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Pain in knee

Old 02-16-17, 06:33 AM
  #1  
Drica
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Pain in knee

Hello
Thanks. Think most has been sorted now!

Last edited by Drica; 02-20-17 at 04:00 AM.
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Old 02-16-17, 06:40 AM
  #2  
steve0257
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You might want to check saddle alignment. How straight it sits. I had a similar problem and has to rotate the saddle just a little bit.
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Old 02-16-17, 07:03 AM
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Others will know better than me but I was under the impression that a pain on the inside of the knee tends to indicate that the saddle is too high, whereas a pain on the outside suggests it is too low. Having said that, though, there may be a number of reasons for knee pain: the alignment of the foot on the pedals is the first that comes to mind. You'll find many guides on the interweb to setting up your bike and they all tend to say pretty much the same thing. Here's one which looked ok to me.

If everything seems to be set up ok then it could just be that your leg muscles need strengthening. At the age of 60 I tend to find that knee pain is something that I have to live with to an extent but, and this is important, the cycling actually helps it. If you find the reverse is true then you may well be causing yourself harm, so be sensible about it.

Best of luck. I had a number of happy rides in the Worcestershire countryside in my younger years: you are fortunate to be living there.

John
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Old 02-16-17, 07:11 AM
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Dave Cutter
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Let's assume the saddle height is fine.

Now start at the beginning.... which is the pedals. You might even have a cleat that is off (just the one knee). Align/adjust the cleats to position you feet correctly (check on-line charts). Then also check the saddle fore and aft position (not height).
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Old 02-16-17, 07:12 AM
  #5  
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If you have an LBS that you are friendly with they may do a seat adjustment for you for free. You may need to move your seat forward a little if the height is right. Knee pain can come from straining more than you are condition for and hammering at lower cadence would make it worse.
My 2 cents...
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Old 02-16-17, 07:41 AM
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I you can Sit on the Saddle and your feet can both be on the ground, The Saddle is Too Low.
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Old 02-16-17, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
I you can Sit on the Saddle and your feet can both be on the ground, The Saddle is Too Low.
That's a slightly misleading statement. If you can put both feet flat on the ground then, yes, your saddle is definitely too low. Personally I can put both feet on the ground, with my toes bent, on my road bike but probably not on my mountain bike, which has a greater stand over height. Much better to follow the guide to get the correct saddle to pedal position than to judge by whether you can get both feet on the ground.

Of course, on my recumbent I can not only get both feet comfortably on the ground, I can get both hands there as well! But let's not get into that now!

John

Last edited by jgwilliams; 02-16-17 at 08:03 AM. Reason: Added bit about recumbent
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Old 02-16-17, 08:12 AM
  #8  
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As a rule I have sometimes found that being able to barely pedal with your heels is an indication of proper seat height. Don't know if this is generally accepted but it seems to work for me. Mixing my activity also helps with occasional knee pain, I try walking more when I have pain and it too seems to help.
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Old 02-16-17, 08:28 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Drica View Post
I cant have my both feet on the ground. Im quite small. with small legs. Only one feet. The other reaches the floor if I stretch a bit lol
I would say your saddle is definitely too high, in that case. I find with one pedal up I can put the other on the floor quite comfortably. However, it does depend on the stand over height of your bike which is one I'm not familiar with. If it has front suspension then it will normally have a greater stand over height than one without suspension in order to allow for the suspension travel - which is why my mountain bike is taller than my road bike. The longer the suspension travel the greater the allowance. So, I repeat, go by the saddle-to-pedal set up, not by whether you can reach the ground.

Your comment about the scratches on the crank is interesting. Do you also wear the soles or heels of your shoes unevenly? If so there may be an issue there which might be corrected by a wedge of some sort, but I think you'd need to be using cleats for this.

On a related subject, I was having huge problems with getting saddle sores on my road bike. I lowered the saddle by only a centimetre and the problem has mostly gone. Getting that positioning right can reap unexpected benefits. If you're struggling to get your cadence over 70 rpm that could also be because your saddle is too high, but it's also something that comes with practice.

John
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Old 02-16-17, 09:09 AM
  #10  
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Drica, I'm by no means an expert. I'm fixing to be 62 and started riding a year ago and have learned a lot about how "I" need to ride. I have read many articles about knee pain for I was getting knee pain too for a while. I found that the two main reasons for knee pain is either not sitting right or pushing too hard. Pushing too hard seems to be a main culprit. I found for me, that if I try to keep a 75 to 85 cadence WITHOUT PUSHING too hard eliminated my knee pain I was having. I ride a hybrid. Even though you do all these other activities, when riding, you're probably using muscles around your knees that you're not using in the other activities or at least not as much. I'm always paying attention to my cadence and ALWAYS trying not to push too hard (at least not for a long period of time). I can do 25 to 40 miles easily now and have no knee pain anymore. It took me a real long time to find my sweet place for the saddle height. Slight adjustments in the saddle height can make a huge difference...at least for me. Good luck with your knee pain. IMO, I believe that if your bike fit is okay, then you're pushing too hard.
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Old 02-16-17, 09:22 AM
  #11  
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No, don't go for a ride with it really low. As Tommy1955 says, make small adjustments - and don't make another until you are certain whether you're going the right way or not. If you aren't using cleats, though, I think you'll struggle with getting the cadence up as your foot will tend to slide around on platforms. If you don't feel confident about switching to cleats you could try some old fashioned toe clips with straps.
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Old 02-16-17, 10:06 AM
  #12  
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^^^ I just start with 83% of my inseam measured from floor to chamois. Use a book with a 1-inch or so binding. Stand with your back and heels against a wall. Then pull up the book with some force into your crotch (to simulate you sitting). Keep the edge of the book against the wall. Then have a friend mark the wall at the top of the book with a pencil. You can use the online guides like the one linked to above to play with saddle fore/aft, cleat position and stem length. Ideally, I would go to a a good bike fitter that was recommended by other riders and/or shops. He/she may charge you a lot to do a complete fitting. But its money well spent since it should do all of the above and also take your flexability into account to help with stem length, handlebar height, etc.

Last edited by ptempel; 02-16-17 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 02-16-17, 10:09 AM
  #13  
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Just raise the Saddle up 1/4 of an inch at a time until the pain goes away.
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Old 02-16-17, 10:09 AM
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Drica, I'm beginning to think that your problem is that you're pushing too hard and is why you're having the knee pain. I'm not quite sure how to instruct you if your lungs are having a hard time with higher cadences with easy gears but I can assure you that if you're pushing too hard, you are extremely likely to have knee pain. The only think I can maybe recommend, which is what I did for me, is to gradually work at it in what ever gear you need to be in to do a 60 cadence without pushing too hard for a couple of weeks or so. Then try doing a slightly higher cadence and build into it (maybe a different gear). If you continue to have knee pain, then I would think you would most likely damage you knees to where you might not be able to ride. My speed and gear I ride at is all based off of what I can do around and 80 cadence +/- without pushing hard. I started out last year with a Trek 6000 mountain bike. I now have a new Trek FX3 which has much better gears and easier to ride at faster speeds without pushing too much. Your body will tell you, such as your knees, your limitations. My biggest problem is head winds and long uphills but I only go as fast as I can without pushing it too hard...only for my knees sake. I hope I'm not giving you bad advice or suggestions. Everyone's body and muscle tone is different.
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Old 02-16-17, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Just raise the Saddle up 1/4 of an inch at a time until the pain goes away.
I have to agree with 10 wheels to a degree because I did that too but pushing too hard in too high a gear will almost guarantee some kind of knee pain if it starts giving pain after 5 miles and further. At least for me.
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Old 02-16-17, 10:31 AM
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Drica, a couple more comments. You mention your lungs. I ride with a heart monitor (with chest strap) and watch it closely. At my age and for me, I try to maintain a 109 to 125 or so heart rate for my 20 to 40 mile rides which doesn't exhaust me very much on my long rides. I say long rides but that is a fairly relative term and what is a long ride for me may be short for a lot of people... especially if you're younger. I seldom ride less than 15 miles. I ride with flat shoes and ride with 5-10s. These shoes grab the pedals very good and my shoes don't slide ever. Some people even complain that they grip too much. I think I paid around $80.00 for these shoes at the local REI store.
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Old 02-16-17, 11:25 AM
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Last thought. If you're riding on roads or paths other than dirt or gravel and have a mountain bike, you probably have 3 gears in the front. Try riding in the middle gear if you're not. That may help. I always ride in the middle gear in the front.
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Old 02-16-17, 12:36 PM
  #18  
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I had severe knee pain and went and paid for a bike fitting. There is more to knee pain adjustments that just the seat height. You need to make sure you have the correct fore-aft saddle position, the correct balance of weight between seat/bars/feet, the proper rotational angles for hip movement versus knee, etc. As you can see, there is actually a lot involved. And every time you change one of those factors, you will likely need to adjust the others. If you can't/don't want to pay for a professional fitting, then I recommend you start with a basic orientation and make changes one at a time, one centimeter at a time. First, set your seat height (this will give you a starting point: Bicycle Saddle Height Calculator). Then, check your reach (you should feel comfortable gripping the bars with you wrists fairly straight, not dropped, and your arms should be close to a 90 degree angle). Have someone hold a straight edge at the end of your knee in the 3 o'clock position and it should hit the pedals near the middle/axle. With the seat height set as above, if your reach is off or your knee position is way off, you may need to consider a different stem or smaller cranks. Which leads me to what my solution was -- I am 5'4" and my bike came with 170mm cranks, fairly standard. They were much to long for me and causing lots of knee pain as I over-rotated through my knee every time. I purchased 160mm cranks and my knee pain was fully resolved. Do you know what size cranks you have? There are online calculators which can tell you what size you need for your inseam. Yes, it is complex but getting the right fit is worth it so don't give up.
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Old 02-16-17, 12:38 PM
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Foot angle was mentioned. Whether you're using clipless or plain flat pedals, you should know whether you're naturally neutral, toe-out, or toe-in. Sit on the bed, or on the kitchen counter even, where you can let your legs dangle. With your knees 7-8 inches apart, relax and observe your feet. So they point straight ahead or do they angle in or out? That's the foot placement you should duplicate on the bike. Next, observe while you're riding, do your knees follow a straight circle, or do they pop out for part of the circle? If they're not staying in the same plane, then clipless pedals that don't allow for float will cause problems.

Seat height should be determined by your leg extension at the furthest part of the pedal stroke. Your knees should still be bent at about 15-20 degrees at full extension, without rocking your hips. In very, almost dangerously-rough terms, I've found that if you straddle the bike, the nose of the saddle should hit you in the tailbone.
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Old 02-16-17, 12:53 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Drica View Post
.... Dave I use flat pedals. They are DMR V8 and my shoes are 661 Filter SPD. I also use on my training on the whatbike my Nike Free 5.0
Interesting... DMR V8 platform pedals.... but with shoes that are designed for SPD clipless pedals.

Nothing wrong with a platform pedal. Most of the world rides with plain old platform pedals (I think). And most of the world also sets the saddle height so they can remain seated and still touch tippy toes when stopped. I'd guess that most of the world rides fairly slow for fairly short distances as well.

But foot placement is important to the knee when cycling. And it may be hard to control just exactly where and at what angles you foot is placed in comparison to you knees.... when using platform pedals.
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Old 02-16-17, 12:57 PM
  #21  
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I was getting knee pain but my saddle height was good. So I set my seat back by about 1.5" and that stopped the knee pain. Check the setback of your saddle ; )
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Old 02-17-17, 07:05 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Drica View Post
......... My boyfriend has exactly the same shoes and pedals and has no problem with them!! =(
Yes. And I'd bet that many people have your same bike... and have no knee problem either. What is fine for another... or many even many thousands of others... has little if anything to do with your problem.

Maybe a doctor might be what you need to narrow down the cause of your pain.
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