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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)

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Old 12-12-05, 05:46 PM   #1
dmg
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Interesting knee pain

I know there's a couple of other non-geared knee pain threads, but mine seems to be different. I have a couple of knees that I abused during my younger skateboarding days and I've been riding singlespeed for 6 mos. now with no knee pain. Now that it's cold, though, I'm definitely getting pain under my kneecap in one leg. What seems different from everyone else with gimp knees, though, is it's only a problem for the first couple of minutes of riding, then all is as normal. However, going up and down stairs is now kind of painful - I have to sorta turn my foot to the side. Not awful, but annoying.
I've been riding a SS mountain bike with a too-small frame, although the seat height is fine. Gearing is 45/18 (on my non-snow bike, it's 47/16). I'm also using cages where normally I use clipless pedals. My stroke is not great - the bike definitely goes side to side when I'm standing - but again, never had a problem when it was above freezing.
There's an off chance that riding isn't related to this at all... but just for curiosity's sake, anyone else have similar experiences?
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Old 12-12-05, 06:19 PM   #2
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I developed problems in my knee from just having bad overall technique on one side of my leg. I'm not sure how it specifically developed, but it was compounded by lifting (ie...lunges) and bike riding. I think I was using my quads and pushing down on my knee too much instead of opening up my hamstrings while doing leg activity. I think I improved it a lot through conscious adjustment of how I do things through mimicking my other leg. A concept that was good to stick to for me was when doing deep-knee activities, to not allow your kneecap to be aligned in front of your toes when bending (it forces you to open up your hammies and hips more).
In terms of knees, though, on a general level...they are the first place on my legs to get cold, or the hardest to keep warmed up on a chilly (or brick as fuk) ride. I'm thinking bout throwing together some knee warmers for long rides
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Old 12-12-05, 06:21 PM   #3
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I had something similar to this from treeplanting this summer. I stretched/minorly tore my MCL right before planting so I ended closing all my trees with one foot while compensating for the injured knee (upwards of 50000 trees over the season) and developed a pain right behind my knee cap. Doctor said it was "patellofemoral syndrome." I don't have the same problems with cold weather though and it has gotten much better over time. Try googling Patellofemoral syndrome and read up on it. Might be the same thing but I'm not sure. Hope this helps.
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Old 12-12-05, 06:24 PM   #4
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Take your shoes off and walk backwards, very slowly, consciously placing each foot so that your toes point straight ahead and your heels point straight backwards.
Do your knees hurt?
No.
Do the same thing going forwards, placing your weight on the outside of your heels and transferring the weight to the front of your foot following the outside of your foot; and then, roll your foot to the inside so that the weight goes out of your foot between your big toe and your index toe.

When you get on your bike, visualize your foot squishing a bug as the pedal goes down and forward; and, visualize your heel going out.
Your knees will follow, in your mind, the following path: )(

Or so it will seem.
If you look down at your knees, they will actually go straight up and down, but if you don't look it will feel as if they will hit the top tube in the middle of their downward stroke.

We have a muscle in our buttocks, right under our hip pocket, and most people don't use it, and their feet point out when they walk.
Almost all knee pain (amongst Americans) comes from the lack of use of this sleepy muscle.

Again, walk backwards, slowly, with your hands on your hip pockets.
In order to keep your feet straight it will feel as if you actually have to turn your heels outward.
You will feel the muscle that needs awakening under your hands.
Look down at your feet while you do this, otherwise they will feel straight but they will point toes out.

When we pedal correctly, we will "see" the big foot bone that goes from our ankle to our big toe.
We will feel like we have a horse's or deer's foot, in that the big toe does more of the work than we ever thought.

Turn the toes in, heels out, push a little sideways with the foot, and try to hit the top tube with your knees.
When you remember to do this, the pain will go away within 30 seconds.

Or maybe not.
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Old 12-12-05, 08:03 PM   #5
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I believe Mr. Cox is onto something. I was actually playing around with my foot angle when riding tonight, and indeed, pointing my toes inward does lead to pain-free climbing. I am guessing that the combination of boots, snow/ice and cages is exacerbating my otherwise not-great pedaling technique, and splaying my feet. I will hopefully be awake enough tomorrow morning to be aware of my foot / knee position. Excellent. Thanks all!
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Old 12-13-05, 12:37 AM   #6
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I had an interesting pain the last few days in my knee. I have spent a lot of time sitting at the computer and sometimes i sit on my left leg. I had this strange pain on the inside front of my left knee.

I hadnt ridden in almost 2 weeks due to a hamstring injury, but today i got on my bike. The hamstring was fine, but my knee was acting up, oddly enough, it was feeling better when i got to work, (8miles later) on the way home it seems to have totally gone away, another 8 miles later. It seems that riding tightend up a muscle or tendon and allievated pain somehow.

The knee pain could have tottally been related to the hamstring injury as well, since i had to walk like i didnt have knee, in order to prevent my hamstring from activating.
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