they shoot cyclists, don't they?

ant evans

New Member
Jan 23, 2003
I have persistently weird knees. They feel swollen, and hurt vaguely after a while off the bike. I ride every day, 500km a month, except when I'm experimenting with a different knee regime :-<

There is never real pain, only swelling and aching around the patella. Not really underneath, although it's hard to say, with knees. Both knees the same.

Doctor says no morbidity, and possible patellar tracking problem. Physio says knees unburstable, all quads strong, so probably no patellar tracking problem. Gives me exercises to strenthen other femoral muscles. They hurt. Yeah.

Knees feel swollen after riding home from physio. Damn!

I think this started after I went to shorter cranks and didn't raise the seat. This is bad, don't do it. I've moved the seat back up. I did have a problem with it slipping, but that's solved.

Anybody had this?
Welcome to!

I too have knee pain but mine is clearly related to tracking problems (chondramalicia patella).

I am wondering what kind of gears you're turning? Are you spinning or mashing the big ones? Do you tend to climb standing or sitting?

I am surprised that you think it could be from shorter cranks. Knee issues are more often associated with going to longer cranks.

I hope that you get some solid suggestions here!

No big gears. 50-39 / 27-12 on 26" wheels, so a top gear of about 8m, or a nominal, but wrong, 108". 165mm cranks, which effectively raises the gearing.

I try to keep above 80rpm, but I live in Wales, so there is the occasional 1 in 5 hill (which can really ruin your style). I spin out at just over 50kph. I think that's enough on a device that doesn't really stop or turn :-]

Shorter cranks mean a lower saddle. I didn't adjust mine, and I think that's where it started. No marks to Rich Grigsby for pointing this out when he put them on. I intend to give him hell when I next see him.
Hey there,

I find my knees get sensitive if I spin light gears. I am also riding with short cranks (170mm) and have had problems with my seat slipping down.

I have been very fortunate though and do not experience swollen knees, despite grinding big gears. Maybe, you just need to build up those quads. Squats do the trick, but careful of the knees. Good luck.
That's the first time I've been advised to use higher gears for bad knees. That said, I often find that standing up on a hill gives my legs (and knees) a rest... unfortunately not the rest of me though.

The damn problem seems to be going away by itself, which makes it Highly Elusive. I know it'll be back, and I can't buy a new bike until I know it's gone.

Most likely explanation is thus that it is related to saddle height (first too low, then too high).

What should the knee angle be a top dead centre? Mine is more than 90%. That can't be efficient. I shall be consulting the venerable Mr Stern.

What's ET short for?
No, cause he's got little legs.
Actually, it's less than 90 degrees. It goes past a right angle. More stress for ligaments.

I'm using Speedplay Frogs. Fine pedals, although they do have their flaws.