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One Sided Knee Pain on First Ride With New Saddle

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One Sided Knee Pain on First Ride With New Saddle

Old 09-06-13, 05:20 PM
  #1  
Parson
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One Sided Knee Pain on First Ride With New Saddle

I've been cycling for just over a year with no knee pain what so ever.

I had been riding a Bontrager Inform RL saddle in size 146 up until last week. That saddle put too much pressure on my taint area but I lived with it until now.

This week I started the Specialized demo program and started with a Romin 143. Before swapping saddles, I took careful measurements of seat height and how far my knees were from the handlebars. I installed the Romin to what I thought was the exact same position as my old saddle.

Within a few pedal strokes, I could tell that the Romin was much more comfortable on my taint and put more pressure (slight pain) on my sit bones. I also felt like I was perched up higher, like my seat height was higher than previously.

I rode like that for about 20 minutes with gradually increasing discomfort/ache in my hips so I thought I should drop the seat height slightly. I dropped the sear height a few mm, and continued on. Now the seat height felt closer to my old saddle.

I continued on for another 1.5 hours. My taint was much more comfortable and I felt like the Romin was better for me in some ways, but it caused my hips and knees to ache like I used to feel when I first started riding long distances a year ago. I figured this was part of getting used to a slightly different position. When my ride was finished, I figuredy body would adjust, my sit bones would adapt to the increase in pressure, and that the Romin would be an improvement.

About an hour after the ride, I felt the outside of my left knee starting to hurt. When I woke up the next morning, I had to walk with a limp because the pain in my left knee was so bad. Over the past two days, the pain has resolved.

I went for a short easy ride today with the romin still on, and the pain came back. This time I could feel it non the bike with every pedal stroke.

So, what do you think it is? Is it the saddle height? Is it the saddle? Is it a coincidence? What can I do to help?

Thank you
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Old 09-06-13, 05:30 PM
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No one has ever complained about this saddle.

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Old 09-08-13, 10:50 AM
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Return that saddle and change it by a toupe, the top is flat like the old one.

No idea if you did before but everytime you change the saddle you have to measure the seat back and the saddle height and then you put the new saddle in.

Good luck.

Last edited by ultraman6970; 09-08-13 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 09-08-13, 08:08 PM
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it can be many things, all acting/ conspiring to cause the start of issues.
first lets say that there is no std cycling year. Everyone's cycling year is likely different in many repects to many other riders. So the comment - riding for over a year - serves only to define some assumptions we have to make.
Assumptions
1. That this is the one bike you've had in that year.
2. That you've not made any changes to your riding position for however many miles/hours you've ridden for that yr.
3. That you've not had any issues related to your butt, stones and legs during that year.
4.That rides of 1.5 hrs+ are not infrequent during that year.
5. that you've not made any changes to your foot/shoe position during that time.
6. assuming that you're riding some pedal system which 'fixes' your foot to the pedal, and for many 'clipless' systems that also means foot rotation.
7. you haven't made any other positional changes, such as bar position and height.
Lets say that there is no 'absolute' position for any one cyclist. There are advantages and in some cases better positions based on any rider's physiology and issues. But many of us can 'adapt' to a saddle position over an extended period of time. Change that position in some significant (rider dependent) way and we can develop 'problems'.
Based on all this, my first reaction is to think that you haven't placed the new saddle in the same spatial place, that your butt experiences, as where the old saddle provided. Why? Because the knees generally don't know from saddles. They only know the rotational motion your legs make and the rotational positins your upper leg and lower ge make to each other. This becomes especially important when the foot is fixed to the pedal both in fore/aft as well as rotation.
So is the new saddle putting your butt/sitzbones in the same position as the old saddle did? SInce this is relational to the position of the feet/pedals/cranks, that means not just saddel height but also the fore/aft position behind the pedal rotation?
A change of as little as 1/4 to 3/8 inch (a few millmeters) off on any of these, with a sudden change, can cause issues for some riders.
It's not uncommon for an issue to appear on only one side - most of us are not 'perfectly' symetrical, especially when it comes to dimensions of our limbs. What's acceptable for one side may not be tolerable for the other.
So, what did you do to make certain your butt was in the same position as before (when you swapped the saddles)?

And it could be saddle shape. There are so many saddles because many of us need different saddle shapes. There are different widths because most of us can;t do with just one width.
Once you've made sure that you have ACCURATELY placed the new saddle in a place which puts you where you were with the old saddle. Then it's time to compare the saddle shapes and widths. If a saddle causes you to change the leg angle during your pedal stroke, that can also cause knee issues. Both shape and width can affect this.
The saddle's first, most important function is to locate the torso in a position that allows you to do the pedaling motion at what you best want. Only then it needs to provide some comfort while doing that, which would include deal with the stick and stones (and other parts for females). AS it happens we need for all this to happen at the same time.
Oh, one more assumption. I'll assume that you can exactly replace your old saddle so you can get over your knee problem before you attack the saddle situation again when the knee no longer aches...
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Old 09-10-13, 05:20 PM
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Thanks for the replies. To expand on my history so that fewer assumptions are required...

I've ridden the same bike for the year

I haven't adjusted my position in 11 months

The problems I was having with my seat area were pressure in the perineum area and a pressure spot that matched up with edge of my chamois. I've never had any problems with either leg while or after cycling (until now).

2 hour rides are common for me. I usually do 2-2.5 hour rides twice a week and a 3-3.5 hour ride on the weekend.

I ride time iclic2 pedals and haven't adjusted my foot position.

The only change i made to my bars was to go narrower 5 months ago, which is more comfortable for me.

When I tried to make sure I had the saddle in the same position, I put a level on the saddle where my sit bones are on the saddle and measured to the floor and made sure both saddles were the same height. I then put a dot on my knee and made sure my knee was the same distance from the handlebar with both saddles. Despite doing this, there was no doubt that I sat higher with the new saddle. Even though it couldn't be much more than a few mm difference, I could feel the difference.

The new saddle was much wider in the nose. In fact, after a while, my inner thighs actually hurt from it and were tender the next day from it. Thinking about that, I wonder if my hip abductors would have been more active than usual? Trying to pull my thigh away from midline to reduce discomfort?

I did write down the measurements, so I should be able to put the old saddle back where it was. I've switched out the romin for a romin eco which has a narrower nose. I hope to do a very short gentle ride on Friday to see how it feels.

Thanks for the input and ideas.
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Old 09-11-13, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Parson View Post
...When I tried to make sure I had the saddle in the same position, I put a level on the saddle where my sit bones are on the saddle and measured to the floor and made sure both saddles were the same height. I then put a dot on my knee and made sure my knee was the same distance from the handlebar with both saddles. Despite doing this, there was no doubt that I sat higher with the new saddle. Even though it couldn't be much more than a few mm difference, I could feel the difference.

The new saddle was much wider in the nose. In fact, after a while, my inner thighs actually hurt from it and were tender the next day from it. Thinking about that, I wonder if my hip abductors would have been more active than usual? Trying to pull my thigh away from midline to reduce discomfort?

I did write down the measurements, so I should be able to put the old saddle back where it was. I've switched out the romin for a romin eco which has a narrower nose. I hope to do a very short gentle ride on Friday to see how it feels.

Thanks for the input and ideas.
since you didn;t change bikes, your measurements should get you close, but I'd recommend using a different set of measurements which you can then use if you need to transfer to another machine - check the thread on 'Transfer settings' for those. Same for your 'knee position' thing - it will allow much greater variability than you really want to rely on... Better to use something like "saddle to BB setback"...

No question that saddle nose width and any corresponding difference in the shape profile will affect your pedal stroke. You note that the romin irritated your inner thigh. Very likley the shape/profile was casuing this. Even without irritation the profile could be casusing you to splay your legs more on the pedal stroke - which would certainly account for the knee irritation. Changing your pedal stroke dramatically (which this would be...) and suddenly can cause real issues, as you noted. Combined with not the same saddle placement and I think you found out the result...
I'd go gentle and short on testing the other romin, You may find the general 'romin' shape is just not for you. Specialized and other saddle makers have numerous different shapes - if the Bontrager shape/profile works then try to match that with a saddle that gives the perineum relief.
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Old 09-27-13, 03:26 AM
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sounds like it may be as simple as the saddle is out of line. sometimes we miss the obvious. also ,bike fit has a ripple effect. change one thing you have to change them all. but if it hurts,dont do it! there are other sadlles to try,too. I like the new Cobb's. but they take some gitting used too. i have a fizik on my CAAD8 and like it inuff not to switch if I ride the other bike. most LBS's have a test ride program with the major saddle makers. and there are tons for sale on ebay. keep going till you find the one that fits you. and take your old saddle with you before you head out far from home on a new one. and a wrench!
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