Achy knees

icowden

Über Member
Location
Surrey
Hi All,

Completed my first 30 mile (well 31 mile) ride on Easter Sunday (Walton to Windsor and back again). I notice on my first 20 mile ride that my right kneecap got quite achy after about 15 miles. I had the same thing this weekend probably from about Mile 20, and then my left knee started joining in a bit about 5 miles later.

I know some of it might be due to the added burden of the more "off road" sections, but has anyone got any tips to manage this?
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Saddle too low? Clipped in?
History of knee problems? How old are you?
Unlikely to be overload as the ride must’ve been virtually completely flat?

Check set up, RICE knees, stay off bike, avoid kneeling and squatting. If it continues, consider physio (and bike fit)

Look up causes of anterior and patellofemoral knee pain when cycling
 
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ozboz

Veteran
Location
Richmond ,Surrey
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Check saddle height , I have knee problems which is to be expected after 40 years of being a tiler ,
I bought 2 of these from boots ,
No problems at all hardly , a bit pricey , £34 a pop ......but .,
 

Kajjal

Veteran
Location
Wheely World
If you have no history of knee problems it is probably your saddle position or possibly wearing shorts when it is very cold. The use the low gears suggestion is also very true.

Your saddle should be high enough so you can just lift yourself off the saddle upwards in line with the seat post with the crank down and also in line with the seat post. Any doubt have the saddle a little too low.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
If you have no history of knee problems it is probably your saddle position or possibly wearing shorts when it is very cold. The use the low gears suggestion is also very true.

Your saddle should be high enough so you can just lift yourself off the saddle upwards in line with the seat post with the crank down and also in line with the seat post. Any doubt have the saddle a little too low.
It was about 25deg in Walton / Windsor and points in between on Sunday!
 
OP
icowden

icowden

Über Member
Location
Surrey
Yes it was definitely scorchio!

So, I am riding my trusty Tern Joe P27, which is a heavy bike (15kg) but the ride is manageable. The Schwalbe Big Bens were inflated to 70psi before I set off. As you say, no real hills on this route. I don't use clips just ordinary pedals and flat MTB shoes (mostly to stop the pedals eating my shoes).

Seat position is fairly high, I come forward over the crossbar (which in my case is on a diagonal rather than being a true horizontal cross bar) to dismount, so my feet are at about 45degrees toe pointing downward at the bottom of the pedal cycle. I find this is where I am comfiest. I was pushing a little to keep up with the BIL who has a lighter hybrid bike with adjustable front suspension - he found the offroad sections a breeze compared to me.

I've never had any issues with my knees, in hot or cold weather. I commute by bike about 6 miles per day in all weathers (never bother with tights/leggings) in installments (1.5 to station, 1.5 from waterloo to london bridge and then reverse at the end of the day). I probably am guilty of keeping my gears a little too high. I tend to find it frustrating when my legs are going round and the bike doesn't feel like it's going anywhere.

It's a 3 x 9 bike. Generally I am in 5-7 on the back and the biggest of the three wheels on the front.

After the ride, the knee's recovered fairly quickly (an hour maybe), so it's nothing particularly persistent. It was definitely noticeable when I was "pushing" towards the end (Easter Sunday Lunch was beckoning)
 
OP
icowden

icowden

Über Member
Location
Surrey
Yep - it's our first foray in to long distance cycling. The BIL is a Marathon runner however, so his legs have a little more iron than mine.
Still it was a lovely ride, even if I did think I might be incinerated by the end of it (pale skin + sun = Aaaaaaaaargh)
 

viniga

Veteran
Location
Glasgow
If you're riding distances you're not used to then it's also possible that it's quite normal, you're just not used to it.
+1

Increases in distance and resistance will put strain on your joints and tendons (as well as muscles). These areas tend to take a bit longer to get stronger and repair than muscle as blood flow isn't usually as good. Ramp the miles and power up slow and steady and if you keep it up your body will adapt.

That said if you keep these distances / efforts up for a while and this pain is persistent then other causes may well be at work and other advice offered particulalry with fit may help.
 

steveindenmark

Legendary Member
All of the above.

I ride long distances. I pick a spinning gear and go one down. Its extreme and takes getting used to. Im 60 and can ride all day without knee problems.
 

CXRAndy

Guru
Location
Lincs
Just check your saddle height again. I had an instance where I was saddle fit for big rides. One day I got a slight frontal knee pain after 4 hours in the saddle. I checked my seat height with the mark I had made many moons ago . Nothing had moved, so as an experiment I raised my saddle on the side of the road by 5mm. Almost immediately my knee pain subsided and I completed the remaining 5 hours without issue.

Sometimes a little adjustment is all that is needed

I also spin for long rides, it does save the knees from strain issues- mostly
 
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