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  1. #1
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    My knees ache while ridding

    Hello all, my knees have been aching everytime i hop on the bike for more than 5 min... im only 21 so i doubt its arthritis, i was thinking it was probably my biking style, i must be pedaling wrong or sitting in the wrong position...


    What could i be doing wrong and how can i prevent future pains while riding ?


    thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Senior Member chipcom's Avatar
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    1. Make sure your saddle height and fore/aft positions are correct.
    Some tips can be found at http://www.sbraweb.org/setup.htm
    and http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm

    2. Make sure you are not trying to push too high of a gear.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  3. #3
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    clipless cleat positioning?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Tapeworm21's Avatar
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    Get fitted on your bike. If you have been, get refitted. Let 'em know exactly what's going on. Just say, "after mile 30, my right/left knee starts to hurt, I'd like to find a diagnosis." It's surprising how little you have to change something to have a huge impact on your ride. My right wrist has been KILLING me lately, I'm going to go with a shorter stem when I get the chance. I initially thought my stem might be crooked, but it's pretty damn straight. My right hood might be off too, I'm looking at all my options.
    2009 Specialized Tarmac Pro SL SRAM
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lexmark View Post
    Hello all, my knees have been aching everytime i hop on the bike for more than 5 min... im only 21 so i doubt its arthritis, i was thinking it was probably my biking style, i must be pedaling wrong or sitting in the wrong position...

    What could i be doing wrong and how can i prevent future pains while riding ?

    thanks in advance
    Well first off, if you know of anyone who does ride a lot, you can ask them to check out your position on the bike. If some aspect of the bike is out of the normal positioning that can cause pain and you can't necessarily see it for yourself. .... I want to say to go to a bike shop and ask them the same thing--but a lot of places may use that as an excuse to sell you on a new bike.

    Alternately, you can get in your riding position (feet on the pedals and hands on the handlebars) while leaning against a wall, have someone take a picture and post that online somewhere.

    Also I'd ask you more specifically about the knee pain: is it on the insides of your knees, the outsides, or the whole width? Is it during the top of the pedal stroke (when your knees are bent most), the bottom, or the whole time?
    ~

  6. #6
    Fred-ish rogerstg's Avatar
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    You might want to see a doctor. It was a long time ago, but when I was 21 I don't recall 5 minutes of any activity giving me joint pain.

  7. #7
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    From one of chipcom's links:
    Beginners often feel more secure with their saddle very low, allowing both feet to touch the ground when stopped and sitting on the saddle. This is much too low. A low saddle doesn't make full use of the leg muscles, and may cause pain in the front part of the knee. If your saddle is too low, try raising it a little at a time until you eventually reach the optimum height.
    That's a good place to start looking for a solution to the problem.

  8. #8
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    As everybody else has said, position is important. Knee pain can come from having the saddle too low, so check that.
    Another thing to consider, though, is what you're doing. It's pretty common for young guys to go hard all the time--if you're riding every day, and especially if you're pushing too high a gear, your knees are likely to complain.
    Alternate easy rides with hard ones and take an occasional day off (you WILL NOT hurt your progress this way--your body needs time to recover from a hard effort). And watch your gear selection. Count the number of times your pedals go around (one complete revolution) in 10 seconds and multiply by six to get the revs per minute. More than likely, if you're a typical new rider, you'll get numbers like eight to 12 revs in 10 seconds, or 48-72rpm. Shift down (so you pedal faster but with less resistance) until you're in the 13-17 range for 10 sec, or 80-100rpm. That applies to all conditions--as your road speed increases, shift up to maintain the same cadence. When you climb, shift down but keep pedaling at the same speed.

  9. #9
    Senior Member kk4df's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
    As everybody else has said, position is important. Knee pain can come from having the saddle too low, so check that.
    Another thing to consider, though, is what you're doing. It's pretty common for young guys to go hard all the time--if you're riding every day, and especially if you're pushing too high a gear, your knees are likely to complain.
    +1. I had some bad knee pain in early January after a long, all-day ride. After making some adjustments, I believe the problem for me was low seat position. I raised the seat a good bit (1.5 inches). I also repositioned my cleats. The suggestions of a good fitting should be your top priority. Keeping a faster cadence also helps.

    Walter

  10. #10
    Crankenstein bmclaughlin807's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kk4df View Post
    +1. I had some bad knee pain in early January after a long, all-day ride. After making some adjustments, I believe the problem for me was low seat position. I raised the seat a good bit (1.5 inches). I also repositioned my cleats. The suggestions of a good fitting should be your top priority. Keeping a faster cadence also helps.

    Walter
    You raised your seat an inch and a half???? That's a HUGE adjustment... no wonder you were having pain!
    "There is no greater wonder than the way the face and character of a woman fit so perfectly in a man's mind, and stay there, and he could never tell you why. It just seems it was the thing he most wanted." Robert Louis Stevenson

  11. #11
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    thanks for the info! i think my problem was using high gears along with my saddle being too high "wheelie position"

  12. #12
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Another possibility is that your cranks are too long for your "stature". If you are on the "short" side, and have 175MM cranks, that's toooooo long.

  13. #13
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    I forgot to mention after-ride icing and possibly anti-inflammatory meds. When you get home from a ride, try putting ice packs on your knees where they ache (a bag of frozen peas works well; mark and refreeze to use again, but don't eat them once they've been thawed). Leave it on 10 minutes or so. Also, consider anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen (not Tylenol, which doesn't have the same effect). Take two when you get back from the ride and maybe two in six hours, or whatever the recommended interval is. They do more than relieve the pain--they reduce the inflammation, too.
    Finally, if the pain gets worse with exercise, rather than going away as you warm up, that's bad. Probably ought to see a doctor to avoid possible long-term injury.

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