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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

Knees

Old 11-07-08, 12:20 PM
  #1  
adamwinns
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Knees

I have a bad knee, the doctor basically said the bones in my knee is scraping against the cartilage, and the best thing to do is strengthen the muscles around it.

I'm looking into getting a bike to start straightening my legs to hopefully help my knee.

I want to get a fix gear but I know nothing about them or what I should get.

Can someone give me some pointers..

I read this replying to someone with a bad knee?

In order of importance:
Make sure your bike fits you.
Choose an appropriate gear
Use a brake.

Since I have a knee problem already should I stay away from getting a fix gear?

What size bike would fit me?? I'm 5'8 - 140 pounds - 23 years old.

What an appropriate gear for me? (a newbie thats never ridden with a bad knee)

Any help would be awesome!!

thanks
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Old 11-07-08, 12:21 PM
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I think you should talk to a local shop.
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Old 11-07-08, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by deathhare View Post
I think you should talk to a local shop.
...and sports medicine specialist.

Don't destroy your knees based on what some dudes on the internet say.
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Old 11-07-08, 12:55 PM
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i'm not sure i'd hop on a fixed just yet. huerro's right, talk to someone in sports medicine. a traditional freewheel bike would probably be a good bet until your knees get strong enough. your knees get used/abused quite a bit if you're riding a fixed every single day. when i was working as a messenger there were times when i'd have to ice down every night, and i have no history of knee problems. (then again i was riding upwards of 50 or 60 miles a day with no brake). if you ride less you may be okay.

i also spoke with an older (40 something) messenger who said he'd been riding a fixed his whole adult life and his knees were shot now. he probably rode way more than the average rider, but knees are important, and you only get two until nanotechnology catches up.

again, i'm not in medicine so you should talk to a professional.
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Old 11-07-08, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by dougland89 View Post
i have the same knee problems (both knees) and i forget what it's called, but i ride brakeless and my gearing is 48/16 which i like, i might switch it in the future but for now i like that ratio.
This is probably your first bike, or should I say your first fixed gear bike and it came with that gearing. If you really are riding brakeless you should move up to a 17 to add more skid patches than the 1 you have now. Don't pass advice to someone here pretending you know what you're talking about with your 2 month old Kilo TT and 2 month fixed gear riding experience.
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Old 11-07-08, 01:50 PM
  #6  
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knees

Thanks for all of your help.

I have talked to a local shop and he said defiantly don't ride a fixed gear bike it will make my knee worse.

I'm really just wanting to strengthen my legs and hoping that will help my knee so I can skate/surf again with less pain.

Also the guy from the shop recommended a 52 or 54 inch bike for a guy my size (5'8).

They don't have anything at that store for less then $700. I was hoping to spend in the $300-$500 range but I don't want something crappy.

Any recommendations? Maybe I should just look for a used one??

Thanks again.
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Old 11-07-08, 02:31 PM
  #7  
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Why don't you look into a Motobecane Messenger from Bikes Direct? $349 shipped, two brakes, and it comes with a flip-flop hub so that you can run a freewheel.

Last edited by Waychel; 11-07-08 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 11-07-08, 02:33 PM
  #8  
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buy a steamroller, i love riding mine
 
Old 11-07-08, 02:35 PM
  #9  
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I would personally not ride a fixed gear with knee problems. Brakeless riding hurts my knees and I have never encountered that problem with geared bikes. Even with brakes, a fixed gear stresses the knees more than geared bikes.
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Old 11-07-08, 02:38 PM
  #10  
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but maybe with a reasonable gear ratio this would work to build up muscle...i feel like as long as your not using your legs to slow down all the time then you will be alright
 
Old 11-07-08, 02:40 PM
  #11  
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first of all most bike shop employees' opinion is going to fall into the belief that riding fixed is bad for your knees. A lot of people believe it is a myth since it doesn't affect everyone the same way and it is in no way factual that riding a bike fixed is going to ruin your knees. I can however say any kind of bike can cause knee pain if not appropriate fitted to the rider or if you're pushing some huge gear or lots of resistance.
From experience with a bad left knee I know that riding fixed has not made the situation worse but rather improved the healing of my knee to where now I don't feel any pain like I used to before. It may be the exercise or that I'm running a low gear (44x18) but to me riding fixed does not create knee problems, improper cycling causes knee issues.

Now to recommend a bike for you, If your budget doesn't call for a $700 bike and you want to first rehab your knee back to shape I would go with a Single Speed that you can flip the rear wheel to fixed once your knee is back to normal.

I would highly recommend the Dawes SST from bikesdirect.com for $329. It has a relaxed road geometry and has a flip-flop hub along with full brakes so you can be safe while riding.
https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/sst.htm
One of the guys in a local ride I go to has one and loves the bike, so does everyone here who has purchased one. With the money you save you can put it towards a better saddle, wheels, or anything else you need.
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Old 11-07-08, 02:41 PM
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get a skateboard - better for the knees
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Old 11-07-08, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by adamwinns View Post
Thanks for all of your help.

I have talked to a local shop and he said defiantly don't ride a fixed gear bike it will make my knee worse.

I'm really just wanting to strengthen my legs and hoping that will help my knee so I can skate/surf again with less pain.

Also the guy from the shop recommended a 52 or 54 inch bike for a guy my size (5'8).

They don't have anything at that store for less then $700. I was hoping to spend in the $300-$500 range but I don't want something crappy.

Any recommendations? Maybe I should just look for a used one??

Thanks again.
I wouldn't go with an ss either if I were you. Gears will help you accelerate and climb without putting too much stress on your knees (and still let you have a good top speed). $300-$500 should get you a nice used roadbike, not one that you're going to win the tour on, but a great daily rider or fitness bike.

But mostly I'll stress again, it's probably a good idea to talk to a pt or sports doctor.
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Old 11-07-08, 03:19 PM
  #14  
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Spinning in a low gear is what you want to do. No back pedaling/resistance to grate. This is how I used cycling to recover from skating knee injuries.
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Old 11-07-08, 03:43 PM
  #15  
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knee

I'm not even sure what spinning is.
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Old 11-07-08, 03:55 PM
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spinning, easy spin , low gearing so your not torquing much power through the joint. This will allow the joint to lubricate, and the muscles to strengthen without putting undue stress on the knee itself. Opposite of spinning would be mashing a big gear which can leave a rider with sore knees after getting off the bike. Again check with an actual sports doc, all injuries are different but cycling is generally recommended for knee recovery.

Says the lad with holes in the knee joint and back of kneecap due to skateboarding kneecap dislocation after 25 years of skating.

As huerro said... gears might be your best friend until healed. (Depending on your geography).. or flip/flop SS/fixed

Last edited by TRaffic Jammer; 11-07-08 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 11-07-08, 03:57 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by adamwinns View Post
I'm not even sure what spinning is.

Moving your legs in a circular motion at a high RPM. On a bike this is done by using a lower gear ratio. There are machines in gyms which also facilitate this practice.
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Old 11-07-08, 04:03 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by dougland89 View Post
Don't tell me i only have 2 months riding fixed, my kilo is my 4th fixed gear bike. owned a conversion(50/16 loved it), bianchi 46/16), soma (46/15) and now this Kilo (48/16). so dont go assuming things.
awww I hurts its feelings! Your advice is still without merit or any help to the OP.
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Old 11-07-08, 04:48 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Thetank View Post
awww I hurts its feelings! Your advice is still without merit or any help to the OP.
Better if you hurt his knees
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Old 11-07-08, 05:19 PM
  #20  
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knees

Is it easy to change your gears to a lower or higher on a ss?

Do bikes like these have that option:

www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/sst.htm

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/.../messenger.htm

I did talk to a doctor and he said I need to straighten my legs and this will help my knee. I talked to a physical therapist and he said riding a bike would be great.
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Old 11-07-08, 05:34 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by adamwinns View Post
Is it easy to change your gears to a lower or higher on a ss?

Do bikes like these have that option:

www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/sst.htm

www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/messenger.htm

I did talk to a doctor and he said I need to straighten my legs and this will help my knee. I talked to a physical therapist and he said riding a bike would be great.
It's not too bad if you have a freewheel tool and bench vice and a chain tool (if you're making big changes). It's much easier on bikes like this:

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...e_record09.htm

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...cafe_latte.htm

Or consider an internally geared hub if you want the look and the easy maintenance of fixed/ss.
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Old 11-07-08, 05:50 PM
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Changing the gearing on a single speed is easy, you just need one tool to remove the freewheel and then you thread the bigger/smaller freewheel you want and your own pedaling action will tighten it to the hub.

There's benefits of riding something with gears cause of course you can always lower the gearing on the fly but I still don't see how a single speed isn't a good tool to get his knees stronger. The only reason a fixed may hurt your knees is if you're pushing a huge gear and ride it brakeless but that's just my experience.
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Old 11-11-08, 12:52 AM
  #23  
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I am a paramedic, I ride fixed, I blew a ligament in one knee riding a couple decades ago, I have cartilage damage in both knees from skiing over the last two decades. Do NOT rehab a knee injury on a fixed gear if you are new to cycling. Anyone who tells you to is a moron. No single sports physiologist or orthopedist will disagree with me, not one. Don't even consider it. Unless you live in a very flat area with no hills and never plan to ride more than a few miles near home, don't rehab that knee on a single speed either. Get a nice multispeed bicycle and use it wisely with input from your doctor and/or physical therapist. Better yet, invest in a winter pool membership. Spend the winter in the pool slowly building up those muscles in a lower impact sport. Then switch to cycling in the spring. With a multispeed bicycle for at least your first year of riding. As I said, there isn't a single sports medicine professional who will disagree with this sane advice. You need that knee, don't f*ck it up by blowing it out during rehab.
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