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Road Bikes vs. Mnt. Bikes In Yielding Knee Pain.(6 posts)

Road Bikes vs. Mnt. Bikes In Yielding Knee Pain.McBaine
Nov 4, 2003 6:38 PM
Is the bent over road riding position more likely to result in knee strains then the more up right mountain biking position? Is it possible my knee actually prefers pushing harder gears at lower cadences?

I've developed persistent rear knee pain. The pain is not sharp and covers the whole rear knee. It's only on my less dominant leg. I've had the pain on and off for 4 months know. I developed the pain after starting to ride my road bike this summer. The road bike is from my high school days which I never rode regularly. I hadn't ridden in a year but I never had pain with my mountain bike which I used to ride very often before a hiatus. The LBS says my road bike is set up correctly. I haven't even ridden above warm up intensity for 2 months and still have pain if I walk allot at work. The Orthopedics specialist saw nothing in x-rays. The only ridding I do now is twice a week very slowly to warm up so I can do streches. The knee even hurts when I stretch my hamstrings. I'm even ready to give that up and become 100% couch potato. This is ridiculous.
Right now, yep.cheesecake
Nov 4, 2003 7:02 PM
Mountain biking is a lot easier on your legs in comparison to road biking. I'm saying this because in mountain biking you are constantly switching positions on the bike and engaging different muscle groups. On the road bike you build very specific muscles to transform yourself into a efficient machine. When you switched to road biking you probably kept the same intensity(I'm guessing)but the muscles couldn't take the constant usage. Like I said before, on the mountain bike they would get more rest while you changed positions frequently and engaged different muscle groups.

Personally, when I start to get sore on the road bike I recover by mountain biking. This way I can keep my intensity level up without completely isolating the muscle groups I use for road biking. Don't get me wrong, the same muscle groups are being used, but at a lesser extent.

It sounds like you may have overtrained muscles that were not used to being road specific. Try mountain biking for awile until the pain is completely gone. It worked for me when I overworked my hamstring this fall. But then again this could all be wrong if your bike setup is off.
Sounds like your cleats/adapter need adjusting...AJS
Nov 4, 2003 7:36 PM
...that is, if you're using clipless pedals. Ask your LBS to go over that again if they haven't already, and try a different angle or front/back position on the shoes. That's often the cause of knee pain on a road bike.
re: Road Bikes vs. Mnt. Bikes In Yielding Knee Pain.gtx
Nov 4, 2003 10:18 PM
See if you can set up your road bike like your mtb--same saddle height and same amount of setback. Measuring setback can be a bit tricky--you'll need a plumb line. In theory your road bike should be easier on your knees because road/double cranks tend to have a lower q factor than mtb/tripe cranks (distance between the pedals). Also, some people think pain behind the knee is from having the saddle too low, and pain in front is from having it too high, but there are obviously other variables. Anyway, keep stretching (before AND after rides) keep the slow warmups and keep experimenting with setup (saddle, cleats, etc.) til you figure it out. Good luck!
Try your MTB pedals on your road biketimwat
Nov 5, 2003 6:19 AM
I just fixed the same problem by putting my MTB pedals on my road bike. I could ride all summer on my MTB with no pain, but as soon as I started riding my road bike I started getting the same type of pain in my left knee. I finally looked down and noticed that my toe and knee pointed out whenever I hit a hill or increased power. The SPD pedals on my MTB didn't allow this type of movement. The Look pedals on my road bike had enough float to allow this poor form. My SPD's are a lot easier to clip into and lighter anyway. Hope this helps
Try your MTB pedals on your road bikeMcBaine
Nov 5, 2003 7:22 PM
I had been riding my mountain bike SPDs on my road bike. Now even my mountain bike causes knee pain. It never hurts while riding...always afterwards. Now I just ride warm up intensity on the mountain bike on a trainer for 10 minutes then stretch for 10 minutes. Next another 10 minutes of riding and followed by stretches. I do this twice a week. I went so far as to by new walking shoes. My knee is shot. How long does extreem tendenitis or a knee strain take to heal? I'm afraid of that road bike. Maybe I'll junk it. But I'm afraid to buy a new one and encounter knee problems on it too.