Advertisement
We've partnered up with Nixers.com to offer a space where you can talk directly to Peter from Nixers.com and get an exclusive Boards.ie discount code for a free job listing. If you are recruiting or know anyone else who is please check out the forum here.
If you have a new account but can't post, please email Niamh on [email protected] for help to verify your email address. Thanks :)

I might need cleats: Knee pain

  • 08-06-2021 8:44pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2,358 ✭✭✭ RebelButtMunch


    Hi Folks
    I've a decent road bike, that I used to commute on. City traffic, so I stuck with flat pedals/toe clips to quickly put my foot down in a traffic emergency.

    Now, I plan on a lot less commuting, and a lot more day spins out on the bike. I've been doing 70/80k trips, but after 60/60k I get a pain on the inside of my knee.

    Reading up on it, it seems that my feet are probably too far from the bike. Cleats would solve the issue I think.

    So, I'm looking for recommendations on cleats/shoes. I think I like the MTB cycling type shoes. I used to have road shoes and I didn't like that I couldn't walk comfortable in them.

    Thanks in advance.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 886 ✭✭✭ Luxman


    That sounds very odd, if your feet are not clipped in now, that means there will be minor adjustments made should you feel a twinge, ie its much easier to get the right position of foot on pedal. The opposite is true where are you clipped in, ie if you're clipped in incorrectly there is less movement to make an adjustment.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 42,406 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    knee pain can also point to a saddle height or positioning issue. have you double checked your saddle height against the various way of measuring?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,491 ✭✭✭ martyc5674


    I’d second luxman in that - cleats are more likely to lock you into the wrong position than the right position.
    IF it’s a setup issue, the problem most likely lies elsewhere- saddle height/position fore aft etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,264 ✭✭✭ hesker


    Did your pedal get a bang at any point. I bought a second hand bike that came with pedals and was getting knee pain on one knee after about 50k. Turned out to be a slightly bent axle in the pedal.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,358 ✭✭✭ RebelButtMunch


    Thanks for the replies,

    I went out and had a look at the height, I think the height is fine. More or less a straight leg with my heel on the pedal at 6oclock. Slightly bent leg when the foot is on the pedal properly.

    I'll have a check at the pedal axle in the morning, I did think or at least I was imagining my foot was tilting outwards..that might have been in my head.


  • Advertisement
  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 42,406 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    another way to measure - the lemond method - is multiply your inseam measurement by 0.883, and set the saddle height (from the centre of the BB to the top of the saddle) to this measurement.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,491 ✭✭✭ martyc5674


    Sounds about right - next thing to check would be saddle fore/aft - when I got my bike fit he dropped a plum line from behind my kneecap at 9 o’clock position, IIRC the plumbline needed to be at least in line if not ahead of the centre of the pedal axel. I’m sure YouTube will explain that better than I did!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,358 ✭✭✭ RebelButtMunch


    martyc5674 wrote: »
    Sounds about right - next thing to check would be saddle fore/aft - when I got my bike fit he dropped a plum line from behind my kneecap at 9 o’clock position, IIRC the plumbline needed to be at least in line if not ahead of the centre of the pedal axel. I’m sure YouTube will explain that better than I did!

    Quick measurement this morning with the help of a grumpy teenager, and it looks like the plumb line was about 1-2 cm ahead of the pedal crank. I'll try adjusting the seat backwards a tad.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,358 ✭✭✭ RebelButtMunch


    hesker wrote: »
    Did your pedal get a bang at any point. I bought a second hand bike that came with pedals and was getting knee pain on one knee after about 50k. Turned out to be a slightly bent axle in the pedal.

    I took off one of the pedals, and I had a look at the spindle rotation. There's no obvious deviance in the spin, perhaps a hair's breadth but I could be imagining that.

    Looking at the pedal though, it's a cheap as chips and the actual spindle through the pedal is quite short, and definitely wouldn't span the width of my foot. It's also missing some of the seals to stop dirt getting inside, so maybe worth replacing them anyway.

    Type of pedal is nearly if not identical to this one attached


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,202 ✭✭✭✭ Enfilade


    Do you find you're clawing at those pedals while riding? ie toes trying to curl over the front of them?

    🚴‍♂️



  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 2,358 ✭✭✭ RebelButtMunch


    Enfilade wrote: »
    Do you find you're clawing at those pedals while riding? ie toes trying to curl over the front of them?

    No, I 'd say the ball of my foot is pretty much on the spindle
    Edit: I had another look, and even with the ball of my foot on the spindle, my toes are able to flex down over the front edge


  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators Posts: 14,513 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Dcully


    I had no end if knee pain for a year or so before I eventually quit cycling for over a year.
    4 different bike fits from top guys in the field which oddly conflicted eachother proved so frustrating with none helping I just had enough.

    Eventually i missed it all and jumped over to Mountain Bikes for the less aggressive position , also do not use cleats anymore and knee pain is dramatically eased.
    Not totally fine but I've been cycling fine for 10 months now on the MTB.
    I also bought a patella band I wear so the combo of it on the MTB with no cleats us proving a dramatic improvement and a means of getting out cycling.

    I reckon cleats wil cause you more issues.
    I've little faith in bike fits for obvious reasons.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,491 ✭✭✭ martyc5674


    Quick measurement this morning with the help of a grumpy teenager, and it looks like the plumb line was about 1-2 cm ahead of the pedal crank. I'll try adjusting the seat backwards a tad.

    I think that’s unlikely to be the issue then— if it were behind the pedal crank then maybe as you’d be over extending your knee, however your saying that that your still behind it at the most extended point of your pedal stroke. (Make sure it’s back if kneecap your dropping from)
    Any chance it’s badly worn shoes given that you are obviously not using cycling shoes?

    Also: what’s your cadence like??- if your grinding a big gear all the time that could well be causing issues.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 42,406 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    to be fair, if the issue only presents itself after 60k i suspect it's not going to be screamingly obvious.
    what sort of cadence do you reckon you're hitting? high cadence is usually easier on the knees.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,358 ✭✭✭ RebelButtMunch


    Thanks to the two posters above... re the cadence, I try to keep a fast cadence all right and stay away from the tough gears. My shoes are quite worn actually and soft... maybe too comfy and allowing an outward flex?


  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators Posts: 14,513 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Dcully


    Generally you need somewhat of a hard soul show for cycling.

    Something else that popped into my head is you could have a muscle imbalance where the outside of the leg is pulling more than the inside.
    I never knew this was even a thing until i went to a sports physio but apparently most cyclists suffer from this unless they actually work on the inside muscle group.

    Im no expert but it might be worth exploring.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,358 ✭✭✭ RebelButtMunch


    Update,
    I moved my seat back a bit. Got new more supportive pedals and wore firmer runners.

    Managed 105k today. Mostly flat. Slight knee pain but found a sweet spot on the pedal that worked.

    Thanks to everyone for the advice.


Advertisement