Lateral knee movement

alec44 Posts: 43
edited June 2013 in Road general
When cycling (especially on a turbo) I have noticed my left knee moves sideways quite alot. The left knee comes inwards towards the top tube at the top of the stroke and remains angled in throughout the down stroke. There are basically 2 visible problems (which are probably as a result of a single problem)

1) It looks as if the entire leg is angled towards the top tube from the hip.
2) My leg is not straight. The knee is inside of the line of my shin and quads, effectively in a < shape when looking from the front.

My right leg remains fairly straight for the entire stroke. I was thinking it must be a cleat problem however both cleats are in the same position but I have no problems with the other leg. Do you have any experience/advice to stop this happening? The movement is quite drastic so I fear a knee/hip injury is imminent!

Thank you


  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,539
    fwiw i need lots of arch support, a shim and wedges too, without that i get the same type of knee movement - after many niggling knee/hamstring issues and trying to figure out the solution myself, i went to a physio who understood cycling, he identified the root causes and then worked out the corrections for each leg

    a simple test to see if arch support might be helpful is to stand barefoot in front of a mirror (or have someone watch) then step forward, watch to see if the foot/ankle rotates inwards as your heel lands and the rest of the foot flattens on the floor, this is pronation, if there's too much it can result in the knee movement

    for you it could something very different, but what you describe is exactly the way my knees move without the arch supports

    re the cleats, slight left/right leg/body differences aren't uncommon, so having identical left-right cleat set-up is not necessarily correct
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    It's quite a common problem - watch riders on a group ride from behind and see how many knees you can see tracking assymetrically. I know people who've raced at elite-level with dodgy knee-tracking without injury, so it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be a problem for you. Obviously, if you start experiencing knee pain, then you need to consider your options - pedals that provide lateral float are a good starting point. There are some bike-fitters who'll charge a hefty wedge with wedges, moulded insoles etc.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • ctc
    ctc Posts: 232
    I have the same problem with the left knee, due to various problems with back and pelvis.

    I've recently swapped my 105 SPD-SLs to some Time RXS pedals that have lateral float. Much better for me
  • trek_dan
    trek_dan Posts: 1,366
    I'm exactly the same, arch support was the key for me, thankfully I managed to get away with the Specialized insoles and additonal shims without the expense of custom orthapedics, wedges etc. I needed the green (high) arch support soles and additional shims.
  • chris_bass
    chris_bass Posts: 4,913
    like others have said, i'm very flat footed and some insoles with arch support really help me out. - a site for sore eyes
  • DarrenGTi
    DarrenGTi Posts: 68
    Same flat footedness here too. When I had my bike fit done the fitter spotted the lateral movement. It in part was a result of my left leg being shorter than the right. A couple wedges under the cleat evened the lengths up and the lateral movement was significantly reduced.
  • Ed-tron
    Ed-tron Posts: 165
    The more you look for this sort of thing, the more you see it in other riders. Im new to this, but in my first few sportives when behind people you could see the pedal stroke made their knee jump out, then almost 'pop' back in again in line with their foot. Im not in a position to say if its good or bad, but it did seem awkward.