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Sore knees

OceanblueOceanblue Posts: 158
I've just taken up cycling and my knees are complaining... is this usual? Do my knees grow used to it? In recent weeks I did a 8 mile run over hilly roads and a 20 mile on over flats.

(I was not active for a brave few years due to being tied to a desk)

Ps the pain seems to go after 24 - 48 hours....


  • elliebellieb Posts: 436
    Make sure that your saddle is in the correct position. With one pedal horizontally forward, make sure that your knee is directly above the pedal axle. One of the causes of knee pain is having the saddle too far back.
  • mgcycleguymgcycleguy Posts: 292
    Are you riding with cleats ?.... if so check they are aligned to the natural postion of your feet... it sounds bizare, but you may not be symetrical... check by sitting on the edge of a table letting your legs dangle... and note which way your feet hang point ...
  • OceanblueOceanblue Posts: 158
    No, no cleats and my saddle is forward as I like the small feel... do you think it is a case of my knees needing to strengthen?
  • scapaslowscapaslow Posts: 305
    Can you be more specific about where your knees hurt? Front/back/side. These usually point to certain bike setup causes.

    The best thing to do would be to get a professional bike fitting session if you can in your local area.

    There was an article a while back in Cycling Plus (might be on the bikeradar website by now?) about knee problems and exercises to strengthen the knees dependent on the cause.

    As you are new to cycling try to increase mileage in a gradual manner to give your body and muscles enough time to adapt. Sudden increases in intensity or mileage can cause muscular problems. The rough rule is to increase things by no more than 10% at a time.
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    Also gear usage, are you mashing or spinning?
  • djaeggidjaeggi Posts: 107

    If you've been out of the exercise loop for a while, it's quite possible that you haven't got adequate muscular development (which will come, not to worry, just go gently for a while!).

    Also, if you're the weight you say you are in your signature, it's possible that your knees are already under a bit of stress - patellar tendinitis is common in overweight people and, while you might not notice it in everyday life, cycling just pushes it over the edge a little. If this is the case, you'll need to sort this out properly otherwise you'll get a chronic problem. It may well be worth finding a trainer/coach to give some advice as well as getting yourself properly fitted on the bike.
  • OceanblueOceanblue Posts: 158
    Now you are scaring the life out of me - thats ok as I'd rather deal with it than ignore it.

    Some background stuff
    I've been cross training for the past 9 months and lost 3 stone - I'm now the weight in my signature. I've been using my turbo trainer, swimming and the gym - all low impact stuff. I suppose it only natural that my knees should have some complaint given the years I was way overweight, however my confusion comes as a result of not getting the pain over the last 9 months at all its only now that I've put the bike on tarmac that the pain has arrived. Its to the front of the knees and feels similiar to a joint needing to crack. I did try to do some aerobic stuff the other day like lunges (sp) and squats but I stopped not long in as I thought my knees where way to sore!
  • OceanblueOceanblue Posts: 158
    mashing or spinning? I'm not doing spin classes but if I'm honest I'm not sure what you mean.

    I did an hour on my trainer today and deliberately went into high gears and the pain came back after 20 minutes or so. So i suspect your right perhaps I should lower my gear use...
  • djaeggidjaeggi Posts: 107
    The patellar tendon connects your quads to your tibia (shin) over the front of your knee, holding your kneecap in place.

    Pain on the front suggests this is cause of the problem. A cracking knee may also well be a sign that the kneecap is not being held in place firmly enough and is moving in ways it shouldn't, hence the crack sensation. Chances are that you're trying to do too much pushing for your quads to handle. You'll need to rest to heal the tendon and then build up quad strength to avoid future problems. I'd go and find a physio pronto to make a diagnosis and suggest a course of action. In the meantime, ice the knee and rest it completely!

    Mashing = low cadence riding (~60rpm) = big gears = lots of "push" per revolution.
    Spinning = high cadence riding (~90rpm) = small gears = less "push" per revolution.

    As to how it came about and why the pain now and not earlier, I don't know but it could just be that the problem has been building up over time. Swimming is not going to have caused a problem. Turbo vs road - I guess it might just be that road riding forced different gear usage. Gym, again, depends what you were doing, but it's not likely to be impact that causes this problem, only forceful pushing and you can do lots of this in the gym (e.g. leg press, rowing, squats).

    Good luck and go find that physio!
  • OceanblueOceanblue Posts: 158
    I appreciate the guidance djaeggi ... I'm a physical wreck (In fact a friend called me HMS Wreckage the other day) I'm already getting sports massage/trigger point therapy for bad elbow joints...

    Yeah I think I was mashing - I'll maybe switch to spinning...

    Tongue in cheek it was more fun being fat!! :wink:

    Ps I must get the cadence part for my computer...
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Most important thing for new cyclists to prevent such pain, correct riding position, dop not use too high gears, keep legs warm and no shorts until summer :D
  • rjh299rjh299 Posts: 721
    I've just been to see a physio today because off the knee pain i've been getting recently. Apparently my muscles are tight and this is causing my knee to be pulled to one side. The outside of my quads are tight aswell as my calves.
    Rest, stretches and eventually easing back into it is what i've been told.
  • OceanblueOceanblue Posts: 158
    rjh299 wrote:
    Apparently my muscles are tight and this is causing my knee to be pulled to one side.

    I've been told similiar for my arms/elbows... :shock: flamin shockin pain when they are workin on it!!
  • OceanblueOceanblue Posts: 158
    scapaslow wrote:
    There was an article a while back in Cycling Plus (might be on the bikeradar website by now?) about knee problems and exercises to strengthen the knees dependent on the cause..

    If anyone has a link to such an article I would really appreciate it...
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