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Fixed = Destroyed Knees....(4 posts)

Fixed = Destroyed Knees....Macho Man Savage
Nov 15, 2002 6:57 AM
Are fixed bikes as bad as they say for your knees? I'm thinking of getting one just for training - not city riding - so the stopping and starting would be kept to a minimum. Any thoughts or experience?
Big gears??? Probably...biknben
Nov 15, 2002 8:49 AM
Those who mash big gears run the risk of knee strain. I doubt it matters if it's fixed or not.

Pick the appropriate gear for your terrain so that you can go up the rises at a cadence that won't destroy your knees.
bikenben's got it....Steve_0
Nov 15, 2002 9:04 AM
you can ruin your knees by mashing too big a gear, or by braking with your legs. Both can be easily overcome (ride appropriate gear and use your brakes).
Well, I've been riding singlespeed for about 44 years now ...Humma Hah
Nov 16, 2002 9:23 AM
... and my problems with knees have consisted of one encounter with IT-band friction syndrome. That episode happened when I rode the hilliest century I've ever attempted (Solvang) with cranks 5 mm longer than usual and the seat jacked up about 1 cm taller than usual, on a bike weighing 40+ pounds and carrying a 10-pound pack, and riding platform pedals. Recovery was stretching exercises and a few months keeping rides to 40 miles or less.

I had a friend who once wrecked his knees by off-road motorcycling (he was an ISDE-rider). His doctor prescribed bicycling as a way to STRENGTHEN knees.

I'd recommend keeping your cranks on the short side (most trackies ride 165's), and be sure you don't set up the seat height to over-extend your knees. Whatever pedal arrangement you choose, be sure it is comfortable and properly aligned. Fixed-gear requires either toe-clips or clipless, so it is not possible to move around on the pedals like I can on the cruiser's platforms. This makes bike fit quite critical.

But if your bike is set up to be comfortable, and you avoid insanely high gearing, I believe you'll find fixed to be fine. In fact, it is probably no more likely to cause knee problems than a geared bike: all of the fit and comfort cautions apply equally to gearies.