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Pain behind the knee

figbatfigbat Posts: 680
edited October 2016 in Training, fitness and health
Scenario - I bought a Cannondale Synapse alloy bike s/h a few weeks ago. I rode 3 or 4 times as it came and decided I needed a new saddle - the fi'zi:k saddle that came with it (an Arione by the looks of it) was not only battered and scraped but rather uncomfortable.

Last week I bought a new saddle - I was measured up at my LBS and got a Prologo Nago Evo Pas 134 Tirox which they fitted there and then. They told me they had measured the height and distance from the bars of the old one and mounted the new one to match. They also said the old was was fitted slightly nose-up and they had fitted the new one flat. At the same visit the existing 12-25T cassette was also replaced by a 11-28T one.

That night I rode the bike home. After not long on the bike I noticed my right knee was getting sore. it was a sort of non-specific, generalised 'knee area' pain but it didn't seem to be made worse by, for example, standing in the pedals to climb or even pushing harder from the seat. It did get gradually worse though. When I got home (around 20 miles) it was quite sore and now I was off the bike I could target where it was - it feels like it is up at the top of the calf muscle where it joins behind the knee. Over the next couple of days I rested it and it got better, then I rode again and the same happened.

I have never experienced this on any bike before, MTB or road. I never experienced it on the few rides I did on the old saddle. I am guessing that despite the measuring and refitting, I must somehow be sat in a different position. Ideally I'd go see the LBS and see what they can suggest but in the mean time I'd still like to be riding. I was hoping you might be able to read this and say "oh yes, that's classic Road Rider's Knee cause by xxxxxxxx".

A bit of research and some chatting with a friend who is very into triathlons, engineering and data analysis suggests it could be that the saddle is too high. I'm currently resting again and will probably miss my usual Wednesday night MTB ride-out so I can stabilise this.

Any thoughts/advice/experience?
Cube Reaction GTC Pro 29 for the lumpy stuff
Cannondale Synapse alloy with 'guards for the winter roads
Fuji Altamira 2.7 for the summer roads
Trek 830 Mountain Track frame turned into a gravel bike - for anywhere & everywhere

Posts

  • buckmulliganbuckmulligan Posts: 1,031
    Haha, before I even opened this thread, I thought "I bet that guy's got a new bike and has the saddle set too high".

    Getting a new bike often throws up little niggles from subtle changes in body positioning, especially if you're a relatively experienced cyclist and are riding for long periods and generating a decent amount of force; if you start generating that force at unfamiliar knee/hip angles then you can easily overstress muscles and tendons that weren't being stressed in the old position.

    That said, it sounds like your problem is a classic case of the saddle being too high. Are you having to point your toes at the bottom of each pedal stroke? Depending on how bad it is, it could take a long time to fully clear up, but if you can cycle without it getting any worse then I would do so.
  • figbatfigbat Posts: 680
    A bit more studying at the University of Google offers hamstring tendonitis as a possibility, with dropping the saddle, RICE and taking it easy being suggested interventions. I have a 30-odd mile sportive on 9 September that I really want to do - I am sure I am fit enough at the moment (I know 30-odd miles isn't far, but I am new to the road) and want to ride this as fast as I can (it's with work colleagues).
    Cube Reaction GTC Pro 29 for the lumpy stuff
    Cannondale Synapse alloy with 'guards for the winter roads
    Fuji Altamira 2.7 for the summer roads
    Trek 830 Mountain Track frame turned into a gravel bike - for anywhere & everywhere
  • figbatfigbat Posts: 680
    It has been 11 days now since the last incident. I had a sports massage on my legs at which the therapist offered no silver bullets but loosened the muscles as much as he could and declared my legs to be "very tight". He worked the IT band too (which was uncomfortable but gives no issues in use). His only advice was to stretch before and after, take it easy and listen to my body - if it keeps hurting stop and get more advice.

    Yesterday I went for a very, very gentle ride on my MTB with my family (including 6yo who is new to cycling and therefore slow). No hills, no pressure, no speed, just lazily turning the pedals over for around a mile to get to a friend's house for a BBQ. And it made my knee sore again. I have never suffered on my MTB and nothing has changed on it.

    I am resigned now to a long recovery from a silly little niggle. And I can feel the weight coming back. :(
    Cube Reaction GTC Pro 29 for the lumpy stuff
    Cannondale Synapse alloy with 'guards for the winter roads
    Fuji Altamira 2.7 for the summer roads
    Trek 830 Mountain Track frame turned into a gravel bike - for anywhere & everywhere
  • vpnikolovvpnikolov Posts: 568
    Welcome to my world... my diagnosis was quadriceps tendonitis. Had an issue with the patellar tendonitis afterwards and the icing of the cake was fat pad impingement. 2-3 months later the tendons are fine, but the fat pad is still causing me grief, although it is almost completely healed. What the physio told me back then was that the injury on the tendons did not occur instantly, but was building up over time. This happened after buying a new bike and having it fitted.

    I am still doing exercises as prescribed by the physio and they include foam rolling. It really helps to loosen up the muscles and I feel great on the bike after a quick session with the foam roller. Usually takes 10 minutes before a ride. Having said that, I do not recommend you doing the same as I am no expert here, just merely sharing my experience. It might be worth checking with your physio if this is something worth doing. :)
  • I always used to get pain behind my knee too... best solution I found was resistance bands and body weight squats.. also apprently lactic acid can repair tnedons in your knee.
  • figbatfigbat Posts: 680
    I'm pleased to say that I am all fixed now. I lowered the seat and moved it forwards a touch, and took around 10 days off... the first test of the knee was a 32 mile sportive which went OK (the existing, residual discomfort was still there but got no worse). Since then I have done more road and MTB miles and it has got progressively better until now I can't feel it at all. I stretch more and have a foam roller, although it only gets sporadic use.

    I am still amazed that after 40+ years of just jumping on any old thing and riding it, a few mm difference on my first 'proper' road bike had such a dramatic impact.
    Cube Reaction GTC Pro 29 for the lumpy stuff
    Cannondale Synapse alloy with 'guards for the winter roads
    Fuji Altamira 2.7 for the summer roads
    Trek 830 Mountain Track frame turned into a gravel bike - for anywhere & everywhere
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