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Old 01-11-05, 05:41 PM   #1
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Kness Pain...My 2 Cents

There have been many discussions on message boards regarding knee pain. Thought I would provide what worked for me.

Being a member of the human race, a solution to all is difficult (e.g. one size does not fit all).

A little about me. I am 54 years old and own a recumbent trike, a Catrike Road.

I experienced knee pain with my DF, Weggie, as well with my Catrike this year.

I spent exorbitant monies on a SRAM and rotor cranks. on my Catrike. Knee pain still there, but much less.

Just bought knee savers for $46.00 and pain disappeared. There are three sizes. I bought the 30mm (biggest size) only cause I am 6'4" tall and everything should be bigger to fit? They essentially move your foot/leg further away from the pedal. Details are at

Another less expensive solution is increasing your RPMs, a higher number of revolutions. This is often called spinning at a higher rate. The easier exertion on the knee, the better. I use this process.

There are probably many ideas to solve knee pain as their are riders.

Recommend you start with the least expensive and move up from there.

Catrike Road #116.

"Cats just don't feel safe on a moving bicycle, no matter how much duct tape you use"--Author unknown
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Old 01-12-05, 10:03 AM   #2
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I have been thinking of trying the knee savers, not needing them, except thinking it would keep my right leg just far enough from the chain as not to get my work clothes greased, I can't imagine any ill affects from having my legs wider apart. thanks for the site.
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Old 01-12-05, 10:53 AM   #3
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Is the issue how far apart you feet are, or are you using the extra clearance to the cranks so you can turn your heels in? The knees are just hinges - I can't see how Q factor would affect them unless there's another factor involved.
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Old 01-12-05, 02:34 PM   #4
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Yes the knee is just a hinge, but you want that hinge moving in a straight line, not inward. My right foot (with the knee straight) points outward significantly. Using a speedplay or look pedal with some lateral play helps, but sometimes not enough. Lightning also makes these extensions, but they don't have the variety of sizes that Kneesavers offers.
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Old 01-12-05, 07:20 PM   #5
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Tread or Q Factor:

From Sheldon Brown's bicycle glossery:

The lateral distance between the pedal attachment points on a crankset. For most cyclists, the narrower the tread the better. When we walk, our footprints fall almost in a straight line under the center-of-gravity of our bodies. When we cycle, the "tread" forces our feet to be exerting their force farther apart than they are designed to do. Some theorists blame this for knee and hip problems experienced by some cyclists, but the jury is still out on this.

A wider "tread" also creates a greater sideways force when pedaling out of the saddle, so the rider must exert more upper-body strength when riding "en danceuse".

A wider "tread" decreases pedal-ground clearance when the bicycle is banked over into a tight turn.

("Tread" in this sense is sometimes referred to as "Q-factor.")
Sheldon has more on tread at . which also discusses recent trends towards wider tread due to triple cranksets and wider cassettes.

For a streamliner or velomobile, a narrow tread is best for the aerodynamics of the nose. In theory this would also apply to any bicycle, certainly narrow is better than wide. See .

To widen your tread, it may be cheaper to install a wider BB and/or wider MTB cranks than buy pedal extenders.
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Old 01-12-05, 08:28 PM   #6
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OK, that makes more sense. Duplicating your natural foot positioning would make your heels hit the crankarms otherwise. My feet are pretty straight, so nothing like that needed here.
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Old 01-12-05, 11:40 PM   #7
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My knees are fine. But my ankles are another story. I used a Nordic Track a few years ago and had to give it up. Since I couldn't turn my feet out at all my ankles swelled up. It took a while for that to go away. So when I used to ride my heel always wanted to hit the crank. When I heard about knee savers I knew I had to have them. Boy what a difference. My feet are much more relaxed and my ankle doesn't hurt anymore. I can crank as fast as I feel like without clipping the crank.
Yeah, 46 bucks isn't cheap, but if the pain goes away, it's money well spent. If faster cranking will eliminate knee pain, good, but that doesn't work for everyone.
The other thing about knee savers is, yes, you do have to sometimes watch it on the corners.
"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
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