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Recumbent What IS that thing?! Recumbents may be odd looking, but they have many advantages over a "wedgie" bicycle. Discuss the in's and out's recumbent lifestyle in the recumbent forum.

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Old 02-03-14, 06:49 AM   #1
punkncat
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knee pain specific to the 'bent?

Admittedly, it's been a while since I did any regular riding, about six weeks. Off and on I have had a bit of an issue with pain on the inner back side of my knee. Only while riding the 'bent, never on my DF.
I have paid as close attention as I can to attempt to achieve the same extension for my legs between the two bikes. I use the same crank length, with the only difference there being the pedals.

The issue presented about 8 miles into a 16 miler (I cut short) and feels a whole lot like an overuse injury...except that I haven't been riding. I am familiar with ITB pain, and front and back of knee issues from "seat height" but cannot seem to get a grip on this situation. Even when I was riding on a regular basis it was vary between the tendon across the back inside side of the knee and the joint itself, but only on the ligaments on the inside.

What should I be looking into, if anything, to help me get some comfort from this recurring issue?
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Old 02-03-14, 08:11 AM   #2
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How do your cadences compare 'bent to DF? If you are clipping in, is the float of the pedals the same?

It is sometimes possible to mash much harder on a 'bent than a DF since you can push with your back. This can have nefarious consequences for your knees...
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Old 02-03-14, 08:32 AM   #3
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It's not such a problem with uprights, because of the angles; but on a bent gravity and weak muscles can let the knees flop to the outside. That twists the joint and can cause pain. The solution, of course, is strengthening exercises so that the knees don't flop.
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Old 02-03-14, 05:20 PM   #4
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I make it a point to pay close attention to my form and keep my knees almost "knock kneed" to prevent that situation, which I am familiar with. After the pain presents I practically have my knee going 45* to my body in order to keep out of the hurt zone.

My pedals on the bent are eggs, which were on my DF and caused no issue there. I have more float with them, by far, than the SPD(?) I went to on the DF to eliminate that much float and the issue I was having striking my heel on the crank arm. Also helped me to release from the cleat without the float. I hit the frame turning my leg before I could get loose with the eggs. Not an issue on the bent. Same relative cleat position and shoes that I was previously using on the DF without issue.
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Old 02-05-14, 12:27 AM   #5
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I have had knee issues for a long time, not necessarily bent specific, but definitely flares up.
Lots of Z2 seems to be the best for me.
I've gone through short cranks, long cranks, rotors, seat changes, position changes, platform pedals, Keos, egg beaters...Physical therapy, scans...
There's no magic solution for me.
I try to run about 6 miles a week just to add some impact and force my bones to heal themselves.
I ride 4 different bikes, 2 bents and 2 uprights.
An intense week of computer work (like 12-20 hour days) will make them hurt.
good luck.

T
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Old 02-05-14, 12:06 PM   #6
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If you've got the same crank size then you're turning the same size pedal circle, dealing with the same extension at the 'bottom' of the pedal stroke and the same flex at the top. If you've got the same pedals and are careful to maintain the same biomechanics wrt your knees, then there's not much possible difference left. You could be pushing harder on the bent, possibly at lower cadence. Maybe you're pushing more at the top of the pedal stroke compared to on the upright? It's quite common that bent riders have to put their cleats back further toward the heel; but the usual symptom is hotfoot not sore knees.
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Old 02-05-14, 01:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punkncat View Post
Admittedly, it's been a while since I did any regular riding, about six weeks. Off and on I have had a bit of an issue with pain on the inner back side of my knee. Only while riding the 'bent, never on my DF.
I have paid as close attention as I can to attempt to achieve the same extension for my legs between the two bikes. I use the same crank length, with the only difference there being the pedals.

The issue presented about 8 miles into a 16 miler (I cut short) and feels a whole lot like an overuse injury...except that I haven't been riding. I am familiar with ITB pain, and front and back of knee issues from "seat height" but cannot seem to get a grip on this situation. Even when I was riding on a regular basis it was vary between the tendon across the back inside side of the knee and the joint itself, but only on the ligaments on the inside.

What should I be looking into, if anything, to help me get some comfort from this recurring issue?
punkncat,

I had been riding DFs for about four months when I bought my EZ Sport. Very first ride I was having knee pain. Mine was in the left knee on the outside of the knee. I had never had knee pain while riding before. I found that I had to take my stretching more seriously when working on knee. This helped at first. I would still have some discomfort after taking a break on long rides so I started stretching anytime I got off the bike during breaks. I finally put my clipless SPD pedals on the bike. Didn't even realize until later that I was no longer having any discomfort in my knee. I still do the stretching but at this point I believe the pedals and shoes made the difference. I still don't know why I had this problem on the recumbent but not on the DF. There is some thing different about the pressure on the knee that was not present when riding my Trek. It may be a simple matter of adjusting something. You might also try Sole inserts in your shoes.

Bob

Last edited by Balsawings; 02-05-14 at 01:18 PM. Reason: Uneeded text
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Old 02-05-14, 04:15 PM   #8
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If it's only one knee, look into putting spacers under that shoe. Everyone's legs are a little different in length and since you can't rock your hips on a bent like you can on an upright, those differences are more noticable. Any bike fitting LBS can measure you legs and supply spacers to make the hip to pedal distance the same. Worked for me.
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Old 04-01-14, 02:09 PM   #9
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Kneesavers or shorter crank might solve your problem

My wife and I had the same issue when we went to a recumbents. On my bike, (Barcroft Virginia Ti) the bottom bracket is fairly low. The "fix" for me was fairly simple...I added a pair of "Kneesavers" which are essentially spacers that go between the pedals and the crankarms. They increase the distance between your feet and increase your Q-factor.

My wife rides a bike that has a much higher bottom bracket (Bachetta Corsa). Knee savers helped her, but the real "fix" for her was to switch from a 170mm crank to a 155mm crank. My bike came with a 155mm crank. Turning your feet in a big circle can be a strain, especially if your crank is above your butt. For us, we both now have TA Carmina 155 cranks and kneesavers. These cranks are not cheap and a lower cost solution is to have a crank shortened. Not all cranks can (or should be), shortened, but Mark at Bikesmith Design can likely help. Crank Arm Shortening
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Old 04-02-14, 07:35 AM   #10
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My wife and I had the same issue when we went to a recumbents. On my bike, (Barcroft Virginia Ti) the bottom bracket is fairly low. The "fix" for me was fairly simple...I added a pair of "Kneesavers" which are essentially spacers that go between the pedals and the crankarms. They increase the distance between your feet and increase your Q-factor.

My wife rides a bike that has a much higher bottom bracket (Bachetta Corsa). Knee savers helped her, but the real "fix" for her was to switch from a 170mm crank to a 155mm crank. My bike came with a 155mm crank. Turning your feet in a big circle can be a strain, especially if your crank is above your butt. For us, we both now have TA Carmina 155 cranks and kneesavers. These cranks are not cheap and a lower cost solution is to have a crank shortened. Not all cranks can (or should be), shortened, but Mark at Bikesmith Design can likely help. Crank Arm Shortening
+1 for both the Carmina's and Mark at Bikesmith. I have moderate osteoarthritis in both knees and there's no way I could spin 170's on a bent.
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Old 04-02-14, 09:45 AM   #11
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I had some knee pain above the knee,and moving the seat back about 12mm fixed it completly.Below the knee pains,shorten the distance between seat and pedals.Then I added a ventisit pad,and had to do it again. Its an easy fix,and you should feel the difference quickly.
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Old 04-03-14, 10:39 AM   #12
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Punkncat hasn't been back for 2 months. I hope he got the issue resolved, as it was probably something simple to adjust but hard to diagnose over the 'net.
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Old 06-10-14, 06:29 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by cplager View Post
It is sometimes possible to mash much harder on a 'bent than a DF since you can push with your back. This can have nefarious consequences for your knees.
Early in the season, I was doing exactly this. It wasn't until I chose lower gears and upped my cadence did the pain finally go away.
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Old 06-11-14, 07:05 AM   #14
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Punkncat hasn't been back for 2 months. I hope he got the issue resolved, as it was probably something simple to adjust but hard to diagnose over the 'net.
Life got in the way of riding....I started a side job and with spring got back to finishing up the house remodel so I really haven't had the time or energy to devote to it.

I think I have figured out a part of the problem and am going to try one of the ideas offered above. I think the issue is that while I ride the DF I can 'hitch' my hips a bit on the downstroke. It's subtle and I barely notice I do it, but after reviewing my fit video saw the motion from the rear view. While sitting in the bent that motion is not possible, so I have the boom adjusted for the length I need given the damaged knees ROM. I think if I move the boom out a small amount and put spacers in on the other side I may get what I need.
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