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  1. #1
    Senior Member JoeOxfordCT's Avatar
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    Bike setup adjustments for iliotibial band syndrome ?

    Hi All,

    I did some research online yesterday regarding my knee complaints that I detailed in my previous post:

    Sore Knees from too much spinning ?

    It would seem that I am suffering from iliotibial band syndrome. I have begun a stretching program but in addition I am exploring any adjustments I might make on the bike to help with this. So far it the main adjustment that I learned about is to experiment with wedges and/or shims on my cleats to straighten out my leg motion. I am going to contact the woman who did a fit kit for me years ago on another bike to perhaps get an updated fitting on my current ride.

    Does anyone else have any experiences with iliotibial band syndrome and what they did to alleviate the symptoms ???

    Thanks !

    Joe Dowski
    Oxford, CT.

  2. #2
    carpe napum
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    I had ITB syndrome many years ago from running. Caused by sudden increase in training miles coupled with worn-out shoes. It was very painful -- got bad enough to force me to stop running about 20 min into my runs - once I got warmed up. (Weird, but common with this injury.) Better shoes and backing-off the intensity for a couple of weeks solved my problems. I did some ITB-specific stretching, but not very dilligently. As this was running, not biking, your results may vary. But working on ITB-specific as well as general flexibility, plus a temporary decrease in training miles and/or intensity probably will work for you. You should review your position on the bike if you haven't already.

    (edit) PS: Now that I read your post more closely I see you were asking about specific bike adjustments. Don't have much to offer other than to make sure your foot/pedal mechanics are ok. I have a set of shoe wedges myself, but I'm loathe to mess with them for fear of just putting things further out of whack.
    Last edited by lemurhouse; 07-19-06 at 09:46 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member JoeOxfordCT's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply !
    I assume you've conquered the problem sucessfully ?

    I'm going back tonight to the woman who did a fit kit on me years ago on another bike. I've kept the measurements as I've moved from bike to bike but I want her to look at my current bike and the possibility of fitting me for some wedges for my cleats as well.
    This summer has marked my return to riding centuries from about 15-20 years ago. I've been riding regularly for the last 5-8 years but just not doing centuries or rides of 40 miles or more. Yesterday (Wed) I did my first ride since the 100 miler on Sunday. It was just a short, before work 10 miler but I felt ok all things considered. I started doing some ITB stretches too.
    I hope I can catch this thing before it becomes so bad it forces me to abandon the remaining 3 centuries I have planned for the summer.
    I had forgotten how much fun they were.

    Quote Originally Posted by lemurhouse
    I had ITB syndrome many years ago from running. Caused by sudden increase in training miles coupled with worn-out shoes. It was very painful -- got bad enough to force me to stop running about 20 min into my runs - once I got warmed up. (Weird, but common with this injury.) Better shoes and backing-off the intensity for a couple of weeks solved my problems. I did some ITB-specific stretching, but not very dilligently. As this was running, not biking, your results may vary. But working on ITB-specific as well as general flexibility, plus a temporary decrease in training miles and/or intensity probably will work for you. You should review your position on the bike if you haven't already.

    (edit) PS: Now that I read your post more closely I see you were asking about specific bike adjustments. Don't have much to offer other than to make sure your foot/pedal mechanics are ok. I have a set of shoe wedges myself, but I'm loathe to mess with them for fear of just putting things further out of whack.

  4. #4
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    Sorry to hear about your ITB problem. I've had that in the past as well, but like the previous response, it was initially generated by running. I have had it flare up again from cycling, but have been able to fix this in a couple of unexpected ways.

    First, I started riding with a Brooks B-17 leather saddle. As the saddle started to break in, I noticed that my left "butt dent" was not as deep as my right. In addition, my left ITB was frequently sore on the left side, especially after long rides. Strange, I thought, and actually posted on BF about this. After that, I started trying to pay attention to pedalling both legs equally. That helped a bit. And then, one day I was riding on the indoor trainer when I happened to look in my wife's dressing mirror and could see something interesting about my pedal stroke. At 3 o'clock, my right foot was fairly flat, but at 3 o'clock my left heel was dropping. This, in effect, was shortening my left leg (the one with ITB problems), forcing me to slide my butt slightly forward and down (and thus off my "butt dent" which accounts for it being smaller). This was causing my left leg to curve inward a little bit and my ITB to rub. Ever since I noticed this, I've been making a point of keeping my left heel flat or slightly above on the downward motion and my ITB problems have vanished, and my left butt dent is now equal to my right. And I've lived happily ever after since

    So, pedalling mechanics could be a cause. Good luck figuring it out. Until you do, stretching and ice go a long way.

    Tom in Osaka

  5. #5
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Does anyone else have any experiences with iliotibial band syndrome and what they did to alleviate the symptoms ???
    I'm pretty sure "rest" is recommended.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JoeOxfordCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomasd
    First, I started riding with a Brooks B-17 leather saddle. Tom in Osaka
    How do you like your Brooks saddle ?
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomasd

    This, in effect, was shortening my left leg (the one with ITB problems)Tom in Osaka
    Would lowering your saddle (have) helped ?

    I have had wedges put in under my cleats with the thick side on the side closest to the crank arm. This has had the effect of forcing my knees slightly out at the top of my pedal stroke. My fit person had noted that both my knees were dipping inwards towards the top tube at the top my pedal stroke.

    I have note ridden much in the week or so following my 100 miler...partly by design, partly from being busy. I rode this morning (14 miles). I haven't noticed any difference but I'll have to get out for something over 30-40 miles before I can tell if the wedges have helped.
    In the meantime I've been thinking about a saddle swap hence my question re your Brooks.

    Thanks,

    J.

  7. #7
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    re: Brooks. The Brooks is GREAT for me and many other people. My only caveat is that for me, the saddle has to be even with or above the handlebars for it to be at its most comfortable. On my touring bike where the bars are slightly above the saddle, the B-17 just isn't noticeable, which is the highest praise I can give to any saddle. However, on my go-fast bike where I have a little bit of drop between saddle and bars, the B-17 is less comfortable (although still pretty damn comfy). There are other Brooks models for lower bar positions, but they're expensive and I don't feel like buying another saddle yet.

    The reason I didn't lower my saddle was because then it would have been to low for my right leg (the one with the proper pedal stroke). Evening out my pedal stroke and making sure that I wasn't dropping my left heel did the trick for me.

    If you have an indoor trainer, it can be very enlightening to ride in front of a mirror. I know from having my swimming strokes videotaped and critiqued, and now from watching myself cycle, that what you *think* you're doing is often FAR from what you're actually doing. You may find nothing that pertains to your ITB problem, but you might.

    Good luck!

    Tom in Osaka

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