Knee pain & Saddle Height

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by BCDrums, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. BCDrums

    BCDrums Guest

    Lately I have had some pain in one knee, located behind the knee cap. It
    doesn't hurt while I'm riding, but rather when I'm climbing stairs. I'm
    wondering if it might be that my saddle is too low or high (although I
    haven't made any adjustments lately).

    Has anyone had a similar problem?

    BC
     
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  2. jim beam

    jim beam Guest

    BCDrums wrote:
    > Lately I have had some pain in one knee, located behind the knee cap. It
    > doesn't hurt while I'm riding, but rather when I'm climbing stairs. I'm
    > wondering if it might be that my saddle is too low or high (although I
    > haven't made any adjustments lately).
    >
    > Has anyone had a similar problem?
    >
    > BC



    are you using cleated pedals? if so, try changing the pedal position
    for when you unclip.

    i used to unclip with that foot at the top of the pedal stroke, thus
    accommodating the action with the knee and ankle joints. with the pain
    i experienced, i figured that unclipping at the _bottom_ of the stroke,
    thus using rotation of the hip joint, a joint much more able to
    accommodate such action under load, would fix the problem. and it did.

    i was reminded of this again recently when i took my fixie out after a
    couple of months of leaving it unridden. i foolishly kept unclipping
    wherever i stopped, which was often at the top of a stroke, and sure
    enough, knee pain returned. the simple expedient of planning ahead and
    unclipping at the bottom for subsequent rides has solved the problem.

    hth.
     
  3. Pat

    Pat Guest


    > Lately I have had some pain in one knee, located behind the knee cap. It
    > doesn't hurt while I'm riding, but rather when I'm climbing stairs. I'm
    > wondering if it might be that my saddle is too low or high (although I
    > haven't made any adjustments lately).
    >
    > Has anyone had a similar problem?
    >
    > BC


    I had that same pain after hiking. I went to my local Osteopathic Physician
    who does manipulation, and he said that something in the knee had slipped
    out of place. He popped it back it and the pain went away. He also showed me
    how to grasp the back of the knee and press on the sore place so that would
    move the tendon or whatever it was back into position. I only had to do it
    twice after that and haven't had that pain since. I doubt if it has
    anything to do with your saddle. In my case, it was walking downhill
    carrying a backpack.

    Pat in TX
     
  4. In article <[email protected]>,
    BCDrums <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Lately I have had some pain in one knee, located behind the knee cap. It
    > doesn't hurt while I'm riding, but rather when I'm climbing stairs. I'm
    > wondering if it might be that my saddle is too low or high (although I
    > haven't made any adjustments lately).
    >
    > Has anyone had a similar problem?
    >
    > BC


    Yes. Since there's lots of exciting ways your knee can fail, you really
    ought to talk to a doctor about this.

    With that disclaimer, the rule of thumb is that if your knees hurt,
    raise your saddle.

    Early in my cycling, I had similar knee pain (though in my case it was a
    knee issue I have had since my teenage years), so I raised my seat. I
    raised my seat just enough that on my first metric century, I gave
    myself Achilles tendonitis so bad I couldn't walk for three days.

    Which was lame.

    After that, I lowered my seat slightly, and started using 165mm
    (shorter) cranks.

    I don't know how much difference the cranks made, but I liked them. I
    still use them, though I have a fair number of 170s on other bikes, and
    I don't have Achilles tendonitis problems anymore.

    On the other hand, I started getting more knee issues (very much like
    the ones you described) and now I wear knee braces on long or hard rides.

    --
    Ryan Cousineau [email protected] http://www.wiredcola.com/
    "In other newsgroups, they killfile trolls."
    "In rec.bicycles.racing, we coach them."
     
  5. In article <[email protected]>,
    BCDrums <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Lately I have had some pain in one knee, located behind the knee cap. It
    > doesn't hurt while I'm riding, but rather when I'm climbing stairs. I'm
    > wondering if it might be that my saddle is too low or high (although I
    > haven't made any adjustments lately).
    >
    > Has anyone had a similar problem?
    >
    > BC


    Yes. Since there's lots of exciting ways your knee can fail, you really
    ought to talk to a doctor about this.

    With that disclaimer, the rule of thumb is that if your knees hurt,
    raise your saddle.

    Early in my cycling, I had similar knee pain (though in my case it was a
    knee issue I have had since my teenage years), so I raised my seat. I
    raised my seat just enough that on my first metric century, I gave
    myself Achilles tendonitis so bad I couldn't walk for three days.

    Which was lame.

    After that, I lowered my seat slightly, and started using 165mm
    (shorter) cranks.

    I don't know how much difference the cranks made, but I liked them. I
    still use them, though I have a fair number of 170s on other bikes, and
    I don't have Achilles tendonitis problems anymore.

    On the other hand, I started getting more knee issues (very much like
    the ones you described) and now I wear knee braces on long or hard rides.

    --
    Ryan Cousineau [email protected] http://www.wiredcola.com/
    "In other newsgroups, they killfile trolls."
    "In rec.bicycles.racing, we coach them."
     
  6. jim beam

    jim beam Guest

    Ryan Cousineau wrote:
    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > BCDrums <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> Lately I have had some pain in one knee, located behind the knee cap. It
    >> doesn't hurt while I'm riding, but rather when I'm climbing stairs. I'm
    >> wondering if it might be that my saddle is too low or high (although I
    >> haven't made any adjustments lately).
    >>
    >> Has anyone had a similar problem?
    >>
    >> BC

    >
    > Yes. Since there's lots of exciting ways your knee can fail, you really
    > ought to talk to a doctor about this.
    >
    > With that disclaimer, the rule of thumb is that if your knees hurt,
    > raise your saddle.
    >
    > Early in my cycling, I had similar knee pain (though in my case it was a
    > knee issue I have had since my teenage years), so I raised my seat. I
    > raised my seat just enough that on my first metric century, I gave
    > myself Achilles tendonitis so bad I couldn't walk for three days.
    >
    > Which was lame.


    literally.


    >
    > After that, I lowered my seat slightly, and started using 165mm
    > (shorter) cranks.
    >
    > I don't know how much difference the cranks made, but I liked them. I
    > still use them, though I have a fair number of 170s on other bikes, and
    > I don't have Achilles tendonitis problems anymore.
    >
    > On the other hand, I started getting more knee issues (very much like
    > the ones you described) and now I wear knee braces on long or hard rides.
    >
     
  7. jim beam

    jim beam Guest

    Ryan Cousineau wrote:
    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > BCDrums <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> Lately I have had some pain in one knee, located behind the knee cap. It
    >> doesn't hurt while I'm riding, but rather when I'm climbing stairs. I'm
    >> wondering if it might be that my saddle is too low or high (although I
    >> haven't made any adjustments lately).
    >>
    >> Has anyone had a similar problem?
    >>
    >> BC

    >
    > Yes. Since there's lots of exciting ways your knee can fail, you really
    > ought to talk to a doctor about this.
    >
    > With that disclaimer, the rule of thumb is that if your knees hurt,
    > raise your saddle.
    >
    > Early in my cycling, I had similar knee pain (though in my case it was a
    > knee issue I have had since my teenage years), so I raised my seat. I
    > raised my seat just enough that on my first metric century, I gave
    > myself Achilles tendonitis so bad I couldn't walk for three days.
    >
    > Which was lame.


    literally.


    >
    > After that, I lowered my seat slightly, and started using 165mm
    > (shorter) cranks.
    >
    > I don't know how much difference the cranks made, but I liked them. I
    > still use them, though I have a fair number of 170s on other bikes, and
    > I don't have Achilles tendonitis problems anymore.
    >
    > On the other hand, I started getting more knee issues (very much like
    > the ones you described) and now I wear knee braces on long or hard rides.
    >
     
  8. * * Chas

    * * Chas Guest

    "BCDrums" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Lately I have had some pain in one knee, located behind the knee cap. It
    > doesn't hurt while I'm riding, but rather when I'm climbing stairs. I'm
    > wondering if it might be that my saddle is too low or high (although I
    > haven't made any adjustments lately).
    >
    > Has anyone had a similar problem?
    >
    > BC


    See a good orthopedic doctor, preferably someone who's involved with
    sports medicine and works with knee problems.

    In 1978 I developed severe knee pain 25 miles into a century ride. I had
    to abandon the ride at 50 miles. From then on I had recurrent knee
    problems that affected my ability to go back packing and skiing as well as
    cycling.

    Some times just climbing stairs I'd feel a sharp pain on the inner edge of
    my knee caps and one or both knees would start to buckle when I put weight
    on them.

    A physical therapist gave me some exercises that helped somewhat but it
    wasn't until a friend noticed that I was riding with my toes pointed
    slightly inward. He suggested that I adjust my cleats so that my heels
    were in and my toes pointed out. That solved a lot of my problems.

    Recurrent tendonitis and bursitis kept bothering me so several years ago I
    had MRIs done on my knees and the doctors found bone spurs under my knee
    caps that had worn grooves into the knee cartilage.

    I'm now using pedal extenders which seem to help a lot. These allow my
    knees to track within the grooves in the cartilage when I'm pedaling.

    Having your seat too low can cause knee problems as well as too high which
    can result in irritation from over extension. Also "mashing", riding in
    high gears at a low cadence can result in knee problems especially when
    doing a lot of heavy climbing.

    I think that the most important thing is to find what works for your
    personal physique and ignore most of what the Bike Fit Nazis suggest.

    BTW, I take 3-4 aspirin before and after riding to control inflammation in
    my knees. Also it takes me 5-10 miles to warm up so I start off easy.

    Good luck.

    Chas.
     
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