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How long should I stay off my bike :-((33 posts)

How long should I stay off my bike :-(Kristin
Apr 24, 2001 10:10 AM
I'm sorry to have to ask this and plaster the board with questions. Its my own fault really--call it "new toy syndrome". Too hard, too fast, too soon and just plain stupid.

I pulled my left knee on Saturday a bit (top of knee towards the inside), then I went out again on Sunday and pushed it again. I was hoping it would fade along with my sore shoulders, but kind of knew it wouldn't. My best guess, based on some research, is I'm pushing for patellar tendonitis. How long should I stay away from the bike? I'm doing the ice/ibprfn thing already. Can I ride if I promise to go slow? :)
sweetie, maybe you and this bike thing wasn't really meant to bebill
Apr 24, 2001 10:34 AM
aw, jes joshing.
Stay off the damn bike until you feel a bit better, and then go really slow until you feel a whole lot better. As in basically all better. Don't f*ck with your knees. I'm not a doctor, but sometimes I play one, and the knee is notorious; the blood flow just doesn't allow easy healing. If your problem doesn't go away fast, it may never go away.
What do you mean by "pulled" your knee? Did the pain develop over time and use or was there a discrete injury? If there was a discrete injury (as in, you twisted it or wrenched it or something), you probably should just go to a real doctor. Even so, a real doctor can't hurt, however you did it. Maybe you just inflamed a cartilage; maybe you tore something. Either way, a little medication and maybe even a little therapy probably wouldn't be overkill.
Pop some Alleve, and go a doctor.
i was told by the doc that if it didnt hurt to bad dont worryjohn de
Apr 24, 2001 10:41 AM
and that i couldnt have done any real damage...a bike fitting guy told me the same thing and convinced me to keep ridding but with my new position and halleluhia, i now am a believer in our savior and one and only god
i did the same thingjohn de
Apr 24, 2001 10:38 AM
i dont know if i pulled the same things but i rushed out and rode huge amounts...what it ended up being was bad positioning..ive since gone with (knee over pedal spindle) and 83.3 of my had slightly ached for months while i stayed off my bike because i figured that the best thing to do to was rest... but it turned out that when i positioned correctly and rode alot it healed...i also added a small shim for my left cleat because my left leg is half a cm shorter....they say that if you are correctly positioned its theraputic to ride if you dont crank (do atleast 90rpms) and its deffinately worked for me...its also recommended to increase your milage in increments but you doing one ride and screwing yourself up id think was because of positioning,cleat position, or not spining enough...i was also told not to do the streach where you pull your foot to you ass and that may have been a healed, and it was from riding more but doing it right..i got a different easier spinning cassette for the back wheel which i recommend doing..what bike did you end up getting anyway..
Improve your flexibilityAlex R
Apr 24, 2001 11:02 AM
I don't know how long you've been biking, but I would suggest that part of training to become a fast, healthy biker is flexibility work. Do them all: quads, hammies, IT, back, neck shoulders. For info, is a very good resource.

I can't stress enough how effective this can be in keeping injuries at bay.

By the way, for tendinitis, the only remedy is rest. Most would say that you should rest longer than you think you need to. On the first day you feel strong enough to come back - come book 10 days later.

i doubt you have tendinitisjohn de
Apr 24, 2001 11:19 AM
tendinitis is typically an overuse injury...maybe if youd ridden hundreds of miles for years or something but i doubt it after one day...ive taken you on as my personal saving mission, im here for your own good weather you want me or not kristin
re: How long should I stay off my bike :-(LLSmith
Apr 24, 2001 11:38 AM
Nice to see you finally got a bike. You are almost a legend on this board. I have had similar problems with the same spot on the same knee. For me it was caused from pushing big gears too hard after a couple weeks off the bike. The advice from the board was use the small chain ring only until you build up some strength and stamina in your legs.No matter how tempting it is to switch to the big chain ring,don't. After almost every ride I use ice. When I ride I use some deep heating stuff.This has taken about a month. After the problem started I only rode 10 miles the first few rides. Now i'm going around 25 and using the big chain ring some of the time. My knee was sore yesterday after awhile on the big chain ring so I went back to the small ring. Hope this helps.Larry Smith
P.S. Stay off the big chain ring for awhile.
Good PointsKristin
Apr 24, 2001 12:34 PM
Both Bill and Larry, thanks! Bill you raised an excellent thought in Dougs thread earlier about the way we compare ourselves to others on the board--though you didn't use that exact term.

I visit the board Mon-Fri and learn tons. I also get that "I wanna be like Mike" feeling. So I buy my new bike and I go out and push too hard on day one. Just cuz I can hit 20+mph, doesn't mean I should. But everyone else does it, so I want to as well. Then I get to a teeny, tiny hill and feel the need to shift down, but I don't...I say to myself, "stay in this gear and don't be sissy." I know that's not wise or intelligent--however, it's a mentality that's difficult to overcome.

I will def. stay in the little ring for a bit and spin spin spin.

what about methe real ismael
Apr 24, 2001 12:50 PM
i thought i gave some really good here for you kristin and you disregard me...make sure you have your knee over the spindle and have the seat height right....
I started cycling in earnest about four years ago, gotbill
Apr 24, 2001 1:23 PM
my road bike about 2 1/2 years ago. Things I've learned:
The answers come fast. The questions come slow. You can think you know things, but not until you realize how little you know and how much there is to know can you properly frame the question so that the answer has any meaning. This is very zen, but, dig it, that's what I like about my bike.
Fundamentals first. And last. And always. Spin your little feet in circles. Fast. It's more efficient, it's easier on your body, and it's the reason you're not doing something else, like curling.
Keep your body loose. NOTHING should hurt. At least not until you really know what your body is trying to accomplish, how, and how far to push it. If it hurts, you're doing it wrong.
A quick supplementary question, BillBrian C.
Apr 24, 2001 2:21 PM
After a few years on an upright hybrid, I'm now hunched over on a road bike. About 50 miles out, my lower back begins to ache. It's not a killer and it doesn't seem to be performance limiting, but it's there. An hour after the ride, it's gone. The next day I feel fine.
Any reason why my lower back has this mild ache on long trips?
Is it the posture? Is it something you learn to live with? Can a few minor adjustments on the bike reduce the pain a bit? Should I be doing something?
Thanks a lot.
Well, you flatter me, considering the amount of experiencebill
Apr 25, 2001 7:03 AM
elsewhere on this board. But I'll give it a shot.
If you don't develop pain until 50 miles, I don't know what to think, because the easy stuff probably would develop after about 10 miles. You say something, though, that makes me wonder. You say "hunched over" on your road bike. And, are you talking about riding in the drops? or on the hoods? or on the bars? which some people seem to think is heresy, but I do it all the time (not because of my back, though).
A piece of advice that I got early on that I think has helped is to abandon this idea of hunching over. Even for the drops, bend easily at the waist, rotate your pelvis a little bit forward, bend your arms, and relax. Although you don't actually arch your back, as in an actual extension of the spine, use that image a little bit. It's not at all stressful. You can't breathe as well as upright, definitely, but it's not your back that's going to cause the problem.
One counter-intuitive thing that has helped me to adjust my bike correctly, which I'm not sure has much to do with lower back stress but more with upper body stress, is to make sure your cockpit isn't too small. If your reach is too short, then you stress your arms and shoulders by pushing back against your saddle position rather than stretching out naturally. As I write this, it occurs to me that maybe the opposite is also true -- if your cockpit is too long, with too great a reach to the bars, maybe you stress your lower back more. I can't really say. I've had the too-short cockpit problem but not the too-long cockpit problem, and my back really never has bothered me.
The more I do this, the more I use my hip muscles (or thereabouts) to lift my legs, giving my quads some relief. I definitely have noticed a little tightness here and there in my hip area that refers a little bit of pain to my back now and then. We're talking about when I get up in the morning, though, not when I'm on the bike.
ThanksBrian C.
Apr 25, 2001 10:46 AM
The LBS guy and me have wondered if it might be too much reach. We might get a shorter handlebar stem.
Thanks again.
hill in Chicago? where? where? :-)ET
Apr 25, 2001 5:02 AM
I have a sister in Chicago, so I've visited there. Seems so dead flat everywhere that the standard 18 speeds seems like ridiculous overkill.
What bike did you end up buying?????pmf
Apr 24, 2001 12:05 PM
I never heard.

Or is it a borrowed bike and you're still deciding?
I did, I did...Please click enclosed linkKristin
Apr 24, 2001 1:17 PM
Apr 24, 2001 1:32 PM
Its a better bike than a silly Cannondale.

With the knee problem -- you may need to adjust your cleats a bit, that has caused me some knee pain in the past.
Tell that to Mario Cipollini! Cannondales rip. Best bike for..Tim Carrol
Apr 25, 2001 8:52 AM
the $$$.
re: How long should I stay off my bike :-(Alan B
Apr 24, 2001 12:29 PM
It depends on the amount of pain. If you have to "gut it out," forget it. If it's a little sore, but you can bend OK, then EASY SPINNING is probably going to be OK, maybe even good for you. If it gets worse, STOP!
IBHopin'grz mnky
Apr 24, 2001 2:27 PM
As in IBHopin' it ain't gonna be hurtin' in the mornin'.

Too much "sports candy" is not good for the tum-tum, plus you don't realize that you're still hurting.

Listen to your body and use pain as your guide. Unfortunately the knee doesn't have a lot of nerves in the areas that get munched so you have to really pay attention. Try some easy spinning on the flats and stay off the big CR.

If it continues go see a sports medicine doc - the other ones will just give you a bunch of pills and want to operate if that doesn't work.
Too bad!look271
Apr 24, 2001 6:38 PM
A couple of years ago I was hit by a car and sprained my knee-same type of injury. I was told to stay off the bike for 2 weeks, which I did (I wasn't happy!). I think that that would be a good lenghth of time-you don't want to push it too soon.
im forced to take issue with you look271ishmael
Apr 24, 2001 7:22 PM
im afraid i strongly disagree with you position on our friend kristins injury...i may not be certified but none the less i am a doctor..a car accident and a use related injury are very sorry to say that although your previous posts showed slight insight im afraid this advice is so poor that im going to have to reases my view of you on this board...before every time that you post, stop and think to yourself, am i being an asset to the board, mull it over....then write
So sorry...look271
Apr 25, 2001 3:47 PM
I'll consult my expert panel next time I try to give advice. Regardless of how the injury occurred, rest is still important. :-)
forever :-)ET
Apr 25, 2001 4:58 AM
A classic beginner's mistake is to be in too high a gear, and problems can result. Shoot for at least 90 complete revolutions per minute. Time yourself; if you're nowhere close, use a lower gear.

Not sure what you mean by top of knee, but very often the saddle-to-pedal distance is the culprit; the general rule of thumb is that if your pain is above the knee, your saddle is too low, if the pain is below, your saddle is too high. Another rule of thumb is that the distance from your saddle to the crank spindle (as measured from the top of your saddle through the center of the seat tube) should be around 1.1 times your inseam; it's a pretty accurate rule and a great starting point, so check it out. BTW, what kind of pedals are you using?
more bad advice...disregard the above postishmael
Apr 25, 2001 6:42 AM
im afraid that you are likely to tear her knees off with this advice...1.1 of the inseam from the seat to the crank spindle will rip your leg off...and you have the pain diagnosis backwards and upside down..generally if it hurts in the BACK the seat is too high and if it hurts under in the front it is too sorry to have to be so contradictory but your advice sucks..
you picked an appropriate biblical nameET
Apr 25, 2001 7:30 AM
Due to his evil personality and bad influence on Isaac, Ishmael was exiled to the desert (along with his mother). Perhaps you deserve the same treatment, i.e. no responses. If you disagree, fine, but you can do so nicer. I can quote sources for everything I said but won't bother.
Bad advice again from ET!Beavis
Apr 25, 2001 8:15 AM
1.1 times your inseam??? Ridiculous. Too high a seat hurts in back of the knee.
Bad advice again from ET!Howard
Apr 25, 2001 8:55 AM
The correct formula is:

Inseam divided by 1.1 should roughly equal the distance from the center of bottom bracket to the top of the saddle.
no, not reallyET
Apr 25, 2001 9:41 AM
I stand by what I said.

Here is the quote from the latest issue of Cycling Plus (no nasty comments, please), page 49, interestingly in response to a reader with knee trouble:

"Check your saddle height out. A general rule of thumb is that from the top of the middle of your saddle (where you sit) to the centre of the pedal spindle with the pedal at the bottom of its stroke, and in line with the seat tube, should be around 110% of your actual inseam. Your inseam in this case is measured from your crotch (again, where you sit on the saddle) to the floor without any shoes on."

Sure, it's a rule of thumb; I never claimed it was more. But it does go on to say that you should "look closer if you're not within 5 to 10 mm" of this number. There are comments there as well about where the knee trouble is to be expected in relation to saddle height.

I measured my own bike (57 c-c Lemond Zurich) with Speedplays and it came out real close. It's funny that I ran this formula by Howard a few days ago in private and he said it worked exactly for him on his bike. After he saw others here pounce on me, he assumed I misquoted the formula (not that this is worth the death penalty) and rushed to add his own post, but not one admitting his own mistake now that he knows he's wrong. Great guy, Howard.

And some of you guys are just a swell bunch; nothing better to do than blast ET. I almost feel sorry for you.
re: How long should I stay off my bike :-(Kristin
Apr 25, 2001 8:30 AM
Taking some of the advice given last night, I evaluated the pain and decided to to go for an easy spin. I stayed in the little ring and made sure I was always spinning easy. I have to guess at RPM's b/c I don't own a computer. I did approx. 8 miles--all said and done, my knee felt better. I guess I was pushing too hard in too high a gear over the weekend. It made me nervous because the pain was reminicent of the knee problems I had in 96 after riding the beast everyday--a 50lb single gear monster I owned in liu of a car. Alan, Thanks for that link...I've been looking for a site like this! Breathing deeply and stretching are excellent for body, soul and mind. ET, I bought some retired Ultegra pedals (similar to 6500's?). When you were in Chicago, did you spend all your time downtown? There isn't a hill to mention down there--though some potholes might look like small hills. I live in the burbs and there is some climbing, but its minimal. Remeber, I said a "tiny" hill.
John De might not be liked, but he has the most sound advice.Tim Carrol
Apr 25, 2001 8:55 AM
Make sure you spin in addition to listening to John de's advice. 90 rpm + is good.
Kristin, you paid for all those gears, don't be afraid tobill
Apr 25, 2001 10:10 AM
use them. All of them. Except the longest ones, because you've got to be going like 30 plus mph to think about a 53-15 or 14. You can go in the low to mid twenties all day every day without ever leaving the little ring. Don't.
Keep spinning (sung to the "Trucking")
LOL - I got ripped off!!Kristin
Apr 25, 2001 11:13 AM
I thought I was buyin 27 gears! Ya think I'da looked down to the front on the test ride(s) aye? I looked down on Sunday and I only got 18!!! :)

Now I thought someone told me not leave the little ring for a while??? Last night I even ran out of gears (thanx to a couple a roller-bladers-in-love) and I had to get up for the first time. It wasn't so bad. (I was a bit nervous about standing while locked in, tho I'm not sure why.)