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Long term knee injury due to bad bike fit.

MobipedalMobipedal Posts: 5
Hi All,

New here thanks for looking, if you can't be bothered to read my rambling misspelled essay skip to the "*" below.

I'm looking for anyone who's been in a similar situation to me?

About a year and a half ago I bought my first super light race bike with the intention of racing it through 2017. Having ridden my previous bike bike for 5 years on a DIY bike fit with no problems at all. The sales guy at my LBS assured me the only way to do this new bike justice was to have a professional bike fit, which I was quite excited about.

He gave me the fit and said I had a very tidy pedaling style but I'd be able to get alot more power if I raised my saddle. He raised it by possibly and inch to and inch and a half. And adjusted my cleats to be more under the balls of my feet, which was alot further forward than before. I now know that this is a big no no and that it should have been done incrementally but at the time I was none the wiser.

I went off and continued training as usual, which was about 12 hours a week with quite a bit of intensity. After 2 weeks I went back to him complaining about knee pain and he moved saddle down by a few millimetres but never said anything about reducing my training volume.

Two weeks after that (1 month total)my knee was in too much discomfort to ride at all. I went back to riding my old fit to try and reset everything. The pain never really subsided during the first few months and it kind of felt like someone was holding my foot and twisting it clockwise.

I had an mri scan which showed nothing too severe. And the doctors told me that it would just take time to heal.

I went to see a private sports physio for about 6 months or so who gave me various strengthening exercises which I was very vigorous about doing, in attempt to fix it and salvage my season and do the bike some justice.

*Now 18 months later, off the bike, I have mild to moderate medial knee pain, it clicks occasionally when walking, and lateral clicking hip (not painful) and occasionally internal hip pain whilst walking but not cycling. The knee feels very stiff in the morning, but it tends to warm up throughout the day.

Generally it doesn't hurt too much whilst cycling but it will feel a little hotter and not as smooth as the other leg. And I'll get some glute (piraformis) pain whilst riding. Anything over an hour on the bike will make it stiffer after cooling down.

It's not completely dhabilitating but it stops my riding for any extended length of time, which is steady long rides out the window, and it stops me riding with too much intensity which is short fast rides out too. So I'm limited to short steady rides which is not what I want to be doing!

Has anyone experienced anything like this? How long did it last? Did it get back to 100%?
Obviously initially I was absolutely gutted as cycling is my passion, but I've kind of accepted now that I might have a dodgy knee? I may have to adjust to it.

Thanks for reading any advice.

Posts

  • AndymaxyAndymaxy Posts: 197
    Check knee alignment. One problem I had with my old bike is that the cranks flare out, creating a big q-factor. That's really created a lot of pain on the inside(the part closer to my bike), I then got a pair of dura ace cranks, which doesn't flare out as much, and now I feel so much more confortbale on my bike. Q-factor is an important aspect of bike fit that very often gets ignored.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Impossible to say really. Big changes in position and keeping up the same intensive probably wasn't a great Idea in hindsight.

    Have you rested the knee much ?

    I'm not sure about the q factor issue. A lot of people ride various road and MTB bikes with no issues.
  • Stuart46Stuart46 Posts: 26
    What is the crank length on your new bike?
    My knees are really sensitive to crank length, I found out the wrong way, when renewing my crank I went for 175mm instead of my normal 170mm resulting in severe knee pain, I went back to 170 mm and less pain but still persisting, so I had my cranks modified to 150 mm.
    Surprisingly there was no loss of power or speed, just a slight increase in my cadence, In fact I was slightly faster than before but that might have been because of no pain I was able to pedal harder.
    I am also considering installing oval chainrings as that should also help.
    Regards
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    Stuart46 wrote:
    I am also considering installing oval chainrings as that should also help.

    Except the 'benefits' of oval rings are not supported by any actual evidence, as far as I'm aware. As for the OP, the only thing I can suggest is completely re-setting your position to where it was at before it all started to go wrong.
  • thistle_(mbnw)thistle_(mbnw) Posts: 3,859
    Mobipedal wrote:
    Has anyone experienced anything like this? How long did it last? Did it get back to 100%?
    Got measured for a bike fit (not quite the same as a proper fit) but got home and found my bikes were pretty much spot on anyway.

    Got a new bike, set it up as per the measurements and lots of things hurt and I couldn't push as hard. Stuck with it for a couple of months, no improvement, so started tweaking things and now it's fine. Pain stopped almost straight away. I tend to only ride 10-20 miles in one go, but quickly and often.

    Geometrically perfect is no good if your body's a bit wonky.
  • As others have said, go back to your previous position

    Who was the fitter?
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • marykamaryka Posts: 745
    When you said you went back to your old fit, do you mean you went back to your old bike? Or you made your new bike the same fit as the old one?

    One thing I would check is your cleat alignment in/out which may have been messed up when you changed the fore/aft and then changed back again. I found that even a couple of mm wrong in that regard was enough to cause trouble even though it's barely noticeable to the plain eye (for me, having my toes angled out on my left leg is essential to avoid my recurring lateral knee pain).
  • Stuart46Stuart46 Posts: 26
    What is the crank length on your new bike?
    My knees are really sensitive to crank length, I found when I renewed my crankset and went for 175 mm instead of 170mm big mistake I severe knee pain after just one ride. I went back to 170mm which was an improvement but my pain did not go away, So then I modified then down to 155 mm and finally I was pain free.
    Surprisingly I did not lose any power or speed
  • bucklesbuckles Posts: 694
    went off and continued training as usual, which was about 12 hours a week with quite a bit of intensity.

    This.

    I know it's too late and it's already been said, but just to re-iterate for other people: NEVER go straight into hard training after changing your bike fit. Gradually ease back into it, very slowly increasing volume and then intensity. The more time you spend riding at low intensity in order to re-learn the new position and create the muscle memory, he better.

    I suffer with biceps femoris tendinopathy. Root cause unknown,but I did ride through minor knee niggles before I started really suffering with it. Suddenly had to stop racing. This was 5 years ago. It's shitty and ruins your life . Why risk it? Have patience and sort out problems no matter how small.
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  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    There is evidence for oval chainring benefits. There are some biomechical studies which show some over all benefit but there are caveats in this evidence too so it not certain that oval rings benefit all.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • figbatfigbat Posts: 680
    There is evidence for oval chainring benefits. There are some biomechical studies which show some over all benefit but there are caveats in this evidence too so it not certain that oval rings benefit all.

    I couldn’t help noticing Chris Froome’s oval chainrings as he sat at over 3 minutes ahead of the chasing group the other night.
    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
  • sungodsungod Posts: 12,663
    aside from the bike set-up, medial knee pain can be related to poor arch support, foot angle, float, stance etc.

    have you considered seeing a physio who specialises in bike fit? after a few years of repeated knee issues i found http://cyclefit.co.uk/ in their words i was 'complicated', but they developed the solution and i've been ok many years now

    another option could be https://www.iseh.co.uk/patients/clinica ... cle-clinic
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
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