Another knee pain question for the group

Realizing there can’t be a virtual perfect answer, but was hoping for some suggestions.

Just started SSB2 MV last week and am starting to experience (first) tightness, then minor pain behind the right knee (I think where the hamstring comes in, but not perfectly sure). Normally, I’d think this is a fit issue (and it could be), but didn’t have any of this during SSB1 and haven’t switched a thing.

Thoughts on if it’s just an actual injury from use, or if a bike fit issue has been exacerbated quickly by higher wattage/intensities? If so on the latter, recommendations on what to tweak first?

Other (potentially related/notable) items:

  • Been battling a sore lower right Achilles from time to time; so shifted right cleat back slightly this week and trying to ride with a little less pull at the bottom and more level.
  • Lower right back pain at base of spine day following ride.

As a patellar tendonitis sufferer who has largely defeated the issue. And as someone who developed other injuries back in October getting started with indoor cycling, my research and anecdotal evidence leads me to believe that volume has a lot to do with recovering from these things. The body seems to heal if you make sure you have enough rest days or easy days. Just don’t keep hammering at it. I developed pain in my right hip flexor and back of left knee that went away after being conservative about volume and taking a rest week here and there. During the period that I healed I foam rolled and stretched less than ever and I got better.

Also I should add that doing a unilateral leg exercise 1-2 days a week seems to be good for balancing out strength issues in the knee.

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This is the thread you’re after:

LOTS in there to learn and consider.

However my instinct is that yours is a combination of imperfect bike fit and insufficient core strength and flexibility (hence the lower back pain). Some squats and deadlifts (if you have weights), or core exercises that improve stability and balance, plus some stretching of the glutes and hamstrings, could go a long way.

Then making sure your cleats are giving you a firm, stable foundation. I find that placing the centre of the cleat 1-2cm behind the first metatarsal on the big toe (easy to find; it’s the bony protusion on the inside of your foot and you can feel it through the shoe) should give a decent starting point.

Saddle height also worth checking. Lots of different methods, but my general rule of thumb is: if your heel dips, raise it, if your toe dips, lower it. Filming yourself from the side can reveal a lot you might not be realising is happening as you pedal.

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Not an expert, but if you moved your right cleat back on your shoe, you effectively moved your right foot further away. To create the similar reach you would have to then lower your seat.

If your foot is “reaching” further it could be pulling on the hamstrings or tendons behind the knee. That’s why folks that have too high of a seat sometimes experience hamstring pain.

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Higher loads and more short-term fatigue (i.e. a hard interval) tend to impact form on the bike. The normal reaction is reach shortening, pelvis being drawn in and general tensing up.

It’s hard to say if this is impacting you and if it is by how much, but I would normally suggest reviewing saddle height and hip angle (spine and thigh). Moving saddle down can close hip angle, which has potential to cause issues elsewhere, but moving saddle down could also reduce risk of any over-extension. Note moving saddle down alone also brings it forward, so if you did that you might want to move it back on rails too. That said the saddle coming forwards and reducing reach could help if the hip angle is detrimentally impacted but only so long as it does not shift your weight forwards onto arms.

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Appreciate the ideas and thoughts; good suggestions and will work to adjust and see.