Does cycling damage the knees?

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I bought a mountain bike a about a month ago, and spend around 2 to 3 hrs cycling over the weekend. I've noticed my knees hurt when I walk upstaires (but not always)

Is cycling bad for the knees?

thanks
 
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I had this for a while when I first got my bike. It went away so I assumed it was due to not being used to cycling and being a bit unfit. Might be that unless its been a while.

Not an expert though, speaking from experience!
 
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OP
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thats the same issue I have, its the 1st time I was on a cycle for years (like 10 years)
 
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I would check your saddle height, AFAIK you should be just an inch or two less than full stretch at the bottom of the pedal.

Like this
0.jpg


I am prepared to be proved wrong :D
 
Soldato
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I used to get really sore knees and calf's so I went to a guy who helped me setup the bike. I had the saddle way too low so wasn't getting enough leg extension which was causing it all. Do you have any mates who are keen cyclists and can help set it up?

Generally cycling is fine if your bike is set up correctly and your not over doing it.
 
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OP
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I used to get really sore knees and calf's so I went to a guy who helped me setup the bike. I had the saddle way too low so wasn't getting enough leg extension which was causing it all. Do you have any mates who are keen cyclists and can help set it up?

Generally cycling is fine if your bike is set up correctly and your not over doing it.

DanF, no I don't have cyclists friends, but you helped me alot. I guess I can ask people in Halfords or Evans?

Thanks for your help, really kind of you
 
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OP
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I would check your saddle height, AFAIK you should be just an inch or two less than full stretch at the bottom of the pedal.

Like this
0.jpg


I am prepared to be proved wrong :D

Yes, you may be right, it must be something simple like this. I'll adjust my seat so that I can get the perfect balance.
 
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Right....

Ignoring clipless completely to begin with:

MTBing is generally much more stressful on knees than road biking, however you ideally want good knee support from musculature to maintain efficient pedalling and keep yourself free of injury.

The key is to learn to maintain a higher cadence, this really helps to further protect the knee. Most beginners prefer to mash a higher gear as they don't yet have the fine motor control to pedal in smooth circles, so everything begins to get worse.

On the road, your ideal saddle height is the one that provides smooth knee motion throughout the stroke, with no acceleration or slowdown through the dead-spot where the cranks are vertical. However, on mountainbikes, whilst the optimum height is the same you generally run the saddle a little lower to enable you to move around on top of the bike, the more extreme the riding you're doing the lower the saddle will be.

Saddle fore-aft is also critical in protecting the knee, as a good starting point you want the front of the knee over the pedal axle when your cranks are horizontal. Whilst this is a rule of thumb, it will get you into a good starting point.

Clipless pedals are a huge kettle of fish and I'd really advise a professional fit for your first set.

With your positioning problems currently, i'd pop into your local friendly bike shop and ask for some advice. Most will be more than happy to assist a novice cyclist in getting comfortable.
 
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I have seen one of these. I couldn't beleive my eyes :D


Right....

.. clip..

Thanks for that. I'm pretty sure that MTB has knackered my knees over the years. I cycle to the station daily but i've found that they don't ache as much when i'm off work..


front of the knee over the pedal axle when your cranks are horizontal.

I'm pretty sure mine aren't.. I'll check this tonight.
 
Soldato
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I have no idea, if I took a picture of it would you know? (I'll take it tomorrow)

Do you "clip" into the pedals using cleats fitted to cycling shoes ( called clipless pedals, bit of a misnomer tbh ). Or are they just flat pedals with no securing system for your feet?.

As lrlcr already elaborated on, getting the basics correct when it comes to bike setup to fit you individually is of paramount importance. Not only so it makes it more comfortable and enjoyable to cycle the thing any distance but more importantly because a badly set up bike will cause you no end of discomfort and muscular and skeletal issues over both short term and more seriously, long term. A visit to a local friendly bike shop ( not a Halfords :cool: ) to ask for some advice on bike setup and geometry would be prudent.

Also, have a read through Sheldon's stuff here, some good tips :-

http://sheldonbrown.com/beginners/index.html
 
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Soldato
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Back on topic, I cycle perhaps 10miles a day and then put in 1/2 hr on an eliptical.. Been doing that for well over 10yrs, can't say I've had any problems with my knee's.

My father in law, who has been obsessed with cycling.. Even moved to the South of France cos it provided better cycling, use to go out for like 5hrs a day. Has pretty much been cycling his entire life, he's now 70, and I've never heard him complain of his knee's.. And he does like to complain about many things. But never his knees.
 
Soldato
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on mountainbikes, generally run the saddle a little lower to enable you to move around on top of the bike, the more extreme the riding you're doing the lower the saddle will be.

Saddle fore-aft is also critical in protecting the knee, as a good starting point you want the front of the knee over the pedal axle when your cranks are horizontal.

Thanks a lot for that mate.

I try to MTB a fair bit and I've always been told I ride too low on my saddle. I've always preferred it lower for the very reason that you need to be nimble shifting your bike around, especially when bracing on a steep decent.

I'll have to check if my knee lines up over the pedal but I ride clipless too so you said that throws another curve into it all.

OP - I've never had issues with my knees and I've mountain biked for a many years since a child. Touch wood! I'm thankfull for it. The only issue I get with my knees is when they bash off the frame.. which happens more than it should!
 
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