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Thread: Knee problems

  1. #1
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    I've recently purchased a Jamis road bike that I had fitted for me at the LBS. Not that I didn't have some knee pain in the past, but since riding over the past month on so I've developed a lot of discomfort in the knee-cap area, and just below the knee. I've adjusted the seat height, moved the seat forward and back, and even worked on aligning the shoes on the pedal. The bike is very similar in geometry to my old Miyata touring bike I purchased back in 1980. Any thoughts on a solution to this frustrating problem?

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    By-Tor...or the Snow Dog? hi565's Avatar
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    moved to general cycling.

    hi565
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    Two suggestions, if you haven't already tried these.

    1) Raise your saddle until your leg is nearly straight when the pedal is at 6 O'clock.

    2) Speedplay pedals.

    Al

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    Quote Originally Posted by Al1943
    Two suggestions, if you haven't already tried these.

    1) Raise your saddle until your leg is nearly straight when the pedal is at 6 O'clock.

    2) Speedplay pedals.

    Al
    +1 on the Speedplays
    x-ray's

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    What pedals are you using? How much float do they have?
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon

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    thanks. How will the Speedplay pedals help? I currently use Shimano PD-R540.

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    Senior Member Nachoman's Avatar
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    Take a look at Andy Pruitt's Medical Guide for Cyclists. He talks about saddle adjustment (which you say you already tried), and pedal float, as being typical causes of knee pain.
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    Two wheels good. Four wheels bad.

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    Banned. sngltrackdufus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black-Kiva
    thanks. How will the Speedplay pedals help? I currently use Shimano PD-R540.
    The engaged cleats "free float" so your knees never have to do weird things..
    they are sort of exspensive to maintain but are well worth it, to me anyways.
    If your knees persist in talking to you, you should see a doctor.
    You don't want to make a bad thing worse.

  9. #9
    Crawlin' up, flyin' down bikingshearer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al1943
    Two suggestions, if you haven't already tried these.

    1) Raise your saddle until your leg is nearly straight when the pedal is at 6 O'clock.

    2) Speedplay pedals.

    Al
    Can't speak to the Speedplays, although some of my friends love them. But the seat height is critical, regardless of pedal. The general rule of thumb is that if your knee hurts in the front, like you describe, raise the seat - if it hurts in the back, lower the seat. So raise that seat as suggested in the quoted post. If that doesn't work (and Speedplays or other floating pedal systems don't get it done), see the doctor - preferably a sports doc who won't just tell you to stop riding.

    A cheap way to see if having pedal float will make a difference - get some rat trap pedals and toe clips and see if your knee problem abates. If so, a pedal system that allows some float will likely make a big difference. The dirty little secret of clipless pedals is that they introduced a whole new set of knee problems for some folks that never used to exist because the old clips-and-straps set-ups always allowed for some float naturally, even when using cleats and cinching the straps down. (Your foot would also go to sleep, demanding some relief from tight straps, long before your knees would complain.) Not everyone, not even most people, have knee problems related to float or lack thereof. (I'm one of the lucky ones.) But for some people, float is essential to knee health with clipless pedals. You may be one of them.

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    Also make sure you are keeping your feet level, or nearly level. When investigating knee pain, I realized I was pointing my toes down a lot, making me bend my knees excessively. The knee pain went away when I concentrated on keeping my feet level. Thrust the pedals with your legs, don't stir them with your feet.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikingshearer
    Can't speak to the Speedplays, although some of my friends love them. But the seat height is critical, regardless of pedal. The general rule of thumb is that if your knee hurts in the front, like you describe, raise the seat - if it hurts in the back, lower the seat. So raise that seat as suggested in the quoted post. If that doesn't work (and Speedplays or other floating pedal systems don't get it done), see the doctor - preferably a sports doc who won't just tell you to stop riding.

    A cheap way to see if having pedal float will make a difference - get some rat trap pedals and toe clips and see if your knee problem abates. If so, a pedal system that allows some float will likely make a big difference. The dirty little secret of clipless pedals is that they introduced a whole new set of knee problems for some folks that never used to exist because the old clips-and-straps set-ups always allowed for some float naturally, even when using cleats and cinching the straps down. (Your foot would also go to sleep, demanding some relief from tight straps, long before your knees would complain.) Not everyone, not even most people, have knee problems related to float or lack thereof. (I'm one of the lucky ones.) But for some people, float is essential to knee health with clipless pedals. You may be one of them.
    I "speak" to my Speedplays all the time, sometimes they just will not speak back ! I think they simply try to ignore me sometimes .

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    The SPD-SL series of pedals that you have a fair amount of float, though it is possible to get the cleats crooked enough that you're all the way to one side. If you pay attention when you ride, you should be able to tell if you have left/right float throughout your stroke.

    You might also benefit from a bike fit.

    What kind of gears are you pushing?
    Eric

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  13. #13
    Dances With Cars TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
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    Have you been mashing your new ride?

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