How many miles do you have on your knees?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Mike_Rides_Red, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. Mike_Rides_Red

    Mike_Rides_Red New Member

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    I'm 17 and have been dealing with Patella femoral syndrome for almost a year now. My knee problems have gotten much better after countless hours of research, physical therapy, doctors appointments, exercises, and stretching. I love cycling but it has been really frustrating to not be able to ride because of my knees. My hope is that soon I will overcome my knee problems and get back to normal cycling to where I don't have to be constantly thinking about my knees.

    I have probably ridden close to 3,000 miles on my knees in my lifetime. Let's say I average 1,500 miles a year cycling which isn't a great amount. If I countinued that to about age 60 thats getting close to 70,000 lifetime miles on my knees! I wonder if my knees could holdup that long without getting chondromalicia or other overuse problems. How many miles do you guys have on your knees? How are they holding up? I would be interesting in hearing your responses.
     
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  2. EuanB

    EuanB New Member

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    I'm 36, I've been averaging 20,000kms a year for the last three years with no issues. Running however has taken its toll, 13 years mostly in the army have put paid to any thoughts of triathlons ;-)

    If your bike fits properly and you have good technique then you shouldn't cause any damage to your knees. It may aggravate existing problems though.
     
  3. cannondale889

    cannondale889 New Member

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    I am from wis and I ride about 1000 to 1500 a year but my friend put on his bike 8000 year thats all he does bikes to work tours rain snow hot cold but if your knees hurt you could get a recompent bike like greenspeed.com bike with 2 or 3 wheel bike or get a moutain bike with low grearing like my fischer has.
    let me know what you think.
    ]
     
  4. EuanB

    EuanB New Member

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    Recumbents don't do anything to lessen the strain on knees do they?

    You don't need to get a mountain bike for low gears. Either get a triple fitted or go for compact cranks.
     
  5. MoBentRdr

    MoBentRdr New Member

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    Used PROPERLY (i.e. use the granny gears and SPIN 85 - 90 rpm) a recumbent can help on the knees. Used improperly (mashing in higher gears up hills) can cause knee problems. DF bikes tend not to have the granny gears and their riders tend to mash gears via standing on the pedals. Also, recumbents tend to be heavier than DFs. This tends to add to the strain of hill climbing. In short, if switching to a bent, practice the spinning quite a bit before getting into hill climbing, and don't try to keep up with the DFs when climbing. Just blow them away on the downhills.
     
  6. Cyclist14

    Cyclist14 New Member

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    I have been in the sport for 1 1/2 years and came from a competitive running background, Last year I put 5000 miles on my road bike and close to 1000 on my montain bike, this year I want to do at least 7,000 road miles and I will probably do 600-800 race miles (i.e racing in a race)
     
  7. Scarpelli

    Scarpelli New Member

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    I've ridden 150,000 miles in my 25 competitive years, and my knees are fine.

    If only I could get a lower back transplant, though... :(
     
  8. velomanct

    velomanct New Member

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    I know how you feel. I have knee problems myself, but for the most part they aren't serious. I have done 37,000 miles in the past 6 years since I was 14. I first injured my left knee when I was 16, from doing sprints in the cold. I push myself hard, with tons of sprinting and lifting now. I'm hoping my knees don't get any worse. I mostly just get small pains and patellar tendonittis if I don't warm up enough. And my left knee never really seems right. Dr's haven't found anything specifically wrong so I guess it's not too serious.

    GL
     
  9. EuanB

    EuanB New Member

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    Right, so what you're saying is that the gearing on a standard df road bike is all wrong. Agreed.

    That's a function of the drive train and has nothing to do with whether a bike is a recumbent or a diamond frame.

    That's why I suggested going for compact cranks or a triple. It's all about pedalling technique, not the geometry of the bike.

    I ride a df bike and my cadence does not drop below eighty even on hills. No knee problems.
     
  10. MoBentRdr

    MoBentRdr New Member

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    There may be a little misunderstanding here. Not sure whether it is on my end or yours, but I'll clarify for the benefit of anyone reading. Many DFs do not have the third (and smaller) front chain ring and therefore require more "mashing" of gears. Any implication that this is "all wrong" was not my intent. For some riders (and conditions) a double is ok.

    The geometry of the bike can make a difference. On a DF, the maximum force you can apply to the pedal is approximately your weight by standing on the pedal, shifting weight from side to side. On a bent, it is possible to put more pressure on the pedal than one's weight. This can be done by using the seat back as leverage. kind of like sitting against a wall and pushing a heavy object with your feet. This is where improper technique can cause knee problems on a bent, as one can more easily over exert a knee on a bent vs a DF.

    Depending on the individual rider, the compact cranks may not be enough.
    You are right about the importance of pedalling technique. Keeping your cadence at 80+ sounds like you are doing it right, and we should encourage any and all newbie cyclists to do likewise.

    I hope this comes accross in the positive way I intend. Being aware that others, sometimes new riders, read these posts, I wrote so as to be helpful to lesser experienced riders. Happy riding.
     
  11. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    similar with with me: I've been grinding big gears and big cranks for 20 years, including ~75,000km in the last 4 years, and my knees are fine, but my back's a bit dodgey.

    I had a little chondromalacia about 15 years ago, but that was more from running.
     
  12. mountainboy

    mountainboy New Member

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    :D
    2/9/2006
    From mountainboy of the Philippines:

    I am 47 yrs now and had been mountain biking since 3 to 4 years ago having a total mileage of 13,300 kilometers travelled on bike to date as recorded in my speedometer. Our latest road trip spans 211 kilometers of mountainous climbs and rough roads. At first I had my problems with my knees but as time went on with regular practice it didnt bother me anymore at anytime already. I really relied on a hardtailed Kona cinder cone mtb which already is two years old and had traversed almost all of my region already. Biking is really a great fun and a great way to lengthen one's lifetime.
     
  13. skittlebike

    skittlebike New Member

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    Try one legged squats on a smith rack (the bars that guide your squat, so you can't really lose your ballance) Also, climb stairs backward. Doing these exercises 2-3 times per week have stopped my PFS. I rode over 4000 miles last year and ran over 600. The knees aren't old (36) but they still work well:)


    good luck
     
  14. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    I did 12,000 miles last year - and I suppose I have clocked up in total mileage
    somewhere close to 100,000 over the past 22 years.

    Touch wood, I have never had any knee problems whatsoever (I had a heavy fall last May where I busted my right knee and was out for 2-3 weeks and my mobility was very restricted).

    Do you ride with knee supports?
     
  15. cannondale889

    cannondale889 New Member

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    my health is great
    could loose a few pounds
    hope this year will be better last year did about 1,200 miles but I have a like 3 bikes felt 45 fisher super caliper cannondale so I ride them too so my miles kinda split between the bikes.I should rebuild my rear wheel on my fisher too
    years a go I flew off a bike
    the bike was to big for me and flew off and went around the corner missed a park car by a foot thats when I started to pay close attention to the hight of bicycles .
    then I met a guy who took a bike off a 10 ft roof and broke his lag in 3 places has pins in his leg what a shame his bike blew a part in a million pieces.
    I would never do that to a bike what cost a huge ton of money. thats when you get a dh bike steel frame renfored .
    I know a guy who puts on a year 8000 on a bike wish I could do that .
     
  16. Mike_Rides_Red

    Mike_Rides_Red New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. Hearing that some of you have over 100k on your knees gives me hope for the future.

    I probably have 5 differnt types of knee supports, trying to find one that supports the knee but isn't restrictive. I am now using the Cho-Pat dual control knee braces which seem to help and I don't really notice them while cycling.
     
  17. cyclingheroes

    cyclingheroes New Member

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    I've had knee problems in the past, after 20 years of cycling...a pretty ugly knee surgery and after that i couldn't do any serious sports for about 5 years, i overcame my kneeproblems by working very slowly BUT constantly on my recovery (i did watergymnastik with my knee again and again and again and i hated it, i always had my bike in the living room to see it every day so i knew where i was doing it for...yeah maybe a bit silly but i needed that for my motivation...)which took these 5 long years. Since 2 years i am cycling again and this year i will do some light competition (nothing serious i am 40 now), next year i wil race the transalp. I changed my riding, i am not stamping the big ones anymore i am riding with higher..hmm how do i call that in English, cadance??? It's going in the direction of spinning now, it improved my climbing a lot and no more knee problems. Next year i will ride the Transalp (11 days in the Alpes) and want to try to finish with the first 50, which is possible...
     
  18. midastouch

    midastouch New Member

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    I've been ridng regularly for 37 years. I did my first century at 11, raced for several years, commuted for many years, and now do 8-10,000 miles per year commuting and riding with the local club. I must have a zillion miles on my knees. The joints are in great shape. Overuse occasionally can cause tendonitis. Make sure you spin, and get a good fit.

     
  19. cannondale889

    cannondale889 New Member

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    thats good to keep in shape bike walk is the best for you
    thats the main thing don't give up
    how old are you ???
     
  20. shokhead

    shokhead New Member

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    Me? She has all the miles on her knees.
     
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