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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so about a month ago my right knee has started to hurt when riding, to the point that is 'almost' unbearable every time I put pressure on it (pedal, push on that leg, etc). Today, as we were getting ready to ride, I was doing wheelies, and after a few minutes the pain started, though very subtle. After about half an hour it was bad. It lasts for about 3 or 4 days

It's probably because of the damn cold weather lately, but it got me thinking... how do I know that I'm fitted correctly to my bike? Is there a place where you can go and be professionally fitted in the Miami area?

Just a thought... if my knee is acting up, I don't want it to be because of a bad fit... actually, I "would" want it to be because of a bad fit... you know what I mean. ... Help?

Also, my upper back, between my shoulder blades get sore.. is that normal from riding, bad body position, or could be bad fit as well?
 

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Old man on a bike
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Without more information of how you determined fit of your bike, your experience, style, bike setup etc hard to know. For example, when you say you're doing wheelies, makes me think you have lowered your seat which isn't likely ideal for optimum pedaling.
 

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Official ***** Idiot
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That's what I'm thinking too. More of a combination, though. Seat too low, you want the proper height. Not so your leg is completely straight, just a slight bend. 5 degrees or something close to that. Too much bend and you're putting too much pressure on your knees at the start of the downstroke. Saddle too far back can be part of the problem, too.

Take a break from riding for awhile. Pain is an indicator you've pushed things too far, and you need to stop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Biking; I've been riding seriously for about 3 months or so. How I determined fit... basically just did the saddle height according to bend on knee. Haven't messed around at all with the forward/back position. By wheelies I mean just simple lifts of the front wheel using pedal power while we waited around. I said this to kinda hint at when my pain starts. Had I not done this, it probably would've started shortly after riding.

Heff; I ride about once a week, and it's not enough... and there's no way I'm stopping. I hear what you're saying, but "stepping back" will simply make me lose some of what I've leanred, which I don't want. I "really" dont think that I've pushed it too hard... i dont think my body is that weak lol.... or hope so anyways.

Thanks guys!
 

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Mmmm.......well, your knees are one thing you don't want to mess with. Screw one up bad enough by not stopping when your body tells you to is a surefire way to end your career as a rider. Ask any number of football, baseball, hockey........one game with some damage that could have healed if left alone, and they're finished.

Just pay attention. If it keeps hurting, to the point that you say it is, BACK OFF before you lose it. Better to lose a couple of weeks of training than lose a year in a knee brace after having your joint put back together in surgery. May want to look into a flexible knee brace, see if that helps.
 

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i have been riding with a no ACL in my right knee for 4 years. but that was something that my doctor told me i could do if i opted not to get the sugery to fix it since it doesnt put side to side stress on your knee (unless you wreck).

my point being if your knee gives you a problem, you should go to the doctor and find out why and if the guy says stay off it, stay off it.

also, i think if it was a sizing issue, both your knees would hurt, not just one
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Heff, head.

Mullen, well, I push harder with my right leg, so I figured IF it's a sizing issue, the right leg will show it in a more pronounced manner?

This sucks... I want this damn cold to go away to see if the pain goes as well...
 

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as someone who has had knee problems for over 6 years ( had sugery to fix it in 05 and reinjuried it within 6 months) your knees arent something to mess around with. i would love to get mine fixed again but for me, i would have to be out of work for 2+ months and i cant afford to do that. i hope the pain goes away for but if it doesnt, dont be like me. take care of it before it becomes a bigger problem.
 

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Quick question,
Are you using flats or SPDs?

One of SPDs main advantages is your foot is always axactly in the same place, problem with this is this will cause additional wear to the same spot and same motion.

try riding flats for a bit see if that helps.

you do not want to trash your knees!
 

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I've had knee problems since I was 15 yo.
I'm a carpenter (hard on knees), played hockey, squash (letal on knees), have done martial arts (full contact-not too bad on knees if you use good technique); mtb riding (hard on knees).
I stay away from the gym and weight lifting like the plague... even light weights, rowing machines.... anything where the knees are bent at "closed up angles."

I've just had to work around it and maybe have been a little fortunate as well.

I find with the bike :- the seat height is fairly critical on most rides.

Also pushing a tall gear that works my quads causes knee pain quickly, intensely and it usually hurts for days or weeks.
So I tend to spin at a higher cadence than many mtb riders would.

The bike fit is important.... I've just had that done a few weeks ago; it can make a difference.
 

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The correct answer...

You've been given the correct answer. Go to the doctor, get an MRI and determine if there's anything medically wrong with your knee.

Joint pain in general aren't something that you should play fast and loose with.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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I respect that you don't want to stop riding now. But I lost six months of good riding and dance training to a knee injury - you need to take them seriously. Like the above posters have said, see a doctor.

If your doctor determines that there's nothing structurally wrong with your knee and it's okay for you to continue riding your bike, there are some things you can do to improve your health riding it.

-Fit is huge. If you've never had a pro fit done, do it. Best $100 I've ever spent on cycling.
-Many people hurt themselves pushing too high a gear. Try to work in lower gears and higher cadences.
-A higher cadence can reveal weird motion problems. Have a friend ride behind you while you ride several yards on the road. They should look for your hips dipping, your back changing position, or your knees traveling laterally. Hips and back moving around tend to be a symptom of too high a gear, too low a gear for your pedaling technique if you're pedaling a high cadence, or the wrong saddle position. If your knees travel laterally, you need fancy insoles, which brings me to...
-Shoes. If your knees don't travel laterally when you pedal, running shoes and flat pedals are a fine combination for health imho. If your knees do move around, a more stable system will help. Don't get casual shoes. Get racing/performance shoes. You'll also need a supportive insole. I use Specialized Body Geometry insoles with the funny wedge things under the forefoot. They let me go from a few problematic rides a week to over 100 miles (road) if I have the time to do 'em. The pro bike fit at the same time helped too.

Upper back pain sounds to me like your handlebars might be too low or too far away. Try a shorter stem, and if your current stem isn't already flipped up and at the top of its spacer stack, try flipping it or moving it up a few spacers.

Make small changes and give them some time to work. I recommend going for a ride on your own on a paved bike path to tweak fit, because you'll probably have to stop and start a lot. You wouldn't be a good partner. Bear in mind also that a pro fit is a starting point. The fitter can't feel what you feel, although sometimes they'll make changes that surprise you or even that you don't agree with but that work over time.

Once you've got your equipment sorted out, drop back to whatever mileage you can do without pain, even if that means you have to stop riding for a while, then start at half an hour or half an hour's worth of miles, and increase by 10% a week until you're riding as much as you want to again. That, more than physical therapy, is what got me back from chronic knee trouble to being able to ride a lot, go racing, etc.

And see your doctor! Get a referral to a PT, because your GP is probably an internist and may not do a very good functional assessment.
 

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where is the pain on your knees? pain in front, like under the kneecap is a good indication that the seat is too low. if it's in back, seat is probably too high. you mentioned something with your shoulders/upper back, that makes me think you might be reaching too far, which might mean you have an improperly sized bike. going to the doc is a good idea, but have your fit checked by a local shop and possibly a bike fitter.
 

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I'm hesitant to give advice because you may ignore the other people saying to get it checked out and listen to mine, but assuming you will get this checked out FIRST:

Two things that cause me the most knee pain are unsupported arches and fixed shoe/pedal contact. My feet pronate a lot, so in order for me to have any knee stability for extended athletic things, I need to have a footbed. Supporting your feet will help a lot of your problems if it is something your feet need. A good shoe store or ski shop can help determine if you need footbeds very easily. I've gone to both ends of the spectrum with this, and I own both $200+ footbeds and some $40 surefoot ones. The expensive ones go in my ski boots and the cheap ones go in my cycling shoes. They help immensely.

The other thing that helped me instantly was going to a Time clipless pedal. With those, my feet are free to float through the pedal stroke as they need to. When I'm running flats for a long pedal, my knees will start to hurt. I've been dealing with knee pain since I was young and those couple things are helping me mitigate it so I can continue to do things I enjoy. But I've seeked the advice of many professionals and have had doctors examine me when the pain is great. I suggest you do the same.
 

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Betcha you're right handed, and on steep climbs that require more pull on the bars, you veer to the right. Some of your problem can be solved by getting off the trail, hitting the pavement and working on your stroke. Takes time, but you should be able to train yourself into a fairly even spin. Spend your time there fine-tuning your fit. May require some parts, like a shorter stem, riser bars to get you in a more upright position, sliding the saddle around slightly on the rails so you have a better push on the pedals, all of it. Not going to happen overnight.

Bottom line is, you're going to get advice here, but (I don't think) any of us are docs. You need to see one, and have him look at what's going on. Let it go, and say "it's gonna get better if I push harder" and blow the cartilage in your knee, you're gonna lose a lot more time riding than that 20 minutes in a doc's office and a week tuning your ride.
 

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OP... I started riding in Aug '09 and ended up going through a period where both of my knees were problematic, particularly my left. I got a fitting at the shop I bought my bike... no problems for quite a while now. I ended up with my seat way too high and it really was wrecking them. Btw, I switch between flats and spd's, although I want to go to spd's permanently at some point... too damn cold in NVA right now. By the way, I lived in Miami for 42 years, been in VA for 3 now. Where do you ride in Miami???
 

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AusMTB Orienteer said:
mullen, have a look in the rider down thread, there are some great stuff on knee pain and recovery methods etc.
maybe try deep heat before and after the ride to warm up the muscle/joint
one on the reason i got into biking in the first place is that its very low impact on my knee so riding doesnt really give me too many problems unless i wreck or twist it some how. i will look into using heat to possibly help with the pain from just walking and the normal stress that tends to give me touble. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
sbp; Oleta, Markham...

heff; yea, i am. I remember the first time I noticed the pain was actually when I used to go on the road a lot... I noticed my right leg was pushing much harder than my left. I figured it was something that would fix itself...

zeb; heard you on the timeless.

markf; the pain is on the inside. I've also noticed that it's a bit swollen as well. I have the tendency of hitting THAT knee on the top tube doing stupid crap... could that be a possible cause? I know it sounds dumb, but I really dont know..

AndrwSwitch; I def wanna get the fit. Any idea where to find someone that won't waste my time in the Miami area? It doesnt seem to be very common...

CaveGiant; flats.

I appreciate all the input guys, and I really wanna get to the bottom of this. It might be I've really just pushed it too hard, my knee is screwed up somehow, or it's just hurt from a few bangs here and there. Whatever the case, I wanna fix it... I'm 25 and i do NOT want to be having knee problems this early on, especially when I've found something that I "truly" 100% enjoy doing...

Again, thanks. I'll look into getting a fit and possibly having a doctor check it out.
 
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