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Standing + Big Gears Always = Knee Problems?



 
 
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  #1  
Old April 4th 06, 05:40 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech,rec.bicycles.misc
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Default Standing + Big Gears Always = Knee Problems?

Steve Sr. wrote:
Hello,

Before I get to the details let me start by saying that I am in my
late 40's. Before anyone suggests bike fit as a cause let me say that
the bike fit is good as evidenced by no knee problems until starting
the above. I have also been riding about 100 miles a week through the
winter so this isn't a spring over doers thing either.

I have recently been trying to increase my strength by pushing hills
while standing and slightly bigger gears sometimes while riding. I
have noticed an increase in strength but unfortunately my knees don't
seem able to take the added stress.

So here I am sitting by the computer with my knee wrapped in an ice
pack. This is probably patellar tendinitis as the pain seems to come
from tendons on the top inside and bottom outside of the kneecap. The
best I can tell is that the knee gets inflamed which then causes
tendons and such to move out of place causing even more problems.

So, am I doing something wrong? Other folks I ride with, some younger,
some older, don't seem to have a problem standing or pushing bigger
gears. Is there anything I can do to solve this or have I been
genetically unlucky and born with bad knees? If not I have probably
reached my cycling limit.


Steve,

You've got to sneak up on it a little.
Remember that your muscles can write
checks that your tendons and ligaments
can't cash. So you've got to strengthen
your connectors with some additional
patience. Immediately go back to spinning
easier gears--the knee pain should go
away. Then slowly build up resistance
to let your cords catch up. You'll be painlessly
powering big gears before too long.

If your knees still hurt even while spinning
easy gears, you've got some other problem.
Maybe a loose, worn out, or misaligned
cleat, something like that.

Robert

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  #2  
Old April 4th 06, 06:24 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech,rec.bicycles.misc
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Default Standing + Big Gears Always = Knee Problems?


wrote:
You've got to sneak up on it a little.
Remember that your muscles can write
checks that your tendons and ligaments
can't cash. So you've got to strengthen
your connectors with some additional
patience. Immediately go back to spinning
easier gears--the knee pain should go
away. Then slowly build up resistance
to let your cords catch up. You'll be painlessly
powering big gears before too long.


I agree with this. I have had tendonitis since I broke my kneecap in
2000. This is the first year I've been able to climb without pain. What
was different this time is that I really concentrated on sprints to
build my muscle strength before I went crazy in the hills.

I do high cadence explosive sprints, starting at ~22mph at 100 rpm and
topping out at 160-180 in 20 second efforts. I worked up to being able
to do 10 of these in around 30 minutes for my short strength workouts.
These are all-out sprints. I grow fangs and try to break sh*t --
totally explosive efforts -- but always high cadence.

Once I got to the point that I could feel the "snap" was back, I went
back to the hills. My sprint was feeling like it did in 1992 when I was
a 21-year-old Cat 3. It was great. Now I could lay a trail of fire up
the steepest sections on the steeper hills around here (20% - 25%
grade) and not experience any knee pain, standing or sitting.

Even my wife could tell that my knee was healthier just by the way I
was walking and the kinds of rides I was doing. Now I'm just doing
maintenance: sprints every week or two, a hill repeat workout, some
intervals, a couple road rides, some mountain biking, maybe a PR
attempt up Jester... I'm feeling great.

-Mike

  #3  
Old April 5th 06, 04:50 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech,rec.bicycles.misc
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Default Standing + Big Gears Always = Knee Problems?

Steve Sr. wrote:

Once the inflamation starts even easy gears become a problem. It
becomes a repetitive motion thing. If it flares up in the middle of a
ride it appears to do more damage just getting home.


Then I would guess your problem is not due
to too-large gears but to some fit issue.
Most likely your seat is a bit low, or your
cleats are misaligned, or something.
I have had knee pain that was caused by
excessively worn cleats, which allowed my
feet to roll a bit from side to side.

Good luck.

Robert

 




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