Cycling Knee Problems By Roger
the weather becomes more conducive to riding, the racing
season gets going, and average weekly training distances
start to climb a few of us will have some trouble with our
knees. Usually knee problem are caused by one of four
too hard, too soon. Don't get impatient. It's going to
be a long season and there's plenty of time to get in
the proper progression of efforts. Successful cycling is
a matter of listening to your body. When you see
cyclists burning out, hurting themselves and just not
progressing past a certain point you can be fairly
certain that it is because they are not paying enough
attention to what their bodies are saying.
many miles. The human body is not a machine. It cannot
take all the miles we sometimes feel compelled to ride
without time to grow and adapt. Keep this in mind
whenever you feel like increasing average weekly mileage
by more than forty miles over two or three weeks and you
should have no problems.
cadences (also excessive crank length). Save those big
ring climbs and big gear sprints for later in the
season. This is the time of year to develop fast twitch
muscle fibers. That means spin, spin, spin. You don't
have to spin all the time but the effort put into small
gear sprints and high rpm climbing now will pay off
later in the season. Mountain bikers need to be
especially careful of low rpms. I generally recommend
that even full time MTB competitors do most of their
training on a road bike.
position on the bike. Unfortunately, most bicycle
salespeople in this country have no idea how to properly
saddle height. The most common error being to set it
too low. This is very conducive to developing knee
problems because of excessive bend at the knee when the
pedal is at, and just past top dead center.
you've avoided these common mistakes yet are still
experiencing knee problems first make sure your seat
are adjusted properly then:
for leg length differences both below and above the
knee. If the difference is between 2 and 8 millimeters
you can correct it by putting spacers under one cleat.
If one leg is shorter by more than a centimeter or so
you might experiment with a shorter crank arm on the
short leg side. See our article on uneven
shorter cranks. For some riders this helps keep pedal
speed up and knee stress down. I'm over 6 ft. tall and
use 170mm cranks for much of the off season.
the Fit-Kit R.A.D. cleat alignment device and/or a
rotating type cleat/pedal system.
way back on mileage and intensity. (This is a last
resort for obvious reasons.) Sometimes a prolonged rest
is the only way to regain full functionality and is
usually required only after trying to "train
© 2005 - Team David Salon