Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-20-05, 11:27 AM   #1
delay
I am an incurable.
Thread Starter
 
delay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Champaign, IL
Bikes: IRO Mark V pro (RIP), Bianchi Giro, Giant Xtc1, Redline Conquest Pro, Kelly Deluxe singlespeed.
Posts: 993
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What to do about sore knees

Typically I ride fixed anywhere from 5-10 miles a day. Until about a week ago I was using my geared bike for anything longer. Due to shoe failure I have not been able to ride geared. This means it has been fixed all day all the time. As a result, it seems like my knees are getting "tired". Is this typical? Will switching to a larger cog help keep my knees in shape?
__________________
www.oldsylebeer.com
delay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-05, 11:42 AM   #2
bikeordie
Professional Lady Killer
 
bikeordie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: gville
Bikes: 77 Raleigh Record, 03 Specialized P2, 05 Bianchi Pista, 05 Pista Concept
Posts: 90
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i use grandpa's cold medicine.
bikeordie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-05, 11:46 AM   #3
ofofhy
Chronic Tai Shan
 
ofofhy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: PHL/BAL
Bikes: Pake Single Speed
Posts: 1,118
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If you have a flip flop hub, you could always go to the flop side and ride SS.
ofofhy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-05, 11:50 AM   #4
noisebeam
Al
 
noisebeam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: AZ
Bikes: Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex
Posts: 14,114
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 439 Post(s)
Use a front brake and if needed switch to a lower ratio (i.e. a larger rear cog)

Al
noisebeam is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-05, 11:53 AM   #5
queerpunk
aka mattio
 
queerpunk's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 6,054
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 53 Post(s)
also, RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. i've found that when i stress my 22yr old knees but don't rest them, my muscles get sore from the wack ways i compensate, and throws the whole system into lots of pain. take it easy, ice for 20 minutes if there's inflamation, wear a lycra knee brace or acewrap....
queerpunk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-05, 11:54 AM   #6
Jose Cuervo
Lowlife Drunk
 
Jose Cuervo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Chicago
Bikes: Early 1980's Rossin 49x17, Aero Head Wheels (White) & Formula Hubs, Cinelli Stem & Drops, Ofmega Cranks (Mistral) & Headset
Posts: 140
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When I started riding fixed my knees were a little sore and tired at first but it just took time to build up stamina and I got pretty used to it. I do have pretty bad knees as it is from skateboarding for many years and riding a fixed gear definately doesn't help (I just hope i don't regret it in 10 years from now).

I do occasionally take Glucosamine Sulphate. It is used for the maintenance and regeneration of healthy cartilage in joints. There's lots of info on it out there. I would do some research first though to see if it's right for you.
Jose Cuervo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-05, 11:56 AM   #7
ostro
hang up your boots
 
ostro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: San Francisco
Bikes: 84 Pinarello, Trek Liquid 30, Torker CX 24, Gromada Track
Posts: 1,574
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You should start out with a shorter gear (less gear inches)and build strength. You'll have to climb some hills or go running; cycling tends to build leaner muscle. If your not running a brake, then do so too.
__________________
SF Radar 7 day Forecast
ostro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-05, 11:58 AM   #8
Jose Cuervo
Lowlife Drunk
 
Jose Cuervo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Chicago
Bikes: Early 1980's Rossin 49x17, Aero Head Wheels (White) & Formula Hubs, Cinelli Stem & Drops, Ofmega Cranks (Mistral) & Headset
Posts: 140
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Open patella neoprene knee braces work well too. They'll feel weird at first but you'll get used to it quickly. I'm wearing one now that I just got 2 days ago and i can barely feel it.
Jose Cuervo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-05, 12:00 PM   #9
salome
plucky russian.
 
salome's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: chicago. southside.
Bikes:
Posts: 1,050
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
check your seat height too. too low = achy knees.
salome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-05, 12:04 PM   #10
pgoat
Batüwü Griekgriek
 
pgoat's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: NYC - for the moment...
Bikes: 1985 Trek 500, 1986 Trek 500 Tri Series, 2002 Orbea Team Euskaltel, 2005 Cannondale R1000
Posts: 2,900
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose Cuervo
When I started riding fixed my knees were a little sore and tired at first but it just took time to build up stamina and I got pretty used to it. I do have pretty bad knees as it is from skateboarding for many years and riding a fixed gear definately doesn't help (I just hope i don't regret it in 10 years from now).

I do occasionally take Glucosamine Sulphate. It is used for the maintenance and regeneration of healthy cartilage in joints. There's lots of info on it out there. I would do some research first though to see if it's right for you.
I don't wanna be a party pooper and I am certainly no authority on fixed riding (I'm more SS) but I'd say just don't ignore your knees (or any other body part that hurts!). I had only sporadic minor soreness for years but when I started heading for 40 my knees went south pretty fast. I am still riding but I gotta push low gears now. I think what killed me was too much sit/spin on long hills, pushing a 3:1 or even 2.5:1 with too much crap in my bag (and around my gut ).

Bottom line - yes, do the RICE thing and supplements if they help but try to balance hills/gears/honking/twaddling. Be nice to your knees and hopefully you'll feel a lot better about them in 20 yrs!
pgoat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-05, 12:13 PM   #11
svwagner
killer goldfish
 
svwagner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: right here, right now
Bikes: fixies, fixies, and the ss cruiser
Posts: 221
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by delay
Typically I ride fixed anywhere from 5-10 miles a day. Until about a week ago I was using my geared bike for anything longer. Due to shoe failure I have not been able to ride geared. This means it has been fixed all day all the time. As a result, it seems like my knees are getting "tired". Is this typical? Will switching to a larger cog help keep my knees in shape?
you might need to do any/all of the following:

1. change your gear ratio to something easier
2. adjust your saddle position
3. adjust cleat (or toe-clip or foot placement) position

i find, as someone with multiple knee surgeries in his past, that i need to have my saddle position a little forward and a little higher than i would have on a geared bike. but that's just me.

and knocking a few gear-inches off the drivetrain will always help. and you'll end up with an excellent spin.

and one more thing--keep them warm. your knees have precious little insulation of their own. i've taken to wearing knickers or knee warmers (or both if it's cold and wet) when it's below about 70 degrees. it seems to make a big difference.
svwagner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-05, 12:17 PM   #12
jim-bob
hateful little monkey
 
jim-bob's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: oakland, ca
Bikes:
Posts: 5,274
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Low gears and glucosamine work for me. There's no shame in not running a 50/13 or whatever the kids like these days.
jim-bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-05, 12:21 PM   #13
stevo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Bikes:
Posts: 997
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
"Due to shoe failure I have not been able to ride geared. "

Am I the only one who didnt understand the relationship here?

Maybe I need beer.
stevo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-05, 12:24 PM   #14
noisebeam
Al
 
noisebeam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: AZ
Bikes: Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex
Posts: 14,114
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 439 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevo
"Due to shoe failure I have not been able to ride geared. "

Am I the only one who didnt understand the relationship here?

Maybe I need beer.
My guess what that they have a specific clipless system with geared bike and clips/straps on fixed.

Al
noisebeam is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-05, 12:24 PM   #15
*new*guy
ambassador of good will
 
*new*guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NOVA
Bikes: many.
Posts: 2,019
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevo
"Due to shoe failure I have not been able to ride geared. "

Am I the only one who didnt understand the relationship here?

Maybe I need beer.
the pedals must be Loctited to the cranks in true bum bike fashion
*new*guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-05, 12:31 PM   #16
bostontrevor
Retrogrouch in Training
 
bostontrevor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Knee-deep in the day-to-day
Bikes:
Posts: 5,484
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Also, focus on pedaling/spinning technique. If I'm trying to "push" the pedals, I've found that I end up putting a lot of strain on my knees. On the other hand, if I focus on spinning my entire leg in circles that I use the muscles further up on my thighs and the glutes to do the work and it takes the strain off my knees. Just think about lifting and lowering your feet and legs in time with the pedals, but not actually pushing the pedals.

Of course I'm not a PT or biomechanist, so I don't know which muscles are involved in either scenario, but it works well for me. I spun 77" for 65 miles on Sunday with absolutely no knee problems. On the other hand, if I'm sloppy I can feel an ache after 5 miles.

And keeping them warm is good sound advice. "A warm joint is a happy joint."
bostontrevor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-05, 12:53 PM   #17
noisebeam
Al
 
noisebeam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: AZ
Bikes: Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex
Posts: 14,114
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 439 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ostro
If your not running a brake, then do so too.
I find that not only having, but using the brake makes the biggest difference in knee pain. I have one, but some rides avoid using it and while I very rarely skid to a stop, I apply heavy slowing resistance. This kill my knees more than anything. Days I heavily, almost exclusively, use the front brake I can ride for 20mi with lots of starts and stops with no knee pain. So I am now mixing in some lighter resistance to slow, but not overdoing it to allow my legs to strengthen for this new use.

Al
noisebeam is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-05, 12:57 PM   #18
a2psyklnut
NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS!
 
a2psyklnut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: From Sarasota, FL sitting in front of a computer spewing random thoughts!
Bikes: Intense Uzzi SL, Masi Speciale, Trek 3700 Nashbar Single Speed, Old Cilo Road frame
Posts: 7,964
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm shocked and amazed that no one, especially in this forum has stated the obvious!


O.k., dirty mind took over for a sec.
__________________
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
"Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger
a2psyklnut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-05, 12:58 PM   #19
delay
I am an incurable.
Thread Starter
 
delay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Champaign, IL
Bikes: IRO Mark V pro (RIP), Bianchi Giro, Giant Xtc1, Redline Conquest Pro, Kelly Deluxe singlespeed.
Posts: 993
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by *new*guy
the pedals must be Loctited to the cranks in true bum bike fashion
Right... you got the bum part right. Problem is I only have one set of platform pedals, and I am too lazy to take the 2 minutes to constantly switch them back and forth.

I have SPD-SLs on my road bike that require a road shoe. I have mtn shoes, but the instep on my road shoes ripped....to make matters worse my mtn pedals broke a month or so ago. Thats right, right now I have shoes and pedals but not two that work with each other. I am also too lazy to switch pedals between two bikes. I hope that explaination is enough for you.
__________________
www.oldsylebeer.com
delay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-05, 01:05 PM   #20
stevo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Bikes:
Posts: 997
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
A second set of platforms can be had for less than the price of a cog

(this coming from the guy who endorses one bike; sheeez i'm confused)
stevo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-05, 03:19 PM   #21
Ken Cox
King of the Hipsters
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Bend, Oregon
Bikes: Realm Cycles Custom
Posts: 2,128
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Bostontrevor has it right.
Most knee pain comes not from the degree of exertion, but from the mechanics of exertion.

We all have different bodies, but as general rule, we all learned to ride a bike by mashing on the pedals.
This puts the big burden on the muscles in the front of the thighs, which not only straighten the leg, the also pull the lower leg up into the knee joint, increasing pressure on the knee.
If we can transfer some or more of the work to the muscles in the hips and buttocks, then we don't pull the lower leg up into the knee joint with such severity.

We also have other mechanical issues, mostly having to do with the typical American habit of walking around with our toes slightly out.
Not everyone does this, but most Americans do, and this creates its own set of problems when pedaling.

In any event, to wake up the hips, first stand with feet about as far apart as when pedaling, and with the toes straight ahead.
Put the right hand on the right hip and buttock.
Step backwards with the right foot, with the intent of keeping the toes perfectly straight ahead.
For most Americans, this will require them to consciously turn the right heel outwards in order to keep the right foot straight as it steps backwards.
As one steps backwards, turning the right heel out in order to keep the right foot straight, he will feel some muscles working under the hand on the hip and buttock.
Put both hands on both hips and buttocks and slowly walk backwards, turning the heels outward so that the feet stay straight.
If the rider can awaken those same muscles while pedaling, in most cases, the knee pain will go away.
It won't hurt to get a cog with more teeth, as a higher spin rate and an easier spin allow a person to concentrate on learning instead of powering.
Also, imagine a rubber band between the heels and keep the heels apart.
Screw the toes inward on the downstroke and the heels outward, not so much that one can see, but so that one can imagine it.

Pigeon-toed people have other issues, and should probably see a physical therapist or foot doctor.
Ken Cox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-05, 03:43 PM   #22
ostro
hang up your boots
 
ostro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: San Francisco
Bikes: 84 Pinarello, Trek Liquid 30, Torker CX 24, Gromada Track
Posts: 1,574
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by noisebeam
I find that not only having, but using the brake makes the biggest difference in knee pain. I have one, but some rides avoid using it and while I very rarely skid to a stop, I apply heavy slowing resistance. This kill my knees more than anything. Days I heavily, almost exclusively, use the front brake I can ride for 20mi with lots of starts and stops with no knee pain. So I am now mixing in some lighter resistance to slow, but not overdoing it to allow my legs to strengthen for this new use.

Al
I have never ridden brakeless, but i could definately feel the difference in those days when i am braking vs the days i back pedal. Seems to me that most of the damage caused by fixed gear riding is caused by the backpedaling. I could be wrong but why risk it.
__________________
SF Radar 7 day Forecast
ostro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-05, 03:47 PM   #23
beppe
robots in disguise
 
beppe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Baghdad-by-the-Bay
Bikes:
Posts: 305
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am going to start writing in Ken Cox fashion.
By this I mean each sentence gets a line, and there is a line break between paragraphs.
I am doing this because I think this is the reason everyone loves Ken, and I want to be loved too.

(Ken, don't think this is malicious.
It's not.)

Salome wrote:
check your seat height too. too low = achy knees.

A seat that is too high can also cause achy knees.
The pain will be on the back side of the knee, often towards the inside or even along the innermost tendon.
I think everyone here has had good ideas to help the original poster.
beppe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-05, 03:57 PM   #24
Ken Cox
King of the Hipsters
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Bend, Oregon
Bikes: Realm Cycles Custom
Posts: 2,128
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Beppe wrote:

"I think everyone here has had good ideas to help the original poster."

Yes, put them all together.

I once rode with a fellow who augmented his income by fitting people on their bikes.
He said stuff just like beppe did when he wrote:

"A seat that is too high can also cause achy knees.
The pain will be on the back side of the knee, often towards the inside or even along the innermost tendon."
Ken Cox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-05, 04:01 PM   #25
Ceya
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 3,242
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Take care of them, Dont ignore them when they are in pain. if you dont you will always be in pain.

S/F<
CEYA!
Ceya is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:00 AM.