SS jack your knees up?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    destructionismyobjective
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    SS jack your knees up?

    Just wondering if anyone has ss specific knee problems.

    So i started ssing about a month ago and I think my knee pain is related to the bike.. given the fit, saddle position and cleat position are good can mashing on the ss cause problems?

    Little history: I spent all summer on a track bike geared 48:16/15 and a trance with gears. However on both these bikes I rarely left the saddle.. the trance was a sit and spin and I also concentrated on staying seated on the track bike both on the track and during my street riding and had no knee problems at all.

    Now the conclusion I can draw is I spend alot of time standing climbing on the ss, I run 32 16 on the trail and 32 12 on the street with it. I stand and smash on her all the time. And the more I mash the more knee pain I have the next day.

    Its not so bad ive stopped riding but it does worry me. Anyone have a similar experience and what did you do to remedy it?

  2. #2
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Basketball ****ed my knees this past winter, but it was because I was getting back into it. But since you've been riding some version of a fixed/ss for a stretch of time, I think you can start looking at a couple possibilities-

    1- You are riding more and more strenuously that you were with your road bike. If this is the case, the easy solution is to scale back your riding and build your distances and exertions slowly. It isn't a bad idea to ice the knees after a ride.

    2- You have picked up another activity that has increased the amount of pounding your legs have received. This could be hiking, a sport, running, etc. Similar as to what I'm recommending above, scale back your efforts and build on your fitness in a way that your knees don't hurt.

    3- If neither apply to you, see a doctor. You could very well have palantir fasciitis, a miniscus tear, or a variety of other structural issues. It is better check earlier than later, as recovery can be a *****.

    Icing after rides and ibuprofen before rides is a good idea until your knees start hurting (obviously, don't do this frequently). I had some knee pain when I switched to spds, so it could be as small as that and eggbeaters offer more float. I am sure that I'll think of more notions, but if you have health insurance, see a doctor and be done with it. Jizz bags on the webz are full of ****.

  3. #3
    WillWorkForTrail
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    Are you riding a 26" or a 29" bike? If you're on a 29er running those gears, try backing off just a little, maybe a 32/18 on the trail. There's nothing wrong with standing an mashing, but there are degrees of mashing. It could be you're over cooking it just that little bit.

  4. #4
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    Start standing sooner when you climb on the SS.

    Climbing seated on a SS is an invitation for knee pain since you're putting a lot of stress on your knees when they're in a position to tolerate the least. What I constantly have to tell new SS riders is to stand a lot sooner than you think you need to.

    If you use clipless pedals make sure they're adjusted correctly or move to something with more float. I used to use SPDs and even adjusted correctly they gave me knee pain. Once I switch to Eggbeaters the pain went away.

    Also:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/singlespeed/s...ng-767023.html

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth View Post
    Icing after rides and ibuprofen before rides is a good idea until your knees start hurting (obviously, don't do this frequently).
    You should never take ibuprofen before a ride. If you are having pain in the knees, the ibuprofen could mask that pain, causing the knee condition to worsen and become more serious without realizing it. It is fine for after the ride, but not before.

  6. #6
    VENI VEDI BIKI
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    My 2 cents (as someone with chronic knee pain)...
    1. gear down. Better to spin on the flats than mash on the hills....If the course is flowy, you can only go so fast anyways, a lower gear will help you with your spin....Plus, low resistance, high cadence pedaling increases blood flow to your knees and (I have found) actually alleviates some knee pain.
    2. Don't climb seated.
    3. Be sure to use you hammies when climbing....most of my power in a climb comes from my "up" stroke
    4. Be sure to stretch out quads and hammies before and after ride.

    You can get knee problems just as easily on a geared bike by staying in a high gear and mashing all the time. Its not about the bike. Its about the gearing combo and your technique.
    Veni Vidi Biki

    I came, I saw, I biked.

  7. #7
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    Try stretching quads and hamstrings after the ride. Is pain on top of knee cap,below cap or inside knee? There is a hamstring/quad strength ratio and if it is out of balance can cause knee pain. Fix is simple: pain above knee cap strengthen hammys(leg curls). Below knee strengthen quads(leg extensions). If pain is inside could be meniscus damage.

  8. #8
    AZ
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    Mashing too big a gear can cause knee problems geared or single speed. Choosing the right gear is part of the single speed "science". As others posted technique has a lot to do with it too. A single speed is really three speeds, seated, standing and walking. Choose your gear accordingly.

  9. #9
    destructionismyobjective
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    Its a 26. Cycling has really been my only activity this summer.. but I do alot of it! I always strech before and after a ride. I know cleat position on my shoes is good cause they're the same shoes I use on my other bike with no problems.

    I did just recently replace my pedals and now that im thinking about it they are set really tight and dont have much float... ill try setting em a little looser and see how that works and Im also gona gear the bike down a bit. I guess I just felt I could push a monster gear after riding like 2k miles on the track bike this summer pushing a huge gear.

    I rode 30 miles last night and it was buggin me a little at the end. However it usually hurts worse the next day... but this morning I got up and NO PAIN!!! Maybe im strengthining whatever it is causing the pain. Still gona back off the gearing and loosen the pedals a bit.

    Riding is my most favorite thing in the world and I do alot of it. So knee pain is very scary to me... I would cry myself to sleep every night if it got to the point I couldnt ride.

    Oh ya and health insurance? What is that? I think it went extinct like 5 yrs ago... unless your a
    1%er.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by skankingbiker View Post
    3. Be sure to use you hammies when climbing....most of my power in a climb comes from my "up" stroke
    That would make you different then every other elite cyclist that has been tested.

  11. #11
    Karma Vampire
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    In addition to the advice above, if you are using Egg Beaters, make sure your shoe'e tread is not too worn. A worn tread will allow your foot to rock side to side. This causes me knee pain.

  12. #12
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrV8...e_gdata_player

    Start rolling everyday. I was scheduled for knee surgery, Im glad I didn't. Its part of routine now and I don't have any more pain. If wish I could say that it was my doctor that recommended it but it wasn't. He wanted to cut me open first.


    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

  13. #13
    gran jefe
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth View Post
    1- You are riding more and more strenuously that you were with your road bike.
    yup, you're just riding it harder.

  14. #14
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    Anecdote:

    Years ago, I got back into riding in a big way and very quickly stepped up my riding efforts and distance. I suffered knee pain, especially in the morning and could barely walk until I got loosened up. I went to a doc who was little help. After some internet searching, I found that quickly building up quads can pull the knee cap out of alignment until some of the other supporting muscles have a chance to catch up. After several weeks, my knees stabilized and I haven't had a problem since. (edit: this is similar what Muxherdlr was referring to)

    If this is your problem, I dunno.

    I also agree the foam roller could be a benefit. I use one every day on my back and I'm convinced it's the best therapeutic device ever conceived.
    Last edited by chad1376; 10-12-2012 at 11:06 AM.

  15. #15
    surly inbred
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitterrider View Post
    However on both these bikes I rarely left the saddle.. the trance was a sit and spin and I also concentrated on staying seated on the track bike ...
    Sit & spin and ss don't often colide in the same sentence. What works above probably isn't gonna be all that much fun when it's time to climb. Even more so if the legs aren't conditioned. Grab an 18t or 19t cog for your next trail ride & see how she feels.

  16. #16
    meh... whatever
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    "knee pain" is a very generalized term.

    where is the pain? inner knee? outer knee? more to the front or rear?

    also, describe the pain. dull? throbbing? shooting?
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TroutBum View Post
    Sit & spin and ss don't often colide in the same sentence. What works above probably isn't gonna be all that much fun when it's time to climb. Even more so if the legs aren't conditioned. Grab an 18t or 19t cog for your next trail ride & see how she feels.
    More-so..get a 22t. Get up the hills and let gravity be your reward. (OK . I'M old)

  18. #18
    destructionismyobjective
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    The pain is on the inside of my right knee... I would describe it as what feels like a strain.. and I can feel it after I ride when i go from flat footed to up on my toes.

    It seems to be getting a little better... It comes in the end of "long rides" The typical trail around here is about 10 miles a lap.. I never do just one. Usually hits in the 15-20 mile range and sticks with me till im done riding.

    It seems to be subsiding faster now though.. number of years back I had the same pain in the same spot but would stick with me for days after riding.. and stop me from riding cause I didnt want to irritate it further.

    I felt it last night during/after my ride but not this morning. So I went and did 2 laps at a local trail and I made it longer before it started irritating me it was only in the last few miles and within an hour after the ride the pain was gone completely.

    Im really hoping it is just something in there that needs to be strengthened and will resolve itself with more riding lol!

  19. #19
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    I notice that occasionally when I start to fatigue my knees don't track quite as directly up and down, either pushing to the inside or the outside. So I make a concsious effort to keep everything inline.

  20. #20
    Robtre
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    recently changed my SS crank from 175mm arms to 180mm and my knees hurt! I am going to give it a few months but man back on my feet especially mornings really really sucks.
    -rides bikes for fun.

  21. #21
    destructionismyobjective
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    really? That would be the opposite of what I would expect.. 180mm would give you a little more torque for the same amount of work. Unless now the little extra extension/compression is the cause. Wierd...

  22. #22
    veinte nueve pulgadas
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhalsey View Post
    +1. It is worth a shot. Always makes my knees feel better to roll my IT bands.

  23. #23
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesh75 View Post
    You should never take ibuprofen before a ride. If you are having pain in the knees, the ibuprofen could mask that pain, causing the knee condition to worsen and become more serious without realizing it. It is fine for after the ride, but not before.
    Trick please. If the knee pain is based off inflammation... well, you probably can't figure this out anyway.

  24. #24
    meh... whatever
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitterrider View Post
    The pain is on the inside of my right knee... I would describe it as what feels like a strain.. and I can feel it after I ride when i go from flat footed to up on my toes.

    It seems to be getting a little better... It comes in the end of "long rides" The typical trail around here is about 10 miles a lap.. I never do just one. Usually hits in the 15-20 mile range and sticks with me till im done riding.

    It seems to be subsiding faster now though.. number of years back I had the same pain in the same spot but would stick with me for days after riding.. and stop me from riding cause I didnt want to irritate it further.

    I felt it last night during/after my ride but not this morning. So I went and did 2 laps at a local trail and I made it longer before it started irritating me it was only in the last few miles and within an hour after the ride the pain was gone completely.

    Im really hoping it is just something in there that needs to be strengthened and will resolve itself with more riding lol!
    part of it is just strengthening, however, part of it could be related to i.t. band.

    generally tightness in the knee is caused by the lateral iliotibial band which is basically a long group of very tough fibers that run laterally on the leg from the hip to the knee. there are many biomechanical abnormalities that can cause i.t. band irritation, and when it is tight or spasms it mimics knee pain with more serious etiology.

    in fact, there are thousands of knee surgeries needlessly performed every year because of iliotibial inflammation and the resulting pain and tightness. often times they will even go in and clip the meniscus (never, ever, EVER have this done) in an attempt to rectify the pain and tightness of the knee when in fact the cause was i.t. irritation/inflammation. simply lengthening the i.t. band was all that was needed which can be done via simple exercises.

    below is included a stretch for the i.t. band that should help to relieve the tightness in your knee. dont be concerned that you dont feel the stretch in the affected area, because you will most likely feel it in your thigh rather than your knee. also, be gentle when you stretch so that you dont cause more harm than effect benefit.

    additionally, i would seriously recommend avoiding anti inflammatory meds other than very infrequent use as they are EXTREMELY hard on the liver. holistic methods take more time and energy, but they return a much more effective and long term relief to the pain. anti inflammatory meds simply address the symptom rather than address etiology. conversely, holistic methods not only provide side-effect free relief from symptoms, but generally will aid in rectifying causality as well. additional treatments for i.t. band inflammation are ice and massage therapy, as well as several herb tinctures and essential oils that will aid in recovery.

    move into the position pictured below slowly and make sure you are steadying yourself by holding on to a stationary object with your hands. apply pressure to the i.t. very slowly and progressively by lowering yourself with the opposite leg keeping the extended leg straight. DO NOT apply sudden tension and DO NOT BOUNCE. when you feel tightness hold that position for 15 seconds. release tension for 5 seconds or so by raising slightly then again slowly apply pressure and hold. repeat 5-10 times three times daily initially. once the pain has subsided and flexibility is restored include the stretch in your post ride (or activity) stretching routine. oh, and be SURE to stretch BOTH sides.

    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  25. #25
    meh... whatever
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    Quote Originally Posted by robtre View Post
    recently changed my SS crank from 175mm arms to 180mm and my knees hurt! I am going to give it a few months but man back on my feet especially mornings really really sucks.
    do you drop your heel when you pedal?
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  26. #26
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    Inverse of below is true sometimes as well, for a long time I thought I had IT bands issues (which I may have had as well), at one point though my meniscus tear which I didnt know about got so bad the amount of fluid in my knee pretty much locked my leg. I had seen multiple Dr's about my knee and based on what I told them they agreed IT bands, they were wrong. Once I had the fluid issues finally went to a ortho and found true issue. Moral of the story, if in doubt go see an Orthopedic Dr., if you have swelling especially.

    Waiting kept me off the bike for over 2 months this year, and I am still building back the fitness.

    Quote Originally Posted by monogod View Post
    part of it is just strengthening, however, part of it could be related to i.t. band.

    generally tightness in the knee is caused by the lateral iliotibial band which is basically a long group of very tough fibers that run laterally on the leg from the hip to the knee. there are many biomechanical abnormalities that can cause i.t. band irritation, and when it is tight or spasms it mimics knee pain with more serious etiology.

    in fact, there are thousands of knee surgeries needlessly performed every year because of iliotibial inflammation and the resulting pain and tightness. often times they will even go in and clip the meniscus (never, ever, EVER have this done) in an attempt to rectify the pain and tightness of the knee when in fact the cause was i.t. irritation/inflammation. simply lengthening the i.t. band was all that was needed which can be done via simple exercises.

    below is included a stretch for the i.t. band that should help to relieve the tightness in your knee. dont be concerned that you dont feel the stretch in the affected area, because you will most likely feel it in your thigh rather than your knee. also, be gentle when you stretch so that you dont cause more harm than effect benefit.

    additionally, i would seriously recommend avoiding anti inflammatory meds other than very infrequent use as they are EXTREMELY hard on the liver. holistic methods take more time and energy, but they return a much more effective and long term relief to the pain. anti inflammatory meds simply address the symptom rather than address etiology. conversely, holistic methods not only provide side-effect free relief from symptoms, but generally will aid in rectifying causality as well. additional treatments for i.t. band inflammation are ice and massage therapy, as well as several herb tinctures and essential oils that will aid in recovery.

    move into the position pictured below slowly and make sure you are steadying yourself by holding on to a stationary object with your hands. apply pressure to the i.t. very slowly and progressively by lowering yourself with the opposite leg keeping the extended leg straight. DO NOT apply sudden tension and DO NOT BOUNCE. when you feel tightness hold that position for 15 seconds. release tension for 5 seconds or so by raising slightly then again slowly apply pressure and hold. repeat 5-10 times three times daily initially. once the pain has subsided and flexibility is restored include the stretch in your post ride (or activity) stretching routine. oh, and be SURE to stretch BOTH sides.

    []
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  27. #27
    Robtre
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    I am not sure never paid that much attention. Id guess a little at the bottom of my pedal stroke. I do love the extra leverage. My frame is a 22" frame I am 6'5" 225lbs so I feel like the bigger crank is more propotionate.
    -rides bikes for fun.

  28. #28
    destructionismyobjective
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    The it band is on the outside of thigh correct? The pain im having is on the inside of my knee. Unfortunatly it isnt just working itself out either. Did 20 street miles last night and 20 trail miles today and I wouldve done another lap but it was not feeling so great so I decided to call it a day. Ive got some big rides this weekend. Lookin to do like 60-70 sat prolly 30 sun and I wanted to do a 18 mile night ride fri but im gona rest it for a couple of days do maybe a 25 mile ride thurs and see how its feeling.

    Its frustrating. I dont want this to get bad to the point I cant ride. Doctor visits are out. Im not one of the 1% who can afford that type of stuff.

  29. #29
    meh... whatever
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitterrider View Post
    The it band is on the outside of thigh correct? The pain im having is on the inside of my knee. Unfortunatly it isnt just working itself out either.
    yes. but problems with the i.t. band can present in other areas and mimic other problems as well. i've seen others with inner knee issues that have been resolved with stretching the i.t. band. i had some issues with my knees some years ago and after seeing a couple of specialists they said i had joint pad issues and meniscus issues and wanted to do some very aggressive surgery. a p.t. friend told me to refuse and showed me this stretch. after doing it for a month my knee problems were non-existent and haven't returned to this day.

    i would strongly suggest trying the stretches and incorporating them into your daily routine. may take a couple of weeks to really see a big change. only takes a few minutes per day and even if the i.t. band isn't the cause you'll benefit from the additional flexibility.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  30. #30
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    I've had knee issues for years (had surgery on my left knee about 7 yrs ago) and every once in a while I will get a soreness in them. I typically take it a little easier on the next ride, pre treat with Motrin, and ice after when this happens. I thought for sure I would have some pain after last Sunday's 39 miler but none at all. So I guess it sort of comes and goes for me.

    I do ride Egg Beaters though and Speedplays on the road bike. I learned a long time ago that I needed more float in my pedals and if Speedplay didn't go and jack up the cleats a few years back i would still be riding those.

  31. #31
    destructionismyobjective
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    Well Im gona go pick up a foam roller tomorrow or friday. Hopefully it helps. The guys at work suspect its just overuse. I went from riding like 200+ miles a week for most of the summer but didnt ride in august or sept except a few trainer rides. Then at the beginning of the month I got back to 100-200 mile a week schedule without easing in so that may have something to do with it.

    Foam roller is def worth a shot so ill start with that by the end of the week. Im gona do a short 15 mile road ride in a spinny gear tonight after shifting my cleat a little just to see how its feeling.

  32. #32
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    I typically have never had any issues with my knees when riding SS, but the last knee injury I had was the result of mashing up a steep hills. Affected the outside of my knee where the tendons attach to the lower muscles of the front of the calf. I knew I was pushing it too hard and torquing to much for my fitness level at the time. Unfortunately sometimes your brain ignores the pain though and the next thing you know you have hurt yourself. As I mentioned perviously I had never had that kind of issue before, but I wasn't participating in any other types of sports at the time so the cause and affect was obvious.

  33. #33
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    One thing I haven't read anyone mention is standing opposed to sitting while grinding. I always get out of the saddle when climbing any hills. I find that if i try to sit and grind, it puts a lot of strain on my knees. Standing does require more strength training, but worth it to save your knees.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by vindiggitydog View Post
    One thing I haven't read anyone mention is standing opposed to sitting while grinding. I always get out of the saddle when climbing any hills. I find that if i try to sit and grind, it puts a lot of strain on my knees. Standing does require more strength training, but worth it to save your knees.
    Just to clarify regarding my previous post. I "only" climb out of the saddle, even on my 1x9 bikes. Too much is too much though regardless of whether you are sitting or standing up and you can hurt your knees (in my case just my left knee) by trying to mash up too steep a hill for too long a distance while standing. I had always approached my SS riding as if climbing out of the saddle avoided knee issues and I found out different. As I mentioned I kind of knew I was over-torqueing when I was going up, but I pushed on anyway. Good lesson learned the hard way. I think my injury was more of the ligaments that attach the front of the calf muscles at the outside of the knee. Almost two years later and I still have to watch that to avoid re-injury.

  35. #35
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    Ice

    Ice your knees after you ride.
    Pretty good at everything, but not really good at anything!

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