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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 09-21-09, 12:43 AM   #1
databike
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Fixed Gears aren't bad for your knees

People keep saying fixies are bad for your knees, but that is only if you don't have brakes right?
I could see constant hard skidding as bad for your knees, but if you have front brakes, and back pedal under 10 miles, and use your brake to slow down in emergencies etc etc, how could it be bad for your knees?

So, they aren't, as long as you don't skid too much and back pedal at greater speeds right?
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Old 09-21-09, 01:16 AM   #2
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Pushing 90+ gear inches up a massive hill isn't exactly knee-friendly--- but I believe the hype about riding fixed to be bad for knees is largely BS. I would imagine if you were riding clipless with cleats that were clearly out of alignment, it would not be a pleasant situation. But even skidding isn't bad for knees if you are doing it right.
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Old 09-21-09, 01:48 AM   #3
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From what I have heard, any resisting is bad for your knees.
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Old 09-21-09, 02:54 AM   #4
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Resisting is the same as pressure from pushing down. Yanking up hard may be a different story, as I don't see how that's something nature anticipated in your joint design.

Riding a reasonable gear, riding fixed gear is NOT bad for your knees. ****, my knees got much better after I started riding fixed.
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Old 09-21-09, 03:23 AM   #5
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It also comes down to fit and setup as well.
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Old 09-21-09, 04:16 AM   #6
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Use brakes.
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Old 09-21-09, 04:44 AM   #7
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Resisting is the same as pressure from pushing down. Yanking up hard may be a different story, as I don't see how that's something nature anticipated in your joint design.

Riding a reasonable gear, riding fixed gear is NOT bad for your knees. ****, my knees got much better after I started riding fixed.
from the increase in muscle strength around the knee I bet.
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Old 09-21-09, 07:54 AM   #8
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I agree, skateboarding for 6 years in my late teens....that was bad for my knees. I can't really do any running sports but riding SS MTB and Fixed Road have no effect. I ride 48-17 fixed and 34-16 MTB. I can't say that I never have knee pain, but it's rare. This is without a brake, city riding (relatively flat).
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Old 09-21-09, 08:08 AM   #9
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Resisting is the same as pressure from pushing down.
Not at all. Concentric and Eccentric muscle contractions are two different things.
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Old 09-21-09, 08:11 AM   #10
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I don't feel like riding fixed does anything too harmful to my knees.

I run 77.8" and skid a lot and have never felt any sort of discomfort. In fact, I'd say hard resisting over skipping or a smooth controlled skid is much more high impact on the knees.
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Old 09-21-09, 08:16 AM   #11
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Not at all. Concentric and Eccentric muscle contractions are two different things.
Pushing down on the front side of the pedal stroke to go forward and pushing down on the back side of the pedal stroke to slow down are effectively the same.
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Old 09-21-09, 08:22 AM   #12
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Pushing down on the front side of the pedal stroke to go forward and pushing down on the back side of the pedal stroke to slow down are effectively the same.
No, they aren't. Concentric and Eccentric muscle contractions are not effectively the same. That's why they have different names and definitions.
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Old 09-21-09, 08:25 AM   #13
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So a minor change in angle at my knee changes completely the effect on my leg muscles? Same muscles are pushing down either way. Prove to me it's bad for my knees.
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Old 09-21-09, 08:29 AM   #14
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So a minor change in angle at my knee changes completely the effect on my leg muscles? Same muscles are pushing down either way. Prove to me it's bad for my knees.
Wow. Dude...

You can't see a difference between PUSHING and RESISTING? Seriously?

And who said anything about being bad for your knees? Why would I have to prove that to you?
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Old 09-21-09, 08:31 AM   #15
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I don't think it's good for your knees...

Skidding isn't that bad, it's resisting you have to watch out for. Resisting the pedals is the most harmful thing that most fixed gear riders do. I did it a lot at first, and then my knees started to hurt. Now I just skip/skid, and they don't hurt that bad.

Anyways, OP, bottom line is that noone here is a doctor (unless they are, but I doubt it). If you want a TRUE answer, ask a doctor, preferrably a sports doctor. Or you can listen to the rest of us-- who's knowledge on this topic extends to our 9th grade biology class...
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Old 09-21-09, 08:31 AM   #16
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re: knees, that's kind of the point of the thread.

ANYWAY, Whether I'm going or slowing, I'm actively PUSHING on the pedals. I'm not resisting on the backside, I'm pushing against it.
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Old 09-21-09, 08:35 AM   #17
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re: knees, that's kind of the point of the thread.

ANYWAY, Whether I'm going or slowing, I'm actively PUSHING on the pedals. I'm not resisting on the backside, I'm pushing against it.
Forgive me if I'm getting frustrated, it's early in the morning and I hate monday.

That said, no you are not pushing on the backside of the stroke. If you were doing that, you would instantly switch from going forwards to backwards. You are RESISTING on the pedals, as you are exerting force against the pedals and the pedals are pushing your leg into flexion, not the other way around. The pedals are pushing your leg, and you are exerting force in the OPPOSITE direction that your legs are moving.

For the third time, I've already told you the answer to this discussion. Eccentric and Concentric muscle contractions are two different actions. Go to wikipedia, that's your answer right there.
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Old 09-21-09, 08:36 AM   #18
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OK FINE. Go do your morning thing. Have another muffin or something.

EDIT: and if it makes you feel any better, I have food poisoning and had to teach today (I'm on vacation) because another teacher went AWOL
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Old 09-21-09, 08:41 AM   #19
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People keep saying fixies are bad for your knees, but that is only if you don't have brakes right?
I could see constant hard skidding as bad for your knees, but if you have front brakes, and back pedal under 10 miles, and use your brake to slow down in emergencies etc etc, how could it be bad for your knees?

So, they aren't, as long as you don't skid too much and back pedal at greater speeds right?


Running can be bad for your knees, and thats a natural thing, so why not riding fixed?
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Old 09-21-09, 09:37 AM   #20
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Don't ride a bike. Exercise is bad for you.
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Old 09-21-09, 03:03 PM   #21
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i have had bad knees for 10+ years. i feel it all the time. when i first get on the bike i can feel it more, but im not sure thats a fixed thing or a bike thing. my knees dont take kindly to many activities, but i push on.

pushing down on the upswing of the pedals to slow down def feels ****ty tho.
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Old 09-21-09, 03:03 PM   #22
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I think fixed gear riding def puts more stress on legs/knees than regular(free) riding.
Wether knee problems arise because of it...I think there are alot of factors which will
affect individuals diffrently.
Maybe we should start a poll of Riders that have been riding fixed for over 5+ years and see where their knees are at?
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Old 09-21-09, 03:10 PM   #23
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Old 09-21-09, 03:18 PM   #24
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I raced track for years and trust me riding fixed on the street with no brakes can be bad for your knees, especially if you have an existing injury.

But hey, you guys are young & new at it and won't feel it yet so don't worry about it.
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Old 09-21-09, 05:54 PM   #25
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don't walk down steps guys, that **** will kill you in time.
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