New to cycling - Knee Pain

eddywatsoneddywatson Posts: 10
edited July 2018 in MTB general
Hello everybody I have recently taken up cycling and I can start to already feel my knees and legs taking the brunt of it all. I am 34 years old, 6ft1" tall and I weigh 18ST 7LBS [262LBS] (I have taken up cycling to loose weight) So Far Ive lost 3STONE [31lbs] since January

However I have been doing a few long rides (for me) 20miles a day on some occasions. And the following day my knees ache so much right in the middle and on the side where the cartilage is.

In regards to my bike seat...When the pedal is at 6oclock my leg goes about 160-170 degrees so its almost straight but never once locks out. Is that right/correct

Also Am I pushing my self to hard? maybe for my size/weight?

Once I get cycling I set a little goal for distance more than time (I use strava app to check distance)

after a few days it calms down but then flairs up again even if I do a short (5 miles) cycle

Does anybody have any advice? I really enjoy cycling and it seems to be helping with my weight loss

Thank you

Posts

  • blokie13blokie13 Posts: 93
    Are you using flat or clipless pedals? If the latter then your shoes are likely not set up quite right.

    Here is a good guide to follow for bike setup...

    https://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/technique-perfect-mountain-bike-fit-29498/

    ...and keep up the great work on the weight loss!!
    Boardman Pro FS 650b | Boardman Team 29er HT | Specialized Tricross Sport
  • 898kor898kor Posts: 81
    eddywatson wrote:
    Hello everybody I have recently taken up cycling and I can start to already feel my knees and legs taking the brunt of it all. I am 34 years old, 6ft1" tall and I weigh 18ST 7LBS [262LBS] (I have taken up cycling to loose weight) So Far Ive lost 3STONE [31lbs] since January

    However I have been doing a few long rides (for me) 20miles a day on some occasions. And the following day my knees ache so much right in the middle and on the side where the cartilage is.

    In regards to my bike seat...When the pedal is at 6oclock my leg goes about 160-170 degrees so its almost straight but never once locks out. Is that right/correct

    Also Am I pushing my self to hard? maybe for my size/weight?

    Once I get cycling I set a little goal for distance more than time (I use strava app to check distance)

    after a few days it calms down but then flairs up again even if I do a short (5 miles) cycle

    Does anybody have any advice? I really enjoy cycling and it seems to be helping with my weight loss

    Thank you

    Hello Eddy,

    This is a subject that quite a few on here know about and have experience with and may possibly answer with much more detail. I too have my seat height set to cause a similar leg / knee angle, flat and mid footed.

    I was having similar pain (a legacy of a serious knee injury about 15 years ago), if I pushed too hard the next day was quite uncomfortable - I purchased an oval front ring and have never looked back, smoother hill climbs and no leg pain - win win for me.

    This was the ring I bought and know it is of good quality - I cant speak for the others available.
    Bossnut V2
    Levo FSR Comp
  • KajjalKajjal Posts: 3,404
    It sounds like your saddle is too high. Symptoms of this are feet pointing down as you stretch to reach the pedals, sitting too far forward on the saddle, rocking on the saddle as you pedal. Basically all symptoms of over stretch as you strain to reach the pedals.

    If you put the pedal down in line with the seat tube you should be able to life yourself off the saddle upwards in line with the seat tube with your foot staying flat.
  • 02GF7402GF74 Posts: 1,294
    It's difficult to diagnose remotely but can you post photo of your bike sideways on.

    Next sitting on the saddle wearing bike shoes , pedal at lowest point and in line with the seat tube, with your heel on the pedal, your leg should be straight but not locked out.
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,382
    Use this article from Bike Radar to set up your mtb for you.

    https://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/ ... fit-29498/

    I had very similar pain when I first started to go more than about 16 miles. I could hardly walk afterwards. It appears that my feet are both angled slightly outwards, so that if I insist on having them in a straight line on my pedals, the act of pedalling twists the knees! This was fixed by inserting wedges in my shoes that go underneath the balls of my feet.

    As a test, stand on the floor in bare feet. stand on one leg and do a deep knee bend. Does your knee track in a straight line above your foot? If so, good news you are one of the lucky few that have no misalignment. The wedges used to be available from Specialized as part of their Body Geometry range of products. But they discovered that people like me were buying their inserts and using them on shoes from their competitors. So now you can only get them if you buy some Speccy shoes.

    Go see a podiatrist, or make your own wedges. Look for from 1.5 to 4.5mm to tip your foot one way or the other. Keep adding the wedges until your knee tracks straight over the foot. I'm at 3mm both sides under the big toe side (they can be on the other side of your foot. Also can be different for each foot).
  • eddywatsoneddywatson Posts: 10
    Thanks for the info guys
    I have just started and I am at the basic level, I do not use clips or pedals
    I will have a read through the information provided and the setup guides

    Hello Eddy,

    This is a subject that quite a few on here know about and have experience with and may possibly answer with much more detail. I too have my seat height set to cause a similar leg / knee angle, flat and mid footed.

    I was having similar pain (a legacy of a serious knee injury about 15 years ago), if I pushed too hard the next day was quite uncomfortable - I purchased an oval front ring and have never looked back, smoother hill climbs and no leg pain - win win for me.

    This was the ring I bought and know it is of good quality - I cant speak for the others available.

    Just a quick one about the above post...

    as I know nothing about bikes and biking... is that link/article about a new chain/gearing "thing" that sits on the crank shaft along with the pedals? and oval shape... ive never seen one of these before :shock:

    Also below are a few photos of my bike. the pedal is at 6oclock and you can see the bend in my knee on my right leg my left leg is on tiptoes touching the floor while I am sat on the seat

    IMG_2956.jpg
    IMG_2957.jpg
    IMG_2958.jpg
    IMG_2959.jpg
    IMG_2962.jpg
    IMG_2963.jpg

    Sorry about possible bad quality photos... its a bit hard taking a photo while sat on a bike :lol:
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    Firstly get rid of that padded monstrosity posing as a saddle.

    Can't tell much from those pictures, but it almost looks as if the saddle is too low, but your feet are at weird angles.

    You should also pedal with the ball of your foot.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    You’re supinating badly ( rolling your foot outwards ) and your knee is trying to ‘bow’ outwards, being anchored by your hip and ankle. Try to consciously pull your knee in towards the frame and point the right knee towards the left handle bar, and the left knee towards the right handle bar, by pointing your right toes more towards the left and your left toes to the right. That should help take the bow pressure off of your knee joints.
  • 02GF7402GF74 Posts: 1,294
    The pedal axle should be in line with the first band of your shoe, in other words your foot is too far forward.

    Also as already said, looks like your saddle is too low. Use the method I posted area.
    .

    See https://www.myactivesg.com/sports/cycli ... -correctly
  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,347
    cooldad wrote:
    Firstly get rid of that padded monstrosity posing as a saddle.

    This ^^^. That padded cover may well feel nice for a mile or two but will cause you to rock side to side on the saddle and could exacerbate your knee pain.

    As others have said, pedal with the ball of your foot not your instep and try to keep your foot more in line with the bike rather than heel in.

    Also wind the tension right up on that spring if you can. Pedal bob caused by the spring compressing with every pedal stroke will mean your knees hardly ever extend properly.
    When you set the saddle height make sure you have your full weight on the bike, not supporting yourself with one foot on the floor.
    “Life has been unfaithful
    And it all promised so so much”

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  • jeatsyjeatsy Posts: 26
    Try http://www.cptips.com/knee.htm to diagnose your issue.

    Credit to user `sungod` who posted this at viewtopic.php?f=40011&t=13093041
  • eddywatsoneddywatson Posts: 10
    Right thanks for the info guys

    I am going on a bike ride tomorrow (saturday) the first ride in a week...

    I am going to try and keep my feet pointing straight and use the balls of my foot to pedal. Also I will keep the distance to below 5 miles

    That's just the starter... if the pain comes straight back then I will look at changing things
    Thanks again
  • 02GF7402GF74 Posts: 1,294
    You need to set saddle height correctly before you even set off.
  • eddywatsoneddywatson Posts: 10
    02GF74 wrote:
    You need to set saddle height correctly before you even set off.

    As per the photos I've provided (never mind that my feet may be pointing in the wrong direction)

    you can see my leg has a slight bend in it and that's how it will be while I'm cycling. So I should raise it even higher? Ive read about in 5mm stages but still... I need to raise it?
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,382
    Set the saddle height so that when you put your heel on the pedal, your leg is almost straight. Then when you put the ball of your foot on the pedal, you will have the correct angle of the knee

    If your foot turns outwards naturally, unlike other advice give here, I would not advise forcing your foot to be straight. This will twist the knee and cause pain. Do the test I advised previously to confirm whether your leg is misaligned or not. This is not a disability, most people have some misalignment.
  • eddywatsoneddywatson Posts: 10
    IMG_0280.jpg


    yup I think I need to raise the seat lol

    small increments of 5mm? or with it that far out should I do a bigger one?

    Thank you
  • 02GF7402GF74 Posts: 1,294
    Set it to correct height as mentioned, heel on pedal.

    Then ride and fine tune if required.
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,382
    The bike looks too small for you. Too short for starters.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,519
    Agree, the bike is too short (saddle to bars) but that's partly because it looks like your seatpost is fitted the wrong way round, the mounting should be behind the post and not in front, that will lengthen the bike by about 2" plus may help with pedalling position as right now your pedalling with the crank axle too far back underneath you, probably doing the knees no favours.

    Plus the saddle is too low, your leg should be very nearly straight with your heel on the pedal.
  • blokie13blokie13 Posts: 93
    Good spot on the seatpost!
    Boardman Pro FS 650b | Boardman Team 29er HT | Specialized Tricross Sport
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,382
    Take a look at this article from Bike Radar on how to set up your MTB.

    https://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/ ... fit-29498/

    It covers stuff like saddle height, but also saddle fore/aft position, and cockpit length.

    Really useful.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,519
    Also note how the seatpost puts the clamping position for the saddle behind its centreline, in this case by a kink in the post, on yours using the mounting system.
  • eddywatsoneddywatson Posts: 10
    Hopefully with the adjustment of the bike seat and its new position things will feel better :mrgreen:

    IMG_0285.jpg

    IMG_0284.jpg
  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    eddywatson wrote:
    IMG_0280.jpg


    yup I think I need to raise the seat lol

    small increments of 5mm? or with it that far out should I do a bigger one?

    Thank you

    Your knees are in a much better position in that photo, the bike looks to be a bit too small, and the saddle is too low.
  • mattyfezmattyfez Posts: 614
    That looks a lot better, although I think the bike still is a bit small for you, but your legs look a lot better.
  • Stuart46Stuart46 Posts: 26
    Well I'm old 72, 5'7" and I have knee problems.
    So I'll tell you what I did, modified my crank from 170mm to 150mm (made a huge difference) changed my round chainrings for oval (garbaruk melons) I also moved my saddle further back.
    I can now cycle 10-20 miles without too much pain, whereas walking a mile or two has me laid up next day.
  • Stuart46Stuart46 Posts: 26
    Apart from the advice of seat height moving it back a bit will help.
    I am 72 yrs old with OA so I know all about knee pain, what I have done is apart from correct adjustments, Shorten my crank arm from 170mm to 150mm, I would shorten them more but every 5 mm makes for 3% higher gearning, fitted Garabaruk melon chainrings (they helped hugely)
    Short crank arms do not reduce power/speed (except they make standing up grinding difficult) our knees are weakest when they are bent most, (try doing a squat from a half position you can lift so much more weight)
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,382
    Hi Stuart46, do you also have problems with your memory? :)

    You are amongst many that have knee problems. Congratulations on finding a solution that works for you. :)
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