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Strange Knee Pain Only After 95-100 Miles

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Strange Knee Pain Only After 95-100 Miles

Old 09-03-19, 09:22 AM
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Psychocycles
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Strange Knee Pain Only After 95-100 Miles

I can ride any distance between 0 and 95 miles completely pain free, but right around the 95-100 mile mark, the top middle of my left knee consistently flares up to a sharp pain in a point. Not sure why or how, could it be that a certain muscle group supports my knee just fine for the first 95 miles then fatigues and causes the pain?

What causes knee pain deep into a bike ride? I'd imagine if there's fit issues it would show up earlier than 5 hours into a ride?
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Old 09-03-19, 10:23 AM
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That's probably tendinitis. The usual fix is to raise the saddle. See: https://roadcyclinguk.com/how-to/tec...xPscv15IHbY.97
Try the heel-on-pedal with a slight gap between heel and pedal. When you're pedaling, be sure your ankle is relaxed and your calf not tensed. IOW don't pedal toe-down. Feel the heel cup in your shoes.

If that doesn't work, maybe improve strength and flexibility by doing squats. Start with no weight, going all the way down until your hams rest on your calves. When you can do that 12 reps comfortably, try doing it with a barbell. Barbell squats IOW. Weight training is a good fix for tendinitis, weird as that may sound. Our bodies respond to stress by getting stronger.
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Old 09-03-19, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Psychocycles View Post
I can ride any distance between 0 and 95 miles completely pain free, but right around the 95-100 mile mark, the top middle of my left knee consistently flares up to a sharp pain in a point. Not sure why or how, could it be that a certain muscle group supports my knee just fine for the first 95 miles then fatigues and causes the pain?

What causes knee pain deep into a bike ride? I'd imagine if there's fit issues it would show up earlier than 5 hours into a ride?
I will suggest simple overuse. If you can ride 75 miles without the pain, most likely your fit is okay. Did you suddenly ramp up your mileage?
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Old 09-03-19, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
That's probably tendinitis. The usual fix is to raise the saddle. See: https://roadcyclinguk.com/how-to/tec...xPscv15IHbY.97
Try the heel-on-pedal with a slight gap between heel and pedal. When you're pedaling, be sure your ankle is relaxed and your calf not tensed. IOW don't pedal toe-down. Feel the heel cup in your shoes.

If that doesn't work, maybe improve strength and flexibility by doing squats. Start with no weight, going all the way down until your hams rest on your calves. When you can do that 12 reps comfortably, try doing it with a barbell. Barbell squats IOW. Weight training is a good fix for tendinitis, weird as that may sound. Our bodies respond to stress by getting stronger.
I'm an experienced weightlifter, and my saddle is in the correct position.

Originally Posted by phughes View Post
I will suggest simple overuse. If you can ride 75 miles without the pain, most likely your fit is okay. Did you suddenly ramp up your mileage?
I did a bit, I've been doing 50-60 mile rides regularly but have been going to 100-103 recently trying to get in what I can before the weather turns. Would I feel the overuse in the hours following / days following a ride, though? The pain stops pretty much immediately after I stop pedaling.
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Old 09-03-19, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Psychocycles View Post
I'm an experienced weightlifter, and my saddle is in the correct position.



I did a bit, I've been doing 50-60 mile rides regularly but have been going to 100-103 recently trying to get in what I can before the weather turns. Would I feel the overuse in the hours following / days following a ride, though? The pain stops pretty much immediately after I stop pedaling.
Yes, quite. Raise it anyway. See if that makes a difference. Try one cm, if that feels stupid high, try just 1/2 cm. You don't notice any discomfort when you do heavy full squats?

You're describing a minor RSI of the patellar tendon. In these cases, slightly reducing the load on that tendon usually works, i.e. raise your saddle.
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Old 09-04-19, 12:57 AM
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I believe it could be tendinitis...

I also think it could be a lack of proper hydration, dietary related (lack of lube)..

But my my initial instinct is that you may be a masher, and a bit more spinning could help.


I suddenly got sharp pains just as you described that started out being only during the end of long hard rides. Then they were sometimes achy an hour after the rides. Then they’d happen 1/2 way through the ride. Then they’d happen on the 1st hill I climbed. Then it just hurt all the time. I was riding a single speed MTB, hard and long! I had KOM’s on climbs. had more than enough leg strength. I would ride 40 mountain miles with tons of climbing for 5-6 hours! I could press those pedals... right into my knee! Ouch!!

Spinning and extra hydration, plus many many months, in my case, of no hard riding was my only cure!
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Old 09-04-19, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Psychocycles View Post


I did a bit, I've been doing 50-60 mile rides regularly but have been going to 100-103 recently trying to get in what I can before the weather turns. Would I feel the overuse in the hours following / days following a ride, though? The pain stops pretty much immediately after I stop pedaling.
Not necessarily. If you are not stressing the joint, there is a good possibility you would not feel pain. Once you resume pedaling, you will feel it.

I vehemently disagree with raising your saddle. If you are not experiencing pain on a 75 mile ride, your fit should be fine. The jump between 50-60, and 100-103 is a big jump, so it is not surprising you have pain. Keep in mind, if you raise your seat slightly, and then ride 100 miles, you could introduce much bigger issues, possibly serious back issues, since you generally drop to one side to compensate for a too high seat height. I will say again, the fact you can ride 75 miles with no pain with your existing seat height, and overall setup, is very telling. You fit seems fine.

I had not been riding much early this year, and began a two week tour, fully loaded. My milage ramped up big time, going from only having ridden about 30 miles in total early in the year, to 50 miles the first day. I also started with my right knee having pain. I had been hiking and it had begun to hurt. My knee also felt fine after getting off the bike. My knee pain went away after the first few days. I simply didn't push hard, and made sure I was spinning instead of mashing.

Interestingly, I also DROPPED my seat height slightly during the tour, since I was experiencing some saddle pain. That got rid of the saddle pain, and I never had any pain at all, anywhere, the rest of the tour. I was much more stable on the bike as well. I ended the tour with a 76 mile day, in the hills of Eastern Ohio.

Each day of the tour, I got off the bike and felt good, and felt good the next morning as well.

Take your time, spin, don't mash, and carefully train.
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Old 09-04-19, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
Not necessarily. If you are not stressing the joint, there is a good possibility you would not feel pain. Once you resume pedaling, you will feel it.

I vehemently disagree with raising your saddle. If you are not experiencing pain on a 75 mile ride, your fit should be fine. The jump between 50-60, and 100-103 is a big jump, so it is not surprising you have pain. Keep in mind, if you raise your seat slightly, and then ride 100 miles, you could introduce much bigger issues, possibly serious back issues, since you generally drop to one side to compensate for a too high seat height. I will say again, the fact you can ride 75 miles with no pain with your existing seat height, and overall setup, is very telling. You fit seems fine.

I had not been riding much early this year, and began a two week tour, fully loaded. My milage ramped up big time, going from only having ridden about 30 miles in total early in the year, to 50 miles the first day. I also started with my right knee having pain. I had been hiking and it had begun to hurt. My knee also felt fine after getting off the bike. My knee pain went away after the first few days. I simply didn't push hard, and made sure I was spinning instead of mashing.

Interestingly, I also DROPPED my seat height slightly during the tour, since I was experiencing some saddle pain. That got rid of the saddle pain, and I never had any pain at all, anywhere, the rest of the tour. I was much more stable on the bike as well. I ended the tour with a 76 mile day, in the hills of Eastern Ohio.

Each day of the tour, I got off the bike and felt good, and felt good the next morning as well.

Take your time, spin, don't mash, and carefully train.
That seems to make the most sense to me. I agree that considering I can ride up to 95 miles completely pain free, my fit is unlikely to be the culprit, it's probably just that I ramped up from medium volume to high volume training recently. I usually average 85-90 RPM on my cadence as well, so definitely not a masher. I'll take it easy on it for the next couple days / week, see how it goes. Thanks for the advice, everyone.
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Old 09-05-19, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Psychocycles View Post
That seems to make the most sense to me. I agree that considering I can ride up to 95 miles completely pain free, my fit is unlikely to be the culprit, it's probably just that I ramped up from medium volume to high volume training recently. I usually average 85-90 RPM on my cadence as well, so definitely not a masher. I'll take it easy on it for the next couple days / week, see how it goes. Thanks for the advice, everyone.
Journal the pain and what you try and report back! 👍🏻
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Old 09-06-19, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Tulok View Post
Journal the pain and what you try and report back! 👍🏻
Will do! I took pretty much the whole week off and will get back on the bike today for a gentle spin, then try for a 75 mile 21-22 MPH group ride tomorrow, then see if I can manage 100 Sunday. I wonder if it's a case of my aerobic engine being big enough to handle this volume but my legs/muscles just aren't there.
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