Knee Problems

One of the most common injuries that I see happen to bikers is knee problems. A sharp pain on one side or the other of the knee. Usually this is caused by one of two things.

One, is improper adjustment of the seat. Seat height is Very important. The seat should be high enough that when your leg is in the down position your knee is just slightly bent. The saddle should be adjusted forward so that with your peddles parallel to the ground you could drop a plumb line from the front of your knee cap, and it would land on the center of the pedal where the pedal connects to the crank arm. The saddle should also be tipped down at the nose a few degrees to help reduce pressure that can cause numbness.

Second, improper positioning of the feet on the pedals. If your feet are not on the peddles with your toes pointing more or less straight ahead, you will not be applying even pressure on the pedals and you will strain the ligaments on one side or other of your knee. If you watch some riders from behind you will notice that their knees will stick out away from the bike as they pedal. This means their toes are pointing out away from the bike. This will cause major pain in the ligaments and can lay you up for weeks. Try to keep you feet squarely on the pedals at all times. I ride with clipless pedals which only allow me a few degrees of float for my feet. Still though, I sometimes  forget to keep my toes aligned and after a few miles, I can sure feel it.

If you notice a sharp pain developing in the tendons around the knee try pointing your toes toward the side that hurts. Just a little movement can make a big difference. See if this helps the problem. If not move your toes a little more. Keep working with it and you should find a spot that will work.

A Sore Knee Story:

David, from Boston, reported that on a cross America trip last year he suffered from an extreme case of a sore knee. He said that he lowered his seat a little to keep from extending the knee too far. Then they took frequent breaks (about every 10 miles) at which time he massaged the knee joint and stretched. If ice was available at a convenience store he would ice it down for a while. He cautioned about getting the joint too cold or it would get stiff. He found that massaging it after icing to warm it back up worked very well. Soon the knee was fine and the trip continued at their normal pace.


All pictures and material on this site © Klent Harkness, All Rights Reserved. All information offered on this site is advice only. I am not a Physician and I am only relating personal experience and my own opinions  on this site. Please seek the opinion of  your personal Physician  before starting any exercise or diet program. I get an annual physical and my doctor monitors both my exercise and diet programs. Yours should to.  .....Klent