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  1. #1
    vol
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    Is cycling up on a slope bad for your knees?

    I'm not even talking about a hill, but just a "shallow" slope like on a bridge. After I rode such slopes my knees don't feel normal, they hurt, especially when I climb stairs and there is click noise when I bend them. It seems I got some knee injury, but is it permanent?

    Is such injury unavoidable (do all cyclists develop a bad knee sooner or later?), or is there something that can help prevent knee injuries?

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Have you talked to an MD? sports rehab therapist?
    this is just a bike forum and expertise is not guaranteed ..

    My knees are the same age as the rest of me maybe older..

    lower your gearing or stand on the pedals...

    join a cycling club ... and there may be better technique to learn from us old folks.
    if they figured it out ..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 09-21-10 at 11:25 AM.

  3. #3
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    If you have a click noise climbing stairs, it is not cycling. You need to see some medical people for analysis.

    To be easy on knees, keep cadence up. You don't want to push hard, and make sure you shoes allow your knees to float from side to side and not be locked into one position.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  4. #4
    XR2
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    So it's OK for my knees to have an elliptical motion while I pedal? Mine tend to move outward at the top of the stroke.
    I owe-therefore I am.

  5. #5
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    Clicking noises coming from your knees is usually a sign that you have osteoarthritis or torn cartilage. Riding a bike that is properly fitted should not cause either of those two things.

    Do you downshift while going up hills? What is your typical cadence? How is your saddle adjusted? Knees moving outward on the top of the stroke is often because of the saddle set too low. It could just be bad form. Knee pain is likely to show up if you consistently ride this way but even so, won't cause OA or torn cartilage.

    Can you post a pic of you on the bike?


    Obesity and bad genes usually causes OA. Torn cartilage can be caused by many things.
    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
    vol
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    My description of "click" is not good. Actually it's not the obvious sound of "click" but when I put my hand on the knee cap while bending the knee, I could feel the (perhaps) cartilage underneath; not click but it's the low sound I don't know how to characterize. When I go up a slope I lower the gear to 2 (1 is too low), but sometimes keep 3, maybe that's not good? My seat is probably too low as I could touch the ground with my toe, and leg not fully extended when pedal is at 6 o'clock position. I don't have a pic of my bike yet, but you can imagine legs never straightened on the bike.

    So, are you saying that if you get everything in proper order--seat height, gear shift, etc.--then a cyclist should have no knee injury at all due to cycling? Doesn't riding uphill have a negative impact on the knee even if your leg can extend fully and gear is low?

  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    1. See a sports doctor.

    2. Set your bicycle up correctly (http://www.cptips.com/knee.htm). Sounds like you probably do need to raise the saddle but whatever you do, do not raise it so high that your leg is fully extended at the 6 o'clock position or you'll be back here in a month complaining about achilles tendon pain.

    3. Stop mashing when you go up gradual slopes.


    I have ridden 1200K randonnees up and down all sorts of hills, in the wind and in the cold, with no knee problems. So yes ... if you get it right, you should be fine (unless you've got a medical reason for the knee pain, in which case, refer to Point #1 again)

  8. #8
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    3. Stop mashing when you go up gradual slopes.
    +1 Try riding up the slope in a lower (easier) gear and see how it affects your knees.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

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  9. #9
    vol
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    Thanks for the replies. I'll do what you adviced, raise seat (I need to raise the handlebar at the same time), and lower the gear when going up).

  10. #10
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XR2 View Post
    So it's OK for my knees to have an elliptical motion while I pedal? Mine tend to move outward at the top of the stroke.
    Question, what is the frame size, your inseam, the crank length? Do you have the seat set so that the leg is almost straight at maximum extension?

  11. #11
    XR2
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldfeet View Post
    Question, what is the frame size, your inseam, the crank length? Do you have the seat set so that the leg is almost straight at maximum extension?
    59CM,31" and change,yes. The fit is good. I find it happens more when I'm tired. No pain or other issues just curious. I just started riding again about a year ago after a oh...10 year? layoff.
    I owe-therefore I am.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    31" sounds low for a 59 cm frame, at least on general principles, AND assuming a level top tube.

    Good fit, reasonable saddle height/positioning, low enough gears that you are able to spin the crank 60+ rpm while climbing, conditioning, reasonable crank length, knowledge about when to shift when you encounter a hill -- these are all things one needs. Which ones you are missing, I couldn't say for sure.

  13. #13
    XR2
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    Gearing is an issue. Conditioning as well.
    I owe-therefore I am.

  14. #14
    山馬鹿 Spire's Avatar
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    Seems to be it depends on what gearing you are using as you go up the hill and riding style as well.
    http://www.cyclistsroadmap.com/eng/ - Cyclists' road map. Checkout which roads are good for cycling and rate roads in your area.

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