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My knees hurt really bad. Help.

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My knees hurt really bad. Help.

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Old 10-10-18, 08:54 AM
  #1  
rabsaque
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My knees hurt really bad. Help.

Hi guys nice to be part of this group with so many people that love bikes as much as I do, I'm writing cause I'm facing an issue and haven't found conclusive data about it.

Recently I got a new job about 7 miles from home, so I decided to ride to it every day that makes it 14 miles 5 days a week.

I had to move from my home country Venezuela to Peru due to economic an political crisis, same crisis that made me sell my bike so I didn't ride for like 2 years so first thing i did on Peru when i got my paycheck was to buy me a new bike, but ooo dear did i was rust!!!

first times riding were ok but as i get close to my first 3 months of biking to work i'm starting to feel a horrible pain on my knees is sooo bad that i need to use my arms to sit on a chair or anywhere cause the pain is horrendous some other commuter friends told me that it migth be my pedaling technique or my saddle height i m 1.85 cm tall guy but last time i tried to ge my saddle height right pain just got worse, what can i do to ease it it might get worse?


share your knowledge with me, please.
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Old 10-10-18, 06:23 PM
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NiGoCo
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Were on the knee is your pain? Inside or outside? Behind the kneecap?
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Old 10-10-18, 06:34 PM
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I have a lot of knee pain if I am not consistent with my cycling. For example if I ride really hard for a few days and then not at all for a few more, I will end up with pain. For me, riding more usually helps it. Ultimately in my case it is some muscles are tighter than others in my legs and this causes my knee joint to be put under strain. Going up stairs can be particularly hard a times but if all is in balance, it is fine.
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Old 10-10-18, 06:49 PM
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I'm a bit like @volvostephen . The more I ride, the better the knees. But, if I take a few days off riding... WHEW!!!

However, in @rabsaque 's case, it sounds like something is definitely wrong.

I would have to guess that @rabsaque is slightly taller than 1.85cm. However, if the height is closer to 1.85m, that would put him between 6' and 6'1".

Perhaps some pictures and measurements of the bicycle. "size"?

If you can get around without a bike, I'd take a week off from bike commuting, and see how that impacts you.
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Old 10-10-18, 10:18 PM
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saddle high, shift down, knees straight, floating cleats
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Old 10-11-18, 05:52 AM
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Things that have trouble me over the years WRT knees and cycling:
- saddle height - good leg extension is important
- cleats with enough float, correct angle. I need to ride heels-in a bit.
- cadence/gearing. Knees don't mind repetitive motion much. But high angle+ hard push can easily upset them. I've had to retrain myself from pedalling hard-and slow into fast-and-light, which made my knees a lot happier. Shorter crank arms and tight gearing made that easier.
- Stretching, mostly hip flexors and front of thigh. On me, these got seriously short, and strong. Together they pulled the kneecap out of alignment.Stretching and complementary exercises for the opposing muscles helped keep the kneecap where it belongs.
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Old 10-11-18, 10:20 AM
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Better research chondromalacia to determine if that may be the issue and change riding style as necessary…


Chondromalacia patellae, also known as “runner’s knee,” is a condition where the cartilage on the undersurface of the patella (kneecap) deteriorates and softens. This condition is common among young, athletic individuals, but may also occur in older adults who have arthritis of the knee.
… if so, you may be fine if you change your riding style-- more spinning... no pushing--e.g., below 80 RPM is pushing and above the 80s is spinning.
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Old 10-12-18, 09:02 AM
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Common wisdom is that pain in the front of the knee means the saddle is too low, and pain behind the knee means the saddle is too high.

That is, if saddle height is the problem -- that's the most common problem, but other things could be involved.

I have very out-turned feet, and before I got pedal extenders, I got very bad pain on the outsides of my knees (google "IT band") from riding with me feet forced straight forward. Rest cured that, and pedal extenders kept it from coming back.
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Old 10-12-18, 09:13 AM
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Juan Foote
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So wait, am I having a flashback....or is this a duplicate thread?

I recall replying to this and having some discussion with another poster about the geography of Peru.

???
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Old 10-12-18, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by rabsaque View Post
Hi guys nice to be part of this group with so many people that love bikes as much as I do, I'm writing cause I'm facing an issue and haven't found conclusive data about it.

Recently I got a new job about 7 miles from home, so I decided to ride to it every day that makes it 14 miles 5 days a week.

I had to move from my home country Venezuela to Peru due to economic an political crisis, same crisis that made me sell my bike so I didn't ride for like 2 years so first thing i did on Peru when i got my paycheck was to buy me a new bike, but ooo dear did i was rust!!!

first times riding were ok but as i get close to my first 3 months of biking to work i'm starting to feel a horrible pain on my knees is sooo bad that i need to use my arms to sit on a chair or anywhere cause the pain is horrendous some other commuter friends told me that it migth be my pedaling technique or my saddle height i m 1.85 cm tall guy but last time i tried to ge my saddle height right pain just got worse, what can i do to ease it it might get worse?


share your knowledge with me, please.

One word: Cloves! Well, here are a few more words. You didn't mention your age, but you could have plain vanilla arthritis. Arthritis is an inflammatory disease, and cloves have a number of anti-inflammatory substances. I buy dried cloves from nuts.com, and then grind them using a mortar and pestle. After very long rides my arthritic hip will ache, but about 15 ground cloves washed down with water will make me feel limber and pain-free again. I take the cloves as needed, and wait about 4 hours after the ride before taking them. Cloves are also loaded with anti-oxidants, and it's possible, at least theoretically that these anti-oxidants could blunt the fitness-enhancing aspect of the exercise. That's why I wait a few hours.

This advice is in addition to all of the other advice you've gotten in this thread...once you've tried changing the bike fit, try the cloves!
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Old 10-12-18, 09:34 AM
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I get knee pain when my seat is too low or I am grinding toohard for too long.
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Old 10-12-18, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Juan Foote View Post
So wait, am I having a flashback....or is this a duplicate thread?

I recall replying to this and having some discussion with another poster about the geography of Peru.

???
Yes. I replied to this elsewhere also. Anyone remember where that thread is?
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Old 10-12-18, 10:29 AM
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CliffordK
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Yes. I replied to this elsewhere also. Anyone remember where that thread is?
https://www.bikeforums.net/general-c...ease-help.html

I'll submit a request to get topics merged, and possibly moved.
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Old 10-12-18, 10:59 AM
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Sounds like a good candidate of e-bike.
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Old 10-12-18, 11:21 AM
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CliffordK
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
Sounds like a good candidate of e-bike.
Perhaps.

Mopeds and scooters are very popular in Peru. But, the first step might be to try to figure out what is causing the pain.
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Old 10-13-18, 12:18 AM
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Make sure you have the correct crank length for your leg length (inseam). I found this can make a big difference. Most bikes come with 170mm cranks which is for roughly for a 32" inseam. If your legs are shorter, then it can put extra stress on your knees. If the cranks are too long, the top of your stroke will be too high and your legs will be extended further at the front of the stroke, both of which will put extra stress on your knees.

Cadence also makes a big difference in knee pain. The faster you pedal, the less power per stroke that you need to exert to go at the same speed. If you are mashing your pedals at 60 or 70 rpms, your knees are going to hurt. Shift and increase your cadence. It will not feel natural at first but the more you do it, the more you will get used to it. Before you can increase your cadence, make sure your saddle is the correct height. If you are rocking your hips, it will be very difficult or impossible to increase your cadence.

Personally, it made a big difference in my knee pain when I changed from 170mm cranks to 165mm cranks and increased by cadence from 90 rpms to 100 rpms.

Last edited by SactoDoug; 10-13-18 at 12:32 AM.
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Old 10-13-18, 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
Sounds like a good candidate of e-bike.
No.
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Old 10-13-18, 07:24 AM
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I recently started getting pain when I switched saddles. What worked for me was slightly lowering the saddle and moving it back slightly. When making adjustments I suggest making small ones.
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Old 10-14-18, 03:35 PM
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Get a bike fit. use clipless. With the clipless and inserts they can lock your leg in the correct position so it helps eliminate knee pain. Glucosamine works wonders as well.
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Old 12-17-18, 10:50 PM
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I've been doing leg extensions for the past 6 months and it has reduced my knee pain to the point that I had forgotten I have the disability. Before that, I would have to hold on to something to get up from a chair and to sit down.

That's when I figured I had reached that point of no return. Fortunately, weight training proved me wrong. I stopped briefly for a couple of weeks and the pain came back.
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Old 12-18-18, 10:59 PM
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Look up Himalaya joint care on ebay, order a couple bottles. Also a cup of water, a pinch of black pepper and lastly a full tablespoon of Turmeric.

I have not gone back to the VA for a long time for my knees.

Hope it helps ya.
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Old 12-19-18, 02:01 AM
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Originally Posted by rabsaque View Post
I had to move from my home country Venezuela to Peru due to economic an political crisis, same crisis that made me sell my bike so I didn't ride for like 2 years so first thing i did on Peru when i got my paycheck was to buy me a new bike, but ooo dear did i was rust!!!
Lots of movement the last 6 months in SA.

185 cm is nearly as tall as me. You need to make sure that the bike fit is decent at that height.
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Old 12-20-18, 12:09 AM
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Get yourself a referral to a sports doctor or physical therapist. They will assess you and tell you the best approaches to addressing this condition.

Personally I have patellar chondromalachia or however you spell it, accompanied by patellar tendonitis, one leg that due to injuries is an inch shorter than another, a right foot that broke and healed crooked, meniscal tears, and a few other issues both physical and mental. ;-). An orthopedic specialist did a full assessment and described me as “a vertical train wreck practicing ballet” (because of my insistence on pursuing athletic activities)*. A podiatrist while poring over my x-rays muttered something about how he couldn’t believe I was actually walking. Yet not only do I walk, but I cycle, hike, surf, skate, and occasionally dance while cooking.

The docs and PTs, however, have been immensely helpful. If you can’t get an appointment, go online and look up knee pain, try to find a reputable site with suggested exercises. Upthread someone mentioned leg extensions. Those are great. Do them unweighted at first though , just squeezing hard and holding at the top. That’s a start. Work on getting your bike to fit properly, and avoid high gears. Apply ice if need be.

Persist. Your body might say “nay,” but may also surprise you. Best wishes !

* The doc never actually said that; I just made it up. But he did say something to that effect.

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Old 12-21-18, 09:40 AM
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I agree with the below, though I'm not sure anyone really knows how to calculate a rider's ideal crank arm length. We tend to stick with traditions that go back well over a hundred years.

Most cyclists, in my opinion, use cranks that are unnecessarily long. In many cases that means cracks that are too long. Conversely, almost no one uses cranks that are too short.

It can be hard to find cracks shorter than 170, and it is always difficult to find cranks shorter than 165, but even so: if you have knee problems, try getting shorter crank arms.

Originally Posted by SactoDoug View Post
Make sure you have the correct crank length for your leg length (inseam). I found this can make a big difference. Most bikes come with 170mm cranks which is for roughly for a 32" inseam. If your legs are shorter, then it can put extra stress on your knees. If the cranks are too long, the top of your stroke will be too high and your legs will be extended further at the front of the stroke, both of which will put extra stress on your knees.

Cadence also makes a big difference in knee pain. The faster you pedal, the less power per stroke that you need to exert to go at the same speed. If you are mashing your pedals at 60 or 70 rpms, your knees are going to hurt. Shift and increase your cadence. It will not feel natural at first but the more you do it, the more you will get used to it. Before you can increase your cadence, make sure your saddle is the correct height. If you are rocking your hips, it will be very difficult or impossible to increase your cadence.

Personally, it made a big difference in my knee pain when I changed from 170mm cranks to 165mm cranks and increased by cadence from 90 rpms to 100 rpms.
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Old 12-21-18, 11:59 AM
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Big Brother tracking cookies detected my "knee hurt" link and sent me this. Personally, leg extensions, solved my chronic knee pain. No lasers or bracelets needed.


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