I'm not a doctor but…
Cycling injury, recovery and health issues.
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11 posts • Page 1 of 1
Am thinking that I may need to look at getting a bike fit done.
Have been riding a flat bar/hybrid bike for the last year and a half and have lately been increasing the riding that I have been doing with the aim of getting fit enough to enjoy the Great Vic Bike Ride at the end of October.
Have been finding that with the additional ks ridden that my knees are starting to give me a bit of grief, have built my rides up from around the 25k length to having finally done an 80k ride last week. The increase in distance has been incremental since July this year, riding around three times a week.
Am riding with flat pedals and sometimes find that when pedalling hard find that my feet can end up with the arch of my foot on the pedal rather than the ball of the foot. Knees don't hurt while cycling but are tending to ache a bit post the longer rides. Trying to work out what I am doing wrong and the best line of attack to fix the problem.
Tried running for a while but my feet didn't like that. Have been loving the cycling and don't want to let my knees talk me out of this form of exercise.
Is a bike fit worth doing at this stage of my riding development, and if so what should I be looking for with a bike fit?
I am based in Blackburn Vic if anyone can recommend a good place to get one done (if appropriate).
Poor bike fit can most certainly lead to knee pain, and other physiological issues, but it's not the only potential cause. Nonetheless, a bike fit is agood idea if problems persist
Also important is the load placed on your knees by your pedalling action. Since you mention using flat pedals I'd venture that you tend to pedal a high gear at low cadence. If that is your action, it will stress your knees. Resolving it costs nothing - increase your cadence so a lower gear can be used. You will need to improve your aerobic fitness to be comfortable pedalling a higher cadence. Cleated shoes are very helpful.
Try Carl Brewer at Cycle Science in Mitcham on Whitehorse Road.
So I started reading the OP's post and thought my husband had joined the forums! We are also increasing our kms in the lead up to the Great Vic and he is also suffering knee pain, especially over 128km over two days this weekend. Hopefully he takes the advice that I gleaned from these forums and goes for a bike fit this week.
Thanks Ron and Uncle Just, will look at my cadence and try pedalling faster in a lower gear. I'm learning more and more about riding each time I get out there. I'm not afraid of my grannie gears, at the moment they are the only thing that get me up some hills.
Think I will speak with the guys at Cycle Science, confirming for myself that my bike is set up perfectly for me I can then at least remove that option from my list of possible causes.
Really looking forward to the GVBR, I think that it will be a good test of my endurance getting out riding each day.
Once you have had a bike fit and are happy that it is comfortable, carefully measure and record the settings for future reference.
If your are riding a lightweight road bike, aim for an average cadence of 90 rpm. If the bike is heavy a 90 rpm average might be difficult to achieve but strive to keep it over 80. A computer with cadence helps a lot.
As I mentioned, cleated shoes make it easier to pedal faster cadences.
Oh, and there is no problem with pedalling back on your instep. If you decided to get cleated shoes, make the default cleat position as far back as they can go.
I suggest cleats and a bike fit. Lots of people hesitate about cleats, but very few keen riders go back once they've tried them.
2011 Genesis Equilibrium 20, 2012 Felt F75, 2013 Giant TCR Advanced SL, 2014 Wabi Lightning SE
If you are riding in a low gear (which you should be using the lowest gear you can) are you doing a lot of hills? Hills is another thing that puts load on your knees. So perhaps do less of them. You might have strained you knee doing a hill and if you have then it might flare up whenever you put strain on it unless its had a chance to heal properly.
How often are you riding? If not daily then maybe you are over doing it and that its all there is to it. If you are riding only once a week then your knees may not be up to it and so you should be taking a few short breaks on your ride. Or increasing your knee strength by doing some exercises daily at home.
IMO the ability to achieve a high cadence comes from available gearing rather than the weight of the bike.
RonK, thanks for the comment re cycling on the instep, always thought that was a real "no no" when it came to cycling. I wont stress so much about that for now.
I want to get to using cleats, but until I get past too regularly doing some stupid lack of co-ordination things on the bike I'm keeping that option on hold. I know that once I get to using them they will bring a huge improvement to my riding.
Have been trying to do three "good" rides a week, 2 of around 40ks, 1 longer. Frustrating that I probably need to pare that back a bit to move forwards again. Especially as I am getting better at riding up hills since I decided that there was no need to be embarressed by using my grannie gears to conquor them.
Steve Hogg, bike fitter extraordinaire , is a long-term proponent of what he calls the mid-foot cleat position, and has written widely on the subject - easily found with a Google search, if you want a little light reading.
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