Help save my knees!

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by straw, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. straw

    straw New Member

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    I have started using clipless pedals for the first time this summer, I went for the Shimano SPD-R pedals. However, my knees are twisting out on the upstroke and then coming back in on the downstroke, which not only looks rediculous, but I'm sure it's going to destroy my knees as well.

    No one has been able to give me any decent advice so far, I've tried moving the cleats all over the place (they have 6 degrees float). The guy at my local bike shop thinks that fixed cleats may help, but I can't see this myself.

    Can anyone give me some advice?
     
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  2. lokstah

    lokstah New Member

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    Hmmm. Well, everyone's body is different, so there's no rule of thumb to safely insist upon, but here's one perspective. Your knees aren't twisting about because the bike is torquing them that way -- they're moving that way naturally, and it's the restrictive nature of those SPDs which poses a threat. If that's how your legs operate, and you go to a fixed cleat system, what absorbs the torquing stresses? Your bones, tendons, and so on.

    A fixed or tighter cleat might keep your knees from moving so much, but what good does that do you? Maybe it'll work -- no way to say without trying it. But my knees much prefer the opposite approach; using pedals which are extremely permissive frees my joints of unnatural stress. I'm a Speedplay guy. Not only does Speedplay offer a humungous arc for your leg to twist through, but it's essentially "free" float -- you're not turning against a spring. Works for me, and others.

    Here's a question -- do the SPDs hurt? Are you getting pain, or have you experienced knee problems before? Maybe there isn't a problem to fix... yet...

    Good luck!
     
  3. hwttdz

    hwttdz New Member

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    Well first check to be sure that you're set up on the bike, seat height and bar height, how far back the saddle is. Let your bike shop or one you really trust do this, take your bike in and tell them you want to make sure it's set up to fit you right. Failing that I'd say ask about different sorts of pedals.
     
  4. RC2

    RC2 New Member

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    What lokstah said.

    My experience is the same, pedals with limited float make my knees sore. I naturally have a small amount of rotation as I pedal, playing with pedal position doesn't help a bit, I need the float. I also agree that your bike set-up is the first place to start, but given that is dialed, pedals with a lot of float is the natural step #2.
     
  5. straw

    straw New Member

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    Thanks alot for your advice. I think that the bike set-up is OK, but I'll get it checked to be sure. If it's OK I'll ask if I can try a few different pedals.

    One thing that I have noticed is that if I ride my bike just in trainers that my knees don't "wobble", even when going up-hill, so it may indeed just be a lack of float. I hope so, as I must be losing a lot of pedaling efficiency as well!?
     
  6. TTRon

    TTRon New Member

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    I ended up using SpeedPlays. Work great giving plenty of knee float.
     
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