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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 03-03-06, 01:57 PM   #1
Sincitycycler
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LBS owner tells me that fixies kill your knees. True?

I went to my favorite and biggest LBS store and was kibitzing with the owner, a long time track/road racer and expressed my interest to him in fooling around with a single speed for training and commutes.

The first thing he said was , "track bikes are fun, but they kill your knees when you're on them for a long time".

True or not?
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Old 03-03-06, 01:59 PM   #2
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I am goin to go with true, spinning or mashing.
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Old 03-03-06, 02:07 PM   #3
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at first, i had a lot of soreness getting used to backpedalling to slow down. my legs hadn't ever really had to do anything like that before, so it took a little time to build up to it. i felt the soreness right at or near the knee cap. but it decreased after only a couple weeks.
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Old 03-03-06, 02:07 PM   #4
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Its hard to say. I have heard this many times, but have begun to doubt its validity. I have bad knees and have to say that I think the muscle development in the area that riding fixed has given me far out weighs any negative on the knees.
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Old 03-03-06, 02:10 PM   #5
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My knees pop going up the stairs, seems to be louder now after a fix.

What's that tell ya? Not much.
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Old 03-03-06, 02:10 PM   #6
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Also depends on the gear. If you try and run a track gear(say more than 80-85inches) on the street, I could see it catching up with you after a while.
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Old 03-03-06, 02:11 PM   #7
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People with bad knees will say anything kills your knees. People with good knees will just ignore them and keep on cycling.
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Old 03-03-06, 02:14 PM   #8
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Mashing is probably the least healthy, but I don't think spinning is any worse for your knees than riding a geared bike. High cadence spinning while descending hills or just riding really fast on the flats definitely puts more "miles" on your knees than coasting on a different kind of bike.

Maybe you'll need a knee job sooner than you would have otherwise, but at least your heart will be extremely healthy at 80 when your fixed-couch-riding buddies will be spilling over their belts and wheezing trying to carry themselves up a flight of stairs.
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Old 03-03-06, 02:20 PM   #9
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one opinion can't ever be admitted as truth. we should never listen to teachers, preachers, or lbs owners in this regard. what's good for joe is bad for jack, and what's good for both of them is bad for two other people. if your knees hurt, look into it. if your knees don't hurt, have fun. if there is always one "no" answer among an infinitely large group of "yes"es then the statement can't be entirely true. i ride a track bike, have ridden a track bike for 7 or 8 years, up big hills with a big gear, down small hills with small gears, i mash and skid and ride fluidly, and my knees are fine. i'm young, though, so i could still get hurt.
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Old 03-03-06, 02:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkrownd
People with bad knees will say anything kills your knees. People with good knees will just ignore them and keep on cycling.

lol. yep - that's pretty much how it is.
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Old 03-03-06, 02:21 PM   #11
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I am having some problems with my knee, but when I start riding again Im going to 46x17, 72.52in with 17 skid patches. I will move up when my knee's get stronger.

Get a a fix and start you gearing low if your worried about your knees.
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Old 03-03-06, 02:23 PM   #12
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note: if you are worried about your knees, or if your knees hurt --- you are not riding correctly. change your form and position and you will have no problem at all (unless, of course, you come into it with a pre-existing condition).
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Old 03-03-06, 02:25 PM   #13
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...and also can give you a hernia..
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Old 03-03-06, 02:25 PM   #14
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also do something to make your hammies stronger
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Old 03-03-06, 02:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delay
Its hard to say. I have heard this many times, but have begun to doubt its validity. I have bad knees and have to say that I think the muscle development in the area that riding fixed has given me far out weighs any negative on the knees.
+1
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Old 03-03-06, 02:26 PM   #16
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I agree with some of the other responses. Knee trouble has more to do with pre-exisiting conditions, improperly fitted or adjusted bikes, and pedaling in too high a gear than anything else.
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Old 03-03-06, 02:30 PM   #17
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I have knees that are genetically bad and have taken some hits over the years, and I ride fixed. I keep my gearing low (69" at present), and I run a brake that I actually use a lot. Pedaling fixed for a long time gives you some different muscle soreness in the knee area, but then you get stronger and that goes away. What will always hurt you a little bit is getting going from a stop. There's really no way around it, you just have to be mindful of the joint tracking and not try to jump on it too hard, and it's no worse than going up stairs or anything else that requires fully weighting one leg in a bent position.
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Old 03-03-06, 02:31 PM   #18
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I thought walking your track bike is hard on your knees.
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Old 03-03-06, 02:35 PM   #19
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Quote:
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I thought walking your track bike is hard on your knees.
only with road shoes
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Old 03-03-06, 02:44 PM   #20
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only with road shoes
Truth.
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Old 03-03-06, 02:48 PM   #21
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long cranks are bad for your knees too. and tubulars give a nice ride and flat every thirty feet. and your knee should be over your pedal spindle. and if you don't watch out they'll steal your kidneys and liver during the night and leave you in a bathtub full of ice with a note taped to your chest. and and and...
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Old 03-03-06, 03:22 PM   #22
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I messed up my knees in high school. They're a lot better now that I've been riding again for a few years, most of the miles in that time being fixed. Push too big a gear all the time on any bike, fixed or not, and you'll mess up your knees. Keep it within what you can control, though, and you'll probably be OK, IMO.
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Old 03-03-06, 05:42 PM   #23
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search the thread ken cox started about a year back. lots of great info about fixed and knees.
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Old 03-03-06, 05:47 PM   #24
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Improperly fitted/adjusted cleats can do a lot of damage too especially with pedals with out large amounts of float. I couldn't get it right so I just switched back to clips and straps, I couldn't stand the fiddling and don't have money for a pro fit.
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Old 03-03-06, 06:04 PM   #25
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I've never felt any knee pain while riding my fixie until I rode San Francisco Critical mass in February. It wasn't even because of the hills, I had been riding them for days beforehand, it was because we were riding so damn slow for so long! I would creep a few inches, trackstand, creep, trackstand, creep and it really messed with my right knee, but I haven't felt the pain since and before that the mystery of fixed knee pains always eluded me.
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