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Knee pain(4 posts)

Knee painkenw
Jul 10, 2002 6:24 PM
I recently switched from spd pedals (and mountain bike shoes) to Look 396 and a real road shoe (Specialized). I did this at the recommendation of my LBS to eliminate the "numb feet" problem I have had. On my first ride (90 mile)with the new pedal/shoe combo I developed pain in the rear/outside area of my knee. It peristed for a day or so and then went away completely. Last Sunday I did a 50 mile ride and again felt pain in the same spot.

I have no pre-existing knee issues - I have mountain biked for 3 years, squatted heavy iron for 15, and rode on the road last year consistently without issue. The only change is the pedal/shoe combo.

With the bigger cleat should I raise the seat a bit? Are there any other adjustments I should make?

While I'm asking questions - I still have the numb foot thing, albeit to a lesser extent. I have a feeling it is my seat, but my LBS says no. Curiousely, if I feel my feet going numb I get relief by getting out of the saddle for 30 seconds or so. I never get numb on the mountain bike, even on 3+ hour rides.

Hope someone can provide me with some direction. I have a 2 day, 200 mile charity ride (Pan-Mass Challenge) in three weeks. Day two will really suck if I'm hobbled. Thanks for you help.
re: Knee painpa rider
Jul 11, 2002 3:21 AM
I have knee problems on and off. I've been road riding for 10 years now and find a few factors to the issues you're asking for help.

The pedals you changed to may have the cleats set in a differant area on the shoes than you mtb shoes. I found the look cleats setup hard on my feet, so I went to an insole (hiking insole for shock absorption) to help with the cleat area hurting.

You didn't state whether your seatpost height is different than you mtb. I keep my road bike alittle higher, but try to keep the two close. Is you seat too high? I check my height by doing the ball of your foot on the pedal and put the crank at the seatpost position. You shouldn't feel like your stretching the pedal. Check the fore and aft position of your seat by doing a plumb line on the knee.

If the seat position ok, check this factor. Have you been increasing you miles or riding longer now compare to when you didn't have this problem. You rode 50 mile rides for 3 hour rides and now jumped up to a 90 mile ride. This refering to over training and you knees are warning you that they haven't recover. I'm at fault for this one.

I found that once I increase my miles the gear ratio on the road bikes doesn't give me enough relief to recover from the last hard ride, so my knees start to hurt more. Usually when my outside of the knee hurts is because I'm riding a hard gear or riding longer or high miles, than my body is use to yet. Head wind rides usually make your knees have problems and usually the next ride may not recover from that hard ride.

I found specialize shoes alittle tight on my feet (I have wide feet), so that caused hot foot for me. If the shoes aren't tight try a different insole. For you knee problem check you saddle position and try riding a easier gear ratio or easier ride for a week. Damage is already done, and any doctor would tell you rest is the best cure for you knee hurting. That's why I take it easy for a few days to help my knee recover.

Hope your Pan-Mass challenge goes well and take alot of advil or aleve with you. Sucks getting old doesn't it.

We're all getting older, but wiser as they say, so good luck.

I just switched from spd's to looks too...TomS
Jul 11, 2002 5:23 AM
I had a similar knee problem on my first few rides; I raised my seat just a little bit (about 1/8", definitely no more than 1/4") and it seems much better. I have had other knee pain, but this was different, on the outside of my knee like you described. Try it and see if it helps - you can always adjust it mid-ride if you have to. For me the pain persisted for a few days but I could tell right away that I wasn't irritating it more when I rode.

For the numb foot thing, sometimes I find myself scrunching up my toes when I ride, and then they can go numb. I have to make a conscious effort to relax them. One thing to check, make sure that your cleats are in the right fore/aft position, if they're too far forward you might be pedaling with your toes instead of your whole foot.
Some solutionsjromack
Jul 11, 2002 7:32 AM
Move the cleats back on the shoe, about 1/16" to start.

Also move both cleats inwards slightly. You need to adjust your Q angle a bit, you are irritating your IT band.

Also loosen the last strap around the toes just a little. Switch to socks like Defeet.