Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Fitting Your Bike
Reload this Page >

Pain in Direct Top/Center of Knee Only After Really Long Rides

Notices
Fitting Your Bike Are you confused about how you should fit a bike to your particular body dimensions? Have you been reading, found the terms Merxx or French Fit, and don’t know what you need? Every style of riding is different- in how you fit the bike to you, and the sizing of the bike itself. It’s more than just measuring your height, reach and inseam. With the help of Bike Fitting, you’ll be able to find the right fit for your frame size, style of riding, and your particular dimensions. Here ya’ go…..the location for everything fit related.

Pain in Direct Top/Center of Knee Only After Really Long Rides

Old 04-12-20, 02:43 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 164
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Pain in Direct Top/Center of Knee Only After Really Long Rides

Hello! I want to preface this with that I have zero pain or any sensation whatsoever on any ride with a duration under 5-6 hours. 99% of my rides are under this duration, so I'm not often in this situation.

I sometimes have pain in the top center of my left knee on rides >6 hours in duration. It's really sharp, and quite tender to the touch and strangely enough, goes entirely away if I ride closer to FTP. Yesterday I vEverested on Zwift and was struggling with mild to medium (& occasionally strong) pain for the latter half of the ride; it would flare up & hurt more after the recovery on the descent and then slightly go away as I worked my way up the mountain. On my last ascent, I gunned it and went 90% of FTP (avg the rest of the day around 66-70%). I had zero pain that last time. Considering it was a vE, my avg. cadence was a bit lower than I'd normally choose but this pain happens even when I self-select cadence around 85ish.

This pain comes with both of my bikes, one with mountain bike pedals & the other with road. In all other regards, my bike fit feels perfect - 11 hours on the bike yesterday, zero neck, butt, back, hand, foot etc. pain. Today, a day later, I feel no niggling or sore places, not even my knee (other than my tired muscles lol). Anyone have any idea what could cause something like this? Any quick adjustments I can make to my cleat position or fit that can try to address it?

It's hard to test to see if the fit change would address the problem because as I said, I'd need to ride >6 hours in order to really tell. Nonetheless, I don't feel like it's normal to have this type of pain that goes away with higher intensity - has any heard of that before?

Thanks!
Psychocycles is offline  
Old 04-12-20, 03:10 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bristol, R. I.
Posts: 4,340

Bikes: Specialized Secteur, old Peugeot

Liked 496 Times in 299 Posts
I'm far from expert on these issues but I pay attention to what experts have to say. My book on long distance cycling states that if the pain or discomfort on on the front of the knee, the saddle is too low. However, since you only experience pain on one side only, are you certain there is not a leg length discrepancy. For another possibility, I have some sort of imbalance so that my right knee tends to graze the top tube. In the past, bike shorts would wear more on one side than the other in the crotch area. I've cured this with a shim under the cleat. My recommendation is you check for symmetry in your position. Does you knee track straight up and down or does it wander. Then, there may be an old injury rearing it's head.
berner is offline  
Likes For berner:
Old 04-12-20, 04:30 PM
  #3  
Some Weirdo
 
Ferrouscious's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Rexburg, ID
Posts: 502

Bikes: '86 Schwinn Prelude, '91 Scott Sawtooth, '73 Raleigh "Grand 3"

Liked 141 Times in 92 Posts
Also check your cleat position on that leg. You might be bumping up against the float stop and are in need of an adjustment.
Ferrouscious is offline  
Old 04-12-20, 07:43 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 164
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts


My saddle shows more wear on the logos on the left than the right, I wonder if that's tied in somehow. Been riding this saddle for about 3 years now. Regarding my knee tracking, most of the time it's straight but sometimes it wanders outwards a little. I did some digging on this & it may be due to A) weak glutes B) overtight/strong quads or both.

I checked my cleat position on all 4 shoes I have (2 road, 2 mountain) & noticed that my left cleat was a little bit more outboard than the right on my main trainer shoes, so I adjusted the cleat 0.5 mm inwards to match the right. We'll see if that makes any difference, but I'm not hopeful because the same pain occurs even on my road shoes & those cleats looked similar/identical to one another.

It may or may not be related but when I squat or flex my left leg, my LCL "pops" & feels like it's running over/under a joint. This isn't painful but to my understanding it's due to weak glutes or tight IT band.

Finally, I had my leg length checked (granted by a non-professional) & confirmed that there isn't any or at least an observable discrepancy.

I think the solution, for now, unless someone has other suggestions, is to continue with hip / glute strengthening & mobility work to try to equalize the quad strength & foam roll the quads to try to loosen them up.

Last edited by Psychocycles; 04-12-20 at 07:48 PM.
Psychocycles is offline  
Old 04-13-20, 06:14 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 1,896

Bikes: 1996 Trek 970 ZX Single Track 2x11

Liked 605 Times in 455 Posts
Originally Posted by Psychocycles
My saddle shows more wear on the logos on the left than the right, I wonder if that's tied in somehow. Been riding this saddle for about 3 years now. Regarding my knee tracking, most of the time it's straight but sometimes it wanders outwards a little. I did some digging on this & it may be due to A) weak glutes B) overtight/strong quads or both.
Might well be.

Myself, I've got old muscle injuries in the leg/hip area and it really matters whether there's the least cant (side to side) of a car seat, or bike saddle, or chair. So, cushioning or springs that are weaker on one side, or an incorrectly designed bracket or frame for the saddle/seat, or similar, can cause me discomfort (over time) on one side. Minor alignment issue, but creates strains and aches. But, get it straight and flat and correctly aligned, and those aches disappear. Minor differences, but for me it can make all the difference in the world. (A bit like folks who have a gimpy leg often have the result of slight changes in gait, which over time can cause strains and weakness that a normal gait wouldn't cause.)

So if you've got some old, niggling injury, or some discernable weakness on one side, it might well be contributing.

I think you're on the right path, going after your stretching and strengthening, initially. Might well be all it is. If your saddle's an oldie, you might pick up a second one of the same make/model, to see if that immediately improves things. If not, worst case is you've got a spare.
Clyde1820 is offline  
Old 04-13-20, 11:38 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
phughes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,285
Liked 1,532 Times in 839 Posts
Originally Posted by Psychocycles


My saddle shows more wear on the logos on the left than the right, .
Sitting asymmetrically on the saddle, such as what your saddle wear shows, is generally caused by a too high seat height. That causes you to drop on one side to compensate.
phughes is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.