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PF syndrome and cassette for steep hills

Bike&FunBike&Fun Posts: 5
Hello guys,

This my first post here and i hope that i'm posting in the right section. I apologize if something like that has been discussed in the past but i couldn't find something similar.

I ride a road bike with compact (50/34) crankset (175mm) and 12-27 cassette (9 speed). Two years ago, i was diagnosed with patella femoral syndrome, firstly on the left knee and after six monts on the right. I followed some isometric exercises and i managed to recover regarding the left knee. Unfortunately, the problem on the right knee still remains and on some climbs (above 6-7% gradient) i have some pain. I ride in places where you can easily find 12% gradient and above, for 2-3 kms or more.

I was thinking of replacing the cassette and go into something like 11-32 or even 12-36 :shock: :oops:

I believe that i won't be forced to put so much strength (in order to maintain 70-75-80 rpm) on my right knee which as a result causes me pain.

I rode my MTB (42/32/22 crankset and 11-32 8 speed cassette) and tried to simulate the ratios 34/32=1,06 and 34/34= 0,94...things were better.... i got so enthusiased and i started to think if i could achieve smaller ratios...so, i rode my MTB at 22/32= 0,68 which is far better but there is a downside....the average speed is almost at 6km/h :shock: :oops: (almost like walking....).

So, i have some questions:

1) has anyone dealt a similar situation and how did he face it...?

2) can i replace the 34 teeth chainring and put a 30 teeth chainring (BCD=110mm)...? ( not to put a triple but instead of 50/34 to make it 50/30

3) until now i'm not using clipless pedals, but i am convinced of the necessity and i am about to buy a pair...do you think that this will help me (or things will get worsen) with the pedaling technique and it won't be necessary to go in extreme options (like 12-36)...?



thanks in advance for your replies :wink: and sorry for the long post

Posts

  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    i think you can only fit a 33.
    my gf has knee pain and i ve fitted a xt 9sp mtb mech and a 11/34 cassette - this will give you a big difference over a 27t.
    you are not racing, so what does it matter what the avg speed is?
  • i think you can only fit a 33.
    my gf has knee pain and i ve fitted a xt 9sp mtb mech and a 11/34 cassette - this will give you a big difference over a 27t.
    you are not racing, so what does it matter what the avg speed is?

    ok...so, i can buy a cheap sora rear mech (RD 3500 GS) and put a MTB cassette like 11-34 or even a 12-36 :oops: :cry:

    RD 3500GS has max sprocket 32 and total cap 41 teeth...(so, i can't use it... if i go for 12-36 --- max: 36T, total: 40T)...or shimano is just being too much conservative regarding the max sprocket....

    do you think that i also have to replace the chain?

    no, i'm not racing...i just enjoy long rides
  • Just put a triple on. A trekking 28/38/48 or similar will give you all the ratios you will ever require.


    yes i thought of it, but there are too many modifications that must be done...change front and (probably) rear mech, replace shifters, crankset...etc. Better buy a new road bike :D (with triple)

    the least expensive is to replace the 34t chainring (if that's possible) or change the cassette
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    yes we looked at the triple option and it is more expensive, and unless you fit a larger rear cassette, you still wont get the lower gear you want.

    But the change to a 33t front and a 11-34, with a new chain, will be your cheapest and easist option (the reason for the new chain is you ll need a slightly longer one and its always nice to have a new one to match a new cassette.)
  • borisfaceborisface Posts: 273
    Long time sufferer with PF syndrome and I'm not saying this will work for you but...

    I live in a mountainous area, Portugal, my 'easiest' 25 mile ride will include about 1000m of climbing. I use a 34-28. What I have found is that by riding more - 5 times a week maybe 150-200 miles with about 5-7000 m climbing a week my PF syndrome has disappeared. My conclusion is that by riding more I am much fitter which has meant that I am stronger am able to put down more power over longer distances and the PF syndrome has receded.
  • Long time sufferer with PF syndrome and I'm not saying this will work for you but...

    I live in a mountainous area, Portugal, my 'easiest' 25 mile ride will include about 1000m of climbing. I use a 34-28. What I have found is that by riding more - 5 times a week maybe 150-200 miles with about 5-7000 m climbing a week my PF syndrome has disappeared. My conclusion is that by riding more I am much fitter which has meant that I am stronger am able to put down more power over longer distances and the PF syndrome has receded.

    Yes, i think that i have the same feeling...my PF problem is due to VMO muscle weekness.

    I was doing isometric exercises with ankle weights...now, i have quit weights and a month ago i started jogging...

    When i ride 3 times per week, i feel my knee more stable and stronger ...but when i reduce the frequency of the rides the pain comes back....well, it's all about strengthening the knee muscles :wink:

    For a start i'm thinking of going to a 11-32 cassette, just to ease the stress on the knee for a while...and we'll see how that works :)

    It's just that sometimes when i stress the knee, you can't know if that's doing more good than bad...it's more like it has to do with psychological factors. I think you're getting the point... :roll: :wink:
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