Knees and Cranks - How do I get a good result from this?

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Re: Knees and Cranks - How do I get a good result from this?

Postby moosterbounce » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:35 pm

Looks like I've come in to this pretty late - sorry :)

If you have replaced your cranks with shorter ones, did you raise your seat at all? Might help a bit.

I have ITB issues which pull my kneecap to the outside of my leg (a minute amount no doubt) but it hurts the inside of my knee. I've been rolling it with the foam roller (yes it hurts but feels good!!) and have become bored with exercises so don't do them. I've actually stopped running until it is sorted a bit more, as I need to lose the wait I gained not training before I start it again.

I also have my knees slightly out when I walk so was told I have a slight predisposition to the kneecap thing. I blame my parents...but I blame them for most things!!

Anyway, I used to run 172.5 cranks but was fortunate to buy a cheap dura ace with 170's and I really found it improved my overall riding. This was before the knee issues so don't know if it make a difference to that, but I actually prefer it on climbs (not that I do any :wink: ). The bike on my trainer runs 172.5 but I can control my rides more on that.

In relation to the pain you are still experiencing, you shouldn't be riding that much if you are in pain surely?! Seems silly. Has the physio discussed taping options with you? I tape when I know I'm going to do something long or hard on the bike (or when I run) and it makes a huge difference. Might be worth investigating in the short term too and not hurting yourself.

It's a btch of a problem, but it can be improved with effort. Glad the changes are making a difference for you though.
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by BNA » Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:38 pm

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Re: Knees and Cranks - How do I get a good result from this?

Postby ireland57 » Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:38 pm

moosterbounce wrote:Looks like I've come in to this pretty late - sorry :)

If you have replaced your cranks with shorter ones, did you raise your seat at all? Might help a bit.

I have ITB issues which pull my kneecap to the outside of my leg (a minute amount no doubt) but it hurts the inside of my knee. I've been rolling it with the foam roller (yes it hurts but feels good!!) and have become bored with exercises so don't do them. I've actually stopped running until it is sorted a bit more, as I need to lose the wait I gained not training before I start it again.

I also have my knees slightly out when I walk so was told I have a slight predisposition to the kneecap thing. I blame my parents...but I blame them for most things!!

Anyway, I used to run 172.5 cranks but was fortunate to buy a cheap dura ace with 170's and I really found it improved my overall riding. This was before the knee issues so don't know if it make a difference to that, but I actually prefer it on climbs (not that I do any :wink: ). The bike on my trainer runs 172.5 but I can control my rides more on that.

In relation to the pain you are still experiencing, you shouldn't be riding that much if you are in pain surely?! Seems silly. Has the physio discussed taping options with you? I tape when I know I'm going to do something long or hard on the bike (or when I run) and it makes a huge difference. Might be worth investigating in the short term too and not hurting yourself.

It's a btch of a problem, but it can be improved with effort. Glad the changes are making a difference for you though.



I've had knee pain since I was 14........running, hockey, building, motorbikes.....you name it. If I waited for no pain I'd sit on my bum doing nothing every day.

I raised the seat 7.5mm but I think I dropped it about 2mm after that (wrote it down; can't remember at moment).

While I'm having some dificulties I've now done 3 rides over 100kms at 30kmh average. Most of the ride is at 35-36 kmh. I couldn't do any more than 10 kms before at that speed.

I've also done a few mid-week group rides and stayed with the sprinters when they go (slow group); also a first. I just touched 56 kmh last week and was happy with that because there's more in the tank once the knees heal a little and my legs build some strength.

I'm finding the core strengthening and stretching is making a big difference. It takes almost an hour and I do it 2 - 3 times per week.

I talked to the physio about taping. She said on next visit she'll show me what to tape but I haven't needed to return. Got to do more strengthening of the joints/legs first.

My mtn bike has 175 cranks and I am seriously thinking about changing them to 170's as well. We had a short (1.5 hrs) off-road sortie and my knee was sore after it. I also felt the "bigger circle" pedalling this time. It's the first time I've really wanted to shorten the mtn bike cranks.

Another good thing.......we used to set out at 19-20 kmh on the mtn bikes and rode at maybe 25-26kmh to the dirt.
Sunday we started at 28, sat on 35-36 easy then topped 40. It's making a huge difference. Mostly attributable to road biking.
So I just got to make it work.
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Re: Knees and Cranks - How do I get a good result from this?

Postby grandpasmurf » Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:23 pm

I have a couple of suggestions about cranks & knee damage.

You won't be able to spin as fast using longer cranks, but the leverage will be less with shorter cranks.
Depends on if you are a peddlar or big gear pusher.

Maybe try riding in the small chainwheel & getting used to spinning. Then develope your leg strength, to be
able to spin in bigger gears.

Also I have been advised that riding with your thighs pointed out a bit at the top of the stroke can hurt
your knees. Apparently the cartlidges on the side of the knee aren't as strong as those on the front.

Good luck
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Re: Knees and Cranks - How do I get a good result from this?

Postby ireland57 » Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:56 pm

grandpasmurf wrote:I have a couple of suggestions about cranks & knee damage.

You won't be able to spin as fast using longer cranks, but the leverage will be less with shorter cranks.

Depends on if you are a peddlar or big gear pusher.


I like it both ways but pushing does do damage to me. On the roadie group rides I only sit in front 1 km; pushing that bit more wind hurts somewhat.

Maybe try riding in the small chainwheel & getting used to spinning. Then develope your leg strength, to be
able to spin in bigger gears.


Thanks, I've been doing that for a while; it's slowly taking effect (along with stretches and strength work) but given my age and (possibly a whole life with these issues) it'll take many months from what I've seen so far. :oops:

Also I have been advised that riding with your thighs pointed out a bit at the top of the stroke can hurt
your knees. Apparently the cartlidges on the side of the knee aren't as strong as those on the front.


I only really noticed a while ago that I walk up stairs and ride like that (knees out). and i think it does do damage. Now I pay much more attention to it keeping my knees tucked in.
I think it's always been from the tight ass and glutes and all that stuff.

Good luck


Thanks again.
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