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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I have been poking around this site for some time. Current condition is as follows:
Right knee has flexion limitation of about 90 degrees with arthritis making it a bit stiff until its warmed up.

Been living with limited flexion for 6 years now. Been riding most of those six years. Had 100 degree flexion before. As the flexion has gone down over the years and as the misbalance (bigger quad on the left, climbing with limited flexion on the leg renders the leg at half use) in the body has grown, things have gotten worse. My rides have trickled down to 1-2 a week, no longer than 20 miles. This Spring in Fruita I could barely do 4 rides without my body just giving up (non cardio related) and I said enough was enough. Went under the knife 4 weeks ago by a reputable caring doc, but the surgery was unsuccesful. Options given to me afterwards are not viable (Knee replacement for a 26 year old).

Which means I have to live with my condition for a few more years. All I really want to do is ride. I have given up Mountaineering/Backpacking/Adventure Canoeing etc. But riding is one of the most beautiful things I have come to know (riding to school/ around town etc), and I don't want to give that up

This is where I need some help in regards to advice.

I currently have to crank on my knee (partial wall slide squats) and heat it up before every ride. That way I get my 90 active degrees. I can then hop on the bike (can only ride clipless now since the leg gets fixed in and just goes round and round and gets used at certain parts of the stroke) for 20 or so miles. My hips rock and cause my back to be thrown off. this is mainly because I think my pedal stroke hits a bit more than 90 degrees at the 12 oclock position.. Currently:

1) Seat is as high as it can go, with the bottom stroke showing only 5 degrees of flexion.
2) I toe up at the top of the stroke, to prevent more flexion being needed.
3) I have adjusted my cleat to be all the way back of the shoe in the hopes that less flexion is needed.
4) Currently using a 170mm crank both on road bike and MTB.

I am trying to create minor adjustments/changes to make the ride less painful and less damaging to my body.

I heard that a shorter crank (150mm) may be able to do this (require less flexion at the top). Not sure though. Your advice is most welcome. Thanks.

-A

Rider Stats

Inseam: 29 inches.
Height: 5 ft 5 and 3/4 inches.
Rigs: Pinarello (51cm seat tube 53 top tube (non sloping).
GF Sugar (15.5 inches seat tube)
 

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climb
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Jl,
Been to many PT (bike) specialist and Doc's. They do standard fit issue and cannot deal with my limited flexion. They have tried but they just give up. Suprisingly, none of them mentioned things such as shorter cranklength etc. So I figure I would turn to some fit experts here to answer questions like : Does a shorter crank (170mm down to 150 mm) actually require less flexion at the top end of the stroke?

thanks.

-a

jl said:
Jarraa,

You need better (medical) advice than your going to get from here.

Here are a couple of resources I know about that might be able to help you with your biking and medical condition.

http://www.botpt.com

http://www.colorado.edu/healthcenter/medical/sports.html

I would search out other possiblilities as well.
 

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Natural body armor
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With medical issues you never know when you've heard enough opinions.
All it takes is to find a doc that has solved a similar problem before: that is more difficult when your condition is rare or unique.
It seems you're already experimenting a lot on the bike fit side. Again is matter of finding the right bike fit specialist there. Shorter crank should help, althoug it may affect efficiency.

Good luck!
ZT
 

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climb
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jarraa said:
Jl,
Been to many PT (bike) specialist and Doc's. They do standard fit issue and cannot deal with my limited flexion. They have tried but they just give up. Suprisingly, none of them mentioned things such as shorter cranklength etc. So I figure I would turn to some fit experts here to answer questions like : Does a shorter crank (170mm down to 150 mm) actually require less flexion at the top end of the stroke?

thanks.

-a
I don't know what is actually causing your limited flexion, but I know that Kevin Younger at back-on-track has extensive biking knowledge and would be able to evaluate you with your flexion and bike fit.

Shorter cranks would require less flexion at the top of the pedal stroke, but other things might help also, like moving your seat back. I'm not in the medical field, I've just dealt with a lot of them :).

If the 'specialists' you are seeing are doing a 'standard' fit, you need to see some different 'specialists.' Keep looking for information, you're doing the right thing.

Kevin might be able to give you some advice on knee replacement also.
 
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