Feeling some sort of knee pain after you’ve been cycling long distances is pretty common. Trust me, I’ve been there. In 2001 I cycled across the country after having reconstructive surgery for a torn ACL. After long days of cycling, the pain in my knees would give me a lot of trouble. Thankfully, I learned a few pain free tricks that benefited me tremendously on my trip.
The shoes you wear, cadence, and seat height are all conditions that may be creating pain. When you ride a bike, you want to clip in or attach your feet to the pedals. Your feet power the bike by pushing the pedals down, which can cause your knees to feel pain.
If you think this is where your pain is coming from, you may need new pedals. If you have pedals with toe clips or clipless pedals that attach your feet to the bike, your feet move in a circular motion. Distributing the weight so that one foot is pushing down and the other is pulling up at the same time is the best way to reduce the stress on your knees.
Another problem you may have is that your cadence is too slow. If your cadence or revolutions per minute is slow, your knees have to work extra hard to keep moving at a slower speed.
When you are working at a faster cadence, your knees are working less because the momentum takes some of the pressure off your knees. A good cadence for your knees is between 80-100 rpm. It is important for the condition of your knees that you keep this quicker cadence even if you are going uphill.
This will help your knee pain drastically.
The last piece of the knee pain puzzle is your seat height. The seat height and the distance your seat is from the handlebars are very important. The angle and distance at which your seat is positioned can greatly affect the pressure that is placed on your knees. If you take your bike to a local bike shop, they can fix your seat height in order to optimize your comfort.
These pain free tricks apply to all types of bikes. It is important to the health of your knee that you make sure that all parts of your bike are in the proper position and that your are riding comfortably so that you can get the most out of cycling.
If you are looking for additional exercises to strengthen the ligaments and tendons in your knee, I have 18 specific exercises to do that. Click here to check out my book “Stop Your Knee Pain Now.”