I know this is a common topic but when I searched I didn't find anything that fit my problem.
My knees are killing me! It's both knees--on and above the knee cap and the pain is a shooting soreness that happens most when I got to sit down or stand up.
What's shocking to me is that I've only been riding 2 times a week, three to five hours at a time. On the other days, I hike for about two hours, which aggravates the pain but I can tell that the biking is what is causing the problem.
I've never had knee trouble before but I'm now on a new bike.
I"m hoping that it is a position problem that will completely vanish when I change something about the way I'm sitting. Right now, when my seat is all the way up, it allows my legs to almost extend fully, though I think it's recommended that it be a bit higher. Is this true? Also, it doesn't seem like my seat tilts. Do all seats tilt? Could this be the problem?
I've been doing a lot of very steep hills that aren't very long in preparation for my first tour that is starting in mid-July. I put my bike in the lowest gear and have been careful to keep the gears low so as not to strain my poor knees.
I'm very worried about my knees because I've got a ticket bought and a route planned for this tour in July. I have this horrible fear that this knee pain is here to stay.
In case you're wondering why I don't go to my local bike shop and get some professional advice, I live in Seoul, Korea and haven't found one that speaks English or that I believe knows enough about cycling particulars, so this forum is all I've got.
Any advice or ideas will be appreciated.
I am not and expert on knee pain, but I will share something from personal experience. I used to do long-distance running. I instisted on continuing training for a marathon in spite of persistent and worsening knee pain. The bottom line--I messed up my knee to the point that I can no longer run again! In other words, I hope that you can solve the problem to the point that you can still go on your tour. However, given a choice between a tour and permanent damage to your knee, I would take care of the knee and forget about the tour, even if you lose money on it.
What's worked for me in biking is to start off a training regime very slowly with regular short flat rides at first, and build up gradually from there, only adding hills later on after my knees and legs start to build up their strength . However, knee problems vary and yours might be completely different than mine. Hopefully somebody here will have a better solution for you that won't require you to step back from your training.
your knee should be bent on the downstroke. probably much more than you have now - most literature suggests a 25-30 degree bend.
what kind of bike is this (road bike?, mtn. bike? cruiser?) it almost sounds like you have an injury or tore something that the pedaling motion is aggrevating. if that is the case, you shouldn't make it worse by riding more.
A professional fitting would be best, but failing that, give a fit calculator a shot. There are plenty available, but the one at Wrench Science seems decent. It will tell you what your seat height should be and plenty of other stuff.
The saddle itself should not have the means to tilit. All new and decent seatposts have heads that tilt. Loosen the bolt on the seatpost just under the saddle a decent amount and you should be able to slide the seat forward and back and rotate it up and down.
Also, as an assistant in helping your knees get better and keeping them good I would suggest taking Glucosamine and Flax Seed oil. I am 21 and had minor knee problems for the last 10 years or so. When I was 14 I was hit by a van and my right knee was messed up even more, it pretty much got better after a year, but always bugged me a little more than the left. My knees would always ache a bit after physical activity and running especially and my kness also popped a fair amount. About 3 months ago I started taking Glucosamine and Flax Seed oil and I have noticed for the first time in as long as I can remember that I never have knee problems and my knees don't pop anymore. You may want to try theses for a few months at least to get the knees back up to par.
bicicletta: What kind of pedals are you using, toe clips and straps or clip in pedals which are sometimes called clipless ? If your feet are constrained at a fixed angle this can sometimes cause knee problems. This happened to me years ago when I made some shoe modifications that kept my feet from rotating. Modern clipin pedals usually have up to ten degrees of play.
bicicletta - make sure you check your fit on the bike. There's tons of info on the web that you can follow for proper fit on a bike. There's something definitely wrong if your knees are hurting. Also, STOP riding your bike until you know the source of the pain. Riding can only make it worse. Good luck!