knee pain and touring

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
andy_scot_uk
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby andy_scot_uk » 4 Jul 2014, 6:35pm

Psamathe wrote:
531colin wrote:I can't believe we don't have knee pain in too good to lose........have a search around, theres a thread here....http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=79674&hilit=vastus+medialis

I have the VMO weakness (Patellofemoral .....). I did not bother to mention it as I had the impression Original poster had been riding for quite some time and thus would have expected the issue to have arisen some time ago.
......

BUT, I am in no position to provide advice and AM NOT repeating what my physio said. So, above is NOT advice but just what I've been doing.

Ian


Yip. Been cycling for years and lead a ride every week. Never had knee pain.

And I won't be suing you if I decide to copy you. I'm now wary of others coming on the rides unless I know them well for that reason.

Thanks for taking the time to reply. Got a 30 miler tomorrow.....not sure what I'll do.

andy_scot_uk
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby andy_scot_uk » 5 Jul 2014, 2:14pm

Raised saddle 1.5 inches. Used low gears. Did 35 miles and fine. Reckon my saddle was the issue.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 5 Jul 2014, 4:35pm

Hi,
andy_scot_uk wrote:Raised saddle 1.5 inches. Used low gears. Did 35 miles and fine. Reckon my saddle was the issue.

How on earth do you have the saddle so low if you have been cycling so many years :?:
If you dont use cleats ? then you are not using toe clips either ?
Trainers are to soft if your ball of foot is on the pedal or are you using the mid foot on pedal like BMX'ers?
If You Don't Try You Don't Do.....Don't Do You Don't Get...I'm Still Trying....Well Very..
You'll Find Me At The Top Of A Hill...............Somewhere...After Dark..

andy_scot_uk
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby andy_scot_uk » 5 Jul 2014, 6:51pm

Bike was in for a service and think he didn't put height back as was. I'm no bike expert, I don't have toe clips either. I wear walking shoes to cycle. Anyhow the advice here has been excellent and feeling great after my cycle.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 5 Jul 2014, 9:57pm

Hi,
Although you can cycle without any pedal retension for feet ,cycling 35 miles might be better done with a minimum of strapless pedal clips £5.
The problem with cycling with no device for feet is that your feet will creep around on the pedals and if they twist a little and you then continue to cycle this can then lead to knee pain.
If you are cycling on the midfoot heel on edge of pedal, then moving to ball on pedal will initially give you foot arch cramps which will pass very soon and your cycling will take on a new life.

Although cycling mid foot is a suggested way to relieve knee pain, you have cycled for years with no pain ? so did you change your shoes ?
It started on hilly terrain IIRC seat height would not affect standing and pedaling, in the seat the normal sensation is subtle sorness above knee cap in the thigh.
Both knees :?:
If You Don't Try You Don't Do.....Don't Do You Don't Get...I'm Still Trying....Well Very..
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andy_scot_uk
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby andy_scot_uk » 6 Jul 2014, 8:57am

yeah both knees. Same brand of walking shoes for many years, same bike for 12+ and never had the pain I had. I stopped playing badminton 4 years ago cause my knees were so sore and cycling is now my main hobby. Would be a disaster if I couldn't do that. I think there are a number of things I need to look at to ensure I don't get the issues re-occurring. No-one in my circle wears toe clips or really any bike gear. We just jump on our bikes every Sun morning and cycle somewhere finishing with a pint. 30 miles is the usual distance.

Merry_Wanderer
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby Merry_Wanderer » 6 Jul 2014, 9:59am

I disagree with the comments about needing toe-clips etc if you cycle 35 miles+. I have knee problems and was advised by my sports physio, herself a long distance cyclist, to ditch the cleats and toe-clips that I had on different bikes and use flat pedals. Also I was advised to use lower gears and spin up hills rather than stand and power my way up.

Since taking her advice I can cycle pain free. I regularly cycle 40+ miles in a day and my longest on flat pedals is 80 miles. My favourite footwear in summer is now Birkenstock sandals. Clip in pedals are a choice, not a necessity :-)

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 6 Jul 2014, 10:56am

Hi,
Flat pedals is what I use, with clips that keep the foot in the correct position but the straps are never tight.
The OP does say they are planning a cycle ride which I am assuming is longer than their usual ?
As they are 50 + ? then these are the sort of problems that will creep up on age alone, I.M.O. More often show up after 30 miles / 2 + hours of riding continuously.
Yes you can ride with no clips etc, but the concentration and acuracy of foot placement is removed with them, so why would you ?

Most half experienced long distance riders here could ride a hundred say without foot placement device but we would find that because we would need grippy shoes and some rat trap protrusions on pedals, the shoe would find a spot where the foot might not be best placed and at end of day we might have a problem with bad foot placement.
Unless you are adoption Kiddy type heel stop on the pedal edge :?:
If You Don't Try You Don't Do.....Don't Do You Don't Get...I'm Still Trying....Well Very..
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andy_scot_uk
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby andy_scot_uk » 6 Jul 2014, 4:37pm

Cheers. Another 30 miles today and no problem. Really think the saddle height was the issue. We are all 50 plus to 70 years old.. Doing Hadrian's wall cycleway next week with 50 miles day 1 hence my more regular training. Now looking forward to it as opposed to thinking I might be cancelling.

Psamathe
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby Psamathe » 6 Jul 2014, 8:00pm

Following comments in this thread, as it was raining today I put toe-clips on my bike - see if it helps my knees.

Ian

cjs
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby cjs » 6 Jul 2014, 9:13pm

Knee issues are very individual and what suits one may not suit another.

I have one bad knee with little cartilage left. On the last visit to the surgeon 6 years ago he said the only option left was plastic and offered it. I declined. Walking is limited to around 3-4 miles before pain and subsequent inflammation become debilitating. I am 63 yrs (6'4", heavy and a lifetime of adventure activities with associated crashes and knocks etc.....)

I average 150 miles a week to keep fit and when touring 80 miles a day fully loaded is doable but not necessarily desired.

After much trial and error, for me this works:

    Seat height is crucial. It has to be exactly set by the ‘straight leg & heel with no rocking’ method. Slightly higher initially feels good on the knee but on long distances over time, pain below and to the front of the knee sets in. Any lower is simply bad news..

    Flat MTB pedals (Shimano’s with small pins) and MTB shoes (Teva) I’ve used cleats for many a year but as the knee gradually became worse changing to flat pedals worked.

    No straps. The MTB pedal and shoes provide a rock steady secure attachment with no slip no matter what the weather. At time when fully loaded (4 panniers & camping) and climbing I often reduce the loading on the knee by moving the foot forward on the pedal and when the climb gradient is reduced I shift it back to the ball of the foot.

As I said knee issues are very individual, you have to find what suits you with your cycling style, mileage and terrain...
Kind Regards
Chris...

Psamathe
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby Psamathe » 6 Jul 2014, 9:31pm

cjs wrote:Knee issues are very individual and what suits one may not suit another.

I have one bad knee with little cartilage left. On the last visit to the surgeon 6 years ago he said the only option left was plastic and offered it.


What do you/he mean by a "plastic" option.

I have arthritis already in my feet, my family has a history of lots of arthritis (my 4 yr younger brother cannot walk any distance without his arthritic knees causing major problems, etc.) and I an concerned about my current knee problems developing into more serious problems (my physio's comment is "if it's going to happen, it's going to happen").

And I've only heard of what might be traditional solutions (smoothing the cartilage(?), and the various knee replacements). Is "plastic" another nake for a knee replacement or something different?

Ian

cjs
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby cjs » 6 Jul 2014, 10:18pm

Psamathe wrote:What do you/he mean by a "plastic" option.


My simplistic term for knee replacement...

Psamathe wrote:...my family has a history of lots of arthritis


Snap!

Psamathe wrote:(my physio's comment is "if it's going to happen, it's going to happen").


Pretty much... what works for me is to stay active. Obviously you have to use your head, for example, I switched from Windsurfing to Kite Surfing as with W/S the board impacts heavily on the waves at speed but with K/S the board is smaller and a lot of your weight is taken by the kite..

I find the less I do with the knee the more stiff, inflamed and painful it becomes... hence I cycle most days and swim at least 3 days a week.

Psamathe wrote:And I've only heard of what might be traditional solutions (smoothing the cartilage(?)


I had Arthroscopy around 10 years ago, for me this helped for around a year and screwed up the ligaments.. wished I'd never agreed to that one... Been back to the Surgeon several times since hence the offer of a replacement.

Any chat with the GP regarding the knee returns the stock answer, 'its probably not helped by cycling'. In my circumstances, I feel that the opposite is true - cycling with due thought and care actually keeps the knee flexible.... but then everyone is different.

Good luck now...
Kind Regards
Chris...

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531colin
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby 531colin » 7 Jul 2014, 8:27am

cjs wrote:...........Any chat with the GP regarding the knee returns the stock answer, 'its probably not helped by cycling'. In my circumstances, I feel that the opposite is true - cycling with due thought and care actually keeps the knee flexible.... but then everyone is different......


That's exactly my experience with medics.....

Cycling?....you don't want to be doing that!!
Irrespective of the problem......I've had that response about knee pain, eye trouble, and now painful feet!
....particularly entertaining coming from somebody 20 or 30 years my junior who can barely lever themselves out of the chair to shuffle across the room!
You can always point out that their colleagues actually recommend cycling as physiotherapy for knees.

Although fair to say the bloke who did a completely successful arthroscopic tidy-up of my torn cartilage (in a knee free from arthritis, luckily) did remark how nice it was for him to deal with me because I was actually interested in my own rehabilitation.

Cycle gently, use low gears to spin up hills, build the distance up slowly.
Some say "foot retention devices" wreck your knees, I don't find that to be the case......the "free float" in my SPDs has a lot less friction to a bit of foot rotation than any other system I've used, but its each to his own, you have to find your own salvation.

Mark1978
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby Mark1978 » 7 Jul 2014, 9:28am

I've been having a bit of knee pain recently, only in the last month or so. Started after doing a particularly hilly ride then was niggling for a while and then I did 50 miles of TdF stage 1 and actually my knees didn't give any issues at all there, despite the hills, but then this weekend I did 80 flat miles and I was in quite a bit of pain at the end :(. Although it's fine now and I was fine walking a couple of hours after the ride.