can anybody help me find a good combination which would result in less knee stress ??
I ride a MTB and lately I've been developing a knee problem. The doc told me that whatever I do, I must strain my knees less (he warned I might even have to stop alltogether if it gets worse. NIGHTMARE!!!!). Can anybody suggest a which is better - bare, normal bear trap pedals, Toe Clips, or SPDs ?? If you suggest the latter, which brand would be better for the knees ? Also, would a shorter crank help ? like a 170 instead of 175 ?
It's difficult to give good advice, with the information available. Any good clipless pedal to your preference should do the job, provided you feet take their natural position. Your position and bike setup is also very important. Ride easy gears and spin, don't push big gears. Normally, after rest and recovery, most knee problems disappear.
Where is the pain in your knee? Front or back, or on the inside or outside. It could be your seat height, or as snowplug says, just pushing too big a gear. I use SPD's and like them, I'll never go back to regular pedals. When you get them, you have to make sure the angle is set properly, which just takes some test runs.
I have bad knees too.
I'm 5' 9" and if I use any crank longer than a 170 it hurts.
I do have a bike with a 172.5 but I must be very careful when I ride it.
I've found that as I get older and more brittle etc., I spin more and mash/push less.
Have your local bike shop, or local expert make sure your position is right on the saddle both up and down AND fore and aft. You'll need to find someone who has many years of experience and/or good training/coaching. Look at Greg Lemond's or Bernard Hinault's books or something by Andy Pruitt. If you can't find someone, the books will help and if you can find someone to help they'll help you root out the posers.
As for pedals, personally I prefer Looks. ALL you really need to do is make sure whatever you get lets your foot pivot a bit to relieve knee stress and make sure the ball of your foot is over the pedal axle.
Keep your knees close to the top tube to ensure they're going straight up and down and not "swinging-out" at the top of the stroke, very important for pain/injury prevention and efficiency.
Check your quad to hamstring strength ratio, it should be 3 to 2, if not work on the quads.
Try some stretching, only when warm, after the ride, no bouncing and do it slow.