Advice for guy with knacked knees

Wulz Posts: 100
edited April 2012 in Road beginners
Hi Folks,

I have a mate who is early forties and a pretty strong cyclist. I guess by strong i mean better than me :D but in reality he is fast with stamina and is more than decent on hills.

He has just been told the other day that both his knees are pretty shot. i can`t quite remember the diagnosis so i wont guess but the jist is that his knees need to be looked after from now on. He currently runs a 55 tooth big cog up front with a 23 - 11 (i think) at the back. He is defo what you would describe as a grinder.

I suggested that he might want to go to a compact with maybe a 25 or even a 28 on the back, purely from the point of view of giving his knees a bit of a break by giving his cadence a boost. Then we came to talk about crank length.

So questions are,

1/ am i anywhere near offering sensible advice? if not what would you suggest?

2/ Longer cranks should help him turn them and surely therefore be a help, or will the longer distance travelled by th e legs be a negative feature of longer cranks?

So folks any help appreciated as usual,thanks



  • itsnotarace
    itsnotarace Posts: 518
    There is a gear ratio calculator that you can change crank length variables

    Select Gear inches - which is the measurement of how far forwards the bike travels for one complete 360 degree rotation of the crank

    Yes, generally speaking higher cadence with less resistance will help knees.
  • motdoc
    motdoc Posts: 97
    He should definitely consider it, current feeling is that less revs=more pressure=more damage. Spinning is winning :)

    If his saddle is too low this can cause problems as well.

    Longer cranks neccesiate bending the knee further which is bad (as you say). Although you're right less torque is needed. In my experience a lot of problems are caused by pressuring the knee while "over bent". Don't know of any evidence either way, so wouldn't worry about that.
    Arrrrr I be in Devon.
  • g00se
    g00se Posts: 2,221
    Also, more float in the pedals MAY help the knees
  • Speedplay Zeros

    that's it!
  • tipped
    tipped Posts: 27
    Perhaps a professional bike fit is in order also?
    Planet X SL Team 2011 (SRAM Red, Krysium Elite)
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    There is a line of thought that 'pushing' big gears is harsher on your joints than 'spinning' smaller ones so I would say that you are giving some reasonable advice with the smaller front chainring ideas.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • Wulz
    Wulz Posts: 100
    Thanks for the input folks, ill pass on the ideas.

    Worth considering the pro fit as suggested.

    He's been on this same bike for a bit over five years so id like to think the fit is good but in reality i guess you never know. I suppose it squite easy to get use to a bad fit over time.


  • daxplusplus
    daxplusplus Posts: 631
    Make sure he keeps his knees warm .. mine start twinging a day or so after if I chance not wearing knee warmers and it's turns out ot be colder than expected.

    Reckon I'll wear them all the time unless middle of summer and hot.

    Also make sure his cleats fit his knees and not the other way around.
    Sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail

    strava profile
  • Zoomer37
    Zoomer37 Posts: 725
    Perhaps he needs to learn how to use his gears better??