Advice Please

HillyHilly ✭✭✭
I know this isn't a running question, but I know there are those of you on the forum who have lots of bike experience. Can any of you cycle experts tell me why the inside of my right knee was sore after my 20 mile cycle ride today. I'm very new to cycling and have never suffered with any knee discomfort in all the years of running, so why after a cycle ride?

It's actually ok this evening but was uncomfortable for a few hours after the ride. Could it be something to do with my seating etc? Any advice appreciated.

I didn't think this thread warranted going on the injury forum as I'm sure it's not an injury.


  • drewdrew ✭✭✭
    Apart for the obvious - did you hit it off the handlebars or top tube - a few thoughts:

    From my own experience, when I was racing many moons ago, I would say that it is more likely a mechanical problem, otherwise the pain would be felt in both knees.

    It may be your shoes/pedal combination. What type of shoes/pedals do you use?

    Is your right crank or pedal bent?

    Is one leg longer than the other?

    Is the saddle on straight?

    Have you done much cycling?

    The main medical condition that arises in cyclists' knees is tendonitis - but not after 20 miles.

    Hope this is of some use to you hilly
  • HillyHilly ✭✭✭
    Thanks Drew,
    I know I didn't hit it on anything so that's ruled out. I do have a leg length discrepency with the right leg (knee with the pain) being longer than the left leg, so that's worth a thought.

    No, I haven't done much cycling, I only took it up this summer to be able to take part in a triathlon, although I must say I enjoy it and plan to continue cycling as cross training. I've not cycled more than 25 miles in any one session.

    I have not invested in a pair of cycling shoes as yet because of being so new to it, so I'm wearing a pair of running trainers when I cycle.

    I only bought the bike at the beginning of the summer so I don't think it would have a bent crank or pedal, plus it had it's first service last week.

    Thanks again for your help, you given me a few things to look into.
  • georgegeorge ✭✭✭
    Was it a hard/fast 20 miles.
    Bear in mind that while you use quads in cycling as well as running, each sport uses them in quite different ways. So your pain could just be a strain from a hard ride.
    Seperate question that occurred to me since I last posted .... what were you wearing at Pewsey? I was wearing a FLM finishers T-shirt.
  • Hilly

    No 1 suspect is just adaptation - the leg action on the bike is far more exacting than when you run (ie you repeat almost exactly the same rotation each time) so tends to focus in on slight weak spots.

    No 2 suspect is bike fit - but I would guess that you have had your bike set up properly already. If not, make sure that you still have slight knee bend (on shortest leg I guess!) when pedal at lowest point. Err slightly on the side of "more bend" rather than less.

    Un-related tip - invest in a brilliant yellow / black jacket for the bike - mine has saved me from sight-challenged drivers often.


  • Hilly

    I also recently started cycling as cross training and have had similar problem i.e. I started cycling due to a running injury in my right knee and found my left knee was aching!

    I think Gavin is right its probably just adaptation as now that I've been cycling a few weeks the problem has gone away.

    Keep an eye on it though.
  • HillyHilly ✭✭✭
    Thanks everyone for your advice. It was quite a tough ride as at one point I had a climb that rose to 500ft over a mile.

    I did have the bike set up for me by cycle experts so maybe it is a matter of adaptation.

    Just one more thing when I am stationary should I be able to sit on the saddle with my feet flat on the ground or should I be on tip toe?

    George at Pewsey I was wearing blue shorts, blue addidas vest and had blue sun glasses resting on top of my head.
  • drewdrew ✭✭✭
    Hilly, assuming you have a normal road bike then you should be on your tiptoes, otherwise the saddle will be too low.
  • Hi Hilly, I'd just like to add that, whilst correct bike set-up is very important, you've probably just incurred a little soft-tissue injury that will need a short break from cycling to heal, like running niggles need a break from running. The tough hill you cycled up could well have been a part of the problem, especially if you rode at a slow cadence in a big gear (you'd need to build up to that gradually).

    To get the best seat height you will probably need to take some allen keys with you on a ride and experiment. I'd disagree with Gavin in a way, as I believe (unless you are nearly fully extending the leg) you should go for the highest saddle position that feels comfy. It's more efficient power transfer that way, and less stress on the knee due to the decreasing stability as knee flexion increases.

    Finally, if you have a non-postural leg-length discrepency you can build up the height of the cycling shoe (when you get some) on the affected side by fixing something such as drilled plastic, between the shoeplate and the shoe.

  • georgegeorge ✭✭✭
    Sorry Mowgli but Gavin is spot on !!!!!

    The legs should be JUST slightly bent otherwise you find the pelvis will start to rock on the saddle which will in turn cause back or hip problems. If the saddle is too low then your quads will not be fully extended and will therefore cause more rapid muscle exhaustion

    And Hilly, don't forget the helmet!!!!!
  • I agree with you completely George, I obviously didn't make what I wrote very clear!
  • HillyHilly ✭✭✭
    Thanks all,
    George I wear a helmet all the time as apart from wanting to be a safe as possible I know someone who's brother was killed last year on his bike-no cycling helmet.
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