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  1. #1
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    55 Year-Old Knee

    Hello,
    This is probably an old subject, but I have a knee that seems to act up during my rides and it seems to be happening more on the upstroke. The knee doesn't really hurt, it just feels like it is stiff and I notice it when I am walking occasionally.

    The question is, has anyone had a knee get worse with a regular bike riding routine? I would think that the motion of the pedals is better for the knees compared to walking or running. I am probably going to check with the doctor about adding a gluco supplement to my diet.

    Thanks for any thoughts. I apologize ahead of time to any flamers out there!

    Fred

  2. #2
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    It probably won't get worse from cycling but from the description it won't get better either. Sounds like maybe torn meniscus. Time to see the sports medicine doc.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon

    I thought of that while riding my bicycle -- Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Mri.

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    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Make sure your seat isn't lower than it should be. 1/4" can be the difference between chronic pain & not.

  5. #5
    cycling for 50 plus yrs colorado dale's Avatar
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    it can get worse. pay for a high quality bike fit. i have a bone on bone knee, am stiff every morning and ride over 4k miles every yr. I went for yrs with no pain then a bike shop moved saddle during a tune up and pain was sky high. it didnt go away until i went back to my serotta bike fitter and had bike readjusted .

  6. #6
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado dale View Post
    it can get worse. pay for a high quality bike fit. i have a bone on bone knee, am stiff every morning and ride over 4k miles every yr. I went for yrs with no pain then a bike shop moved saddle during a tune up and pain was sky high. it didnt go away until i went back to my serotta bike fitter and had bike readjusted .
    YES! I see people out there with ill fitting bikes who have to be killing their joints...

    But, a good fitter will offer 'comfort' fits as well as the performance fits. A comfort fit isn't all about comfort-- it is to get the bike so it feels good and is good to you... I doubt that you could ever duplicate that on your own.

    But, also, as others have said -- check with the doc too!
    --------------------------------------
    bikes: 1992 Cannondale R500, 2012 Trek DS 8.5, 2008 LeMond Poprad

  7. #7
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    How does one find or identify a fitter? Licensed? Certified? Equipped?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clawed View Post
    How does one find or identify a fitter? Licensed? Certified? Equipped?
    I can't remember the name of the system, but a bike shop in Providence has a nice system in place. I think you can spot the dealers that use fitting programs from their web site.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado dale View Post
    it can get worse. pay for a high quality bike fit. i have a bone on bone knee, am stiff every morning and ride over 4k miles every yr. I went for yrs with no pain then a bike shop moved saddle during a tune up and pain was sky high. it didnt go away until i went back to my serotta bike fitter and had bike readjusted .
    Thanks for the advice everyone. I did have a bike tech move my saddle position when they did a tune-up on my old Trek. I think I notice my knee more on that bike than on the Giant.

    I am going to double-check the fit on the Giant.

  10. #10
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    New onset knee discomfort can result from position/equipment changes/adjustments. If you can finesse your bike/bikes so that the problem goes away, then you're good. Otherwise, consider the previous advice for bike fit/physician/MRI, etc.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

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    As said, get a doctor to check out the knee so you can rule out any problems or structural abnormalities then start with fitting the bike to suit you. Find an LBS that offers fitting like a Retul authorized and trained location. Specialized shops offer their proprietary system for fitting, and there are several other"systems." I'd bet on a saddle and stem fitting being the answer, especially the saddle's placement. You might have a toe-in, -out problem or even crank length issue. If you want to read up on fitting and setting up find Joe Friel's, or Lennard Zinn's books on the basics of cycling (Cycling Past 50 for Joe Friel, and Zinn's Cycling Primer, for Lennard Zinn) Hope these help you out, they both are in my cycling library.

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

    "We can't control that we have Parkinson's, but we can control how we live with Parkinson's" Davis Phinney

  12. #12
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    Possibly the ankle isn't aligned. Saddle position can be a factor.

  13. #13
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    As said already, likely your saddle position..and that's both height and setback. You may as well do some reading, lots of advise about saddle position on different websites. Frankly, I think it's something you need to figure out for yourself whether of not you use the services of a fitter, understanding your bike fit can come in handy.

  14. #14
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankykentucky View Post
    Hello,
    This is probably an old subject, but I have a knee that seems to act up during my rides and it seems to be happening more on the upstroke. The knee doesn't really hurt, it just feels like it is stiff and I notice it when I am walking occasionally.

    The question is, has anyone had a knee get worse with a regular bike riding routine? I would think that the motion of the pedals is better for the knees compared to walking or running. I am probably going to check with the doctor about adding a gluco supplement to my diet.

    Thanks for any thoughts. I apologize ahead of time to any flamers out there!

    Fred
    Consider installing a pair of "Knee Savers" to your pedals. They align your lower leg in a straight line when pedaling removing that slight twist all bikes have at the bottom of the pedal stroke.

    These really work!!! http://www.kneesaver.net/
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  15. #15
    Senior Member digibud's Avatar
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    when it comes to knees it is saddle height, for-aft, tilt, the angle of the shoe, the tilt of the shoe, pronated or supanated (sp?), how much you spin and how much you mash....the entire shoe-fit orthotic thing can instantly change a person from pain to comfort so in addition to a good bike fitter I'd look for somebody with expertise in shoe fit. Some bike fitters are knowledgeable in that area but not many.

  16. #16
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
    Consider installing a pair of "Knee Savers" to your pedals. They align your lower leg in a straight line when pedaling removing that slight twist all bikes have at the bottom of the pedal stroke.

    These really work!!! http://www.kneesaver.net/
    WTF???

    Knee savers let you space the pedals out from the crank, so that people with lots of toe-out can pedal in what for them is a natural position, without having their heels strike the crank arms.It is true that if you have toe-out and try to keep your feet pointing straight forward throughout the pedal stroke, you will be twisting your knees and causing problems. But if you have normal foot position, all knee savers do is increase the effective Q factor. Some people are VERY sensitive to too much Q and for them knee savers are actually a Bad Thing.

    On the subject of toe-out, it's one of the easiest things to measure and adjust. Just sit on a bed with your feet hanging limply off in mid-air. Note the angle of your feet - toe in, out, or straight ahead. You should duplicate that angle when you're on the bike. Failure to do so will result in tender knees.

  17. #17
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    Something else to think about.
    If you are faced with degeneration of the soft tissue on the rear face of the knee cap you may see pain and swelling of the bursa just below the knee cap. I ride using platform pedals. When I tried clip pedals I had problems using the leg to lift the pedals. Rough soft tissue on back face of the kneecap caused the knee to become inflamed. Since a good amount of the soft tissue has been worn off the back of one knee cap it does not track uniformly. When I went back to the platform pedals there was no problem with the knee.
    But if your problem continues I would suggest an orthopedic exam

  18. #18
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clawed View Post
    How does one find or identify a fitter? Licensed? Certified? Equipped?
    Tough question. Try to find out as much as you can about their reputation. It's like any other trade/profession, some good ones and some not so good. There are also people who don't respond to conventional fitting and have special needs.

    The OP didn't say what pedals/shoes he is using. I use Look Delta style, I'm over 200# and climb a lot and have for decades without knee problems,(knock on wood).
    I try not to mash and I use Kneesavers because I toe-out.

  19. #19
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    This is all very interesting and I appreciate the input. Right now I am using the stock Giant pedals and nothing special for shoes.

    However, today I was out riding and found myself following another rider on a mountain bike. I watched how his knees were bending as he pedaled past me on a perpendicular street, but then noticed something when we were both headed the same direction on the same street. It almost looked like he was "bow-legged" from the back because I could see his knees pointing out slightly as he pedaled. I thought about this because it reminded me of following my older brother last fall on his Cannondale and how his knees kind of stuck out as he pedaled. So, maybe, I thought, I've been doing this unconsciously all along? Could this be something that the style of mountain bike riding coaxed me into--a ralaxed riding position? So, for the remained of my ride today I tried to concentrate on my legs and where my feet were on the pedal.

    Have you all noticed something like this in your own form? Maybe I am even "rolling" my right foot out as I pedal and that might be adding to some discomfort with my knee?

  20. #20
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    Pedaling with the knees outboard is inviting problems unless the rider is really strangely built in the knees. The joint will not be tracking through its range correctly. I'd see a fitter or maybe even a PT about this if I were you. Have you had any other knee issues in running or other activity?

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

    "We can't control that we have Parkinson's, but we can control how we live with Parkinson's" Davis Phinney

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