Knee Pain - Only Hurts on Road Bike!! Why??


New Member
Jun 7, 2011
I've been riding road on and off since the mid eighties. My knee (around the top left of knee cap) started bothering me around 1991 (I'm convinced it was from the Look pedals I was riding at the time - my first clipless) and has been bothering me ever since. Three years ago I started mountainbiking, and after a season it occurred to me that my knee rarely bothers me, if at all, when I ride a mountainbike.

Why? I assumed it was the pedals. So I did some research and decided to switch from the TIME pedals I've had on the road bike for the last 5 years to Speedplays, which are free floating.

Today I road the Speedplays for the first time (after being off the bike for over a week) and my knee still bothers me. Totally bummed, since I thought the pedals would solve the problem. I'm guessing now that it must either be my shoes (possible?) or my positioning.

Has anyone else had a similar experience, or can anyone offer any possible solutions?
I move your post to a more appropriate forum. Hopefully you will get better feedback here. My suggestion is to check your saddle height and tilt first.
Originally Posted by gtowle . can anyone offer any possible solutions?...
Start with the advice above to double check saddle height, tilt and fore aft positioning. A lot of knee problems start with the basics.

Without knowing more it sounds like you could have an excessive pronation/supination issue with one or both feet. If that's the case and the free float of the Speedplays aren't enough then take a look at Lemond Wedges:

The obvious question is how your setup in terms of saddle to pedal relationships differs between your mountain bike and road bike and what pedals and shoes you're running on your mountain bike. If you're running off road clipless pedals on your mountain bike have you tried swapping them onto your road bike for a few rides to see if the knee issues go away?

The best advice is probably to visit a qualified bike fitter and tell them about your knee troubles. If there's a knee tracking issue they'll see it and they should be able to correct the problem.

Good luck,
for me raising my saddle a bit and tilting the nose ever so slightly did the trick.
Are you riding your mountain bike on or off road?

Hardtail or full suspension?

Maybe you are absorbing the impacts on the road bike rigidly and not using your body as a shock absorber. The impacts on the mountain bike are being absorbed by the suspension giving your joints a break.