Knee pain

by Tony69   April 13, 2013  

Hi, first time posting here so here goes. I'm looking for a bit of advice about the knee pain I'm getting after riding about 30 miles. It's under the inside of my left knee cap and gets quite painfull.
I ride a 2012 51" felt z85 with shimano m520 spd and specialized mtb shoes. Now I know these aren't really the pedals and shoes I should be using on this bike but I use them on my mtb too and had no problems on there when doing long distance (45 miles somedays)
Any advice will be gratefully received, I am willing to change pedals and shoes if that's the answer


16 user comments

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Bike fit (seat height, fore and aft), your leg should have a slight bend with the pedal at the lowest point and your knee should be straight over your toes at the horizontal point.

Weight, how much you weigh could factor in.

Cadence, do you push a large gear slowly?

Float, perhaps increasing float on your pedals would allow more freedom for your knees.

Pain management - Ibuprofen will reduce any inflammation in the knee reducing pain for your ride.

posted by SammyG [295 posts]
13th April 2013 - 8:48


Have you checked that your seat is in the same position relative to your pedals ie set back & height because if it is different that could be the problem.

posted by carytb [59 posts]
13th April 2013 - 8:48


Take a look at Steve Hogg's website for some useful information on saddle position.

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [346 posts]
13th April 2013 - 8:54


Thanks everybody. I weigh just under 13 stone but that coming down all the time.
Think it's a good idea to take a look at saddle height/ position as a starting point then.
Maybe get some new shoes and pedals too.
Is it worth me spending the money on a bike fit?

posted by Tony69 [9 posts]
13th April 2013 - 9:07


Forgot to add I try to keep a reasonably high cadence when pedalling


posted by Tony69 [9 posts]
13th April 2013 - 9:08


I know these aren't really the pedals and shoes I should be using on this bike but I use them on my mtb too and had no problems on there when doing long distance (45 miles somedays)

SPDs are fine! In fact, i'd say that except for the pro's, they're exactly what we should be using.

Just look carefully at your position.

PJ McNally's picture

posted by PJ McNally [602 posts]
13th April 2013 - 9:21


Are your knees extending beyond current capacity? I have arthritis and a recent knee replacement. The fact that the affected knee simply wouldn't bend nearly stopped me cycling. I obtained smaller cranks. While I must now use lower gears it has helped me continue and i'm back on my Sustrans Ranger duties. No two cases are the same but I wonder if it might be worh considering this?
BTW I'm 17 stone, which I don't need to be told doesn't help.

posted by peaham [2 posts]
13th April 2013 - 9:36


Before splashing the cash on a bike fit try setting yourself up. I find this youtube video pretty good. Get somebody to help you but I find you can do it on your own.

Lots of people swear by bike fits and it seems fashionable to say they are essential. A good bike fit is of course essential but not necessarily going to the length they go to at these £200 assessments. I think they should be a last resort once you've tried setting up the bike yourself.

The Human Cyclist A blog. Try it, you might like it...

sm's picture

posted by sm [375 posts]
13th April 2013 - 10:10


Bike fit could well be worth a try. You could also look ot the cleat position. Stand normally and look at the angle of your geet. Then compare that to the angle of your feet when clipped in. They should be about the same. Often people clip in at 90% to the bike frame placing unnatural stress on the knee

posted by crash144019 [48 posts]
13th April 2013 - 10:13


Well the concensus of opinion seems to be saddle height/ adjustement back and forth. Think i'll invest jn better shoes/pedals with more float and then spend a few hours fiddling with the bike etc.

Thanks everybody, its appreciated

posted by Tony69 [9 posts]
13th April 2013 - 11:12


M520s should give plenty of float, just loosen off the spring tension bolt if you need to. Check your cleats are set up right too to ensure that you are pedalling in a nice straight vertical plane.

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [346 posts]
13th April 2013 - 13:05


The wives tale used to be if you get knee pain at the side the saddles too high, at the front it's too low . You can check by measuring your knee angle when pedal is at the bottom, or just raise saddle a cm and see if it helps.
Sounds like patella tendinitis/osis (which I get as well) takes ages to clear up as there's very little blood flow there. Keeping a high cadence should help as its high power at low revs that hurts it.

posted by jengy [70 posts]
13th April 2013 - 13:41


Exactly the same problem I had late last year - saw a sports physio specialising in cycling who diagnosed I had over trained certain muscles which were pulling my knee cap out of alignment - a bit of rest then lots of one legged squats and my knee is now fine.

One thing to bear in mind also is the use of compression leggings - do you only get it in the colder months - apparently they can pull the knee cap slightly to one side if not put on correctly which is also a common cause for knee pain.

posted by andycoventry [120 posts]
13th April 2013 - 14:07


Might very well be that your intercostal band is too tight. This is the group of muscles and tendons that runs from the outside of your hip down to the outside of your knee. It's really difficult to stretch normally, but if you buy a foam roller you can do exercises that really, really help. It's sorted my knee out quite well.

posted by bashthebox [764 posts]
13th April 2013 - 18:14


Get a bike fit done. I went through months of trying to get my set up done correctly myself, using various methods, websites etc. All resulting in any pain I had just moving from place to place. Got the bike fit done... bingo... no more pain anywhere, feel much more confident when out and feel that my technique has improved vastly since getting the fit.

posted by Gman59c [80 posts]
13th April 2013 - 21:48


Try a bike fit my friend,also have you been well wrapped up for winter rides,many years ago my TT partner got a bad dose of tendenitis in his knees caused by not making sure he was covered up. Crying

posted by foxyloxy [52 posts]
14th April 2013 - 12:13