are several good articles on this. Saddle position and seat height are the main culprits with knee pain.

  3. #3
    I ride bike. John.BC's Avatar
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    I had the same problem this Spring and found I wasn't warming up long enough...Hitting the hills too soon...seems we need more time to get the knee lubed the older we get...anyway forced myself to spend more warm up time and it worked for me...especially in the cooler weather....good luck.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Red Baron's Avatar
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    I use a Iliotibial Strap. Running stores usually carry it as does most pharmacy's n Ice immediately after also works wonders.
    **Fate is a fickle thing, and in the end the true measure of a person is not fate itself, but how they master it**

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    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Even with Speedplay pedals, it could be a cleat position issue. I had a similar pain and discovered it was a result of too much "ankling" during the pedal stroke. It turns out that as I moved my cleats back on my shoes it forced me to pedal with my foot in a more horizontal position throughout the entire stroke. This got rid of the pain quickly.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  6. #6
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    Thanks all. I think you all hit it right on the mark.

    Oilman, I googled knee pain but adding 'and cycling' got me to a some great palces.

    John BC, hitting the hills too soon? I live in the land of rolling hills. I have three routes I take right from the house and there isn't a bit of flat land on them, short of 100 yards here or there. I think pushing the distances as well as my speed started the whole problem. My wife allways tells me to stretch and I don't. So, ok, I will.

    Red Baron, I will check out the strap, but I started icing already and you are right about it doing wonders. The pain would last days when I first got it but with the icing right after it goes away.

    NOS88, I was careful seting up the speedplays to go under the ball of my foot but lately I have been putting more into my stroke. I suppose this could be the top of my calf as well as my hamstring.

    So while all of this may seem obvious it is nice to find that others have the same experience with good corrective action.

    I guess the bottom line is that kicking it down a knotch along with some preperation should do it. Just want to prevent an injury that would require lenghly time off.

    Thanks again, Greg

  7. #7
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    My experience is similar to yours. When I past 40 and started riding hard in the spring after being less active all winter I would develop knee pain in the early season, I tried seat adjustments, I use speedplays as well. Nothing worked. When I was younger it was not an issue I could start hammering pretty early in the season - not only could I get my legs back quickly but the winter weight would drop quickly. This has all changed with age.

    You stated that last year you hit it hard after a long layoff and had no problems. Last year you probably developed strength in your legs rather uniformly. Over the winter you probably retained some of that but your mind remembered what your body was able to do at the end of the last season. In the sporing you most likely pushed yourself to get back to the condition you were in at the end of last season. You most likely pushed yourself beyond what your condition was able to support. I went through this for years before I finally figured out how to avoid the early season injuries.

    Assuming you have no medical issues and your bike fit is reasonably good - here is what works for me (now at 54). Build slowly in the spring, keeping rides under 30 miles until you begin to feel the strength come back in your legs, no grinding - spin as much as you can. Add some strength training slowly after a few rides - but don't hammer. After about a month start adding more miles and hills - but use a knee brace (I use the neoprene sock style). Keep adding on slowly and soon you will be able to ride hard. I am at the phase this season where I am only using the knee brace when I ride more than 50 miles, been climbing steep long hills for about 3 weeks. Within a month I will only need the brace if I ride a mountainous century.

    Also - if you are in pain now you may have to cut back on your rides. I found that I would not heal unless I stopped a ride at the first onset of pain. It took about a month as I recall then I started back slowly. Sorry - once inflamed, tendons & ligaments take a long time to heal.

    From what I read when I did my research most of the advice on the web is centered around bike fit - this is important but I did not find much that addressed the special needs of us older riders. My advice is like several of those listed above, stretching, strength training, appropriate knee support and when you have your knees strong they will be able to support the loads you can place on them while cycling.

    I have offered this advice in the past here - many times. Sometimes people have found it helpful, some have found something else that works for them. The key here is that you must listen to your body. Take it easy and find something that works for you.

    Good Luck - keep trying.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
    My experience is similar to yours. When I past 40 and started riding hard in the spring after being less active all winter I would develop knee pain in the early season, I tried seat adjustments, I use speedplays as well. Nothing worked. When I was younger it was not an issue I could start hammering pretty early in the season - not only could I get my legs back quickly but the winter weight would drop quickly. This has all changed with age.

    You stated that last year you hit it hard after a long layoff and had no problems. Last year you probably developed strength in your legs rather uniformly. Over the winter you probably retained some of that but your mind remembered what your body was able to do at the end of the last season. In the sporing you most likely pushed yourself to get back to the condition you were in at the end of last season. You most likely pushed yourself beyond what your condition was able to support. I went through this for years before I finally figured out how to avoid the early season injuries.

    Assuming you have no medical issues and your bike fit is reasonably good - here is what works for me (now at 54). Build slowly in the spring, keeping rides under 30 miles until you begin to feel the strength come back in your legs, no grinding - spin as much as you can. Add some strength training slowly after a few rides - but don't hammer. After about a month start adding more miles and hills - but use a knee brace (I use the neoprene sock style). Keep adding on slowly and soon you will be able to ride hard. I am at the phase this season where I am only using the knee brace when I ride more than 50 miles, been climbing steep long hills for about 3 weeks. Within a month I will only need the brace if I ride a mountainous century.

    Also - if you are in pain now you may have to cut back on your rides. I found that I would not heal unless I stopped a ride at the first onset of pain. It took about a month as I recall then I started back slowly. Sorry - once inflamed, tendons & ligaments take a long time to heal.

    From what I read when I did my research most of the advice on the web is centered around bike fit - this is important but I did not find much that addressed the special needs of us older riders. My advice is like several of those listed above, stretching, strength training, appropriate knee support and when you have your knees strong they will be able to support the loads you can place on them while cycling.

    I have offered this advice in the past here - many times. Sometimes people have found it helpful, some have found something else that works for them. The key here is that you must listen to your body. Take it easy and find something that works for you.

    Good Luck - keep trying.
    Another option, even though it can be mind numbingly boring, is to use a trainer in the winter, providing you have space for one, and ride the trainer for even an hour every couple of days, that should keep the muscles toned over the winter......

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
    My experience is similar to yours. When I past 40 and started riding hard in the spring after being less active all winter I would develop knee pain in the early season, I tried seat adjustments, I use speedplays as well. Nothing worked. When I was younger it was not an issue I could start hammering pretty early in the season - not only could I get my legs back quickly but the winter weight would drop quickly. This has all changed with age.

    You stated that last year you hit it hard after a long layoff and had no problems. Last year you probably developed strength in your legs rather uniformly. Over the winter you probably retained some of that but your mind remembered what your body was able to do at the end of the last season. In the sporing you most likely pushed yourself to get back to the condition you were in at the end of last season. You most likely pushed yourself beyond what your condition was able to support. I went through this for years before I finally figured out how to avoid the early season injuries.

    Assuming you have no medical issues and your bike fit is reasonably good - here is what works for me (now at 54). Build slowly in the spring, keeping rides under 30 miles until you begin to feel the strength come back in your legs, no grinding - spin as much as you can. Add some strength training slowly after a few rides - but don't hammer. After about a month start adding more miles and hills - but use a knee brace (I use the neoprene sock style). Keep adding on slowly and soon you will be able to ride hard. I am at the phase this season where I am only using the knee brace when I ride more than 50 miles, been climbing steep long hills for about 3 weeks. Within a month I will only need the brace if I ride a mountainous century.

    Also - if you are in pain now you may have to cut back on your rides. I found that I would not heal unless I stopped a ride at the first onset of pain. It took about a month as I recall then I started back slowly. Sorry - once inflamed, tendons & ligaments take a long time to heal.

    From what I read when I did my research most of the advice on the web is centered around bike fit - this is important but I did not find much that addressed the special needs of us older riders. My advice is like several of those listed above, stretching, strength training, appropriate knee support and when you have your knees strong they will be able to support the loads you can place on them while cycling.

    I have offered this advice in the past here - many times. Sometimes people have found it helpful, some have found something else that works for them. The key here is that you must listen to your body. Take it easy and find something that works for you.

    Good Luck - keep trying.
    As I was reading this I was having a DUH! moment. That is just what I did. You must be phychic. My responce is to state that this is what sucks about not being 20 anymore. I never had to be careful in the past but obviously that has changed. I am pushing 57 and although I normally feel 30 I guess there are just some things that one just has to give in to.

    Note to Wogsterca; I was riding the trainer over the winter but obviously not enough like the real thing.

    So today after taking a few days off, I stretched quite a bit and took some ibuprofen before going out. I then rode at around 70% and resisted racing everything I saw including the clock. I got passed twice and just said hi. I never do that. I get dropped now and then but not for lack of trying. Today I smelled the flowers, rode 25 miles, came home and iced the knee and it is just like I never rode. Tomorrow I will do the same.

    I really want to thank you guys for your support and advice. Now I just need to remember to do it. Recall is not nearly as good as recognition these days.

    Take care all, Greg

  10. #10
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    Listen to your body is probably the most important information i have learned on bike forums. After a great ride last Wednesday, dreams of going faster, longer Thursday night for my Fridays ride my body just said you are not going anywhere. Friday got up and felt like crappy. Legs ached, joints stiff so i just rested. Felt better on Saturday but still felt old. Once on the bike on Saturday felt better but only went for three hours. Today i feel fine again.

  11. #11
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    I found the solution to the knee pain. I had taken all of the advice given to me except NOS88’s. He said Speedplay’s alone were not the answer and that cleat position could be an issue. I did everything else and the pain in the back of my knee returned as soon as I put any effort into riding. The answer? Q-factor. I have two bikes. One with a Sram Rival compact double with titanium (foolish weak moment) Speedplay zeros. The other with a Shimano Ultegra triple with SS Speedplay zeros. The center line of the pedals on the triple was .225” wider on the right (knee pain) and .195”wider on the left. I began to realize that the pain was at its worst on the triple. I switch bikes often so I had the cleats on both pairs of shoes set up the same. So I took my old shoes and moved the cleats the given amounts above to move my feet closer together and used them on the triple. It was like a miracle. I rode 40 miles yesterday and nothing. No pain and not even a suggestion of pain in that knee. I find it hard to believe but I guess my legs naturally go where they want to and that ’ was opening up my feet just enough to load my right knee. So a belated thanks to NOS88 and a suggestion to all not to underestimate the effects Q-factor can have.

    Take care all, Greg

  12. #12
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Interesting - I really hope you found it. personally my body is very tolerant of Q factor so I really never notice a change between my triple and my double.
    Just goes to show how each of us are made up slightly differently and one size indeed does not fit all.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

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