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Ugh... knee pain question.(6 posts)

Ugh... knee pain question.TomS
Aug 21, 2002 6:47 AM
Well, I managed to go all summer without any significant knee pain until last weekend. Here's a little background: I had been riding my road bike with spd's and mtn bike shoes last year and this spring, no problem. Early this summer I switched to Look's and road shoes, I had some pain at first (in the back of my legs) but raised my saddle and then it was ok. But on longer rides the lack of float was getting to me, and I didn't like the 1-sided pedals, so I decided to try speedplays a couple of weeks ago. They seemed great for a few short rides (~20-30 miles), but after a long ride on sunday (~70 miles) my left knee was bothering me, and has continued to hurt all week. I rode to work monday and tuesday, only about 12 miles round trip, taking it easy, but this morning it was hurting even worse.

It's on the right side of my left knee, right under/next to the kneecap. Not swollen at all, but it hurts a little if I push on it with my finger. It hurt the worst right after I got up this morning, by now it's settled down a lot (I didn't ride in this morning). Also it doesn't seem to bother me when I ride, just afterwards.

So I usually follow the rule of thumb that if the pain is in the front of the knee, like mine is, that means your saddle is too low - but if anything, mine feels a little too high. Should I lower it anyway and see what happens? Just take some time off the bike? Go back to spd's and mtn bike shoes, screw the whole "road shoe" thing? :P

I'm going out of town in a few days for about a week and a half, and won't be riding unless I decide to rent a bike, so I figure that'll give it some time to stop hurting. But I don't want to mess it up again when I get back... my knees took a lot of abuse when I was younger from bmx/freestyle riding, and trying to skateboard without pads (dumb idea!!), so they can be kinda touchy now.
re: Ugh... knee pain question.GMS
Aug 21, 2002 11:45 AM
You may have to lower the seat to compensate for the difference between Speedplays and Looks. You are effectively farther away from the pedals when using Speedplays, I think.
I thought speedplays were closer to the pedal?TomS
Aug 21, 2002 1:08 PM
At least that's what they advertise; and looking at the setup, instead of having a big cleat on my shoe that sits on the pedal (looks) now I have a medium sized cleat, somewhat recessed into the shoe, and the pedal actually goes into the cleat.

But... I don't really know how to measure the difference.
I thought speedplays were closer to the pedal?Juanmoretime
Aug 21, 2002 1:57 PM
Go up 5mm and if your not rocking and without knee pain, leave it alone.
I thought speedplays were closer to the pedal?GMS
Aug 22, 2002 4:55 AM
Yes, speedplays make your foot close to the pedal. This means your legs have to reach farther to be on the pedals, so it's kind of effectively raising your seat. It's just something I'd try. It may or may not be the answer.

I have never used speedplays so I don't know what you could do as far as cleat position, but maybe moving them back on the shoe a little would help.
Check to see where your toes ares pointedStewK
Aug 22, 2002 4:53 AM
First stand naturally and see where your left foot points. Then when you're riding, see if you are pointing it in more or less the same direction.

If your toes point out somewhat while you're standing, you may be straightening out your foot too much when you're riding. I've found that there's a natural tendency to push your toes inward when riding because you get more power when your foot is parallel with the bike, or even a little turned in. The free float of Speedplays makes it easier to follow this tendency.

I had what I think is a similar problem to yours, and when I paid more attention to where my foot was pointed it went away. I also knew of a female rider who was riding Times and had a similar problem. When she made the adjustment, the problem went away also.

Good luck.

Hope this helps.