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  1. #1
    Yeah, I'm a n00b
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    Another Clipless Question - Knee Injury

    Sorry about "another clipless question", but here goes -

    I've been riding for about a year and a half now on a GF Tassajara. Obviously it came with flat pedals, and I actually liked them - they gripped the shoes I wear quite well. A friend let me borrow some pedals with toe clips. They are OK, too - the pedals themselves don't grip as well, but the cages help hold my foot from sliding forward, and they keep my foot at a better position for pedalling.

    The problem is I watch my friend pull away on just about any uphill. Granted a lot of this is due to he being in better biking shape than I, but it's still frustrating. So I was thinking about giving clipless a chance. Here's my concern, though - I have a bad knee. A quick description - I had a misdiagnosed ACL stretch, and the loosening of my knee ended up grinding the inside portion of the cartilage away over the years. Only solution is knee replacement at this point, which I'm not planning on any time soon.

    So the clip pedals I have to leave loose on that leg, so that I get plenty of lateral movement to help relief/avoid pain. Obviously I don't get the help from the cages as I could if they were tighter, but when I have them tightened my knee is at a very uncomfortable location - I think due to the fact that it's being held in a solitary position more than the particular position itself. So my question is can I get enough movement out of a clipless pedal to keep the knee pain down, but still get some benefit from the pedal on the upstroke (without fear of coming unclipped)?

    Sorry for the longwinded question. Let me know if it doesn't make sense.

    -Dan
    2004 Gary Fisher Tassajara.
    Totally McStock.

  2. #2
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    http://www.cptips.com/knee.htm

    http://www.physsportsmed.com/issues/...04/asplund.htm

    Be careful with your knees. They're the only ones you have. I found that by adjusting the cleats, I can get the optimum performance from my clipless pedals.

    Good luck,

    jps

  3. #3
    Yeah, I'm a n00b
    Reputation: DanTasstic's Avatar
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    Thanks for the links jps. I'll check them out.

    Just a quick note - the knee injury was not from cycling. In fact, it's the reason I took up cycling. The doc said no repetitive impact sports, which left me with biking and swimming. I hate water.
    2004 Gary Fisher Tassajara.
    Totally McStock.

  4. #4
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    If you decide to try clipless check out something with lots of float. I switched from Shimano 520's to Eggbeaters and can now move my feet around quite a bit without clipping out. Some people don't like it but I haven't had any problems.
    I'm not broke but you can see the cracks.

    Rick’s Law Of Biking...
    At least two uphills are required for every downhill.

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  5. #5
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    I have 2 bad knees and have had no issues with the Shimano 959's. They have a nice amount of float and are pretty easy to clip out of in case of emergency.

  6. #6
    Collector of Scars
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    I can relate to your knee problems. I'm supposed to be going under the knife Wednesday for my 6th knee surgery (if I can find my punch-card, I think this one's free). Also an ACL stretch and completely shredded medial meniscus. From what the doc said, biking is perfect for knee problems involving cartiledge, because the motion releases fluid throughout the knee that improve the quality of the cartiledge that's there. The ACL thing is gonna be tough, but it sounds like once you get your replacement, you should be rollin right along.

    Anyway, I've been riding on a pair of Shimano 515s for 3 seasons now, and have absolutely no complaints. I actually feel better after a good long ride, to be honest. As long as you set the tension down so you have a good deal of float, you should be able to rotate or pronate your feet as you need to get past any pain. And honestly, should you biff, you're gonna be better off with clipless anyway, because you'll come unclipped from the bike, as opposed to staying strapped in and REALLY doing your knees a favor.

    Just my thoughts. Best of luck and let us know what you end up doing.

    Ross
    "I don't wanna die without any scars. So come on, let's do it before I lose my nerve" - Tyler Durden (Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk)

  7. #7
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    I tore apart the ACL in one knee last year and it took quite some time for it and bones to heal. Drs told me that I didn't need a replacement at my age, 53, even tho I have a teenager I would like to keep up with, lol. Anyway, I got back into cycling to try and build up strength in knees. I was experiencing a slight discomfort or pain in the front of knees and it was suggested that I move shoes more forward on pedals which has helped.

    I also rode in years past with toe-clips and decided a couple of months ago when I resumed riding to try the 'clipless' pedals. Bought some good fitting Specialized MTB shoes and the Candy C pedals and they sure do help putting the power down. Trying to build up skill and confidence now, trying to anticipate time to rotate out of pedals on difficult sections, seems to be getting easier.

    You can always go to toe-clips if you don't feel comfortable with the clipless.

  8. #8
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    I have a torn acl. Rode shimano clipless for years. Kept the tension waaaay down so that I could unclip really easily. So loose, that occaisonally my foot would unclip when not wanted. But that was a small inconvenience compared to the knowledge that my foot could unclip easily.

    Have egg beaters now. Really like them, there's plenty of float so I have no pain, but it takes a little more to unclip as there's no real adjustment. It does get easier to unclip as the pedals have broken in.

    If you're worried about unclipping, I'd go Shimanos. Just personal opinion.

  9. #9
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    I had a similar concern, having torn my ACL (and subsequently having it repaired surgically). I went with time pedals, and they're perfect! Easy to clip in and out, and enough float not to put stress on my knee. I'd definitely recommend them.

  10. #10
    Lacticacid head
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    As a additon to clipless, I added some Orthonics from Specialized inside my shoes, and they have shims to change the cant of your knee depending on what your angles are. I have a high arch, and the soles really made a difference on my knees. So Clipless, and set up, in my case took shimming the outside edge.
    www.lacticacidheads.com
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  11. #11
    Yeah, I'm a n00b
    Reputation: DanTasstic's Avatar
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    Wow, glad to see I'm not alone! Thanks for all the tips. My friend runs eggbeaters, so I'll see if I can take his bike for a spin around my yard before commiting.
    2004 Gary Fisher Tassajara.
    Totally McStock.

  12. #12
    W.M.A.
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    i dont have knee problems but did just switch from SPD to Eggbeaters - i think there is a noticably more float on the Eggs - and i like it a lot better.

    good luck

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