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  1. #1
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    Old man's knees + SS = ?

    Alright, I have (mostly) decided to build up a Rigid SS Selma over winter to roll over some single track in Michigan. I have a bunch of friends and "seasoned" salty dogs that tell me I will ruin my knees after a couple of years on the bike.

    I will probably run the bike 7 - 14 miles 3x a week at most; and will probably switch back to my geared Paragon for some of the rides. Anyone have any issues with your knees after a couple of years on a SS?

  2. #2
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    You won't have any problems if you remember that when the going gets tough it's time to stand .

  3. #3
    Plastic homer
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    Quote Originally Posted by abp689
    Alright, I have (mostly) decided to build up a Rigid SS Selma over winter to roll over some single track in Michigan. I have a bunch of friends and "seasoned" salty dogs that tell me I will ruin my knees after a couple of years on the bike.
    I will probably run the bike 7 - 14 miles 3x a week at most; and will probably switch back to my geared Paragon for some of the rides. Anyone have any issues with your knees after a couple of years on a SS?
    Just short of a year on SS - just over 58 on the planet. No knee issues at all. I take a joint supplement, but I have no idea if it makes a difference. I do ride geared 3 of the 6 days a week I ride per week. I do not, however, ride rigid - I use an 80 mm Fox G2 fork on my HT.

    Don't grind seated.

  4. #4
    808+909 = Party Good Time
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    1. Don't grind seated
    2. Stand on anything that remotely looks like an incline, even just a small gradient
    3. It actually can strenghten muscle around your joints and support them if you do it right
    4. It's the best fun you can have on a bike
    5. Selmas are hot bikes.

  5. #5
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    so far so good

    I have fairly advance "chonrdal erosion" ...aka arthritis (grade 4) of both knees for a fairly "young" 41 year old rider. I've been riding rigid 29er single for about 2 months, and have not noticed any increase in pain, discomfort, or the ever present grinding noise as I'm walking up steps.

    The doctors have actually told me biking is a great non impact sport.

    Now...I've only been riding this bike for two months...not long enough for a long range evaluation...but D@MN it's the most fun I've ever had.

    I do take prescription strength anti-inflamatories daily.

    Eat em like almonds.

    Some day I'll poop out my liver...I know...but all is good now.

    If anything, the increase leg strength has decrease pain, and I've actually found myself relying on the naproxen less.

    Your mileage may vary...and EVERBODY is different.

    Good luck.

  6. #6
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    i agree with one of the above statements. i stand more when riding my ss. outside of that- my knees never hurt after a ride. about the only place i can feel a (bad) difference between my geared f.s. and my rigid s.s. is in my hands/wrists

  7. #7
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    I'm not even close to old yet, (besides, that mentality is bad) and I do SS/fixed everywhere I can and my knees do alright. Besides standing, there are some other things that will make or break your experience. The first is to pace yourself getting into it and allow the tendons and muscles to build up without getting owned. Secondly, listen to your body- if you ride for a month without problems and they hurt after one ride, or during one ride, be smart and give yourself a chance at recovery and take it easy before banging something out. The last thing is to eat and sleep right to make sure your recover.

  8. #8
    CB2
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    I have a friend 72 who has ridden SS exclusively for the past 2 years, almost daily.

  9. #9
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    1 yr on my SS and I think that it has actually helped my knees become much stronger. No pain after a ride and I can get up tomorrow and go do it again.

  10. #10
    V-Shaped Rut
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    Yeah, I've got 'old man knee' (left) from wrestling, BJJ and snowboarding. I'm 34 and my knee aches when the weather changes. When I was riding a lot on geared bikes my knee would act up and limit me. Since switching to SS I have 0 problems.

    As people have said, standing up is easier on the knees than sitting and grinding. That is what causes knee pain.

  11. #11
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    I'm 53, been riding dinglespeed off road exclusively since 05. I believe SS is actually easier on the knees than geared. Give your legs time to adapt gradually though. Riding SS only occasionally may cause some issues for some.

  12. #12
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    I have been riding my SS for about a year now. I have had knee surgeries in the past and I am 37. The only time my knee get sore is when i go on big rides (60 miles or longer) I have a feeling my knee would be sore regardless of what type of bike i was on after that much time in the saddle

  13. #13
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    Not sure what issues you have with your knees, but I have a ruptured ACL that I chose not to have fixed on the advice of my surgeon. I had to be careful on the geared full suspension bike or I would aggravate it, swell up, and be out of commission for a week or two. I switched to a rigid single speed last season and have had almost no problems with my knee since. Not sure why, I thought I'd have more problems. It has been great, and I love the bike.

  14. #14
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    I'm 56 and ride SS almost exclusively along with my fixed gear bike. I have experienced no knee issues, but I would offer some advise. Gear appropriately, stand on the pedals often, and if you ride a fixed gear, use a front brake as the tension put on you knees to slow yourself down going down hill is hard on them.

    Check it out, I think you will enjoy it.
    Nobody will hurt you more than yourself

  15. #15
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    all the above advice is spot on.

    two additional points- on sections that need a dismount i need to use caution where i'm walking/running with the bike. also, a bike fit is soooooo worth the money. ensures the bones/joints are moving correct for efficiency but more important for avoiding knee injury.

    pedal choice is important also. i don't have any good reco's though.
    DEET is my deodorant.

  16. #16
    you do this at my size
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    I have actually had less knee issues since I started single speeding. I am also strong when climbing on my road bike.
    if you don't feel like riding, that's usually when you need it most

  17. #17
    Life is Go0d!
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    Its always the rider, not the bike. Its how you use it. I have been on a ss steel 29er, off and on for 3 years now, no pain yet. Is sitting and spinning, twice as many times, on a geared bike beneficial? Who knows.
    The only regrets in life, are the risks you didn't take.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by abp689
    ...I have a bunch of friends and "seasoned" salty dogs that tell me I will ruin my knees after a couple of years on the bike. ...
    I'm in the antique class of rider, and I have been riding mainly SS since I was a boy. I'm still waiting for the knee problems they all talk about.

    I'm convinced that bolting your feet to the pedals has more to do with knee problems on an offroad bike than anything else.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  19. #19
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    Thanks for all the responces team!

    I plan to ride and run for the next 35 years. After reading the reviews and thinking about it, it makes sence that the "churn and burn" I go through on my geared Fisher could create more knee damage than a SS standing and moving.

    Now it is time to lurk and decide what parts to outfit on a Selma!


  20. #20
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    Dang! Late to the party. Again

    I am 36 years young, 6 years mostly fixed gear road and 3 years SS MTB. My knee only hurts when I spin on my geared bike. Different knees put up with different kinds of abuse. Try it and see what kind of knees you have. If it doesn't work out, I'll take the Selma off your hands because that's what friends are for. Friend.
    Responds to gravity

  21. #21
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    Multiple knee surgeries with almost no cartilage left, replacement ACL's from cadavers-even a pulmonary embolism and resultant 3 week stay in the I.C.U from the last knee surgery and my knees have never felt better. I went a different route before grabbing a single speed however, I built up the muscles around my knees on the stationary bike, spin classes and weight room before I started on the two-wheeled machines. Now, my knees and legs feel better than I remember before I wiped them out on the ski slopes.

    I think finding and maintaining proper fit and seat height on the bike has been very important as well. Occasionally, on a cold, dreary morning, I will pop the NSAID or two but generally, I'm good to go.

  22. #22
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    +1 on getting out of the saddle

    51 with history of knee problems. Definitely ride more 'active" on the bike, standing and using more core/upper body.

    Experiment with the gearing so you're comfortable. My main area is all hills, so I am geared to spin out a little soon, but can make most climbs without hurting (the knees).
    11 Flint
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  23. #23
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    43yrs old, 1 acl/mcl rebuild, almost 2 yrs on SS and no knee isues!

  24. #24
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    57, SS for 10years

    57 and SS exclusively for the last 10 years. Commute about 225 days a year on my SS. Agree that it actually strengthens the knees. Stand and haul butt, your knees will do fine. Use a wide bar to get leverage and maximize your standing effort.

    Don't forget the other benefits to regularly riding your SS, like stong arms from pulling on the bars, the cardio workout and overall you will look good from the ass on down. Just gear appropriately and maybe start with a slightly easier gear till you strengthen the body through riding.

  25. #25
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    I am on the same page with everyone else. Tore my ACL and had it repaired in January, started riding my SS in March with no problems. I think it helped my knee heal faster but that's my non-medical opinion
    Contrary to popular belief, Pomeranians do not hail from Pomerania.

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