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Thread: Knee Pain?

  1. #1
    Senior Member 15rms's Avatar
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    Knee Pain?

    I am relativly new to riding recumbents. I have a Lightfoot Ranger, a LWB bike. It is a heavy bike and when I ride and try to push the speed it only takes a couple of miles and my knees start hurting. I am wondering if my seat is too close to the peddles or too far?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Leg extension should be the same as for an upright. The most common mistake for a new recumbent rider is to mash. Pushing against the seat back will let you place way more stress on your knees than you could do on an upright. Stay in a low gear and spin.

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    Senior Member charly17201's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    Leg extension should be the same as for an upright. The most common mistake for a new recumbent rider is to mash. Pushing against the seat back will let you place way more stress on your knees than you could do on an upright. Stay in a low gear and spin.
    +100

    Try dropping a few gears and increasing your cadence. This should solve your problem.

    If that doesn't do it, and I urge caution with what I did in case you have an underlying cause.......... I installed pedal extensions. 3/4 inch extension on each side (they come in different sizes). But again, use caution. If you have an underlying problem, these will only make it worse. If you are just mashing too hard, they will make things worse.

    For me, they were just what I needed.
    Last edited by charly17201; 11-09-09 at 03:29 PM.
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    Human Powered Vehiclist
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    Lower your gear and spin that crank!
    Specialized Tricross Singlecross

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    Junior Member Captain Creeg's Avatar
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    In addition to the advice to decrease your gear and increase your cadence, there are a few other things to consider that may help relieve the knee pain:

    1) Your distance from the pedals should be such that you have a bit of a bend in your knee even at full extension (pedal at it's farthest point from your body) AND not less than a 90 degree bend relative to your upper leg when the pedal is at its closest point to your body. In other words, when the pedal is closest to you the angle at the back of your knee between your lower and upper leg should never fall below 90 degrees (at most; if it's greater than 90 degrees, that's even better).

    If your recumbent and crank arm combination are such that you can't get your leg to have a slight bend at full extension while also avoiding a less than 90 degree bend at minimal extension, then err on the side of the minimal extension. Set yourself up to avoid a less than 90 degree bend in the knee at the expense of a fuller leg extension at full pedal extension. Having your knee continuously bend to less than 90 degrees puts a great deal of stress on that joint when it attempts to re-extend out from that position. Better to sacrifice a little power as a result of not getting a full leg extension than to sacrifice your knees.

    2) I rode diamond frames for a long time without knee issues. When I switched to a recumbent, I did experience knee pain despite spinning low gears and using the same shoes, same pedals (transferred right off my diamond frame bike), and same cleat position. After doing a little research I tried the suggestion of moving my foot forward on the pedal so it was now in front of the pedal spindle (as opposed to the traditional recommendation of "ball-of-the-foot-over-the-pedal-spindle"). This eliminated my knee pain.

    Good luck
    Last edited by Captain Creeg; 12-01-09 at 03:58 PM.
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    Senior Member 15rms's Avatar
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    Thanks guys all news to me. I will make the suggested adjustments.

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    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 15rms View Post
    Thanks guys all news to me. I will make the suggested adjustments.
    This shows my leg extension. Like with uprights, start by having your heel on the pedal with your knee not-quite-straight, and make small adjustments from there. Your knee should never have to go completely straight while pedaling.
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