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Pain behind the knee 2 hours of ride

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Pain behind the knee 2 hours of ride

Old 10-07-19, 12:25 AM
  #1  
pani
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Pain behind the knee 2 hours of ride

Hello Folks,

I am new to this forum. Came searching for a solution to a problem I am facing for the last couple of months. Not sure I can explain it well but let me try.


My height is 163 cms. I am just a weekend rider. I have a high inseam and short torso. I used to ride a Pinarello Paris 46.5 and recently changed to Pinarello Dogma 65.1 46.5. The frame should be identical in size. The only differences from my Paris setup are:


1. Paris had a 10mm setback seatpost while Dogma has a 25mm setback seatpost.

2. Saddle on paris was a Selle Italia Flow, while on the Dogma is a Fizik Aliante Versus Evo


After this change of bike, I played around with saddle height for a few rides and one day I had a bad pain behind my left knee. I didn't know the cause and thought it could be a one-off case. I continued for another couple of rides only to realise that the pain comes back every time after about 50 kms of ride. I researched online and found that too high a saddle can cause it. I lowered the saddle quite a bit. Now my saddle height is right in the ballpark. I know it while riding. But still the pain comes back. So now I do not know whats going on. Few questions I am trying to get an answer


1. Is it that the injury I caused to myself has not yet healed hence the pain is coming back even after lowering the saddle ? I already took a 3 weeks break to let it heal but still it came back right after 50kms. And only in the left leg.


2. Could it be the 25mm setback on the seat post causing it ? Because of my short torso I always put the seat all the way forward. I have done the same on my Dogma too. Still is it too far back ? I would worry if thats the case because it is a stock pinarello bike, it should fit a normal rider like me.


3. Could it be the saddle ? Are there saddles which can push you too far back or bring you forward ? If such saddles exist I can try one which helps me sit forward and offset the setback seatpost.



In general I am comfortable on the bike. I can happily do 120 kms if the pain wasn't there. So how to diagnose the cause of the pain ?

A zero setback seatpost could solve the mystery quite easily but it is very expensive so I have kept it as the last resort.
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Old 10-07-19, 01:06 AM
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I will go with it being your fore/aft as a starting point.
You will possibly be 15mm further back given the different setback that you described (which is significant, and will see you engage your hamstrings significantly more).
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Old 10-07-19, 01:26 AM
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I did some research myself on seat position, specifically fore and aft positions. I believe if this is improperly set it can cause knee pain.

I moved mine back about 20mm and the front intermintant knee pain I had has subsided.

I learned that we should not use the seats fore & aft position to alter reach. We can do that with a different stem. Seat position is best set relative to the pedals.

I set the seat height so I have just a slight bend in the knee with normal riding and can fully extended it if I try. I have a suspension seat post, and must take the 3/8" drop or so into account when measuring.

Last edited by xroadcharlie; 10-08-19 at 06:40 AM.
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Old 10-07-19, 02:07 AM
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I have already pushed the saddle all the way to the front. It is weird that a bike as well designed as a Dogma and so widely used does not fit me in stock form.
Are there any exercises I could take up to strengthen the hamstrings and solve the pain ?
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Old 10-07-19, 02:45 AM
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Any saddles that could help ?
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Old 10-07-19, 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by pani View Post

2. Could it be the 25mm setback on the seat post causing it ? Because of my short torso I always put the seat all the way forward. I have done the same on my Dogma too. Still is it too far back ? I would worry if thats the case because it is a stock pinarello bike, it should fit a normal rider like me.
If you have your saddle all the way forward on a 10mm setback post vs a 25mm setback seatpost, you will be 15mm further back on the 25mm setback post assuming you are using the same saddle with the same length rails (which I know you are not).
I am going with you being too far back.
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Old 10-07-19, 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by pani View Post
I have already pushed the saddle all the way to the front. It is weird that a bike as well designed as a Dogma and so widely used does not fit me in stock form.
No it isn't.
Different seatpost setback.
You can't just slam your saddle all the way forward and think it is the same position when you have a different post.
Is the seatpost angle identical between the 2 models too?

Last edited by sumgy; 10-07-19 at 03:45 AM.
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Old 10-07-19, 04:33 AM
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The seatpost is indeed different. At least 15mm more setback. The saddle is also different.
Changing seatpost is expensive so I will start by changing saddle. Can I just go for the next ride when the pain has subsided or should I take a longer break before trying out stuffs ?
I can even borrow my friend’s bike for a ride.
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Old 10-07-19, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by pani View Post
The seatpost is indeed different. At least 15mm more setback. The saddle is also different.
Changing seatpost is expensive so I will start by changing saddle. Can I just go for the next ride when the pain has subsided or should I take a longer break before trying out stuffs ?
I can even borrow my friend’s bike for a ride.
I cannot see how you think changing your saddle will help TBH.
You need borrow a seatpost with 10mm of setback and try that.
That is the only difference I can see from what you have said.
15mm difference is huge.
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Old 10-07-19, 05:32 AM
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Probably correct. A saddle may not do much. I will ride my friends bike and see how it goes
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Old 10-07-19, 07:55 AM
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You need to figure out where your saddle needs to be in terms of fore/aft in relation to the bottom bracket and how your body is balanced based on the frame geometry and your flexibility/riding style (it varies from individual to individual). Everything I'm hearing you say is adjusting fore/aft to correct a reach problem which is not what your supposed to do. Once your fore/aft is set, you tune your reach with stem length and bar height. Ideally your stem length should be between 100mm-120mm assuming your frame is the correct size. My personal opinion is 90mm is too short, it doesn't mean it's wrong YMMV. The purpose of setback seatposts in varying degrees is for people who need to move their seat back beyond a zero setback due to the geometry and desired balance point. A 25mm vs. 10mm setback is simply to ensure optimal location of the clamp on the seat rails based on how far back the rider needs to get his desired balance point. It's not to extend reach.

Last edited by jadocs; 10-07-19 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 10-07-19, 04:51 PM
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Sounds like you are not starting with a good basic bike fit. Lots of online instructions exist on how to accomplish a good starting position for an initial basic fit from which you can then make one minor adjustment at a time to eventually get a well-tweaked more precise individual fit that better accommodates your particular physic, conditioning, skill, riding style, etc. Or perhaps you can take fit measurements from your old bike and transfer them to the new bike and start from there. As others have written, saddle adjustment is used to get your height and seated position relative to the crank and pedals. It is not adjusted for reach to the handlebars. Reach is adjusted with stem length and angle and steerer tube height. For most cyclists there will be a range of various adjustments that will work okay. But, If your frame is too tall or short and/or too loo long or small to accommodate you with available adjustments or you are after a very exacting fit, then you may need to purchase aftermarket parts as necessary for a a better fit. (seat post, saddle, crankarms, and/or stem).

Additionally, you have recurring very specific pain which appears to be related to specific prolonged use under specific recurring conditions. Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results is not going to work. Figure out how to heal the injury. RICE, stretching, massage, rollers, strength training, anti-inflammatories, heat, consult with a sports doctor or physical therapist — lots of options.

Good luck!
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Old 10-07-19, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Sapperc View Post
Sounds like you are not starting with a good basic bike fit. Lots of online instructions exist on how to accomplish a good starting position for an initial basic fit from which you can then make one minor adjustment at a time to eventually get a well-tweaked more precise individual fit that better accommodates your particular physic, conditioning, skill, riding style, etc. Or perhaps you can take fit measurements from your old bike and transfer them to the new bike and start from there. As others have written, saddle adjustment is used to get your height and seated position relative to the crank and pedals. It is not adjusted for reach to the handlebars. Reach is adjusted with stem length and angle and steerer tube height. For most cyclists there will be a range of various adjustments that will work okay. But, If your frame is too tall or short and/or too loo long or small to accommodate you with available adjustments or you are after a very exacting fit, then you may need to purchase aftermarket parts as necessary for a a better fit. (seat post, saddle, crankarms, and/or stem).
I don't actually think that is what he has done.
He has just slammed his saddle all the way forward like he did on the previous bike.
Due to the greater setback of the new post, this means he is now 15mm further behind his BB than he previously was.
This will see him using his hamstrings far more than previously (and all the tendons etc behind his knee).

IMO if he was slammed all the way forward on his previous bike, there was something wrong with that fit too.
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Old 10-07-19, 10:14 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by pani View Post
After this change of bike, I played around with saddle height for a few rides and one day I had a bad pain behind my left knee.
Is the pain that you are stating as being "behind" under/behind your knee cap or in the back of your leg?

Several years ago I had knee problems from riding where my knee caps were pulled to the outsides of my legs, respectively, causing the knee caps to grind the joints from sideways pressure. It was an internal pain/behind my knee caps that caused my legs to lock up. It put me on the ground a few times. I was reluctant to have it looked at because I was at the end of the season and wanted to hit my mileage goal so I hammered through a couple weeks and slowed the miles down.

Long story short - when I finally got things checked out with X-rays etc and they found the issue I ended up in physical therapy for a couple months. It was an imbalance in strength where the muscles and tendons to extend my legs were built up, but not the opposite. I had platform pedals so all I could do was push - not pull.

After physical therapy and before I got to riding again I got clip pedals and shoes (SPD's). I went through a few pedal designs and landed on a combo SPD on one side and platform on the other. Since the pedal/shoe change I've never had knee problems since.

The question was asked if exercise can resolve the issue. I think that is an "it may" answer. It may resolve the pain and overcome the injury aspect. However, it may not be a solution to the cause.

In my case, the cause was that I was exercising half of my legs. So to get me over the injury exercise (physical therapy - lots of it) did the trick, but changing the pedals/shoes fixed the cause.

If you can find what motion sets the pain off that may lead you in a better direction. If you have the ability to sit on the other bike and get some pictures of your posture and pedal strokes that may lead to some alignment changes as well. I did that when I was in physical therapy - the place I went to had me bring the bike in and took measurements etc to see how my body was aligned on the bike.
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Old 10-08-19, 05:19 AM
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Thanks everyone for suggestions. My old bike is sold so I could not compare it to the new one. But based on your suggestions I dug out an old sheet of paper on which I had written down the measurements of my old bike settings. Guess what ? The BB to Saddle height on it says 685 mm whereas on this new bike (even after lowering the saddle to avoid pain) it is at 700 mm.

That is a big difference combined with a 15mm additional setback. I feel both stupid and happy that I have probably found the root cause of the pain. It also means I was riding almost 3 cms higher for the first few rides which caused this pain to start with. In my old bike the steerer tube was cut to max so there were no spacers below the bar whereas on my new bike I have 20mm spacers below the bar so even though I raised the saddle so drastically I was still comfortably reaching the bar. All this and lack of measurements.

Now I have lowered the saddle by 1.5cms and will ride over the weekend to see how it feels.
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Old 10-08-19, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by pani View Post
In my old bike the steerer tube was cut to max so there were no spacers below the bar whereas on my new bike I have 20mm spacers below the bar so even though I raised the saddle so drastically I was still comfortably reaching the bar.
One of my riding partners (he's who got me in to long distance/touring) warned me of just this. I used his bike as a test-fit platform not too long before I got my touring bike and started riding. When I got my bike it was a stock unit at a bike shop. The shop had it fully assembled ready to go, but they left the fork in tact and when you purchase they fit the bike and finish the set up - including sizing the handlebar height and steer tube. From my partner's advice I left the handlebars high to begin with, then doubled the steer tube height above the stem. It drove the guys at the shop nuts because they are used to setting the bar height and cutting the steer tube off where it is. That gives you no upper adjustment. To the guy's credit that were working with me on the fitment when I bought the bike, they did point out the bar sticking up was a safety hazard if I hit something. However, the adjustability is just one aspect that is nice - the other is it gives me more mounting options for gear.

So perhaps on your next bike you can keep the experience and thought in mind and you, too, can drive your bike shop guys nuts with leaving a tall steer tube.

As far as the height from the pedals - that is the first adjustment I would have had dialed in. I guess I can't wrap my head around how you could be so far off. Even if my height is off by 1/2 a cm I can tell. Sometimes on long rides I have adjusted my seat height experimenting with how my legs react. After riding for 50-60 miles the fitment of the bike feels a bit different and small adjustments can make a difference on endurance.
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Old 10-08-19, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by pani View Post
Thanks everyone for suggestions. My old bike is sold so I could not compare it to the new one. But based on your suggestions I dug out an old sheet of paper on which I had written down the measurements of my old bike settings. Guess what ? The BB to Saddle height on it says 685 mm whereas on this new bike (even after lowering the saddle to avoid pain) it is at 700 mm.

That is a big difference combined with a 15mm additional setback. I feel both stupid and happy that I have probably found the root cause of the pain. It also means I was riding almost 3 cms higher for the first few rides which caused this pain to start with. In my old bike the steerer tube was cut to max so there were no spacers below the bar whereas on my new bike I have 20mm spacers below the bar so even though I raised the saddle so drastically I was still comfortably reaching the bar. All this and lack of measurements.

Now I have lowered the saddle by 1.5cms and will ride over the weekend to see how it feels.
Whenever I get pain in the backside of my knees, it's because the saddle was too high. Sounds like you're on the right track.
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Old 10-08-19, 11:26 PM
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Did a 30 mins workout on the trainer and it felt all good.
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Old 10-09-19, 03:24 AM
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Pain, pain, what is pain?

You need to identify the type, location -- specifically -- of the pain. What makes it better/worse? When did it start? How long does it last i.e., does it stop when you stop riding or linger on?

Just a few of the questions your doctor or healthcare provider would ask you. Of course any preexisting ailments or injuries as well as genetic factors would also play in. If you're 50 + arthritis would be the general diagnosis.
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Old 10-12-19, 01:45 PM
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Good for you for writing down and saving your measurements. I need to do that! What if my bikes were all stolen? Well, I think I could recreate it all by feel, but still.

I doubt that saddle setback on a safety bicycle has anything to do with it. I always point out: "Ever try to measure saddle setback on a recumbent?" Those riders seem to do just fine without measuring KOPS.

Saddle setback is about balance, which is to say, weight on the hands. Move it back to reduce, forward to increase. What changes with fore-and-aft adjustment is really hip angle and center of gravity. It's actually all the other way 'round: the standard forward lean of the road position combined with KOPS and correct knee angle (saddle height) yields the usually advised hip angle. If you want a TT position, the saddle moves way forward and thus KOPS is totally out of the question. However TT and tri riders do just fine that way. Similarly, if one wants to sit upright, the BB and pedals can be moved way forward if that's desired, see foot-forward comfort bikes: Fuji Bikes | Barnebey for instance.
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Old 10-12-19, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Good for you for writing down and saving your measurements. I need to do that! What if my bikes were all stolen? Well, I think I could recreate it all by feel, but still.

I doubt that saddle setback on a safety bicycle has anything to do with it. I always point out: "Ever try to measure saddle setback on a recumbent?" Those riders seem to do just fine without measuring KOPS.

Saddle setback is about balance, which is to say, weight on the hands. Move it back to reduce, forward to increase. What changes with fore-and-aft adjustment is really hip angle and center of gravity. It's actually all the other way 'round: the standard forward lean of the road position combined with KOPS and correct knee angle (saddle height) yields the usually advised hip angle. If you want a TT position, the saddle moves way forward and thus KOPS is totally out of the question. However TT and tri riders do just fine that way. Similarly, if one wants to sit upright, the BB and pedals can be moved way forward if that's desired, see foot-forward comfort bikes: Fuji Bikes | Barnebey for instance.
Saddle fore/aft also impacts whether you are using your quads or hamstrings more.
Further back, more hamstrings being used.
KOPS is a nonsense though, outside of a very basic way of sorting out fore/aft and saddle height.
But most people run their saddles too high, because most fitters these days seem to fit people too high.
I have even had fitters tell me I bought too small a bike.
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Old 10-12-19, 11:55 PM
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Update: I lowered my saddle by 2cms and went for 2.5 hours ride. No more pain! Problem solved. Thanks everyone for suggestions and advice.
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