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Fixed - getting used to a bigger gear without knee pain?

JonEdwardsJonEdwards Posts: 452
I commute daily on a fix.

Over the years I've gradually been upping my ratio as I get stonger and fitter. I've just got bored of the spinniness of 42:16 and gone to 44:16. ( I had a spare 44T ring kicking about)

Now obviously my leg muscles are taking a bit of time to adapt, but what's worrying me is that my knees have started to ache. I stretch regularly, take codliver oil and glucosamine tablets and tend to keep my knees covered (knee warmers below ~15°C).

I'm pretty skinny and am finding that first pedal stroke away from the lights right on the limit of my strength - even from a trackstand, and any kind of gradient or headwind is making me grind rather than spin, and I guess it's all this that's doing the damage. The muscle strength will come, but anything else I can do to stop me knackering my joints in the process?

Ta!

Posts

  • dealdeal Posts: 857
    personally if i was getting knee pain from bigger gears i would take that as a warning sign and drop back down to a smaller gear
  • JonEdwardsJonEdwards Posts: 452
    Don't get me wrong - it's just a dull ache at the mo - I just don't want it getting any worse!

    Obviously there's the option to buy a 43T ring, but I can still spin out the 44 on the flat... (and I'm tight!)
  • volvicsparvolvicspar Posts: 208
    My knees ache all the tme. I thought it was normal ? Must be getting old!
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    My mate has 2 front chainrings on his fixie so he has the option of 42x13 or 54x13, depending on the conditions. You could always try that - unless you're one of those fixed-gear purists, who go round with no brakes, etc...
  • Eddy SEddy S Posts: 1,013
    JonEdwards wrote:
    ...Over the years I've gradually been upping my ratio as I get stonger and fitter. I've just got bored of the spinniness of 42:16 and gone to 44:16...
    This is not exactly a huge gearing change – you've only gone from 70.9 to 74.3.

    Maybe your dull ache is just adaption.

    But, if you think you’re on the limit of your strength on the larger gear, then maybe you need to spend more time doing a lot more strength exercises on the smaller gear and learn to love the spinning.
    I’m a sprinter – I warmed up yesterday.
  • InfamousInfamous Posts: 1,130
    Bhima wrote:
    You could always try that - unless you're one of those fixed-gear purists, who go round with no brakes, etc...
    I think they like to be called "imbeciles".

    74 inches is not a big gear, if there's a problem it's likely to be a fitting issue, or a back pedalling issue.
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