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  1. #1
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    So, I've scheduled a bike fitting.....

    Now I'm having second thoughts.
    I'm scared that I'll go in and pay more than I paid for my bike for someone to tell me to raise my seat or tell me I need a different bike.

    The issue I'm hoping to resolve is persistent right knee pain. The left one is fine. After about 20 miles, my right leg will start to bend inward toward the top tube sometimes rubbing it. The right leg does move side to side even when I'm not tired. I've tried arch support insoles (Specialized +++green) with some improvement, but that caused another issue, hot spots on both feet which were not presenting before. I wear some pretty serious orthotics in street shoes.

    Here is where I'm at with cycling.

    Doing about 50-100 miles a week on various terrain. Hills when I can find them, flat land when I can't (but the wind usually takes care of that problem ). Mostly paved with a small amount of single track when I can find it. I've been at it seriously for about 2 months.

    The bike: 26" XXL hardtail with touring tires. It's huge, but so am I. I fitted a stem riser and that made my neck and shoulders more comfortable.

    Me: 6'4" regular torso with 37" inseam and 37.5" shirt sleeves. 250 pounds. Out of shape.

    I really like cycling, need to achieve better fitness and don't want to damage my knees. Should I spend the cash or look for a solution on my own by trial and error?

    It seems I could easily throw parts at this problem and spend as much as I would on the fitting.

    Your thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I would recommend doing the fitting. you can find a lot of DIY measurements but a good fitter can get you feeling great on the bike in a couple of hours rather than several rides of trial and error. however, it is definitely more effective if you ride in the seated position a lot, like on longer climbs or road. also know that your fit will change as you get into better shape, so it's not a one time measurement...after a while of getting stronger you'll probably want to do it again at some point.

    on the legs moving side to side, one of my buddies actually put little pieces of tape on his bars that he aims his knees towards every revolution in order to stay 'on form'.

  3. #3
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    Just take what they tell you with a grain of salt. Getting fit doesn't mean you will need to buy a new bike or throw thousands of dollars at your current bike. It's often very helpful to have an experienced rider take a look at your position and riding from a different angle. It may sound silly but it could be a small adjustment that is causing your problems. Go get fit, take some notes, and report back with your findings
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  4. #4
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freightlinerbob View Post
    Now I'm having second thoughts.
    I'm scared that I'll go in and pay more than I paid for my bike for someone to tell me to raise my seat or tell me I need a different bike.

    The issue I'm hoping to resolve is persistent right knee pain. The left one is fine. After about 20 miles, my right leg will start to bend inward toward the top tube sometimes rubbing it. The right leg does move side to side even when I'm not tired. I've tried arch support insoles (Specialized +++green) with some improvement, but that caused another issue, hot spots on both feet which were not presenting before. I wear some pretty serious orthotics in street shoes.

    Here is where I'm at with cycling.

    Doing about 50-100 miles a week on various terrain. Hills when I can find them, flat land when I can't (but the wind usually takes care of that problem ). Mostly paved with a small amount of single track when I can find it. I've been at it seriously for about 2 months.

    The bike: 26" XXL hardtail with touring tires. It's huge, but so am I. I fitted a stem riser and that made my neck and shoulders more comfortable.

    Me: 6'4" regular torso with 37" inseam and 37.5" shirt sleeves. 250 pounds. Out of shape.

    I really like cycling, need to achieve better fitness and don't want to damage my knees. Should I spend the cash or look for a solution on my own by trial and error?

    It seems I could easily throw parts at this problem and spend as much as I would on the fitting.

    Your thoughts?
    IF the fitter really knows what they are doing, and this is one of those dynamic fittings where you spend some time actually pedaling the fit cycle as they take measurements, this can be very valuable.

    I had been a little skeptical, but then I traded a 2+ hour fitting session with a Serrota certified fitter for some carpentry work for the store. He measured my flexibility, did a very in depth interview, and I spend a long time on the bike (I think well over an hour). There was a camera on me that got moved around and I had these little dots stuck to me that recorded various joint angles.

    The result was a few tweaks and recommendations (saddle height/tilt/fore-aft position, bar height/reach, cleat position) that have made a HUGE difference in comfort on my road bike especially on longer rides. I would have happily paid the $175 asking price a long time ago had I known what good it would do. Been trying to get my wife to do the same.

    Applying this to mtb is a little different, though. There are many other considerations. But the knowledge I gained from that fitting has helped me in getting the fit right.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  5. #5
    since 4/10/2009
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    agreed...if the fitter is good.

    I hear about iffy fits all the time.

  6. #6
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    It sounds to me this might be something outside the realm of typical bike fitment issues and more something you'd want to see orthopedist who specializes in sports medicine about, particularly since you say you have to wear orthotics to begin with and the problem is relegated to only one side. Though you might get something out of the fitting, I'm not very confident it's going to do much for this particular problem.

    Can you ride off road more? 1 mile of moderate singletrack riding will probably give you the same workout as 10 miles of road, and it'll be 100 times as fun.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    It sounds to me this might be something outside the realm of typical bike fitment issues and more something you'd want to see orthopedist who specializes in sports medicine about, particularly since you say you have to wear orthotics to begin with and the problem is relegated to only one side. Though you might get something out of the fitting, I'm not very confident it's going to do much for this particular problem.

    Can you ride off road more? 1 mile of moderate singletrack riding will probably give you the same workout as 10 miles of road, and it'll be 100 times as fun.
    I don't think this is one-or-the other. Both could have a lot to contribute in this case, as both bring different expertise to the table. And even a very high end fitting (like the one I got) is cheap compared to a doctor's visit.

    I wear some pretty severe orthodics on one of my shoes (a 2" lift), and the fit helped with the pain I sometimes got in one of my knees. But as was stated before, it really depends on how good the fitter is. Of course, the same applies to the sports medicine Dr.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  8. #8
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    Many years ago I had some knee pain and had a fitting. The pain started shortly after I got a new bike. The frame was the correct size as was everything else. The fitter took a look at my cranks and suggested I go from 175 to 170 crank arm length. Bought a new crank.

    After a month the knee pain went away. I slapped the 175s back on to see what would happen and the pain returned. I now understand the science of why too long of crank arms cause knee strain. My inseam is 29".

    So I run 170s on my bikes.

    Anyway, get the fitting. Something is wrong if you are having knee pain.

  9. #9
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I had a fit done a while ago. Some of the best money I've spent on cycling. I don't think it applies as much to mountain biking, but it sounds like you're exclusively on the road, so if you work with someone good, I bet it helps a lot. Ask around - if you can get someone recommended, that's a lot better than throwing a dart at the phone book.

    One of the things I like about the Specialized insoles is that they come in different arch sizes. I find I like a +++ insole in my road shoes, that I also use a cant wedge in. My MTB shoes have that built into the outsole, and I find I'm more comfortable with a ++ insole. So that's something to talk to your fitter about, or try on your own. Since you're thinking about seeing someone, though, I think you're better off waiting. One can spend quite a lot of money trying different stems, saddles, seat posts, insoles, pedal extenders, etc. etc. etc. and not really find a good setup. The fitter should have all that stuff on hand (expect to spend some additional money on bits and pieces of gear after, btw) so you and he can do some experimentation a lot more efficiently and you can buy only what you need.

    On glancing back at your post, you say you've only been riding for 2 months, but you're riding 50-100 miles/week. There's part of your problem right there. Do you log your rides? Take it easy next week. Like, 50% as many hours as your average. The week following, try low-normal and see where you're at. A lot of people (not me, of course ) hurl themselves into cycling or running way too much, way too soon and get hurt. It takes some time to develop the stability to have a healthy endurance sports practice.

    If just taking an easy week doesn't do it, you might take a week completely off cycling, then start from near zero. When I got serious about rehabbing my knees, I did a bit of a reset - I started by doing just three rides in a week, just a half hour each. That worked okay, so I increased my volume by 10% a week over the course of a spring and summer, until I pretty much hit the amount of riding I have time for. 10%/week is a guideline one bumps into in advice for runners. Cyclists can probably get away with a faster increase, but I figured I already had a problem and didn't need to push it.

    Good luck!
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  10. #10
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    So, I've scheduled a bike fitting.....

    I canceled. The only big issue I'm having with fit is my right knee. As far as I can tell. Pain and discomfort being the chief indicators. It's not insignificant by any means and it needs to be corrected, but I came to the conclusion that I hadn't spent enough time on trying to fix it on my own.

    A few rides ago, I was overcome with the urge to move my right heel inward toward the crank, like my foot was fighting against the cleat. Then I forgot about it until yesterday morning.

    I woke up thinking about the other day and changed the angle of the cleat to allow my heel to move inwardly. Then I compared both shoes by running a straightedge across the center of the cleat. At the front of the shoe the edge lands equally at the center of both shoes. At the rear, the right cleat's centerline is about 5/8" off at the heel when compared to the left.

    Then I went out for a 25 mile ride with some good effort relative to what I've been riding.

    Never felt a thing.

    Today I went out for 30 miles. Again, no knee pain.

    The right shoe is almost brushing up against the crank now and I can't see any daylight between them vs. the left side having a relatively large gap.

    I've also noticed that my right leg no longer starts to rub the top tube as I get tired and it seems more stable than before (sideways).

    I'll try it this way for a while.

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