Worn knee & returning to biking

jon1908 Posts: 4
edited November 2008 in Road beginners
I've recently returned to road biking after a good few years (about 20) and apart from being slightly overweight and very underfit, I have one 'complaint' which I want to sort out before I do too much training.

I have discovered that I have a torn meniscus in my left knee and I also have excessive wear on one side (interior) at the rear of my patella. My consultant doesn't want to operate on the knee as yet, but suggested I strengthen my knee and 'see how I get on'.

There are two issues that concern me:

1) I ride a fixie to work most days (only a 1 1/2 miles each way but mostly uphill) and can certainly feel my knee getting stronger. I use clips and straps on this one. Is there any potential damage I can be doing, especially when 'resisting' the turn of the pedals?

2) My road bike has Look Keo classics with red cleats. I can feel a fair bit of float, but I've never really set them up since putting them on the bike. Is there any advantage to reducing the float? I don't want to have no float whatsoever, I think that's just asking for trouble given the state of my knee.

Any opinions gratefully received



  • General consensus is that increasing float reduces knee problems, not the other way around, since it reduces twisting forces on your knee ligaments.

    You might want to have a look at Speedplay road pedals (X1, X2, X5 and zero models). They have lots of "free float" (not centred by any spring tension). I like them a lot as they are also double sided...
  • gkerr4
    gkerr4 Posts: 3,408
    i have had two bouts of knee surgery this year - both for meniscus tears - one in each knee (although they were very different locations of injury).

    I agree with the float bit as above - more float is generally seen as being better.

    as for the fixed - well - I'm not sure any more. I have a langster which I love, it's a great bike and I love riding fixed gear but I have often wondered about the "reverse power transfer" - when you try and slow down.

    I'm back on the bike now - my left knee was done in July and the right on the 16th of last month. I was back on the bike within two weeks at my physio's instruction. But when I told him about the fixed gear, he was a bit concerned about the lack of freewheel - not the gear ratio, but rather the opportunity for the bike to dictate your leg rotation - he said that I want to avoid movement in the knee that isn't dictated or supported by the quads - like when a fixie can grab your feet and spin them round for you.

    I don't think I will ride fixed again, although I have ridden the langster in single-speed (freewheel) mode.

    i have learned a fair bit about knees this year (having been injured since january!) - give me a PM if you need to discus any further.