knee pain and SS riding- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 26 of 26
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    8,924

    knee pain and SS riding

    I ride BMX (street and ramps) and a SS mtb and for the last year or so my right knee has been getting more and more sore. from the research i have done and what my doc has told me, this anterior knee pain is caused by my kneecap not tracking where it should. so the soft tissue under my kneecap is torn up, causing the tissue around it to become inflamed.

    there is a wealth of information about this online (read this, for example), but none of this really helps. 99% of the advice i read only applies to roadies. i ride a SS mtb with flat pedals, so choosing a proper gear ratio while climbing, as some articles suggest, is not really an option. they often go on and on about bike fit and cleat position, but i don't ride cleats. maybe i should go back to clipless, that might be a start. but i have tried clipless and came close to death a few times because i can never clip out in time, no matter how loose my springs are.

    then there's the bmx bike. "bike fit" really means nothing to me. there is no way i could find a seatpost long enough to sit down while pedaling and riding with a seatpost that long would defeat the purpose of a bmx bike. you can't bunnyhop over a fire hydrant when the seat hits you in the balls, that's why we all run such low seats. riding clipless on a quarter pipe is out of the question.

    i am only 28 so i suspect i should be able to recover faster. what options do i have beside getting a roadie?

  2. #2
    Out spokin'
    Reputation: Sparticus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Posts
    9,646
    Dang. That blows. Surgery?

    --Sparty
    disciplesofdirt.org

    We don't quit riding because we get old.
    We get old because we quit riding.

  3. #3
    Dr Gadget is IN
    Reputation: wadester's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    2,354
    Jumper's Knee Strap?

    http://www.kneeshop.com/products.asp?cat=14

    These basically keep everything running where it's supposed to be. About $10.

    One of the guys in my riding group years ago found them, and I don't ride w/o them anymore.
    This isn't a "you're doing it wrong" topic.

    WSS/OSS: Open Source Sealant

  4. #4
    openwound
    Reputation: voodoochild's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    580
    I have a good friend who's a PT and he's educated me about this as I had whiny knees for a while.

    Unfortunately, you need to take a little break from riding. Give that joint a break for a while. Do strength exercises to help correct the knee cap tracking issue. Stretch, get yourself a foam roller to get/keep the IT band loose as it can easily influence knee cap tracking.

    A good bike fitter will get you positioned so that you're most efficient when riding. While clipless pedals are a part of the efficiency equation, one thing (among others) that fitting usually seeks to address, in relation to clips, is making sure that they're not causing issues.

    Given that you're already experiencing issues, I might not recommend moving to clips right now. You'll introduce a new set of constraints/variables that could inhibit or otherwise influence healing.

    You're right, you're young and can heal. But the key is letting your body do so, which means taking a break and allowing it to do so.
    Last edited by voodoochild; 04-12-2010 at 10:18 AM.

  5. #5
    I dig trails!
    Reputation: Mr.P's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    5,544
    I've noticed that using the legs as suspension during hucks can make knees sore quick. So can very slow SS mashing.

    Perhaps layoff the BMX for a while, and lighten up the gear on the SS (both crappy options, I know)

    A gravity dropper helps me manage seatpost length for the appropriate times. A no compromise length for XC or climbing is one of it's greatest benefits.

    P

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    246
    Less BMX, lower gearing (you'll probably be faster anyway) stretch everyday, ice, and see a physio about if a brace or support would benefit your injury

  7. #7
    Ovaries on the Outside
    Reputation: umarth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,366
    How is your meniscus? If the tissue is damaged, then you need surgery. Otherwise, give it a rest and slowly build into shape. Consistent riding will help. Not sure if BMX will.

  8. #8
    fnar fnar brrraaaaap
    Reputation: ilostmypassword's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    2,160
    run gears? crazy i know!!

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    8,924
    i lowered the gear ratio on my bmx bike from 28/10 to 27/10. (fyi, 2.75:1 is a standard ratio for a bmx bike, so mine is slightly below standard.) that seems a little less stress on my knee for spinning (as in 360s, not pedaling fast) and standing up pedaling, which is the only position you can pedal while riding a bmx bike. i only really have time to ride it about once every other week anyways, so my infrequent sessions are long and intense. that's probably a lot of my problem right there.

    my meniscus is fine, says my doctor. its the cartridge under my kneecap that's mess up from the cap not tracking right.

    gears? how does one fit a derailleur on a Monocog? i am already running a 32/18 ratio. how much lower could i go and still be practical?

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    681
    You can go as low as you want/need to. 32/18 is not that low. I'm currently running 33/22, but then I live in a region full of short, nasty hills. Increasing or decreasing your gear on a ss will simply change the type of rides you do. When I started ss'ing, I used the 'standard' 32/16 but I mostly stuck to gentle hills.
    In any case: good luck!

  11. #11
    Retro Grouch
    Reputation: aka brad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    2,091
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.P
    I've noticed that using the legs as suspension during hucks can make knees sore quick. So can very slow SS mashing.
    I'm 55 and that's exactly the way I ride; hey I'm old and slow. Anyway, one simple trick is to raise your seat to roadie height when your climbing; you should never bend your legs less than 90 deg. You also want to set your cleats as far back as they will go. I am blessed I can throw a lot at my knees and they don't complain, but one time I stripped a seat tube bolt on the trail and with the seat 6 inches lower than normal, I felt like a cripple at the end. Most BMX riders keep their seats pretty low, so you may want to raise yours.
    Just one more rep and I get the toaster!

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    7,816
    - The knee strap, as already mentioned.
    - Make sure your saddle is at proper height. A good starting point is the center of your saddle to the center of your BB equaling your inseam times 0.883.
    - Stand to climb earlier than you think you need to. Climbing seated on a single speed is a great way to annoy your knees.
    - Take two Aleve before you ride or when your knees are bothering you. It's a great anti-inflammatory.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    130
    run a 32/20 on your SS. Just spin without putting too much pressure on your knee. Make sure your SS seat is high enough so you get good extension but not so high you can't tuck behind it whe you need to.

    I'm 42, old bmx pro, still riding BMX and SS on flats. I am your future, listen to my advice.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    8,924
    hey pwh4130, you post on bikeguide too right? i post under "jonathan." thanks for the advice. i am going to go see a physical therapist this morning. i'll let you all know what he says.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    130
    Yep, that's me. A good knee gasket for compression helps wonders as well.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    667
    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    - Stand to climb earlier than you think you need to. Climbing seated on a single speed is a great way to annoy your knees.
    +1 If I sit and mash up hills, my knees will bother me.
    =========================================
    Minnesota Off Road Cyclists www.morcmtb.org

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    100
    I had knee pain for about 8 weeks during mashing or spinning rides. Went to the doctor, nothing was damaged internally. His advice was to lay off for about a week, take 800mg ibuprofen (4x200mg tablets)/three times a day for 4 days straight. At the time I thought he was nuts, but the pain went away and never came back.

  18. #18
    LET'S GO RIDE BIKES!
    Reputation: robbyracer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    233
    I had some knee pain after riding my MTB last year. Turns out my seat was too far forward and my knee wasn't over the pedal spindle when the cranks were at 3 o'clock. I put a nut on a piece of string and held it on my knee to see where it was in relation to the pedal spindle.
    Robb
    Specialized Rockhopper Comp
    Canondale Synapse w/DuraAce goodness

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,369
    I've had condromaltia, which I think is the knee cap tracking problem in the past and it sucked. If you ride when it's bothering you it will get much worse extremely quickly. The worse it gets the harder is to get rid of. I did lots of exercises (VMO especially) with a pt but found time off and stretching to be the only thing that helped me. I strongly recommend stretching. You may need to stretch twice a day to gain flexibility. Stretching after rides makes the biggest difference for me. IT band stretches that you feel in the butt, hamstring, hip and quad stretches seem to help me.

    Surgery (lateral release) was a mistake for me, I condromalatia in both knees and after surgery on one knee and a terrible 18 months off the bike for recovery they were both better.

    I have an additional question. I'm new to singlespeeding this year and am starting to really like it. (I am a little surprised) The problem is that I am getting slight knee soreness after hard rides. I don't think it's the condromalation or patela tendonitus which I think of as knee cap specific. Its just a general and slight knee joint discomfort for a few days to a week after I ride, nothing during.

    I am sensitive to knee pain because my previous experience was that once it started it could get bad and entrenched quick. With condromalatia stretching the IT band makes a big difference for me because I can manage it just fine. With this it doesn't seem to. The knee straps helped condromalatia slightly but I haven't tried them for this.

    My position is fine and I stand to climb with a 32x18 (29" wheels) gear that I like more than smaller gears.

    One thing I notice on the singlespeed is that I go much harder than I do on a geared bike. I seem to charge out of corners, like to spin out my gear and work hard to stay on top of it on climbs.

    I don't want to give up the single, I am going to try ice and advil after rides but that doesn't seem like a long term fix. Any suggestions?
    2 wheels

  20. #20
    Dr Gadget is IN
    Reputation: wadester's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    2,354
    Quote Originally Posted by artnshel

    I don't want to give up the single, I am going to try ice and advil after rides but that doesn't seem like a long term fix. Any suggestions?
    get a pair of the Jumper's Knee Straps and ride with them. You will most likely have no soreness afterwards. Or just get one a see the difference.

    Oh, and that stretching stuff is good too - I find the "reclining warrior" yoga pose (slight recline, not full for me) to be very good - this is a flexible person w/no recline:
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    This isn't a "you're doing it wrong" topic.

    WSS/OSS: Open Source Sealant

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by wadester
    Jumper's Knee Strap?

    http://www.kneeshop.com/products.asp?cat=14

    These basically keep everything running where it's supposed to be. About $10.

    One of the guys in my riding group years ago found them, and I don't ride w/o them anymore.

    These are the best things ever invented. I used them for football back in high school. I couldn't even run half-speed...put them on...it was like I had brand new knees.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    8,924
    i visited a physical therapist this week. it's raining a lot this week, so it's good that i can't ride anyways. the PT has me doing a lot of exercises to strengthen the muscles in my upper leg and stretches for my hamstrings. my hamstrings are TIGHT! i have never been able to touch my toes, even as a kid, so this should be good for me. i am going to see the PT for a few weeks to get my IT band massaged and check my progress. i think i will mix some Ibuprofen in there as well.

  23. #23
    I always bleed like this.
    Reputation: PoorBehavior's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    496
    Quote Originally Posted by wadester
    Jumper's Knee Strap?

    http://www.kneeshop.com/products.asp?cat=14

    These basically keep everything running where it's supposed to be. About $10.

    One of the guys in my riding group years ago found them, and I don't ride w/o them anymore.

    More mad props or whatever the kids say these days for wadester. I read this thread, dropped by Walgreens and picked one up, went for a ride and damn! Huge difference. I only have the problem in one knee. It feels totally different, I don't think I will ever ride without it again. Really glad I dropped in on this thread. If you have this problem with your knee try it, crazy how it works so well.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    83
    This thread has been very helpful! I have some growing pain in my knees this season. It seems to be from under the knee cap near where the the quad meets the kneecap on the upper inner side. I think I have tracking issues. I have very oddly shaped knees. When standing my quad makes it look like i have a severly swollen upper part of my knee, and when bent I have a large bump on the inner part of the front of my knee. Can also feel a "bumpy" feel when touching my knee and bending my knee all the way.

    I was thinking of trying the "cho-pat dual action knee" brace towards the bottom of this page. http://www.kneeshop.com/products.asp?cat=14

    does anyone know if the knee jumper bands will help prevent knee pain in the upper part of the knee as well?
    2009 Scott Scale 20
    2005 S-works Epic

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    83
    another thought....

    does it make sense that if our problems stem from the quads being overworked/too tight etc thus they are pulling on the patella, would the jumpers knee straps only tend to lift the patella more?
    2009 Scott Scale 20
    2005 S-works Epic

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    8,924
    i have also suffered from "jumper's knee" before this recent issue. a patella strap helped that a lot. with jumper's knee, you get tension and pain UNDER your knee cap. when you have tension above your knee cap, that's a different kind of issue.

Members who have read this thread: 0

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.