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Old 01-11-05, 09:23 PM   #1
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Kness Pain...My 2 Cents

There have been many discussions on message boards regarding knee pain. Thought I would provide what worked for me.

Being a member of the human race, a solution to all is difficult (e.g. one size does not fit all).

A little about me. I am 54 years old and own a recumbent trike, a Catrike Road.

I experienced knee pain with my DF, Weggie, as well with my Catrike this year.

I spent exorbitant monies on a SRAM and rotor cranks on my Catrike. Knee pain still there, but much less.

Just bought knee savers for $46.00 and pain disappeared. There are three sizes. I bought the 30mm (biggest size) only cause I am 6'4" tall and everything should be bigger to fit? They essentially move your foot/leg further away from the pedal. Details are at

Another less expensive solution is increasing your RPMs, a higher number of revolutions. This is often called spinning at a higher rate. The easier exertion on the knee, the better. I use this process.

Have a professional fit you to your bike.

There are probably many ideas to solve knee pain as there are riders.

Recommend you start with the least expensive and move up from there.

Catrike Road #116.

"Cats just don't feel safe on a moving bicycle, no matter how much duct tape you use"--Author unknown
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Old 01-12-05, 02:12 PM   #2
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One of the reasons I took Up biking, was that I was no longer able to run. 15 years of road running, Pre modern day trainers and special types of them, had ruined my knees. Riding means that I can still get the exercise I want, without the strain going to the knees. Mind you, my bike is set up for me on leg length, I spin faster than most Mountain bikers, and I do use those big sprockets at the back. Ocasionally we have new riders come out with us, and several of them do complain about knee problems. A bit of adjustment on saddle height, but normally more important, getting them to cycle with their toes pointing inwards on the bike, does seem to cure them. The other point that helped one of them, was simply a change of shoe but why that worked I do not know.
One point I should make is that Knee problems will not go away, they may get better as you exercise them, but if you have knee problems, go to a doctor or Sports Physio and get it sorted.
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Old 01-12-05, 02:29 PM   #3
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Invest in a great little paperback, "Save Your Knees," by Dr. James Fox. The book is widely available on Yes, use low gears and keep those RPMs up. Be careful how you orient your cleats (or use toeclips and touring shoes, as I do, for free lateral rotation). Keep the seat fairly high. Try periodically standing on the cranks on steep ascents.
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Old 01-12-05, 11:48 PM   #4
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My knee doctor, who did a successful surgical "clean up" of my knee about then years ago, told me I presently have nothing wrong with my knee that would require surgery.
He told me I needed to work on my body mechanics and he sent me to a highly credentialed physical therapist.
It turns out my real problem, which causes real pain in my knee, has everything to do with my ankle, hip and back, and nothing to do with my knee.
When I do the things my physical therapist has taught me to do, the pain goes away.
When the pain comes back, I realize I have fallen back on old habits, on the old ways of organizing an using my body, and it reminds me to do what I have to do.
The techniques that work for me probably won't work for someone else, and so I won't even try to describe them.
However, I would suggest asking one's knee doctor for a referal to a physical therapist, and especially a physical therapist who specializes in sports medicine and/or who has additional training in the Feldenkrais method.
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Old 01-21-05, 05:33 AM   #5
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Thanks for the knee tips. I have mild osteo-arthritis in both knees, and take 400 mg of Ibuprophen each morning. This keeps all pain away. My doc says this is a low dose, and won't do my kidneys any harm. I guess Ibuprophen has been around for a long time. I bike about 30-40 miles a week on a 25 year old Univega road bike. Like you, I try to keep the revs up so not too much pressure is on my knees. In that the Univega is only a ten speed, this is a little hard to do. I need a new bike with lower gears, but I have a kid in college which is keeping me broke! Regards, Tom McGeehan, Somerset, KY
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Old 02-04-05, 12:19 PM   #6
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the folks at grreen speed have been experimenting wiht shorter cranks and discovered that they relive pain. I installed ‘Tandem East’s’ crank arm shorteners, ( with holes that effectively shorten 170mm cranks to 146, 129,and 112mm. The second setting creates a deficiency in the ‘swipe threw pull back’ factor. I could have saved a lot of money by drilling and tapping the cranks at 150mm.
I had some pain relief because my knees are not bent as much as when pushing threw the dead zone that pushes up the kneecaps, but still hurt my self by pushing too hard. It’s a bit harder to climb hills with because there is less leverage and uses slightly different muscle sets. It’s like cranking in a higher gear.
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