Got a bit of knee pain. Saw my doctor, he reckons it's okay and has recommended some exercises to stabilize my patella.
Apart from Glucosamine any folk out there have any tips on how to increase their riding life?
66 is pretty low, I doubt the bike is at fault.
Not that I know much about this ****, but saddle height and cleat position (if you ride clipless) do have a lot to do with knee pain.
Too low saddle often causes pain in knee/around kneecap.
You're geared low which is good.
My knee is hurting a bit, too, but my diagnosis is simple: I have a ****ty knee. Sometimes it hurts when I walk, too...
Two rough rules of thumb I use when getting a bike fitted:
Pain behind your kneecap= seat too low
Pain in the back of your knee= seat too high.
Paying a pro to set up your bike can really help. Minor adjustments can make a huge difference. I think a lot of fixed riders are unnecessarily resigned to their knee pain. Fiddling with fit solves a lot of problems, you just have to keep trying things out. I figure if 55 year old randonneurs can do PBP and not have the lower half of their legs fall off, there's no reason why a young person whos just commuting and dicking around shouldn't be able to be completely comfortable on their bike, fixed gear or not.
Sorry to piggyback, but this is timely. I've had knee pain since right before xmas (was riding gears then, too). Never had it in my life until I really started stepping up my cycling. I thought it was cleat position, but I don't even know which way to move it (not to mention the cleats are pretty much rusted in place!).
Sorry hoser, you're reached the extent of my own knowlledge. If it's anywhere around the patella though, try raising the seat. Don't raise it much either, unless your height is way way off, 1/2" is acres, 1/4" is plenty and 1/8" is more like it when you're zeroing in on the correct height.
Have an expert fit you on your bike. I'm 34 and have been racing track (on and off) since I was 12. I also have OSD in my right knee. My knees never hurt and I log between 200-300 miles per week.
BTW, the fastest racers at the track are in their 30s.
Taking a couple of Ibuprofen (only occasionally) BEFORE I ride seems to work well for me. Also, by taking them before the ride, I feel that I use less than I would if I waited till I was in pain.
Hope this helps you.
A cyclist is a cyclist's worst enemy.
Check your knee position over the pedal also. Good positions: knee over pedal (at a 90 degree rotation) to calf perfectly vertical at 90º. not good - knee at a > 90º angle, which is going to stress your knees on the downstroke. Move your saddle until you're at least at the vertical calf position.
As far as height, most people underestimate the height they should be at. Get it as high as you can without rocking your hips, and then if that's still a little squirrley for you, take it down a tiny bit.
I've been getting a bit of pain in my left knee for a while now from riding fixed. I skid ambidextrously, but I heavily favour my left foot as my leading foot, and I'm assuming that the pain is mainly being caused by the force of pulling my left foot upwards when slowing/stopping/skidding.
For quite some time I've been thinking that I should practice to trackstand better with my right foot forward, and get more comfortable with slowing/skidding with my right foot forward since it seems logical that it would even the stress out across both knees. I'm sure it could make me a better rider too.
I'm quite sure that my saddle height/position is fine, and my cleats seem to be pretty spot on, but I might try shift the cleats a bit and see if it helps (it's obviously a bit difficult to fine tune that once they're dug into your shoes though).
Anyone got any good exercises to suggest that might help fixed gear related knee pain?
One more thing to the OP, using a brake will, of course, take A LOT of stress away from your knees. Especially if you're riding down any decent descents on a regular basis. Another thing that just occurred to me is body weight. I'm not a huge fatty or anything, but I could do well to lose a few pounds. The more weight that your knees are working against when slowing down would probably cause more stress when applying backwards pressure to the pedals.
Last edited by dudezor; 03-08-08 at 10:42 AM.
I'm 46, and have one knee which an orthopedist has diagnosed as "arthritic."
I commute 28 miles a day. Lately, I've been riding mostly fixed.
I like about 70". I use SPD clipless.
My number one suggestion would be to put a brake on your bike. If I get any knee pain at all, it's usually after I've been stopping without my brakes. Also, trackstand sparingly.
The funny thing was that I rode my 27 speed Surly Crosscheck two days this week. It could be a coincidence, but I actually got a little bit of knee pain for the first time in a while. I went back to fixed gear on Friday, and that minor pain has gone away.
If you ride clipless, think about moving to pedals with more float. I am currently using eggbeaters and crank bros candy pedals. Make sure your seat height is right, and spin lower gears in general.
Not too much to say here
get your fit right, and gear up. post skateboarding years i thought my knees were pretty much done. i rode single speed for about a year because i was worried about them getting worse. i think my knees have improved since i started riding fixed. i'm assuming it's from increased strength. they rarely bother me at all these days, whereas before i would always notice them at least a little. i only skid when it's raining, or necessary, or i need to show off. i skip more than anything. i backpedal of course but never to the point of straining, i'll just throw a little skip. yeah make sure everything fits right, and maybe check your technique as bad form can't be healthy. i'm at 86 (and some change) gear inches and older than you (at least chronologically). ride every day and night nyc. cheers.
I don't want to start a whole thing about brakes(i often ride breakless too) but skids,skips and even heavy resisting don't help since they put a lot of pressure on the knees.
Last edited by dudezor; 03-08-08 at 10:57 AM.
1) Fit. Saddle height and cleat float too much or little. Fore/aft movement of the saddle could be looked at too.
2) Bike. Brakes save knees and spinning is easier on them too.
3) Shoes. Soft soles can be bad, so can a bad cleat position on cycling shoes.
4) Let your knees heal. Take some time off the bike if youve been on it more.
long, flexible, supple muscles, tendons, AND ligaments are MUCH less prone to injury (proven sports fact)
when I was much younger I was into karate, and then gymnastics, and I remember stretching for HOURS before a workout.
HOW you stretch is also important: NEVER "bounce" when you stretch, instead stretch till it's just uncomfortable, hold for 5 seconds, then pull til it starts to get REALLY uncomfortable, hold for 3 seconds, then BACK TO UNCOMFORTABLE, hold for 5 seconds, then release, and shake it out. repeat no less than 3 times for EACH muscle group,....as you get more flexible, you'll naturally hold longer, and pull harder, with less discomfort.
I stretch for 15 minutes before a ride, and probably for an hour afterwards sitting in front of the TV watching whatever.
I'm 49, 66" (38/15) and rode brakeless for a YEAR, till a friend gave me a shimano tiagra short road caliper, which I think looks so cool, I just HAD to install it, even though I've only used it about 4 times in as many months, I ride everyday, and can't remember the last time I had an exertion injury, as opposed to just falling off the damn thing! and I ride AGGRESSIVE most of the time (I can't help it,..I'm mental or something )
diet can have a huge impact as well,..........as I was told by a professional sports trainer:
"the human body is a remarkable machine, it works with almost no maintenence, and even can repair itself, BUT it can ONLY do that with what you put in your mouth"
made me think twice, and eat better ever since.
so stretch, because you know you should, and probably don't, or maybe you do, but I bet not for long enough. (kinda like NO one brushes their teeth for long enough, same deal)
GT road bike conversion: fixed
Electric beach cruiser grocery bike:
best burrito vehicle EVAR!