Painful tibia?


Über Member

I'm just moving into longer rides (72 miles yesterday) but I've got a painful fibula right at the top on the outside, on the knuckle?

It hurts to bend both knees, especially to close the knee joint fully. It doesn't feel I've done anything serious but something that will inhibit me cycling for a few days. Anybody else had this problem.

From the bit of research I've done this morning could it be the hamstring (bicep femoris) that is the issue when I'm pulling up on the pedals?

Any help gratefully received.



I read earlier on another subject (sore bum) that if your saddle is too low it may cause sore knees. Not claiming to be an expert just read that elsewhere on this site. On the same thread it said to lower the saddle 5mm at a time until the pain recedes try the opposite?


God Almighty
Having re-read your post, it sounds more and more like ITBS (iliotibial band syndrome).
This can be caused by a million and one different reasons such as your saddle being slighlty too low or too high, your toes pointing in too much etc etc etc

Try a few stretches (after warming up with dynamic stretches or a short, gentle cycle)
1. Heel to bum, standing on one leg to stretch the quad
2. any hamstring stretches (especially important if you have short easily can you touch your toes? Also, if you lie on your back and relax, keep your leg straight and get a friend/family member/spouse/dog to lift it to 90degrees....if you can't reach 90degrees then you know that this is an area for imporvement)

3. IT band stretching (IT= iliotibial).
There are a lodes of these if you good them, but I have a few which are my favourite:
Put one leg accross the other as shown here, and then pull the knee into your body with your arm.

Cross the right leg infront of the left and lean as far as you can to the left - stretching out the right IT helps to have a wall or something to lean on. If you can't feel this, try bending more at the hip, or pusing your hips away from the direction you are leaning.

Can't find a picture for the third one, but sit on the edge of your chair with a night straight back, as if a string was pulling you straight from the top of your head. Now put the outside of your right ankle on your left knee so that your right leg is now at 90 degrees to your left leg, as if you were crossing your legs in the american fashion :

Now, keeping a straight back, lean forward. You should feel the stretch somewhere between your hip - running down the outside of your thigh- to your knee.

When the IT band is tight, it catches on bony bits and knobbly bits on the outside of your knee, causing inflamation. In extreme cases it can also pull on the kneecap misaligning it.

I'm not saying this is 100% what you have, but it does sound like least if you follow a stretching regime for a while you can eliminate that as one of your problems. If the pain ever gets any worse, go to the Docs, it isn't worth screwing your knees up


Über Member
Thanks guys, very much appreciated. Following the injury I was speaking to a friend and during the conversation we went through the issue. It came to light that I was pulling up far too much on the pedals (pretty new to cycling).

He suggested the majority of the power should come from the downward stroke (5 - 25 past on clock face) and the pull (obviously with cleats) should be used sparingly, hills, sudden injection of pace.

I was pulling up on the pedals much more often than I should. I went out Sunday (far too hot!) and managed to do 82 miles pulling up just on some big hills, I woke up the Monday, fatigued but the knees were ok, none of the previous issues were present.

Maybe this was the issue, I also moved the saddle a little forward to get my centre of gravity more over the pedals to help with power on the down stroke.

Amazing what a simple conversation brought to light, I feel alot more confident now as I was worried the ITB would have been a chronic problem to sort.

Thanks again for your thoughts, fingers crossed it's onward and upwards from here!

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