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I plan on finding a doctor or sports doctor for an opinion on this, but I suspect the problem causing me to have sore knees lately (mostly my right knee) is the position I have the seat and cleats on my shoes. Ultimately I expect they're going to say "correct the seat/cleat position" though.

Problem is that even though I've read a few things relating to positioning, I don't know what's a perfectly correct position as to where it should be. Trying to figure out the exact position relative to the front part of my foot is becoming a bit of a problem - can anyone make any suggestions as to correcting this?
 

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Trail Rider
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Position

My legs and knees are sensitive to different positions on my bike. I went with the knee position by one of the on-line bike parts fitting guide. I think it might have been Colorado Cyclist. I got my knee in the right position over the pedal. After that I experimented with cleat position(forward and back). I can feel how the different position stresses out different muscles and knee in my legs. Seat position can also be adjusted. I started out with everything in the center position and then adjusted until my legs felt right. "Right" being where all the muscles shared the load and my knees didn't hurt. Pedal float for me is important also. Everyone is different. What works for one person might not work for someone else.
 

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I know what you're going through as I went through the same thing when I bought my new bike and tried to get it dialed in. I have some roughed up cartilage underneath my kneecap and unless I get the bike fit perfect, I get knee pain. It's important for me to relieve any undue stress due to incorrect positioning. Here's a link that may get you headed in the right direction. You could also pay your lbs for a fitting as well.

http://www.caree.org/bike101bikefit.htm
 

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Okay this it is a tough one....

because as jeremey and Quattro have both mentioned everyone is different. In most cases it will certainly be a mixture of seat height and forward or back positioning and to a lesser extent cleat placement. The only reason I lessen the importance of cleat placement is you have less adjustment in that area, and you are limited by your feet to a great extent. Move a mm to far back or forward with you cleat adjustment and you end up with numb or sore feet as well as knee pain. But cleat/pedal float can play an important part in it as well. All any calculator or "fit system" can do is get you in the right neighborhood. Wrench Science and Colorado Cyclist both have online fit systems. I personally have found them useful only for general fitting. From there I use a "ride and adjust" system.

As for sports doctors, unless the doctor is specifically knowledgeable about bike fit problems they may not be of much help. One that is can be a great help, so it is in your best intrest to find one that is. The most helpful resource in this instance would be a bike shop that has a high expertise in fit. They will fit the bike to you according to established standards and then work with you afterwards to work out any kinks. Beware of any shop that charges you to fit the bike and then has no "return period", usually 30 to 90 days, for minor adjustments.

If you are intending to tackle this yourself then go to one of the online calculators and use their system to primarily make sure you are riding the right size frame. You can also do your initial set up from the information that you get. Just remember that these caculators are NOT perfect and you may well need a different set up from what the results are. Then from there diagnose your symptoms using information from a site like CARE Exchange and make minor adjustments as you go. Also keep in mind that it will take longer to get it right on your own as well, and you may never get it perfect. That's why the "proffesional fit" comes in. It will cost you more but deffinately take less time. Then if you can't solve the problem consulting with a sports doctor with expertise is cycling would be a good bet as well. Some times it's not the fit of the bike but our own imperfect bodies that are the problem. And a good sports doctor will be able to find anything that might be causing a problem or that my "limit" the solutions available to you. Hopefully that won't be the case though.

Anyway, good luck with your search for solutions. Approach it systematically and you'll be most likely to succeed.

Good Dirt
 

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Squash said:
because as jeremey and Quattro have both mentioned everyone is different. In most cases it will certainly be a mixture of seat height and forward or back positioning and to a lesser extent cleat placement. The only reason I lessen the importance of cleat placement is you have less adjustment in that area, and you are limited by your feet to a great extent. Move a mm to far back or forward with you cleat adjustment and you end up with numb or sore feet as well as knee pain. But cleat/pedal float can play an important part in it as well. All any calculator or "fit system" can do is get you in the right neighborhood. Wrench Science and Colorado Cyclist both have online fit systems. I personally have found them useful only for general fitting. From there I use a "ride and adjust" system.

As for sports doctors, unless the doctor is specifically knowledgeable about bike fit problems they may not be of much help. One that is can be a great help, so it is in your best intrest to find one that is. The most helpful resource in this instance would be a bike shop that has a high expertise in fit. They will fit the bike to you according to established standards and then work with you afterwards to work out any kinks. Beware of any shop that charges you to fit the bike and then has no "return period", usually 30 to 90 days, for minor adjustments.

If you are intending to tackle this yourself then go to one of the online calculators and use their system to primarily make sure you are riding the right size frame. You can also do your initial set up from the information that you get. Just remember that these caculators are NOT perfect and you may well need a different set up from what the results are. Then from there diagnose your symptoms using information from a site like CARE Exchange and make minor adjustments as you go. Also keep in mind that it will take longer to get it right on your own as well, and you may never get it perfect. That's why the "proffesional fit" comes in. It will cost you more but deffinately take less time. Then if you can't solve the problem consulting with a sports doctor with expertise is cycling would be a good bet as well. Some times it's not the fit of the bike but our own imperfect bodies that are the problem. And a good sports doctor will be able to find anything that might be causing a problem or that my "limit" the solutions available to you. Hopefully that won't be the case though.

Anyway, good luck with your search for solutions. Approach it systematically and you'll be most likely to succeed.

Good Dirt
Cleat alignment can be a big deal though. I've known a lot of riders that had knee pain which cleared up after changing one or both cleat angles.
 

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A very general rule of thumb:

Sore patella tendon (below the kneecap) can mean the saddle is too low

Sore tendons behind the knee and top of calf muscle can mean saddle is too high

Sore achilles tendon can mean cleat is too far forward on shoe

Soreness inside the knee joint, or on the inside part of the leg at the knee, can mean the cleat rotation is off. Generally speaking, your foot should be in a similar orientation on the bike as it is when you walk or run. I.e., If you are "duck-footed" walking, point your toes out on the bike too. Don't be afraid to play with cleat position. Experiment to see if a change helps or exacerbates the issue. The more free float the pedal provides, the less exact the cleat position needs to be.

Lastly, you can try different insoles or Specialized Body Geometry shoes to affect knee alignment on the bike.
 

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NormalNorm
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As someone who runs/cycles and also has problems with my knees. It could be your shoes. Weaker midsoles/heel can cause you problems.......overpronating when pushing a big gear....causing the knee cap to roll/tract inward. Does the knee hurt in the front(below the cap and above it). Also does your knee hurt when walking down a set of stairs? If so, do a search on google on runners knee or jumpers knee.
 

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Cool thread.

You may be a weird situation like where you use one bike for both trails and road and because both types of riding require different setups when you start adding up the mileage, you may find you'll NEVER get your one bike exactly where want it.

There's only one solution to that problem and it requires money.
 

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I feel for you, I battled with knee pain for years.

You need to see a very good physical therapist who is a cyclist. Even better if they can video you on your bike...you will learn sooooo much.

It's possible that your problems are also related to your core strength (or lack of), some muscle groups may be tight becasue they've been compensating for a lack of strength in your core / stabilising muscles.

Do you stretch your calf muscles (soleus and gastroc), your quadriceps, your ITB (Illio Tibial Band), your hamstrings, your glutes and your hips? Check the web for examples of stretches. Can make a HUGE difference.

Check out this link regarding knee pain. It's very informative, and covers all types of knee pain. With this link and the info from Tscheezy, you should be able to do a rough diagnosis. Once you've got this, there is heaps of info on the web.

You may be able to use rigid strapping tape to support your knee. You should be able for find some techniques on the net. Search for "McConnell".
 

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Sometimes when I've gotten my seat too low I get knee pains. It's not so much acute pain as a fatigued pain. Usually raising the seat helps, since being too low cuts my extension short at the bottom of the rotation and keeps my knees under tension.

I'm having to play with my cleat positioning right now because I'm getting pain in the arches of my feet. I'm pretty flat-footed, so I put in some insoles with arch support. However, that hasn't fixed the problem. I moved my cleats a little forward to see if that helps. If not, I'll try back. I also shifted the cleat sideways so that I'm contacting the pedal more down the center line of my foot. I think maybe I had it set too close to the inside and that may have put undue stress along the outer ridge of my foot, forcing my arches to compensate.
 
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