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Knee Pain

the_gills123the_gills123 Posts: 31
Hi all,

I'm sure this has been bought up a thousand times before but I'm hoping someone can help a beginner like me.

I've not long been using clipless pedals and am getting on with them fine except for the fact that I keep getting pain in the inside of my right knee. It's not unbearable but uncomfortable none the less - discomfort normally kicks in around the 20mile mark and it gets more uncomfortable when I stop riding and things stiffen up. If you looked at my knee and split it into 4 quarters, I'm getting pain in the top right corner - the Medial part of the knee (I think??).

I can only put this down to poor set up of my cleats BUT - I recently used my Dad's bike (as mine was being fixed... new shifter) and experienced no pain at all when/after riding despite it being far too big for me - I'm just under 5ft,10 ride a 54cm Trek and my dad's bike was a 58cm Ribble.

Before I play around with cleats - could it be my bike set up - seat too low? too far forward or back? Tilted forward too much?? I used normal flat pedals before and never had any pains and I've now got pains using clipless pedals.

If it is the cleats, what/how should I adjust them?

Thanks in advance for any help/advice

Posts

  • kalowskikalowski Posts: 16
    I can't help at all :x except for the fact that I've just been out on my clipless pedals for the first time and had a bit of right knee pain too. I could have written your post. I was thinking that my seat needed to be higher (by about 5 mm maybe 10) and I've changed the position of the cleat slightly. I guess I won't get it right first time but we can suffer with our pain together! I'm going on a very short ride later and will see if the set up feels OK, although I don't expect to notice pain/lack of since it will be such a short ride.
  • And there was me getting all excited at a reply!!

    Well at least I'm not the only one!!

    I tend to get a bit of discomfort whilst out on a ride but it hurts more once I've showered and relaxed. Ibuprofen helps reduce the pain so I assume it's some kind of internal swelling or something. Does it hurt more if you squat? It does for me.

    Let's hope someone can help fix it.

    The one thing I have read, says to move the cleat to toward the outside of the shoe (thus bringing your foot closer to the crank) I'm also thinking of twisting it slightly so that my toes don't point outwards as much. I was originally told to set up cleats so that your feet rest as you would walk on them (toes pointing out slightly) but reading up on things, it seems that having them point more straight could help. I've got Grey look cleats so some float movement too.

    Anyway, I'm not going to change anything just yet... waiting for some experienced advice on here as I don't have too much faith in Wiki articles etc
  • jaxfjaxf Posts: 109
    I would recommend a bike fit, especially if you are new to riding. I used to get shoulder and neck pain, especially after about 50 miles, and I do get some knee pain, especially after Rapha Rising (climbed nearly 9000m in 8 days), but nothing like before the latest bike fit. I would say that it was the best - and cheapest - thing I have done on the bikes, as I was about to throw money at changing several things, wound up changing one stem on one bike.
  • Thanks... How much do bike fits normally cost?

    I'd also appreciate anyone else's advice - I've not really had any pain cycling before so assume it is purely down to going clipless.

    I probably will go to get a proper fit done at some point though.
  • jaxfjaxf Posts: 109
    anything from £25 - £65 - mine cost me £65, I was really hacked off with my husband for organising something so expensive, but it saved me hundreds, and made me feel way more comfortable. Last summer, I struggled with pain riding for 2 weeks in the Alps, this summer, I rode longer, harder, faster - no(t much) pain.
  • I'll have to get in touch with the LBS and ask - £65 is too much for me right now. I'm hoping someone on here can just give a bit of tweaking advice before I go it alone and take the DIY approach.

    Riding in the alps sounds extreme! You must be good!
  • Lots of views but no replies? Can someone please help!
  • CalpolCalpol Posts: 1,039
    Hi all,

    I'm sure this has been bought up a thousand times before but I'm hoping someone can help a beginner like me.

    I've not long been using clipless pedals and am getting on with them fine except for the fact that I keep getting pain in the inside of my right knee. It's not unbearable but uncomfortable none the less - discomfort normally kicks in around the 20mile mark and it gets more uncomfortable when I stop riding and things stiffen up. If you looked at my knee and split it into 4 quarters, I'm getting pain in the top right corner - the Medial part of the knee (I think??).

    I can only put this down to poor set up of my cleats BUT - I recently used my Dad's bike (as mine was being fixed... new shifter) and experienced no pain at all when/after riding despite it being far too big for me - I'm just under 5ft,10 ride a 54cm Trek and my dad's bike was a 58cm Ribble.

    Before I play around with cleats - could it be my bike set up - seat too low? too far forward or back? Tilted forward too much?? I used normal flat pedals before and never had any pains and I've now got pains using clipless pedals.

    If it is the cleats, what/how should I adjust them?

    Thanks in advance for any help/advice

    Its pretty hard to offer any useful advice as there are so many variables. I get a bit of medial pain also. Part of it is down to underdeveloped VMO (Vastus medialus oblique) and there are many exercises for helping this. If you can post a pic of you on the bike it might help.

    I moved my cleats so my feet are slightly angled - heel in toe out. I sat n the edge of a table and looked at how my legs hung naturally and tried to replicate this in the bike. I also am quite slim in the hips to I moved the cleats outboard which brought my feet closer to the BB. Its trial and error to be honest. I get the odd niggle but spinning higher cadence helps and I managed 104 miles last weekend with little discomfort.

    Ice and a bit of self massage also help post ride, as does stretching. I also use specialized insoles with high arch support to stop my arches collapsing in the pedal stroke. I have always had dodgy feet etc. The other thing is that your body may just be getting used to using under developed muscle groups so don't up your mileage too quickly. HTH
  • Peddle Up!Peddle Up! Posts: 2,040
    edited July 2013
    Lots of posts on the forum on knee pain and cleat adjustment. Worth a search. :)
    Purveyor of "up" :)
  • djfleming22djfleming22 Posts: 116
    I had a slight pain in the front of my knee i put the seat back and this seemed to solve the problem this might not be your problem but i good bike fitter will be able to have a look and see whats wrong but as said its alot of trial and error because everyone is so different.
  • trek2300trek2300 Posts: 20
    I think its the positioning of the clipless pedals or cleats, im pretty sure they are adjustable so can play around with the positioning of the cleat and see if that helps.

    best i can offer. hope this helps
  • AlitogataAlitogata Posts: 148
    I think that you have to re adjust the positioning of your cleats. But first you've got to be sure that your saddle is in the right hight and properly forward or backward because by installing the clipless pedals you don't wear the same kind of shoes and perhaps you are sitting indeed lower or higher than you should. Even one cm makes big difference.
    This affects and your backward or forward position of the saddle. The higher you put it , more forward must come as the sit post is not vertical with the ground.

    So check the hight of your saddle for one more time, wearing your road shoes, be sure that the ball of your feet is in the axle of the pedals, and then check one more time were the cleats are. :)
  • HebdenBikerHebdenBiker Posts: 787
    I am a fellow sufferer, and can tell you what worked for me, but as others have said, there are many variables.

    Some factors:
    Q Angle
    Q Factor
    Lateral float
    Angular float
    Cleat position
    Saddle position (height, fore/aft)

    I am something of a biomechanical oddity, and require a wide Q Factor (distance between pedals) and a negative Q Angle (angle of pedal axle relative to the ground), as well as a "duck feet" cleat setup.

    This has all been expensive to achieve. I used to do it with Look CX7 pedals, the only pedals at the time which had this range of adjustments. Unfortunately, they are discontinued now and getting harder to find, although they occasionally come up on Ebay. They were £275 new back in the day.

    Nowadays, I use Time ATAC MTB pedals on all of my bikes, and a triple crank setup on my road bike to increase the Q Factor. The Time ATACs are extremely forgiving of biomechanical weirdness and I swear by them.

    If I were ever to go back to pure road pedals, I would be forced to use Speedplay. They are currently the only manufacturers to offer Q Angle/Q Factor adjustments, and only then, when you have paid through the nose for custom long axles and cambered cleats, etc.

    Before you go splashing out on anything, experiment with a range of cleat positions (lateral and angular) and you will soon find where (if) your biomechanical needs are coming up against the limit of the range of adjustment offered by your current equipment.
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