Knees are killing me while riding..

Discussion in 'Health' started by Torrent77, Oct 18, 2016.



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  1. Torrent77

    Torrent77 Well-Known Member

    Name:
    Dave
    Anyone got any remedy? Doesn't hurt any other time, but when I start pedaling the joint under the knee cap starts to throb. Getting old sucks.
     
  2. DangerDirtyD

    DangerDirtyD iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    CA
    Name:
    Chicken Nugget
    Current Bike:
    2018 Guerrilla Gravity SMASH
    I don't like but I feel ya.
     
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  3. rossage

    rossage iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    First place to start is check the way you fit on your bike. A quick perusal by someone at a shop can usually point out any glaring discrepancies. A full bike fit costs less than knee surgery.
     
    Sidewalk, kioti, BonsaiNut and 6 others like this.
  4. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 Revel Rail
    What is the effective seat tube angle of your bike? A number of people complained of knee pain when riding Evil bikes like The Following or The Insurgent. The culprit was a slack seat angle that had the rider pushing their knees forward in the pedal stroke, in addition to the regular up and down movement. In checking the website, the ESTA is listed as pretty steep (74° range), but the experience of at least three riders I've talked to (@Varaxis being one of them) says otherwise. Maybe they changed the geometry on current models.

    Anyway, a slack seat tube angle can contribute to lower back and knee pain. So can riding in too hard of a gear (like singlespeeders often force themselves to do), or bad cleat placement. I am sure others on this forum have other experiences with knee pain - and hopefully, some possible remedies. Best wishes!
     
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  5. Andy

    Andy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    The OC, Calif
    Name:
    Andy
    http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/fitness/bike-fit/saddle-height-why-you-need-to-get-it-right-25379

    A bike fit would probably help - but for me, for now, raising my saddle got rid of most of my discomfort.
     
    Sidewalk, kioti, BonsaiNut and 4 others like this.
  6. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    HT, FS
    Be sure your IT bands aren't the source of the problem. They do weird things to knees. Google the seated hip/IT band stretch and try it -- what's to lose? Fifteen minutes. Best wishes for relief...
     
  7. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    North East Canada? , California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9, Santa Cruz Hightower
    Every bit of this. We'll spend tons of money on bikes, but very little to fit them to us. @rossage could not have said it better.
     
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  8. Torrent77

    Torrent77 Well-Known Member

    Name:
    Dave
    Looks like my Tracer is 70.5 actual seat tube angle and 74.5 effective seat tube angle. Seems to make sense since I've been riding the tracer more than my Foes, and I didn't have that issue previously. Plus, I installed a dropper seat, and I think that added to the problem. I'm going to fiddle with the saddle placement and try out a new position.
    Thanks for the tips!
     
    kioti, Cyclotourist and Mikie like this.
  9. Torrent77

    Torrent77 Well-Known Member

    Name:
    Dave
  10. Faust29

    Faust29 Moderator

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    Like the others have said, look at the fit and position. I've got a few years on you, and a left knee that isn't 100% from a non-cycling injury. And I ride the single speed! I should be a walking billboard for knee pain... But I'm not. :thumbsup: As long as I keep the pedals in the same position, the seat at the proper height, and the gearing where it is, I have no knee discomfort. Change any of the variables, and it's bad news...
     
    kioti, Cyclotourist, Mikie and 3 others like this.
  11. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    @Torrent77

    Gonna throw in one more variable that Faust just mentioned.

    Are you trying to push big of a gear?

    I started riding the SS after I turned 40, but have not had any knee trouble. A lot of that comes down to technique, but some has to do with gearing choice. The few times I tried to make a decent jump in hearing, I would get a sore knee.

    One other thing..,,.flats or clips? Flats allow to to move your feet around when you pedal....this is means that you may not always have your feet in the same spot for pedaling. Moving to clips keeps you in a constant position. With your seat height set and riding on flats, there is a big difference between pedaling with the ball of your foot and the arch/heel.

    Just a thought
     
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  12. kioti

    kioti iMTB Rockstah

    Name:
    Jim Jennings
    Current Bike:
    ibis ripley
    ^^Had knee problems at one point on my road bike multiple decades ago, partially because of untold repetitions in fixed seat position. Tried various things but eventually went to a podiatrist and got orthotics. Problem solved. Speedplay pedals kept it solved.

    Haven't had a problem on mountain bikes other than from pushing too big a gear, as mentioned above. I don't use orthotics anymore and I think it has to do with not having seat constantly in one position, plus some float from SPD pedals.

    So.. seat too high or low/forward or back, maybe tilted wrong for you, handlebar height or reach might be a factor, clipped or unclipped, float or no, too much grinding or too fast spinning, foot/leg biomechanics off through muscle imbalance, foot dynamics or lack of flexibility.. all definitely need to be dialed because knee pain like that sounds like it'll only get worse.

    In the meantime, I'd recommend backing off on anything causing pain. Hopefully you'll find a solution before developing bone spurs or some other physical reaction.
     
    Cyclotourist, Mikie, herzalot and 5 others like this.
  13. Torrent77

    Torrent77 Well-Known Member

    Name:
    Dave
    You know, I have been trying to pedal on a bigger gear to reduce my pedal rotation and increase speed. I guess I need to spin it rather than muscle it till I figure this knee situation out.
     
  14. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 Revel Rail
    My Tracer helped me immensely. 74.5° seems to be the sweet spot for minimizing back pain - and possibly knee pain. I have a hard time believing that moving the saddle back - and thus decreasing effective seat tube angle - will help knee pain of any kind (referring to the cyclingweekly article linked above). Dropper post might be a contributor if it's too high or too low. Especially too low.

    Too high a gear may be the true culprit. Good luck! :thumbsup:
     
  15. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    The received wisdom is 90 rpm on the pedals. Best power output for the least effort. I've found it to be true, and I have had knee pain show up about 1.5 hrs into a ride if i don't at least come close to a cadence of 90. It's also affected by seat height and fore/aft position. A plumb bob dangling from your knee should go through or fall behind the centerline of the pedal shank at the forward position - application of power on the downstroke.
     
  16. scottay

    scottay Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Gods Country
    Name:
    Scottay
    Good info. Outside knees were killing me on the Morton climb at SART. Doc says IT band is culprit.

    @Mikie , didnt you have IT band problems one year at Kokopelli? What fixed it?.

    .
     
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  17. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    North East Canada? , California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9, Santa Cruz Hightower
    Yes sir I did. Nothing to mess with. I got a roller, and had to lay off the bike for 3 weeks.
     
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  18. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    HT, FS
    IT_stretch.jpg

    The cool thing about this stretch is you can do it on the trail and get instant relief from it. It works cross-legged as well. Either way, just relax and feel that burn in the hip/gleut, and you're hitting it.
     
  19. RS VR6

    RS VR6 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Valencia/Simi
    Name:
    Lee
    Current Bike:
    Banshee Shartfire/Chiner 29r
    Pain below the kneecap would typically mean that the saddle is too low.

    If you're running a 1x...you can give an oval ring a shot.
     
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  20. tick

    tick Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    Tick
    Current Bike:
    Process 111
    Foam rolling, and side steps with a rubber band around the ankles.

    If insurance covers it, spend some of your dark winter evenings indoors at a good physical therapy shop. They will fix the pain and you'll get a decent workout along the way, so you'll be ready to ride when the sun comes back.
     
  21. NewEnglander

    NewEnglander Member

    Location:
    San Pedro (but really from MA)
    Name:
    Mike
    Current Bike:
    Cannondale Scalpel
    It's typically a seat position issue. You may need to adjust your seat height and possibly shift the position forward or backwards. If you have new shoes/cleats they may not be where they used to be.
     
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  22. NewEnglander

    NewEnglander Member

    Location:
    San Pedro (but really from MA)
    Name:
    Mike
    Current Bike:
    Cannondale Scalpel
    http://www.fix-knee-pain.com/cycling-knee-pain/
    Go here and read up.
     
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  23. OTHRider

    OTHRider Well-Known Member

    Name:
    Duke
    Current Bike:
    '18 Salsa Cutthroat
    Great recommendations from all.

    Ahh, you're just a young pup. Take it from a professional knee-problemologist, it will only get worse unless you take the time to find the cure. I'm on the other end of the spectrum. My knees start to hurt when I'm NOT riding my bike. The low impact rotations loosen up my knees. I'm good on two rides a week and superb when I ride three times a week.

    My personal, only good for me, happy I did it adjustments were to slightly raise my seat, slightly move my seat forward and move my cleats as far back as possible. By slightly, I only moved each position by 3/8" or less total. I did each move in increments and found my sweet spot.

    I kept seeing suggestions on cleat position and finally tried it. It really helped me (and almost completely eliminated foot hot spots). I recently moved over to Specialized 2FO Clip Lite shoes specifically for the extra rearward cleat adjustment. All the way back was too drastic but three lines up was perfect.

    Best of luck with you solution.
     
  24. john_hovard

    john_hovard Member

    Location:
    None
    Name:
    Ninguno
    Strange that Mikie has not told you that the problem could come from the pedals. He has the same problem that I have, poor knees. We have both solved the problem same way with Frog pedals from Speedplay. When I was first trying SPD pedals my knees started to hurt and somebody told me I needed pedals with float. That was so long ago that I almost have forgotten who helped me. When riding with soft shoes on flat pedals with spikes in I also get problems, so now I have only Frog pedals on the bikes I use.
     
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  25. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon 60%
    I didn't need full float like Speedplays have, but definitely found relief from ITB by riding with SPuD pedals/cleats. When riding flats (which I would prefer to) my heels end up sticking out, and over time that causes my left ITB to be ground to a screaming band of fire at my knee. I also dropped my saddle 5mm from 79cm to 78.5. I think my left and right legs might be a touch different in length, which led to the original problem. I can still potentially have a flare up if riding road. Basically being in one position for a few hours will cause problems. Mountain doesn't do that, as I'm moving around so much in multiple positions. One of the big reason I moved back into MTB over the last decade.
     
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  26. john_hovard

    john_hovard Member

    Location:
    None
    Name:
    Ninguno
    Saddle height is important. A bit too high and you have more pedalling power, a bit too low it is more comfortable; I have it somewhere in between. I sit on the saddle almost during a whole ride in order to have weight enough on my rear wheel so it does not to spin when climbing on the loose lave here.
     
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  27. Sidewalk

    Sidewalk Well-Known Member

    Location:
    The road is where I call home
    Name:
    Josh
    Current Bike:
    N+1
    Even far younger, I have found similar pains from a poor seat adjustment. Too low, typically. The pedals I normally clip in to have a lot of float, whereas the flats are locked in with the pins. I am trying to get used to the feeling of fresh pins and fresh 510's now, I've only used worn out pedals and running shoes in the past!

    90 is a good starting point, but don't use that as a rigid number (I know it's an old post). Let your body decide what is optimal. I used to practice another hyped number, but have learned since then that it changes depending on a ton of variables like climb, flat, tired, fresh, etc. Ideally, spin at a comfortable speed, go with what feels natural at any given moment.
     
    mike, UPSed, mtnbikej and 2 others like this.
  28. Stkx66

    Stkx66 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Southern California
    Name:
    Steve
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower 27+/ 29r
    When I first got into mtn. bike riding nearly 2 years ago I pushed hard trying to get another 20 feet on a hill, past that next stick on the ground I couldn't make before or around the next corner. My knee began hurting. I backed off a bunch. I deliberately stopped early on hills and walked more. I was quick to gear down my bike and my knee pain went away. Here I am nearly 2 years later and my first ride on the Chameleon I blew it. I dropped the dropper to rest while I was trying to peddle between Beeks and the Doppler and didn't raise the seat all the way back up while I continued to crank away standing and sitting only too late to have strained my knee again. It's been 6 days off my bike since my first ride on the Chameleon but I'm back into it this week- slower for now and careful not to go backwards.
     
  29. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    Pedaling while seated when the dropper is down is a recipe for disaster. Standing and pedaling....only if you are trying to turn too big of a gear. Pull on the bars more if you need to.
     
    Stkx66, Danimal, mike and 1 other person like this.
  30. mountaingirl sara

    mountaingirl sara iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    So Cal
    Name:
    Sara
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley
    @Stkx66 that’s not good! Hopefully it’s something easy like a fresh bike fit, but I know that tight hips/ IT tight low back can cause knee pain..it’s super common and pretty easy to fix if you can stretch regularly!
    A good one~Thread The Needle aka Figure 4 stretch...if you feel like giving it a go :thumbsup:
     
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