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knee pains

Old 08-21-13, 09:05 PM
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ch3
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knee pains

Hi,

in two weeks I am off to a ride from Vancouver to Los Angeles and over the past few weeks I've done a couple smaller trips here in BC, around 500km in total, for training. During the last one the past weekend, my knees (mostly my right one) started going sore, somewhere under the kneecap.
This is not really new to me, as it first appeared in 2009 half way through my England to Greece ride, but faded away while just cycling for commuting around the city. I guess I now stressed it again and the pain came back.

A while ago I went to a physio about it, who did 4 sessions of acupuncture to me and gave me some exercises.

I will probable go to a bike shop to check with them how well my bike fits me, even though it feels fairly comfortable.

Is there anything else I could do other the two things above to help me with this issue?
Have you ever had a personal experience?

thank you
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Old 08-21-13, 09:25 PM
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This is a big subject, as a google search will quickly show.

A good bike fit can do wonders, but I'm not sure how you find the best fitter. I've benefited from a physio who specializes in bike problems.
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Old 08-21-13, 09:49 PM
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Seatpost slipping down?
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Old 08-22-13, 09:28 AM
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Raise seatpost about 5mm. If improvement, maybe more or maybe keep it there. I shift things a small amount at a time instead of major changes.

Don't stand on the pedals to power up hills or accelerate from stop signs, stay in the saddle and gear down.

I mark my seatpost position with a piece of electrical tape, have about a 5mm gap between frame and tape so I can see if it is slipping.

I sometimes wear a neoprene knee brace that has no stiffeners in it, it just wraps around the knee and tightens things up a bit. I also have used some neoprene patella tendon straps around my leg at base of knee cap. These seem to help a lot if I wear them when I am off the bike besides being on the bike.
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Old 08-22-13, 03:34 PM
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Like the others have said... bike fit first, don't "hammer" or "mash" uphill or from stops. Also seat height but make sure you check your fore and aft hasn't slipped as well so you are not positioned too far forward.
Another point to note is that if you are only experiencing it in one knee, you need to check your cleats to make sure they did not come loose; or, the position of you foot in your shoe to make sure your foot is in its natural position/rotation (arch or insert issue). And lastly if that is your "strong" leg you might be over-compensating for your left leg.
Heal quick!!
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Old 08-22-13, 06:22 PM
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All these are good points. I think it's worth spending some time and money to go check my fit on the bike. Even if it's mostly the right leg, I can feel my left one slowly catching up the pain.
I hope it goes away.

thank you for your input
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Old 08-24-13, 10:46 PM
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It's important to find an experienced bike fitter. The person who works at your local bike store might be great, or not. You have a specific problem, but the solution may be complex. I had a 20 year history of knee problems associated with biking, and the fitter I saw did more adjustments than I knew were possible, often tiny. In addition, she coached me on how to pedal; in fact, she taught me a different approach to pedaling.

That was 9 year ago. I still have occasional knee discomfort, but these days it's transitory, and never develops into a problem. The fitting cost twice as much as I would have paid at my LBS, but the fitter clearly knew what she was doing.
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Old 08-24-13, 11:46 PM
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Fixed mine with lower gearing and higher cadence.
Suggest you get a speedo or gps with cadence meter and start not getting below 85rpm with a low loading on the pedals.
No mashing or lugging.
Ridden in a lower gear than you think you need to.
Good luck
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Old 08-26-13, 11:35 AM
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That's interesting.
I never thought that cycling standing may exaggerate the problem. I guess it all comes down to how much force your knees take while pushing the pedals.

I am going to see get my bike fitted today... so let's see.
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Old 08-26-13, 11:51 AM
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I find in cooler temps and even days in the 70's with some kind of cool wind I get pain under the upper portion of my knee cap. Keeping them warm with knee warmers will do the trick for me. It may not help in your case but I know mine is not fit related because I'll experience it regardless of the bike I'm riding and just thought I'd mention it.

I hope you find the solution.
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Old 08-27-13, 01:24 AM
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I went to MEC this morning for a basic fitting. He said my bike is a size bigger and was kind of laughing that the shop I bought from 2 months ago, sold it to me regardless. I tested it on the stand and he did all his accurate measurements. He gave me a zero offset seatpost so the seat can come all the way forward and changed the position of the cleats to the back set of holes. He then suggested to swap the stem as well with a 1cm longer one, but I didn't want to change it there.

Right after I went to the original local store from where I originally bought it to see if they'd swap the stem for free, since they had already done it in the past. When I explained the situation to the guys in the shop, they also started laughing about MEC's advices and how much money I spend there. Only then I realized that they were also doing fitting as well, which I didn't think since they didn't have any of the fancy equipment. One of the guys just picked up a break cable and a heavy bold to check where my knee sits against the pedal at 3 oclock. He brought my seat back a couple of centimeters and said not to worry about the steam. He also did a more accurate placement of the cleats. He mentioned several times his 20 years experience in fitting with various equipment, but these days he just does things by eye. They didn't ask for money.

I regret not talking first to the store I originally bought it, which would have probable saved me the $60 I spend at MEC + $50 for the seatpost. I am not sure yet who of the two did the better fitting, but somehow the experience at the local store was better and more trustworthy. I will try to go on a longer ride before I go to see if there is any difference.
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