A question about Knee Trouble ?!?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Map Maker
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    Upset A question about Knee Trouble ?!?

    Two years ago I decided to make a Single speed bike. My next door neighbor donated me his old '90s frame a Raleigh Chill - aluminum front triangle with steel lugs and steel rear triangle. It was nice and the price was right (free). I came across a nice soul on the internet that was restoring an old Cannondale and was looking for a bunch of old parts, old SRAM 900 shifters, 7 speed derailleur. I had them in my parts drawer so we traded. I got a rear wheel with 130mm spacing and a choice of BMX style freewheels, a new 1/8" chain, V-brakes. A good way to clear out some old parts I didn't need and get some parts I did need.
    <P>
    After total expense of like 40$ (new grips and handle bar) I finished my single speed. I used a 32-16 a 2:1 ratio. I went for a few rides. I had fun and going from full suspension to a full rigid took a bit getting used too.
    I live near the James River in Richmond, VA. On my last ride I rode down a big hill from my house to the river. Then rode some nice flat trails then back up the big hill.
    I decided to "tough it out" up the big hill. When I got home my legs were burning but I felt good. I decided I liked my new cheapie single speed. As I went up the stairs to put my bike inside my knees were killing me and they both were clicking and popping with every step.
    Now I wasn't too concerned but my knees were hurting. The next day they were still hurting and popping every single time I went up a flight of steeps. It went like - Step up, POP, Step up POP! I decided to take a break from single speeding till my knees calmed down.
    <P> Well it took a month and a half for them to stop popping on every staircase. It freaked me out! I am an avid biker. I love to ride my mountain bikes and my road bikes. I thought "great you've f*cked up you knees now you won't be able to ride bikes".
    I sold my single speed.
    My knees got better. I ride a pretty good amount nothing crazy like 30- 40 miles a week.
    Itís been two years, I like the ideas of having another single speed but I am scared to mess up my Knees and my passion for bikes.
    Should I swear off single speeding?
    Richmond, VA
    Ra-MORE mtb club

  2. #2
    Cracker-magnon
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbchess
    On my last ride I rode down a big hill from my house to the river. Then rode some nice flat trails then back up the big hill.
    I decided to "tough it out" up the big hill. When I got home my legs were burning but I felt good. I decided I liked my new cheapie single speed. As I went up the stairs to put my bike inside my knees were killing me and they both were clicking and popping with every step.
    Sounds like you should run an easier gear. Try a 32:18 or something like that. If all else fails walk a little bit, there is no shame in that, and on a steep hill sometimes you can walk just as fast as someone spinning in their granny gear.
    "Life is a [email protected]#^ing story problem, get used to it - my son.

  3. #3
    KgB
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    do a search on Knees

    I think the majority of "us" will agree that SS is not detrimental to Knees in fact just the opposite.This has been discussed lots.
    make sure your bike fits you well start out 32/20 and move gradually to a harder gear.
    bike fit is the key though.
    I've been inside too long.

  4. #4
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    take it easy

    Try a lower gear for a while. Low rpm hill climbing can put a lot of pressure on your knees, espicially if seated.

    You wouldn't go to the gym and strat doing huge weight squats, you'd start out with something comfortable and work your way up in weight as you body adjusted and got stronger.

    Same is true for riding.

    Make sure your bike is setup right (a saddle that's too low will put even more pressure on your knees) start off with a lower (easier) gear and work your way up.

    It takes a while for you body to adjust. Your muscles get stronger faster than your tendons adapt so don't rush it.

  5. #5
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    Stand Up

    I found the biggest help is standing up. Sitting down hurts the knees. Standing just makes em stronger.

  6. #6
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    Cleat position & Saddle Position & Height

    In my case I can trace times of knee pain with being lazy about cleat position. I think poor cleat position (causing you shoes to point in an unnatural position) can really cause problems if your really straining in a tough gear. Good luck!

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