Clipless Pedals, knee pains, HELP!- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    I'm in...
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    311

    Clipless Pedals, knee pains, HELP!

    xxxxxxxI’m about to drop so cash down on a bike fit, but before I do so, let me explain why I’m considering it and how many of you been through this?

    I started riding clipless pedals about a year ago and I LOVE it. So much that I’ve spend hundreds of dollars in search of the perfect fit. I’ve tried Shimano’s, Crank Bros. Time ATACs, and Xpedo pedals. I’ve bought gadgets, had a bike shop fit my cleats, insoles, more float, less float, read books, lower cadence, ect., and I still get knee pains. WTF? Do you have to get that precise with the cleats? I’ve tried every possible angle and position with no success? Am I that F’d up with my biomechanics?

    Before I drop over $250 and spend 2.5 hours of my weekend at a fit studio, I have 2 questions

    Did you guys have this much issue with fitting your cleats?
    if you did have knee pains, did getting a pro fit eliminate the pain?

    I’ve already spent so much money and getting this bike fit will bring me close to $1K just so I can ride clipless. I’m willing to do it but only if it works. Know what I mean? It’s not like you can go back and tell the shop, “yeah, it’s not working out and I want my money back”

    Please don’t chime with “I ride flats with 510s and it feels like I’m clipped! “

    So do I, but I prefer being clipped in.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    12,083
    Well I bought some Shimano's SPD and Shimano shoes...never had a problem...

    Could be a muscle imbalance....been doing your lunges and hip exercises.

  3. #3
    Tool
    Reputation: Pedalphile's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    1,973
    It may be your body and not the bike. Have you seen an orthopedist about the knee pain?

    I'm lucky to not have knee pain from cycling, but due to a tight IT band and past injuries, some activities will give me pain in one knee. If I am good about regularly stretching the IT band, life is good. My point is there may be some simple stretches and/or exercise that could make a world of difference for you.

    Good luck,
    Pete
    I can barely get my mouth around it.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    337
    You might check out Orthodics for your shoes to correct alignment issues if you pronate or supinate. I have bad knees due to injuries and they just came faulty. I also pronate pretty badly on my right foot plus I have high arches. Basicly, I'm a train wreck. I'm in the same boat as the OP and have tried a lot of different things but my right knee just always hurts after and hour or so.

    I use Specialized S-works MTB shoes and tried their BG inserts for the arches but they didn't help much. I just bought a pair of inserts from these guys... http://www.aline.com/ . I went to their booth at Sea Otter and they fit me for a pair and put an extra shim in the right insert to help with my pronation. We'll see how it goes after a couple of weeks. They are not custom Orthodics but for $60 it is worth a try and they have a "semi-custom" fit.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    84
    I got back on the bike after about 10 year hiatus. Started riding hard once I got back in shape. Then the knee pain hit. Took some time off the bike healed and got a bike fit. Now I am riding harder than ever. I was close but the just that little bit of seat adjustment and cleat adjusment worked wonders for me.

  6. #6
    Afric Pepperbird
    Reputation: dirt farmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    4,752
    I had the same problem, and it turned out to be improper seat height. I then followed this advice I read online...

    "Dress in your biking duds and put the bike on an indoor trainer or position yourself and your bike in a doorway, so you can hold yourself up while pedaling. Have a buddy sit behind you and watch. Then raise the seat until, as you pedal backwards with your heels on the pedals, your legs are completely extended at the bottom of the stroke. If you have to rock your hips to reach the pedals the seat is too high."

    (of course, you can do this while biking in your driveway,too. No trainer or spotter needed)

    The problem went away immediately! Just be sure your heel is on the pedal with leg fully extended on the bottom of the downstroke.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    6
    I recently messed up my mcl and the Dr told me to make sure that my heels are outward a bit. So try adjusting your cleats. It will take a lot of the strain off of your knees.

  8. #8
    No talent hack
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    1,094
    I recently got back into biking after quitting 10 years ago because of extreme knee pain. Started riding some this year and the pain came back again. I spent A LOT of time reading about setting my bike up correctly... adjusted everything piece by piece while riding between each adjustment... I finally got rid of the knee pain when I adjusted my seat... not height... the forward/backward motion of the seat. I know MBA is hated around here, but I followed their instructions and it worked like a DREAM!

    You need a plumb bob (I used a fat socket tied to the end of a longish string). Sit on your bike in riding position (prop yourself up or have a friend hold you, I use my work bench in the garage). Position the pedals parallel to the ground. Measuring from the knee in the front, drop the plumb bob from the bone just under your knee that forms a (sort of) triangle... drop it from the bottom point of the triangle. The string should be inline or a little in front of the axle of the pedal. If it is not, adjust the seat forward/backward until it is.

    Once I did this adjustment, I went from being able to only ride 5-10 minutes before I was in absolute agony to be able to ride for 40 minutes (only 40 because it got dark and I have no light) with ABSOLUTELY no knee pain.
    2018 Santa Cruz Hightower CC
    2014 Trek Domane 4.0
    2015 Surly Karate Monkey Ops (commuter, gravel, fun))

  9. #9
    No talent hack
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    1,094
    I should add that I once thought my knee pain was related to clipless (I had tried all the major brands/styles except Speedplays), but it looks like it was never the pedals after all...
    2018 Santa Cruz Hightower CC
    2014 Trek Domane 4.0
    2015 Surly Karate Monkey Ops (commuter, gravel, fun))

  10. #10
    I'm in...
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    311
    I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s the clipless pedals/bike fit. When I ride flats, no problems what so ever...

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Teebird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    142
    Quote Originally Posted by Knight511
    I recently got back into biking after quitting 10 years ago because of extreme knee pain. Started riding some this year and the pain came back again. I spent A LOT of time reading about setting my bike up correctly... adjusted everything piece by piece while riding between each adjustment... I finally got rid of the knee pain when I adjusted my seat... not height... the forward/backward motion of the seat. I know MBA is hated around here, but I followed their instructions and it worked like a DREAM!

    You need a plumb bob (I used a fat socket tied to the end of a longish string). Sit on your bike in riding position (prop yourself up or have a friend hold you, I use my work bench in the garage). Position the pedals parallel to the ground. Measuring from the knee in the front, drop the plumb bob from the bone just under your knee that forms a (sort of) triangle... drop it from the bottom point of the triangle. The string should be inline or a little in front of the axle of the pedal. If it is not, adjust the seat forward/backward until it is.

    Once I did this adjustment, I went from being able to only ride 5-10 minutes before I was in absolute agony to be able to ride for 40 minutes (only 40 because it got dark and I have no light) with ABSOLUTELY no knee pain.
    Which direction was your seat off? Did you have to move your seat forward or backward and by how much? I get some knee pain and would like to get an adjustable seat post, but want to know whether I need a set-back seat post or not. Thanks.
    2016 Pivot Mach 429 Trail, XT/XTR 1x Build Kit

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    156
    The whole reason I use flats is cause I"m paranoid of screwin up my knee, it ate to many big rocks wipin on my ktm. If I walk for long distances or jog with my wife it's screwed up for months. I'm to paranoid of having my feet connected to anything (maybe wrong context). I'm amazed my knee doesn't screw with me when I'm riding my bike. I'll probably need some type of OP. in the next few years though, maybe your getin arthritis.

  13. #13
    No talent hack
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    1,094
    Quote Originally Posted by Teebird
    Which direction was your seat off? Did you have to move your seat forward or backward and by how much? I get some knee pain and would like to get an adjustable seat post, but want to know whether I need a set-back seat post or not. Thanks.

    Your knee will hurt either way. I would venture a guess that you are too far forward if the frame fits you correctly, but it is easy to get a string and a weight and find out for yourself... otherwise, you could end up just wasting money.

    And you should be able to adjust your seat WITHOUT replacing the post... loosen the bolt up and it slides forward and backward as well as tilt...
    2018 Santa Cruz Hightower CC
    2014 Trek Domane 4.0
    2015 Surly Karate Monkey Ops (commuter, gravel, fun))

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Whason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    433
    Go get yourself a foam roller and start rolling the itband, hamstrings quads. That really helped me. As well as improving my hip flexibility.
    "Chancho. When you are a man sometimes you wear stretchy pants... Its for fun..."

  15. #15
    I'm in...
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    311
    Quote Originally Posted by Whason
    Go get yourself a foam roller and start rolling the itband, hamstrings quads. That really helped me. As well as improving my hip flexibility.
    I am stiff as a board so I'm going to give this a serious consideration.

    Thanks!

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    159
    Quote Originally Posted by Whason
    Go get yourself a foam roller and start rolling the itband, hamstrings quads. That really helped me. As well as improving my hip flexibility.
    Do this! Roll the $hit out of your IT band. Actually, roll the front, side, and rear of the quad from your hip to your knee. Lots of soft tissue tightness in that area can cause knee pain. In fact, I just had a brutally excruciating session with my trainer rolling out my IT band. It was awful but tonight, my knees feel so much better. Also, grab a tennis ball and stick it behind your knee. Bend it and try to get the tendon/ligament behind your knee cap. You'll know you are getting at it because it hurts like you wouldn't believe.

    If you really want to get the soft tissue issues taken care of, look for a physiotherapist who knows the GRASTON technique. Basically looks like he's taking oddly shaped butter knives to your joints and it HURTS but it'll get you to where you want to be. Healthy and ready to ride!

    OP, do you get knee pain when you ride with flats? If you don't, then your clipless set up is bad. If you do though, it's your body.

  17. #17
    I'm in...
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    311
    Quote Originally Posted by coiler_guy

    OP, do you get knee pain when you ride with flats? If you don't, then your clipless set up is bad. If you do though, it's your body.
    No pains at all when I ride flats. In fact I can ride twice as long on flats. This is why my conclusion is the clipless pedal setup. I believe I have the angles set up right since I can ride for 2-3 hours on them. I also understand what if feels like to have them set up in the wrong angle cause the pain is pretty much instant.

    Don't forget I also had a reputable shop fit my cleats and analyze my pedal stroke. It wasn't a throughout 2 hours session but it didn't solve my issue either. Just got me a little more comfy.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    159
    Hmm. Have you thought about running pedals with a larger q factor (basically wider). I notice when I ride flats that my feet like to be on the outside of the pedals. I find clips to be much narrower and that causes me problems as well. When I was fitted, they didn't once consider then factor and it is an issue for me.

  19. #19
    I'm in...
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    311
    Yes, tried that also. Widest, wider, wide. Still no success. I know it can't be that hard, but yet it is. The bottom of my shoe is starting to look like a dart board.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    97
    Quote Originally Posted by VO2 Lax
    I am stiff as a board so I'm going to give this a serious consideration.

    Thanks!
    Let us know if this helps....haven't tried it myself but heard good things from several friends.

Members who have read this thread: 1

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.